Everybody Loves A Free Synth!

Retronyms changed the price on the iPad synthesizer Synth from $.99 to free on Friday.

“It’s now the #1 free music app in 26 countries around the world,” according the company.

Apparently, everybody loves a free synth. Or at least the people that blew $500 on an iPad love a free synth.

Here are the details on Synth….


  • More than 40 instruments
  • Mod wheel
  • Pitch-Bend wheel
  • Adjustable delay
  • Adjustable distortion
  • Sampler included. Create your own sounds with the microphone! (remember the Casio SK1?)
  • Metronome
Download Synth in the App Store.

Note: Retronyms is following the ‘app crack’ model with Synth – it’s free, but unlocking Synth’s parameter editor is a $.99 add-on purchase. This approach works for a lot of people, because it lets you try before you buy. So expect to see more companies giving you music apps for free – and then charging for the professional features.

Note II: MIDI support is missing in action. That makes Keanu sad.

15 thoughts on “Everybody Loves A Free Synth!

  1. “Blew $500 on an iPad”!?!? Best musical investment I have made in the past 10 years… This site is starting to feel like I am going to the UFC boards… people just post trolling type statements to incite an emotional response… I prefer useful musical news… So thanks for the heads up on the free app… The Gorillaz used this one… Retronyms has a good history of useful apps (Tabletop) so might be worth a look…

  2. Free my ass. I’m sure they deleted it once they figured out you can’t do jack with it witout coming out the pocket. Not complainin because I don’t care for or need it, but its not “FREE”.

  3. People always assume that since I have an iPad that I am rich. I got mine as a gift. Also if you shop around, you can get a good condition iPad1 for $250 or so. Some people spend more than that a month on coffee that they think is good…

  4. Hey thanks for the shout out about Synth! As you’ve observed, it’s not the most “pro” synthesizer app on iPad by a long shot, but that was never really the point with this particular app. Personally we love a lot of the more feature-rich synths out on iPad like Sunrizer, Addictive, Animoog, NLog and etc. but we’re just hoping now that Synth is free people who might otherwise not have tried playing an iPad keyboard at all can download it and give it a try! And as for the in-app purchases, we did recently make the “skin pack” free and cut the price of the patch editor from $8 to $0.99 so hopefully that’s a bit more accessible too. Quite honestly we’ve been spending a lot more time working on Tabletop recently, but seeing the crazy amount of downloads that Synth has racked up in the past 48 hours, we may very well go back and add some basic recording or I/O features there as well. We’re open to suggestions!

    1. In-app purchases for things like this tell me that the developer is more interested in nickel-and-diming me to death than in worrying about supporting their app. Screw you guys.

  5. In App Purchases is the worst thing to happen to software since maybe subscription licensing. I will never use an app with IAP. The reason I got into Logic over Cubase was that Cubase always gave you a bunch of time limited demos and if you wanted all the plugins you had to pay extra 100s of dollars but Logic just give you everything and go to work. This is what I used to love about Reason too, with Reason you couldn’t even buy extra stuff if you wanted it. Now ever piece of software is going to have all kinds of hidden costs and you never know how much you actually have to pay to be able to use it. As long as Apple keeps Logic at flat $200 I’ll never switch, death to In App Purchase!

    1. In app purchases can be a really great thing. Unfortunately almost every developer in every industry abuses them and goes for greed. When used in balance, in app purchases can:

      – Give free things to people who would/could not have purchased
      – Serve as a demo, which lets people try it
      – Saves developer time/cost for not needing to develop a separate demo
      – Allows developers to build a product as they go, incorporating crucial user feedback at every stage and solving many finance problems
      – Allows users to only purchase the components they want, rather than getting stuck with an expensive “enterprise version”

      While I don’t think Retronyms has been as bad as companies like E.A., I see the value/expense ratio out of balance in Table Top. It’s quality software, no doubt, but when I saw them charging for basics like a low pass filter, I knew it was a treadmill I didn’t want to get on. I anticipate the Auria app will set the new bar for ridiculously expensive when it comes out.

  6. Making the patch editor an in-app purchase is pretty hilarious.

    However it’s only 99 cents, so I guess it’s still dirt cheap.

    But I would still suggest that Retronyms has gone a bit crazy on the nickel-and-diming side of things.

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