Aftertouch Coming To iPhone Software Synths With 3D Touch (Sneak Preview)

It looks like aftertouch is coming to iOS software synths running on iPhones, via Apple’s recently introduced 3D Touch

‘3D Touch’ is Apple’s name for the updated screens on its latest iPhones that let the screen sense how much pressure you apply to the display. The ability to sense pressure introduces new options for creating musical controllers and software instruments for iPhones. Previously, aftertouch has been dependent on having an aftertouch-capable hardware MIDI controller.

In the video, via bismark, 3D Touch is assigned to MIDI aftertouch, controlling Bismark’s bs-16i app.

The enhanced sensing capability is currently only available on the iPhone 6s & 6s Plus.


17 thoughts on “Aftertouch Coming To iPhone Software Synths With 3D Touch (Sneak Preview)

  1. If you told me fifteen years ago that one day we would have synthesizers on touchscreen mobile phones with aftertouch and velocity sensitivity, I would say the exact same as I would now; why would I want that?

    1. Exactly my thoughts – why limit your creativity to one strict medium? You can even go further and refuse to use anything that has encoders instead of pots etc. I understand that it’s great to have knob-per-function controls and all-analog path and all those words that constitute a purist, but no one says you can use only one of them, why limit yourself? There are great all-analog synths which can produce amazingly rich harmonics that digital stuff can’t, but there are great iPad apps that can do things that no analog synth can. There are no limits, it’s the future, deal with it.

  2. I have wondered why this wasn’t already available with current screens just by taking the initial touch area and if it flattens out and expands, measure that. But whatever.

    I guess it will be poly AT, if the screen is setup that way.

    1. Orphion does something kind of like that, it senses if only the tip of your finger is touching the surface or if your finger is flat and react accordingly. I have always wanted more audio apps to do the same thing but sadly no one ever did.

  3. Interesting as I too have music apps on my phone…but not moving to the iPhone 6 any time soon…my investments go into my studio….I use the synths on my iPhone to sketch out ideas!!

  4. If everyone, who had bought iSynthi would go for a real one…
    It would be mess. There are really nice ‘reproductions’ of real synths on iOS that can fit in your pocket 😛

  5. There was a synth that used the raw touch data to do something similar but I think it broke Apple’s rules or something. It was one with lots of circles on the screen.

    And going back further, the Nintendo DS had some homebrew apps that used “pressure sensitivity” on the touch screen to good effect – Colors being the one I most remember.

    I think it will be a more “left-field” use of the 3d touch that makes for a killer music app. I’m rubbish at coming up with those sorts of ideas so I won’t predict anything!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *