Introduction To U-He ACE Modular Synthesizer

This video series, by Dan Worrall, offers an in-depth introduction toย u-he ACE modular synthesizer. Part 1 in the series is embedded above. Additional videos are embedded below.ย 

Ace is a semi-modular software synthesizer, with default routing like ARP 2600.


  • 25 signal sources, 30+ signal targets
  • up to 8 times unison with +/-2 octave detune range each
  • exceptional filters, can self-oscillate
  • LFOs can be used as VCOs and vice versa
  • sync, FM, cross modulation
  • use multiples for inversion, amp / ring modulation etc.
  • custom LFO waveform “tap map”
  • microtuning (Scala .tun standard)

See the U-He site for additional information.

102 thoughts on “Introduction To U-He ACE Modular Synthesizer

      1. Yep, it’s 4 years old, but the concept is timeless.

        That’s why we asked Dan to do these videos – we care for our babies even a bunch of years after we release them ๐Ÿ˜‰

        – Urs

      2. Retrosound on YouTube just posted a short tutorial on creating a pad in the Oberheim OB-X. Is that also too old of a synthesizer to be worth our attention? Also not everybody is aware of everything, and everything is new if you’ve never heard of it before.

        1. Nobody said it wasn’t worth our attention. I was just pointing out to the original poster that this has been out for a while in a friendly way. I love u-He products. I own DIVA and Satin and they’re probably the best at what they both do. I also own several synthesizers that are most likely older than you are, so relax. You’re taking this completely the wrong way.

    1. ACE is one of the best sounding, flexible, fun and affordable synths around. And Dan Worrall does top notch videos.

    1. One can’t run a synth like ACE on the iPad. One needs a desktop processor for that kind of sound, and touch interfaces are still too fiddly and random to use this properly. Otherwise we would have joined the mobile world ๐Ÿ™‚

      – Urs

      1. iPad interface is quite advanced. There are plenty if advanced synths on iPad Nave, iSEM, Animoog to name a few. Perhaps ACE is different but I think that’s why it would be a nice addition to iOS, and if most certainly purchase it. It seems valid to say that arguments regarding the iPad’s capabilities are rather moot at this point in time. I respect U-He and their synths sound great..but if a software developer wants to remain relevant, it would be advantageous for them to dip their toes in the iOS pool. And if hardware companies are doing it why not VST / AU companies? Moog, Korg, Waldorf to name a few heavyweights aren’t second guessing themselves regarding the iPad, and they’re not compromising their sound and synth cred either. They’re pushing what can be done on current tablets and evolving with the medium. When you see programs like Audulus, and Korg Gadget running rather fluidly on iPad it’s apparent that iOS is a deep and ever expanding platform.

        It’s dangerous thinking to dismiss the iPad at this point, and dare I’d say it’s also antiquated thinking…not making a personal judgement on U-He. Sugar bytes are smart on this, and Arturia have been most brilliant in their expansive transformation from software to iPad to hardware synths, MIDI controllers and back to software VST /AU. Quite an amazing immersive rรฉsumรฉ…as much as I like Korg, they should sleep with one eye open.

        1. Yes but all these (awesome) apps were created with the Ipad’s CPU limitation in mind. Its much harder to adapt or convert a synth created for much faster CPU’s without losing any of its features.

          Or else Reason would’ve been available on the Ipad for quite some time already.

      2. This guy (Urs) is easily one of the most brilliant soft-synth (and effects) plugin programmers in the world, and you guys are down-voting his comment as if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Pfft. I swear, sometimes I think the majority of posters here are 15-year-olds.

        1. You are correct that he’s brilliant, but it doesn’t mean that folks can’t have a different opinion. Also, even brilliant people generally need a trusted team around them to realize the full potential of what can be realized. Quite a few ‘brilliant’, powerful, and influential people throughout history have relied on others to help them get dressed in the morning. I’ve also seen brilliant people who could barely park a car, or make an omelet. Even brilliant people can’t be brilliant at everything. Differences of opinion should always be allowed and taken into consideration…even opinions from 15 year old less-brilliant commoners who buy products and are a large ever-increasing segment of the music and music instrument buying and/or stealing population. They often know how to use and how they want to use apps and products better than their brilliant makers.. It just would be nice if they had a little more respect for great developers who invent and make what we all use…even when these inventors/developers don’t see what seems so obvious to us consumers. We want what we want..some give it to is and others refrain for various reasons.

          1. You just spent a lot of words saying nothing. ACE was really heavy on your CPU back when it came out and still is at highest settings. Why? Because that type of modelling takes a lot of processing and the iPads are not up to the task. Yes, some synths sound good on the iPad but they are not ACE. I probably also sure Urs is aware of the iPad market. He’s probably been programming longer than you’ve been talking nonsense.

        2. His reputation has zero influence on my views for this kinds of sentences:
          “touch interfaces are still too fiddly and random to use this properly.”

          And calling people teenagers for not agreeing famous people views about touchscreens is rather juvenile in itself.

          I can see many reasons for developers to make such statements, like the price of PC software synths vs iPad apps. And to me fear of having to reduce prices sounds more plausible reason to say such things.

          Z3TA+ is no lightweight software either, and I think the touchscreen has only made its UI better.

          1. โ€œtouch interfaces are still too fiddly and random to use this properly.โ€

            Well for some things they are still too fiddly and random. I love playing music and drawing on my ipad, but I don’t use it for developing because the interface is too small and mouse/pens are more precise than fingers. And I still prefer a real hardware knob to a touchscreen knob. Different interfaces to accomodate different people.

            1. You don’t need pixel perfect accuracy for controlling softsynths.

              I think most people would trade that for being able to control several parameters simultaneously, as well as to have intuitive and rhythmical precision while doing that. Which is obviously what a musician needs.

              1. “You donโ€™t need pixel perfect accuracy for controlling softsynths.”

                Just like you don’t need knobs, or keys, or wires, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to program synths on a 10 inch screen. Which is why its great to have many different interfaces to accomodate different people.

                1. In the context of seeing Urs saying it is impossible, this line of conversation is already nitpicking.

                  Of course it’s the more the merrier, just not impossible, fiddly or random.

                  1. And your solution is to add even more nitpicking to this conversation?

                    Say what you want, but it is impossible to run x86/x86 code on ARM without some modification, and it its impossible for the A7 processor in the latest ipad to run ACE because it is not powerful enough.

    2. I might’ve spent $10 – $24 on this running on an iPad, but I seriously feel that u-He is late to the party. Maybe ACE can’t be done on iPad because it’s already done altogether. It’s a CPU hog dinosaur with inefficient code. In your f-ACE.

  1. “One needs a desktop processor for that kind of sound”
    that one I’m not sure about, but I guess you know what you are talking about. There are other heavy weight VST synth on iOS though.

    “touch interfaces are still too fiddly and random to use this properly”
    this is BS, and eats my confidence for your whole statement. ;D

    1. I think the best way to illustrate the power of the Ipad is how Rebirth is available on the Ipad but not Reason, even though both have been released over 10 years ago and worked well with the slower processors we used at the time.

      … and people are still complaining about Rebirth’s interface on the Ipad ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I don’t think that’s an accurate argument or example. Perhaps if a developer merely ports their software as is then there are potential issues. But if there are changes in the design, and changes to take advantage of the touch interface and layout- it can be done.

        I also think there’s a fairly common consensus that propellerhead did an ok job early on in iPad development, but some of the fiddly faux pas were due to the fact that they didn’t fully understand how people generally interact with the iPad touch interface. I think I recall they admitted this. They then did a 180 degree turn with Figure and made something overtly simple yet interesting. But Figure is purposely simplistic. Thor is powerful, fairly easy to use but not so simple..and yet it’s successful. I think you may also be comparing the complexities of a DAW with the complexities of a synth, as this particular discussion is really about whether a particular synth can run in an iPad…and I believe it can because it’s already been done. A developer just has to want to develop for a new medium and recognize that a different medium /platform means – differences in presentation and interaction to achieve the optimum result which includes not compromising sound quality. I just think it’s hard to believe it can’t be done because…it’s being done all the time by creative individuals and companies alike. And as you mentioned Reason…Cubasis has forged ahead rather successfully.

        An argument that no one has mentioned here is the Business argument..and that’s an argument where some companies see the iPad and tablet platform as an opportunity, a necessary evil, or entirely as a threat to their earnings potential. Because in general / traditionally the iPad user has enjoyed a lower price point on many apps…and rightfully that has concerned many companies in whether or not they should support a platform that could see them cutting their prices 75% or so. But Lemur has sold rather nicely at $50, and many other professional apps have done extremely well initially grabbing users at a higher price through anticipation and then offering sales…and conversely, Korg has offered their wildly successful Gadget at an introductory sale price while hinting that the price will be increased. Korg doesn’t see the iPad as a threat and neither does Arturia….and these are two exemplary companies IMHO that have figured out how to ‘have their cake and eat it too’. I buy hardware from these guys, VST/AU, and iPad apps…ALL of them lol. It’s great for them…and although I love what they’re doing – they’ve got me hooked like an addict. They understand the ‘If you build it -they will come” model, they’re smart and they take evolutionary steps forward without compromise. Another company I respect, Waldorf, is learning from this…Waldorf Nave is absolutely stunning – an iOS sonic work of art that’s also visually stunning. Not only is Nave successful in its own right as a synth, it’s also an attractive testament, even an attractive advertisement to the Waldorf name, their hardware synths, their approach to synthesis – this along with the Wolfgang Palm apps have rekindled great interest and possibilities in wave table synthesis. And I’m also a happy owner of Waldorf hardware synths too. These companies don’t see the iPad as a threat -matter of fact…if Waldorf made a hardware Nave synth, I’d most likely hand over my cash…and I don’t think I’m the only person who would! There are so many opportunities for programmers, designers, synth companies etc.. But It’s always been true that where some see only brick wall others see an opportunity to paint a mural. Where some see the tip of a building as an endpoint, others have sold ‘air rights’ to build above it…and the list goes on and on.

        1. I never said it can’t be done, all I’m saying is that is easier to create an app with the ipad’s architecture and layout in mind than to adapt or convert an existing one. Its just not as easy as we may believe, or else there would’ve been much more VST/AU plugin that would’ve made the jump.

      2. Look at Rebirth’s interface.

        Then look the interface in this one, or other comparable synths in iPad.

        Are they not rather different? Do people complain about Rebirths “randomness”, or do they think it is rather busy? Yeah, not comparable situation here. ACE would fit in iPad just brilliantly, and like in Z3TA, the UI would be just better.

        People in general don’t complain about iPad synths UI’s in general.

        1. Yes ACE’s interface would work on the Ipad, but its not just about the interface. You can’t simply take a VST/AU and magically convert it for the Ipad. Depending on how they were coded it can be hard or near-impossible to compile it on another platform. Just like you cannot simply take any Windows VST and use them inside OSX, and vice-versa.

          Ipad development’s rules are very strict about what you can and cannot do. Apps must be written in specific coding language and it is not allowed to use your own API’s, so most VST and AU would have to be entirely re-written, which is not very profitable for something released many years ago, as opposed to create an entire new app withing these boundaries.

          1. Yes, it could require some hard work, that Urs might not be able to invest at this point, but I don’t believe it’s impossible, like he said.

            1. Its not just hard work : its current state ACE would require too much cpu cycles even on the latest A7 cpu used in the ipad air. To run on the Ipad ACE would need to be re-coded using less signal processing.

              Here’s a quick benchmark from Cpuboss.

              Core i7 2635QM —- 10,736
              Apple A7 ————- 2,548

              1. Are you serious? Ace doesn’t eat a whole i7.

                The Ace is running on Windows, on iPad it would not have similar burden.

                For example, Korg Kronos plays 100 voices with 16 timbres from 9 engines and still pushes myriad of effects and runs sequencer with audio tracks with an Atom processor!

                1. Diva can bring down my i7, so I guess Ace can do if I use to much patches.

                  “on iPad it would not have similar burden.”

                  Why wouldn’t it? The cpu in the ipads are even slower than the i7. These cpu have been created for low battery consumption, not absolute power.

                  1. The OS is different, the performance is obviously also different.

                    i7 is more powerful.
                    A7 is made with stricter battery requirements in mind, but it is still relatively powerful, especially as its OS is very light weight.

                    Korg Kronos wouldn’t be pushing hundred-ish voices and 16 timbres through 12 effects with a 32 track midi/audio sequencer (with EQ/track) with an Atom processor, if it was built on top of Windows. It would instantly melt after powering on.

                    Z3TA 2 has similar requirements than Ace, your argument is invalid.

                    1. “i7 is more powerful.
                      A7 is made with stricter battery requirements in mind”

                      Yes, and that’s all there is to it. There is not such thing as software and cpu that magically gets faster just because it would run on IOS?

                      Ipad is great, but faster processors on desktop lets us use more demanding software.

                    2. You are reading it wrong…if at all.

                      Windows does put burden on a cpu, iOS much less. That is only one of many things you need to consider when comparing very different processors in very different circumstances.

                      Atom wouldn’t run a Kronos full of stuff in a Windows laptop, not even half of it.

                      And Z3TA2 indeed does have similar hardware requirements than ACE, so why try so hard?

                    3. You really should look into what a cpu benchmark is (hint, it is OS independant)

                      And also wonder why even Apple is not using IOS on its high-end workstation if it is so light compared to Windows and OSX.

                    4. OS independant benchmark gives your processor points, but no matter how much points any processor gets, Windows eats more processing power, than iOS.

                      Hence, Korg Kronos can play what it plays with just an Atom processor. Atom laptop does not play 16 timbres with effects and audio tracks.

                      Don’t fear though; no one questions the power gap between i7 and mobile processors. But neither should people question, that Z3ta 2 runs on iPad, and it does have similar requirements than ACE. Mobile processors should never become as powerful as latest desktop processors, but latest mobile processors have became as powerful as desk top processors were some time ago, and you can do a lot of things with them. They are powerful, just not good for pissing contest.

                    5. So basically what you are saying is that you have more knowledge on how to put Ace on the Ipad than Ace’s own developper?

                      Well what are you waiting for and do it! ๐Ÿ˜€

                    6. “Z3TA 2 has similar requirements than Ace, your argument is invalid.”

                      Reason have even lower requirements than Ace or Z3Ta 2, yet its not available on the ipad, what are you trying to prove here?

                    7. “Z3TA+ iOS puts the full power of Z3TA+2 on your iPad.”

                      Sorry, but your efforts in this thread have been futile. Don’t try so hard, or it will break you.

                    8. “So basically what you are saying is that you have more knowledge on how to put Ace on the Ipad than Aceโ€™s own developper?”

                      Basically I have been saying, that touch screen is not fiddly or random in synth apps.
                      I also don’t believe, that Urs is incabable to code ACE to iPad. I believe he has other reasons for saying, that iPad doesn’t have the power to run ACE.

                    9. Simple Ton, just let me know when Reason is released on the ipad, it has even lower requirements than Z3TA.

            2. That’s correct. The whole synth part of ACE (LFOs, VCOs, Filters, Multiples etc.) are coded in x86 assembly for the SSE/SSE2 instruction set. Something similar is available on recent ARM processors, but it can’t be translated 1:1. We would have to revert to a lot of non-vectorized code and then you could barely play a chord with ACE on a recent i7.

              TBH I’m not sure how this translates to the processors used in iPads, but it’s not going to be equal to desktop performance.

              What would be great would be running code on the GPU. This might work well on iPads, but it doesn’t allow for low enough latencies on desktop computers. Hence this approach would be mutually exclusive for the time being.

              In short: Platforms are too different for low level programming at the moment, so all stuff that requires low level optimisations will be. a tough port. All our plug-ins have their processes written in low level languages, therefore all our plug-ins are a tough nut to port.

  2. and here we go again…..
    So once they do it for ipad, then nagging for iphone will start
    and then of course there is samsung or apple watch.
    Imagine the despair of not having diiva on a watch to be able to play a few notes
    whenever we check time.

    1. It’s a bigger argument than a single synth. It’s about whether ‘it’ can or can’t be done…but I guess Mr. Heckmann is partially right and it is his right to say that HIS synth can’t run on an iPad…the discrepancy however is where he said ‘one can’t run a synth like ACE on the iPad.” Perhaps I’m a dumb consumer, but I’m buying and using synths that have similar qualities right now. It already been done IMHO, it’s just how it’s approached and the will to approach it. Certainly there are compromises and considerations..but there’s probably also advantages. If the end result is just as satisfying particularly if it sounds great or the same, which is always a matter of opinion anyway, what’s the dilemma? I think it would be more accurate for a developer to say that they don’t really want to port their software to the iPad because their would be limitations and compromises, and a perhaps a major reimagining of how it’s presented. Or I’d even swallow a developer saying they don’t think their program would translate well on the iPad platform. Hell, a developer could say Phuket or declare they just don’t want to do it, and anyone would have to respect that. But, to say that something like it can’t be done is not can even be perceived as a dismissively arrogant comment…which is probably conversely perceived by the developer when he has to endure the comments from average consumers telling him that it can be done! Well, it’s just an opinion. It’s just my opinion that it can be done based on the fact that it seems like it’s already been done, and is getting done almost every couple months with the professional apps coming onto market. They sound great, and many also offer a cable modular-like experience. Hardware synth developers and enthusiasts often holler that their favorite synth can’t possibly be done on and iPad..and yes their are elements of that that may be true..but it doesn’t mean that something like it cant be done or a reminiscent experience can’t be achieved…it might not be exactly the same and it may even leave the user with a burning desire to own the ‘real’ original product. It often does, and where is the disadvantage to a developer in that respect? That’s what some developers / companies are using to their advantage.

      1. >Perhaps Iโ€™m a dumb consumer, but Iโ€™m buying and using synths that have similar qualities right now.

        You aren’t buying synths with similar qualities. I absolutely LOVE my iPad and the music apps on it. Truly. But make no mistake… ACE is a cut above most any synth on any platform, and those iPad apps have been optimized to within a micron of their lives, which means sacrificing things under the hood. When you dig in and experiment with ACE it can do amazing things. I’m not saying the iPad synths don’t sound wonderful, but ACE is a different beast. Emulating all the micro-variances of analog hardware takes massive computational power. And the audio rate control signals are pretty beefy too. Then you start modulating all that stuff… it’s a deep, deep well.

        1. Ok, thanks for this. But, this is the deepest synth of all time? Can it not run more efficiently? Is there not an acceptable way to emulate its capabilities without sacrificing much of its sound? I’d think on newer iPads certainly it could be possible(?).iSEM sounds pretty darn good at emulating the real thing, as does iMini. A lot of people have difficulty discerning the difference between korg ms-20 and ims-20 especially in a mix. I’d think surely the same could be done in this case but perhaps with more blood and sweat than the developer wants. It would probably make more sense to start new and design something specifically for iPad that has a similar experience and sound. Perhaps Heckmann is more brilliant than we even realize and he’s testing to see if there’s any interest in a u-he iPad app before he commits? Certainly, even negative comments show interest…many would still buy regardless of their position on the subject.

  3. After reading all of the interesting comments and arguments here…and my own verbosity Id simply like to thank everyone for making my Sunday morning coffee hour more interesting and enlightening.

    I’d also like to quickly reiterate that a synth LiKE U-He ACE can be done on iPad, because it already has been done. Even hardware synths have been debatably but fairly convincingly recreated on iPads. It might not be exactly the same, but something similar that people want can be achieved on the iPad.

    I think as Mr Heckmann doubts that a synth like his own can be created/re-created on an iPad he might be reminded or made aware that he is most often recreating sounds and experiences that hardware enthusiasts and purists claim cannot be created or duplicated by software…period. Is this argument valid or relevant? It might have points, but maybe not enough to dissuade people from buying software synths. It’s done the horror of some and the joy of others.

    I remember this quoted interview with Vince Clarke regarding U-He ACE, “I like all the soft synths that emulate old stuff, the Moogs, modular synths, [u-he] ACE is great but it’s still not as good. It’s the classic argument with CDs versus vinyl and I have a very good record player and if I listen to Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl and listen to it on CD, the vinyl is another level. It’s the same with analogue versus digital. Having said that, digital is so useful for writing and remixing. It’s immediate and it stays in tune. I use some of the Logic synths too, the ones that come built in. But at the end, for the fi nal recording, I’ll use my analogue synths and it’s the same on the new album.”

    1. I’m going to garishly respond to myself here and ask if a software developer should not recreate a hardware synth in VST/AU because other people might say its inferior? Vince Clarke says ACE is inferior, but he still finds value in it and enjoys a recreation of the original analogue experience. Should developers not try to make a synth like ACE on iPad? It seems like they are already and are arguably doing a great job at it.

  4. The comment about a soft synth not being able to be recreated on an iPad is from a man who named one of his synths DIVA. In other words, he feels a certain kind of way about his software /hardware emulations. Never really thought about a software developer being an elitist snob in the same way that some hardware synth makers /users seem to come off! So, U-he is like the Mariah Carey of soft synths?

    1. U-He has always been pushing the limits. (in sound quality, not interface) thats not going to happen on iOS. a desktop computer can handle so much more…

    1. You say that as if people are dissing this synth, I don’t think that’s really the case here. Heckmann is probably a nice guy but its kind of a douche comment he made. After all his creation is a recreation of something more complex. It seems he needs to be more efficient with his code because his synths are CPU hogs. There are far more complex synths that have already been recreated as vst/AU and the adapted..revised for iPad

        1. and thats two LOW POWER… ARM CORES! Latency is still a massive issue on that platform rendering practically a zillion different things x86 developers have been doing useless. A modern consumer i7 is easily hundreds of times faster and by this time next year we’ll have AVX3 almost doubling that number

      1. “he needs to be more efficient with his code because his synths are CPU hogs”

        And how exactly this not dissing? Have you ever programmed a synth? How can you affirm with such certitude that he is inefficient? Do you know that Urs filters are much more complex than the ones included with Synthedit?

    1. Even loller @ all the salty Android users, and the lollest @ all the VST users and their $100-300 synths.

      I prefer the $10-20 range, portability and musical controls.

      Ok, back to adulthood.

        1. Yes, laugh at the guys who have real synths, while you play with the ‘virtual’ synth. Is very funny!

          Do you apply the same philosophy to dating?

      1. “the lollest @ all the VST users and their $100-300 synths”

        I guess you have never heard of freeware.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Urs is a perfectionist and the reason that his soft synths sound so good, cost so much, and utilize so much processor power is the meticulous work that goes in to making them sound so authentic, regardless of CPU overhead. I can close my eyes when playing DIVA and not be aware I’m listening to a soft synth. iOS synths do not even come close at the moment.

  6. “cost so much.” Not true.
    “and utilize so much processor power”.
    Maybe for Diva or Ace, but not for Zebra2 (and U-He’s Fx too: filterscape, mmf2.) which sounds absolutely fantastic. In fact, Zebra2 has a much lower CPU overhead than most similar soft synths on the market.

  7. Dman11 – you’re trying to tell a developer who’s already 10+ years in the business of building software synthesizers that they’re wrong without much in the way of credentials to show that you’re knowledgeable about the matter. If you’re looking for a job, by all means, go to Berlin and make it reality. After all, you know already that it’s possible, and that the iPad is powerful enough to handle it.

    ACE costs 69 euros. Are you going to pay that for the iPad version? No – of course not, it should be cheaper because that’s the norm for apps. However, if people are going to buy the 29 euro version, you’re stealing away your own customers.

    The current price covers all the development costs for all the platforms – VST (PC), VST (Mac), AU (Mac). If you want to add iOS to that, it means that the same money is now spread thinner, because you can’t make it a 10 euro price hike to compensate. ACE is a mature plugin, so it’ll have several specific optimizations. None of which’ll work on an A7, so they’ll have to be rewritten, or you’ll sacrifice features/polyphony. What if the iPad version meant you would lose several connections as demonstrated in the video? It would be “ACE Lite”.

    1. What I find really sad is how it took only one comment from Ace’s developer about how impossible it would be to port Ace to the ipad to be flooded by an army of ipad fans dissing him and claiming the opposite, even thought they have no clue about the differences between CPU used in desktops vs mobiles or how to code a synth.

      1. If this makes u sad I’d say you have a fairly sad existence. He’s a well known developer. He knows his comments will have a public reaction. Most of the comments I read here are not insulting. There isn’t an iPad army after him. It’s a discussion. Just because the opinions of others don’t match yours doesn’t make them less relevant.

        1. You know, sometimes things said on the internet are said in a figurative way which are not meant to be interpreted literally. For example : Lol, rarely the people who say “lol” are actually “laughing out loud”. Its merely an expression.

          When I say I’m sad about this, I’m not literally sad, if anything, I’m just a little annoyed to see all those people dissing and flooding the comments over facts a developer said about his own product, which is the fact Ace could be be converted for the ipad (it is a fact, not an opinion, no matter how much you repeat it).

          Have you looked at Ace’s code before expressing the certitude that it could be converted for the ipad? If not, then sorry but no your opinion is not relevant to the subject.

  8. Always with the bankrupt arguments over the platform. I’m spoiled by the added flex room of a desktop, but there seems to be some idea that an iPad should compete with that. That’s a mistake. Even if you have an iSEM, a real Oberheim module will still sound different. I think you lose out if you stick to just one approach. I still sequence in a workstation once in a while, because the angle changes my approach. Its more fun to branch out. You generally wouldn’t ask a starter slab-synth to do a modular synth’s job, because they’re different beasts with different goals. You know what’ll work best? Plug your iPad into your mixer or interface, adding it to your hardware and other softsynths. ACE is nice enough, but Zebra is the modular to beat in this area and it really needs screen space to shine at its best. You don’t play a xylophone with a bow and you don’t use a mallet on a violin. Those, you have to synthesize by hand, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. If anybody wants to port their VST/AU to the iPad, drop me an email.



    PS: We made iSEM running the same engine like in the VST/AU version. And thanks for the nice words about Nave. Much love went into that baby.

    1. You did great work with iSem, did you also do iMini?

      Also, what are the prerequisite one should follow when creating a soft-synth to make it easily portable to other platforms?

      1. Oh so one moment u gonna defend one developer saying he can’t do an iPad version of ACE and next moment u gonna rub peanut butter on another developers nipples…one that can make a a sophisticated version of a synth run on iOS. So which is it? U got more flip-flops than a beach store.

        1. Its not flip-flopping to defend one developer’s arguments and to ask another dev about how he converted synths for Arturia. Its actually two very different things that you are getting mixed up. Do you know about Objective C and how to convert code made in C++?

          Trying to insult me just proves how little understanding you have about this.

          “rub peanut butter on another developers nipples”

          I don’t need to know what turns you on…

    2. NAVE *is* a great synth, in part because implementing it as hardware would probably be quite expensive. You still get an inspiring synth that ups the iPad’s game because it centers on its strengths. Its unique and offers sonic balance to any rig. I generally think of additive and wavetables as two different methods, so I love the blurring between them here. Its one of the better examples of adding real muscle to the niche occupied by pads. The day I finally go for an iPad, NAVE will be on my first-call list.

  10. Hilarious how many people want stuff on iPad but have no clue about programming, how CPU math intensive processes work, or why certain applications work better on larger screens. I too love the iPad(s), and have 3 of them, but they can’t run the majority of the high-end gear I run on my Mac Pro, or i7 WinPC. Just not possible. Some programs work on the iPad, some cannot. Get over it. Sheesh.

        1. The very obvious “iPad has enough processing power” argument.

          Lack of Reason does not prove lack of processing power(obviously.)
          There are reasons for its developers to not make an iOS version, which we don’t know.

          Z3TA 2 level synth coming to iOS, on other hand does prove, that iPAD has processing power to make it happen(obviously).
          And it has similar processing power requirements, than ACE.

          Your argument is invalid.

          1. “There are reasons for its developers to not make an iOS version, which we donโ€™t know.”

            Oh so now you recognize there might be reasons other than processing power that makes Ace impossible to port on the Ipad. You didn’t fully read my previous arguments saying exactly that before didn’t you ๐Ÿ˜‰

            “And it has similar processing power requirements, than ACE.”

            … but… you just said its not about processing requirements? ๐Ÿ˜‰

            “iPAD has processing power to make it happen”

            I never said ipad has no processing power, only that desktop and laptop processor are better, which for some reason you have been denying because some 12 years old synth that was updated to V2 over 3 years ago will be released soon for the ipad. Great for Z3TA users, but in no way any proof of the ipad processing power.

            You keep repeating how “arguments are invalid”, yet you really don’t seem to understand what it really means. I wonder how you will use it next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

            1. Look, it’s all very simple.

              Urs made a statement, that ACE wouldn’t run on iPad because of lacking processing power and fiddliness and randomness of the touch screen, which I don’t believe at all.

              I have been saying only, that I don’t believe that it is impossible. I think, that iPad’s processor is not insufficent for Running ACE and that Urs might have some other reasons for making this kind of statement. This is something, that YOU have had some problems with, and have been tryin very hard to arguing against.

              “โ€ฆ butโ€ฆ you just said its not about processing requirements?”
              What, The Reason? I am not sure what you are talking about, but I didn’t say that about Reason. I said there might be other reasons, why The Reason is not on iPad. You thought, that lack of Reason proves, that iPad doesn’t have processing power, which it doesn’t prove.

              Z3TA 2 being on iPad obviously proves, that software, that has similar requirements, than what ACE has, is already available for iPad.

              And you have said, that it is impossible, which makes this conversation a bit funny…perhaps it’s you, who haven’t been reading your comments.

              1. “And you have said, that it is impossible”

                No this is not what I said. What I said is “it is impossible the way it exists right now”. I also have never said the ipad isn’t powerful enough. There are plenty of great synths and music apps on the ipad that proves it.

                What you are doing is really comparing apple to oranges when comparing the ARM processors used in the ipads with X86/X64 processors, they just are not the same, it doesn’t matter how much you have arguing against that simple fact.

                Of course if you rewrite it or code it from scratch you can make something similar on the Ipad. Pulse Code Modular Synthesizer is possibly the closest thing to Ace on the ipad, and while it is really good, it doesn’t sound as good as Ace.

                Ask any developer and they will tell you have to sacrifice some features like oversampling, anti-aliasing and polyphony (amongst other things) because the ipad is not powerful enough to do all of this in real-time. Also when you develop an app for the ipad it is important to also take consideration of the people who owns older ipads with even slower processors.

                And if it were so easy to port VST’s to the ipad, you can bet there would be much more of them who would’ve made the jump.

                1. Ok….well, it wasn’t me who compared ARM to X86 though…Hey!!! It was you! Neither have I ever denied the power gap between desk top and mobile computers, on the contrary, I particularly said, that PC’s are much more powerful. I also know, that converting the software can be a difficult, laborous task, which I think I also said.

                  I know that mobile processors have differences, and only took part in your comparisons by noting, that the burden of the OS is also one factor when pondering the systems outcome.

                  1. “it wasnโ€™t me who compared ARM to X86 though”

                    Well to be fair its not easy to understand all the subtleties of your point of view when all you kept repeating in all your previous comments was โ€œZ3TA+ iOS iPad.Your argument is invalid.โ€

    1. Yeah we want it! What’s wrong with that? If u can’t do it then shut up…but if u can do it…ill shut up and u u can take my money!! Some developers can and others like Hellmann cannot. There in lies the debate I guess.

  11. iPads are great CONTROLLERS, and there are many terrific apps for that. That is not to say there are no good synths. Animoog runs rings around a Little Phatty when it comes to unique, incredible sounds. You need a good interface, like the iConnectMidi2, thats all.

  12. Dagnabit!! I want my 8 minutes of my life back reading this crap. Who cares if Heckmann really wants to put ACE on iPad or not. There’s plenty of great synths on iPad already. Noone has the language of someone who does coding but doesn’t seem to understand what Nave and iSEM developer, Rolf Wรถhrmann has been doing for quite some time now. I guess it’s called talent. Anyway, think of all the time u guys could have spent making music…or coding a new synth…maybe on an iPad ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Sorry for the crap, but I never said it was impossible to make a good iPad synth, only that Ace could not be ported unless it would be trimmed down.

      Ace has higher cpu requirements than iSem, and Nave is not a port it was created and coded specifically with the iPad in mind

  13. To clear some things up:

    We often use knobs with a very fine resolution. In ACE you can tune an oscillator from 0 semitones to 24 semitones in cents. That’s 2400 steps on one knob. When using a mouse, people can hold down the shift key for a fine grained adjustment. This works very well, and it helps us keep the user interface tidy. On the iPad we would need to make two, in some cases three controls out of many of our knobs, otherwise it won’t be easy to control by finger. So for one thing, our user interface concept does not translate from desktop to touch interface. Yet, our synth concepts are tightly knit around the workflow provided by the user interface. That is what I mean by “too fiddly”. It’s not a general statement – I love my iPad – it’s just that our user interfaces would occurr too fiddly when translated to iPad directly.

    The other thing is, u-he spends a total of 3000$ on advertisement each month, and we have 12000 existing customers. Sounds much? – It isn’t. That is next to nothing compared to Korg or Moog. Thus I believe that at an accepted price of $9.99 for an iPad synth we will ultimately fail. We do not have the marketing capacity and the user base to create an iPad synth that sells 10 times as often as its VST equivalent. Therefore our market is on the Desktop.

    As for “running out of ideas”… gosh. Read our forum, see what we’re up to. There’s some cool shit coming. We take a lot of pride in not abandoning products. All our products still sell, no matter how old. Zebra just turned 10 and is still our strongest product. That’s why we did those videos. To keep ACE alive, up to date and kicking. No more no less ๐Ÿ™‚

    I posted about my reservations regarding mobile processors somewhere above. Our SSE code isn’t compatible with ARM processors. A completely vectorized rewrite isn’t possible and therefore translated code will be much slower, on slower processors. Therefore I do not believe ACE (or Diva fwiw) would be fun to have on an iPad.


    – Urs

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