Free iOS Synth, TC-Performer, Offers Unreal Synthesis & Unique Performance Control


Bit Shape has released TC-Performer – a free software synthesizer for iOS that they say promises ‘unreal synthesis’ with ‘unique performance control’.

Here’s a video preview:

Here’s what they have to say about TC-Performer:

Explore unreal synthesis with the most unique performance control on iOS! TC-Performer presents a multi-touch performance environment unlike any other synthesizer. Simply touch the screen; there are no buttons, keys, or sliders to hit. The sounds are generated entirely by your touch movements.

Each patch has a unique method of control. Pull, tap, drag, twist, and stretch your touches on the screen. There is no wrong way to play! Every instrument is a new landscape of sound creation. Pads, leads, effects, and indescribable oddities await.

You can download more patches in packs inside the app. There is also a transposition section available to change the key of the patch to fit your song, and Audiobus compatibility to record via inter-app audio.

TC-Performer is a free download. If you like the app’s approach to multi-touch control, but want editing features, check out TC-11.

14 thoughts on “Free iOS Synth, TC-Performer, Offers Unreal Synthesis & Unique Performance Control

  1. I just tried this app out, it’s a cool concept but you can’t really play anything. Would be nicer if there was a scale mode or something. Maybe there’s something in one of the add-ons? I actually purchased an add-on but it didn’t add any functionality though, just more presets. I dunno, I’m not really impressed by the sound although the interface looks pretty awesome.

  2. It seems there’s an add-on for this product called “Transpose” although it doesn’t state what it actually does and how much flexibility it has. And as stated at the end of this article it seems there’s a full blown version (TC-11) which you can program yourself which could open up possibilities a whole bunch. Wish there was a 10 day full demo of it (along with many other apps) or something as it might have the potential of creating some really awesome stuff. I usually never use presets and roll my own, and not being able to hear the waveforms, filter and FX along with not being able to dig under the hood to see and test the features I can’t justify the purchase based off of someone else’s presets.

    Like can one send midi to it or can it send midi via midimux or another app? Would be nice to possibly sync the arps, lfo’s and such from a sequencer along with sending it note data or be able to record your automation to a sequencer. If someone has more info on this and can enlighten me a bit I’d love to hear.

    1. Nope, none of those things in your last paragraph are possible with TC-11. They do make a controller app, TC -Data, but it doesn’t send or receive MIDI clock.

  3. TC-11 is fully programable and because of it’s UI is in my top 5 of all time best synths but then again i’m a sound designer and not into replication of retro sounds… i just tried to take files i created in TC-11 and put them into performer but alas i can not. that’d be great to be able to do, play the patches written on the ipad and play them on the iphone. 🙁

  4. nice synth. but the free version is stripped down to an extent that just makes it a demo, not even a lite version. unfortunately, you cannot really judge its functionality before you buy in app. i do not like this being advertised as a full version.

  5. i do not even think a stripped down version like this is good marketing. i fiddled around a bit with the app’s handful of presets. then closed it, maybe for good.

    recently i downloaded synthmaster player. the free version is fully functional and contains 100 presets. i checked them out. and after 15 min of play i bought another 800 presets for eur 5. this worked – for them and for me.

    my opinion: the cheapos do not buy anyway, so no need to worry what to give them. some early adopters will buy anyway, too, so no need to worry either. but most serious guys need to be convinced by something. in this case, for me it was not enough – i won’t buy on guesswork (scales, sync, FX,…?) .

  6. I’ve experimented with TC-11 and whilst it’s an interesting app and gives you a LOT of freedom as to how you control your sound from the screen, it definitely hasn’t solved the problem of how to play a tune – and so for me remains in that big bit-bucket of interesting but unusable apps.

  7. Try the iOS app “Gestrument.” It is also gesture-based but uses scales and sends midi to your computer (via MusicIO or whatever Interface you use). Well- designed from an experienced developer, i forget the price, but reasonable.

  8. I purchased the full version years ago. Some of the flattest presets I’ve ever heard. You can’t select scales, it’s pretty much like a polyphonic analog theremin. It’s a bit too limited for me.

  9. This is exactly the kind of novelty interface I wanted to see when iphones became a thing.
    *Very* playable and responsive even on an old 4S phone.

    Of course it’s useless as an instrument without control over the synth.
    Delivering the demo with 6 patches and then offering to sell packs of 20 arbitrary patches is offensively greedy. I guess that’s monetization for you

    The demo patches are a bit cheesy, relying on reverb, but sound ok since there is some grit and they don’t necessarily produce your average pad chords. Not sure how the synth works in a proper context though.

    Still, a cool demo that shows what can be done.

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