Impaktor Drum Synth Now Available

Beep Street Impaktor – a iOS drum synthesizer that turns any surface into a playable percussion instrument. – is now available.

Impaktor works by capturing real acoustical impulses from the built-in microphone and using them as an excitation source for advanced sound modules that simulate the behavior of membranes, cymbals, metallophones or strings. This makes Impaktor a highly responsive and expressive instrument.

With semi-modular architecture and several types of synthesis, Impaktor can produce a wide range of tones, from acoustic, like Tabla, Djembe, Marimba, Cymbals, Metal bars to electronic or industrial sounds.

Impaktor is available in the App Store for $4.99.

If you’ve used Impaktor, let us know what you think of it!

Note: This app requires headphones to avoid feedback. According to the developer, it works best with headphones without a built-in microphone. Works with iPhone 4, 4S, iPod Touch 4th gen and all iPads.


  • Synthesis: physical modeling, frequency modulation, noise shaping
  • Semi-modular architecture; 2 modules with configurable routing
  • 2 modulation sources: velocity and lfo-envelope. Almost every parameter can be modulated
  • Multimode filter, harmonic exciter and several types of amplifiers
  • Over 90 presets available, more coming soon
  • No samples used
  • Ultra low latency


  • 6 tracks audio recorder
  • True 3d panning
  • Auto-quantization with configurable time-signature
  • Reverb and Delay effects
  • Audio-copy and wave export

via reader Tim Aza, who says, “I found about Impaktor through your Impaktor article and I’ve been following the release of the app since.”


23 thoughts on “Impaktor Drum Synth Now Available

    1. The point is that if the device itself is making sounds they will feedback into the mic and trigger additional sounds. You can use it with a line out, you just have to kill the internal speaker.

      It’s just like using pitch-to-MIDI on Thumbjam.

        1. Yup – the sound generated would trigger a new sound generated etc. A feedback loop (which can be cool, but would not make this very useable).

  1. Just picked it up and tapped for a few seconds. The sound is pretty nice. The latency is pretty low, so it feels pretty responsive. Seems only to respond to loudness (i.e., not other kinds of impulses like attack or rubs or whatever). I haven’t messed with the settings yet, but there are some interesting controls. Gotta go to work, so will need to mess with it later.

      1. You should be able to use any Y-splitter that plugs into the headphone jack and splits it into two jacks, one for the mic in and one for headphones.

  2. Amazing! been hoping for a way to synthesize my own unique electronic percussion sounds but never felt any current drum synths were unique or expressive enough. This is great! can’t wait to dig deeper.

  3. This is bloody fantastic! Total heaven for fingerdrummers. Extremely responsive and great sound quality. And lots of potential for future additions. Much much better than I expected. Haven’t had this much instant fun with my iPad in a long time.

    1. Whoah!!!!

      Couldn’t wait review and I just downloaded it, and its really pretty good. And it does take the sound into the account and you can make different sound just by playing differently.

  4. Very pleasant surprise — works better than expected, sounds better than expected, for less money than I expected. I can really recommend it.

    Because it’s mic activated (rather than accelerometer), you can play it in other ways than the ‘finger on desktop’ shown in the video. It’s easier for me to pick up the iphone and tap the back, using fingertips and tips of fingernails. Also works with your mouth. Try little puffs of air pointed at the mic. Try tongue clicks on the roof of your mouth — it sounds as though the spectrum of the trigger sound (as you move your mouth to say A-E-I-O-U while clicking for example) makes it through somewhat to the generated sound.

    I think I’ll try this with some contact mics, maybe see if it works with a piezo element off a cheap drum pad.

    Awe-some! Happy Monday.

  5. Ah, it’s mic triggered huh? That would explain all the false triggers I’m getting. Though doesn’t that severely limit the environments where you can use it?m

    1. It has all kinds of nice calibration shenanigans to make it work even in some what noisy environments. I tested it while my kids were playing really very loudly, and it still worked most of the time, even when I was tweaking it to the (even)more sensitive side of responsiveness.

      Live instrument though? Not so much.

      I wish, if its possible, that Beeb would add some kind of recognition to stereo mics so that you could get different sounds for both hands or/and feet.(although, I already got a patch, with what I could play several different sounds)

  6. Excellent stuff. Nice sounding a very organic.
    I can use this to add some layers to my songs.
    Bumping the sensitivity to 10 allows the creating of drones (depending on the sound preset used).

  7. has anyone tried to see if this app can be triggered by live drums in the room? i’m interested in having something that can ghost a live drummer but with some synthy percussion sounds.

    also, haven’t seen any documentation out there about the programming menus and possibilitites. is there some?

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