Zed Synth For iOS Offers Physical Modeling, Virtual Analog & Waveshaping


Developer Richard Meyer – creator of Patch Morpher – has introduced Zed Synth – a new software synthesizer for iPhone & iPad.

Zed Synthc combines virtual analog synthesis with physical modeling synthesis, letting you create ‘rich and immersive sounds’, ranging from bright electronic dance music patches to subtle and expressive solo instruments.

Here’s a video intro:

Zed Synth is also an audio effect processor: you can route external sounds through the synth and completely transform them: use the microphone and transform your voice, turn drum machines into strummed guitars, or radically transform the sound of any other Audiobus-compatible app.


  • Wave-Shaping oscillators: inspired by 1950s vacuum-tube technology, 4 parameters allow you to create a vast array of original oscillator shapes which can be modulated in real-time.
  • Physical Modelling: a sophisticated resonator can be either struck by a mallet or excited by the synth section (including external audio) with different forms of interaction to simulate blown, bowed or struck models.
  • Unique Audio effect: the Zed Synth can process external audio via Audiobus and pass it through its string model. This unique effect can turn unpitched sounds, such as beats, into pitched sounds, akin to what you could do with a vocoder, only more responsively and with a much richer timbre. Using this approach, Zed Synth can radically transform the sound of any other Audiobus-compatible synth on IOS.
  • A unique “Spring Box” effect capable of emulating the full 88-string sympathetic resonance of a piano soundboard, or simulating the body resonance of a musical instrument.
  • Oscilloscopes throughout the user interface provide clear visual feedback and ease of use.
  • Built-in Help system throughout the app to explain each of the modules and all the parameters.
  • A Powerful Modulation system makes it incredibly easy to add modulations from a variety of sources to any of the synth’s parameters.
  • The Granulator: a different take on the ubiquitous arpeggiator, the granulator can periodically or randomly retrigger the sound, and also vary the pitch. This makes it possible to create rhythmic chorded sounds with a human feel to them, or completely chaotic sounds like raindrops on a tin roof.
  • Synth Overview displays the signal path and routing of the various modules, as well as making it easy to jump around sections when editing.
  • Effects to further enhance the sound, including a stereo expander to enrich the spatial complexity of the signal.
  • iPhone support: Zed Synth has been specially developed to run on both iPhones and iPads. Actual polyphony will depend on the speed of the device and older devices will not be able to recreate a full 88-string piano reverberation effect.
  • Patch Sharing: Zed synth makes it easy to import & share patches with friends via e-mail.
  • MIDI Learn mode so you can quickly & easily map your MIDI controller’s knobs to the synth’s parameters.
  • Audiobus (including presets), Inter-App Audio and Core MIDI.
  • 4x Oversampling: this greatly increases the quality of the sound and reduces aliasing at high frequencies. It can be disabled to reduce CPU utilisation.

Note: The developer warns that older devices will have reduced polyphony.

Zed Synth is available for US $9.99 in the App Store.

If you’ve used Zed Synth, leave a comment and let us know what you think of it.

7 thoughts on “Zed Synth For iOS Offers Physical Modeling, Virtual Analog & Waveshaping

  1. That’s a very well-complimented app in general, but to get physical modeling for $9.99 is a show-stopper. With all of the hooting for vintage analog whichevers and The Next Big Thing, a lot of people are missing the fact that PM *is* the next thing. As complex as it can get if you dive into the guts, the real power is closer to the surface, where you decide how the model is triggered from moment to moment. Its the most organic synth behavior of the bunch. Its a bit chaotic and you have to spend added time figuring out how to play INTO its behavior, but once you do, the term “voice” takes on a new angle. Its a great technique that really turns heads. Try it out.

  2. Looks top notch. Will get this one soon. Just bought Patch Morpher by the same developer. Really a state of the art app for synth editing, controlling… and beyond. Would love an Oberheim Matrix and a Mutable Instruments Ambika editor for Patch Morpher!

  3. I think LaPlace does offer more ways to musically color the the click, resonator and other qualities of the sound.

    Where Zed allows much more control over all parameters.

    The main weaknesses of Zed on my first tinkerings are the higher CPU hit on some sounds, and IMO a not very inviting bunch of presets. On the presets, that really is a personal preference thing. I just didn’t see a wide versatility represented in the factory patches. But I do see lots of potential.

    LaPlace is a much easier learning curve and has everything pretty easy to access. Zed has a sprawling lateral interface, a bit like Terasynth.

  4. I bought it and I like it but I realize how much I really like the one screen interfaces of LaPlace and FM4.
    The “double-tap the top bar to get around” function is OK though. The sound creation capabilities are nice.

  5. minor thing here, cause i haven’t tried the synth yet.
    That Z over the icon looks amateurish and for me ruins what looks like an otherwise nice little image. Of course, it does stand out among the other icons. not a fan of that “Zed” font.
    Idea! – replace grey image in display in icon with a ‘Z’ shaped waveform

    am considering making a purchase soon.

  6. Pretty cool. I love PM stuff. Wish Yamaha would do an app based on the VL series. They used to do a softsynth with it built-in but it stopped being available 🙁

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