New 8-Bit Chiptune Synth For iPad, Sidpad


Developer Alex Smith has introduced Sidpad – an 8-bit style chiptune synth for the iPad.


  • 3 Voice Synthesizer – Over 40 controllable parameters to create a wide range of 8 bit chip-tune sounds. All knobs are MIDI controllable.
  • Multimode Filter – includes Type, Cutoff, Resonance and customizable Cutoff Envelope
  • Flexible Modulation – Hand draw up to 4 graphs and assign them to the synth’s parameters to add movement and expression to your sound
  • Wavetable Editor – The 16 step wavetable editor lets you set up sound effects and arpeggiated melodies. You can sequence notes and waveform changes either as one shot or in a loop and vary the speed
  • Help Mode – Every feature is explained via the help button to get you up and running with SidPad regardless of your synthesizer experience.

Sidpad is a free download in the App Store. ‘Pro Mode’ is a $3.99 in-app purchase. Smith does not explain what features the upgrade enables, so we’ve asked him for feedback on this.

If you give Sidpad a try, let us know what you think of it!

28 thoughts on “New 8-Bit Chiptune Synth For iPad, Sidpad

    1. I can’t get the app to produce any output. I’m seeing a visual response but no sound at all. Anybody else having this problem?

      1. Hi Mick,
        I’m so sorry to hear this, please can you tell me what version ipad you have and the OS version?

        And yes, just to confirm, Pro mode unlocks:
        -Audio Export (write to WAV)
        -Midi Support (control of notes and all knobs via midi CC)
        -Custom Preset Storage
        -Disable demo timer that mutes voices 2 and 3 after a while.

        Thanks for trying SIDPAD 🙂

        Any Questions I’m at your service! [email protected]

        1. There is a tiny switch next to the volume control on the edge of your iPad. It controls mute for alert sounds or it serves to lock the screen orientation, depending on how you have it set up in Settings.

  1. Hi, and thanks for the quick response.
    I’m using iPad 4 with iOS 6.1.3

    Still no luck here.
    I can watch the meters go up and down but no audio.

  2. I like the synth…very clean interface and killer 8-bit stuff. I particularly like the wave-sequencer, really easy to jump right in and use! Hell, the whole thing is easy to jump right into being so clear and traditionally layed out

  3. this is so neat. so i got pro .

    it would be awesome if notes could be held via a toggle button .
    the adsr release time is a bit short .

    audiobus plz!!!

    1. People downvoting me just don`t understand how I really want to buy this app, and how Apple made it impossible for me to buy it. If Apple would support their older devices, people owning older devices would be able to keep buying new apps, but Apple would rather have those users buy a new $600 device instead.

      1. Developers decide whether their apps should support older OS’s or not. Since 95% of their potential customers are running 6, it’s not worth it to support earlier versions.

        PS: It’s likely that people down vote your comments because they are generally negative and ill-informed.

        1. “Developers decide whether their apps should support older OS’s or not.”

          Not necessarily, if a dev uses newer API, automatically their app will not work on older OS’s. And on newer versions of IOS, older API are removed.

          If an app began development on older OS, its easy to keep it working on older OS through updates, but its much harder to make an app compatible with older OS if its been developed with the newest OS/API. It would be much easier if Apple would allow devs to use their own API, but sadly they don’t.

          “Since 95% of their potential customers are running 6, it’s not worth it to support earlier versions.”

          Sure, but that 5% still means millions of potential customers.

      2. Hang on, so when you had a go at my comment regarding the Mode Machines app (that also requires iOS6), you hadn,t even tried the software yourself?
        Okee Dokee then.
        I look forward to reading more of your comments about how Apple have shafted you.

  4. Hi All,

    Thanks for all your comments, this is really exciting to see! Can’t wait to hear what sounds you guys come up with. Yes please ensure that the audio mute slider on the side of your ipad is not set to mute.

    I’m currently looking into audiobus and hope to integrate it within the next week or two.
    I’ll keep you posted on

    -Glad you got it working, Mick – thanks Tom for helping out!
    -Thanks Yamama for suggesting a hold toggle switch, that’s going into the next version! I ll also lengthen the release range.
    -Stebig, the polyphony is 3 voices in pro mode as per a single SID chip. The synth itself if monophonic. You must detente the voices to achieve chords if that makes sense…

    Don’t forget to follow twisted-electrons on Facebook, lots of other fun apps and synths on the horizon.

    Thanks again for you interest and support!

    1. thanks for the answer. monophonic, while true to vintage stuff, doesn’t really interest me. nice ideas for the synth, though. good luck.

  5. A couple things… For those who are not getting audio, I noticed that if you begin with a square wave, the pulse width default setting is “closed”, or just beyond the narrowest setting resulting in no signal. Adjust the pulse width knob, and you will hear the result. If you are getting no audio while using triangle or saw, that’s another problem.
    My main source of frustration is that My patches aren’t being saved. They seem to save but when I turn the app off and come back my patches names are there but not the sound. Last night I created a patch to rule the world, this morning it was gone, along with all of my dreams for m last night.

  6. Upgraded to Pro. Loads of issues with this app right now…

    As per the previous post, I also am unable to save sounds. The same thing happens – looks to have saved while you stay in the app, but if you go to another app and come back to it, then the sound has gone (the name of your preset is still there however)

    The envelopes could be much much better – I want instant attack if I need it, but what ever I do it seems to have a pretty slow attack time.

    I don’t seems to have three note polyphony. Only seems to play one note at a time.

    Preset management needs to be much better thought out. Need to be able to save to another location, or duplicate a sound etc.

    It could really use a tempo function for speed of modulations etc.

    More modulation destinations would be great.

    A randomisation button is something that’d be nice to have included, as they bring up things that maybe you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of.

    I want to USE this app, but at the moment, with not actually being able to retain sounds you’ve created, it’s unusable.

    (I’m using Sidpad on my 3rd Gen ipad)

  7. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your valuable input, many fixes since your post including the preset saving issue and better env,
    I have also included Audiobus support and an LCD display to give user feedback of knobs.
    BPM rate is in the works

    hope you enjoy the update!

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