Is The iPad “The Perfect Companion For Any Analogue Synth?”

Is the Apple iPad “the perfect companion for any analogue synth?”

Here’s one synthesist who thinks so.

This video, by Logan Mannstrane, captures StepPolyArp for iPad controlling an Oberheim Four Voice Synthesizer.

Here’s what Mannstrane has to say about the setup:

Just a quick demo to show this awesome iPad application. The StepPolyArp iPad application hooks up wirelessly to a Windows or OSX computer. I currently have the StepPolyArp app talking with Logic Pro that then drives a Doepfer MCV24 to go from midi to CV and Gate. The Oberheim is being triggered in Unison for all 4 Voices on every step. Each voice is being panned right/left to create a nice stereo effect with a total of 8 oscillators.

The perfect companion for any analogue synth.

Audio signal path is:

Oberheim FVS==>Eventide 2016==>Prism Orpheus AD

iPad music software isn’t for everybody, obviously, but Mannstrane demonstrates that it can be a practical and musical option for working with analogue gear.

Check it out and leave a comment with your thoughts!

Update: More thoughts from Mannstrane at CDM!

12 thoughts on “Is The iPad “The Perfect Companion For Any Analogue Synth?”

  1. It's irritating to see how coy synthopia is about their ipad obsession. I mean why even phrase it as a question when it's evident what you think the answer is? This website is becoming less and less useful for people without ipads… or anyone that really cares about synthesizers

  2. I agree it's not for everybody. If you are comfortable tapping out notes as such… then… I guess this may work. I personally wouldn't feel a connection to the creativeness. I want to physically touch keys…but I guess that's the pianist side of me. 🙂 Great demonstration!!!

  3. I love the feeling of my fingers touching the keys on my keyboard.
    I have never used an iPad, so maybe I'm biased, but I feel like
    I have control over the entire production when I let my fingers feel
    the keys, to feel the keys go down when I press them.

    I won't bash the iPad, I just don't think I would feel like
    I am being creative when my finger is pressing a screen

  4. "Anyone that really cares about synthesizers?"

    Yes – let's only talk about synthesizer technology that's 30 years old!

    This new-fangled stuff isn't for real musicians!

  5. Back in the 80s the trend was to replace all buttons and knobs with "Microwave" membrane style buttons. Hopefully future synths won't have touch screen instead of knobs!

  6. Yeah…I know what you mean about the membrane style buttons. my first synth
    was the Akai AX-80 ( I want to say around 1986/87, leaning to 1987 )
    I could see where it looked like it was beginning to crack and there was
    ( What I called ) craters forming. Still loved my AX80 though and I haecaught myself
    searching E-bay for them from time to time…I am tempted sometimes just
    buy it to stroll down memory lane.

  7. I don't mind about more or less iPad attention. We all know it's a fad if you have been around for a while. Funny that in the end people always go back to keyboards and they haven't changed much in 50+ years that synths have been around.

    My main concern after reading all these iPad articles is that the music or software sounds or looks exactly the same. In my mind all the memories about music in that device are a single useless mess of information – I can't tell one software or iPad music piece from another. That for me is a big red flag for a technological failure.

    My $.02

  8. This will all become much more applicable soon. I don't think you should need a computer to use your iPad to control a synth. Once the iPad/MIDI interface, such as Line 6's, is standardized you will be able to connect directly to any hardware synth(s) you want and this kind of workflow will make more sense. If you like the touchscreen interface it will do pretty much anything you could want and some. If you like knobs and switches, you probably already have what you want and should be making music instead of reading blog posts about iPads sequencers. Also, comparing sequencing to actually playing keyboards is ridiculous. Those lines were drawn decades ago.

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