Serge Modular Synthesizer With iPad Control

Sound designer and synthesist Ian Boddy experiments with iPad control of a Serge modular synthesizer.

The combination of open-ended multi-touch controllers with modular synthesizers is just beginning to take off, but I think it promises to revolutionize the world of modular synths. Only a small part of what you pay for in a modular synth is for the electronics. The bulk of the cost goes for knobs, switches, jacks, panels, design costs, overhead & shipping.

By rethinking modular synths with wireless touchscreen control in mind, you could have a relatively inexpensive modular synth that uses knobs as needed for tactile control, but is logically patched via a wireless touchscreen controller. Functions that are done effectively in software, like sequencing, could move to the touchscreen controller. This could combine the hands-on benefits of modular synthesis with things like patch recall.

What do you think of the combination of multi-touch tablets with modular synths?

Technical details:

Serge modular controlled from an iPAD running TouchOSC.

Wholetone scale with 4 x sliders controlling FM pitch / FM amount / filter cutoff / envelope scaling.

And we’re pretty sure it only looks like chocolate pudding on the iPad screen.

7 thoughts on “Serge Modular Synthesizer With iPad Control

  1. Cool demo. That screen looks pretty disgusting though. Hopefully it’s just the way he lit it.

    Love the sounds he gets, too!

  2. Its the single light source and angle of reflection that makes it look so dirty. But, thats also what they look like when you actually use them 😛

    But yes, cool sounds!

  3. I have the climb album by mr Boddy(vinyl of course)
    Not a big fan of Mac products. It is interesting the idea of cheaper modulars, with different interfaces. I think fellas like Boddy can abuse an ipad enough to know wether they are of value to hardware synthesists. I am stunned by the idea they aren’t velocity sensitive, so it seems crazy really that you cant wallop the screen to get the filters opening (like on any crap midi keyboard)
    I spoke to my mate and he says there are various cheats on this but , has a producer he said they where basically crap regards the velocity info. I think that for that alone these things are a joke.Time will tell.
    PS It is good to see a working musician treating a machine like a machine and not a fetsish object (dirty screen) I saw a comedian last night , and he said your can’t download apps for loneliness!! he was mocking the sad fucks who need to get a life outside of ‘i pad world’
    heard some joke also about someone thinking an I pad was a feminine hygiene products, the fellas mate said how do you work that one out? there’s always a c#nt’ pressed up against one!!

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