Reactable Releases ROTOR, Tangible Modular Synth for iPad


Reactable today announced the release of its latest iOS app, Rotor. The developers tout the new app as one which turns the iPad into “a comprehensive electronic music performance suite.” Using optional Rotor controllers, which can be purchased separately, Rotor also brings the Reactable “tangible music experience” for the first time to the iPad.

Reactable stresses that Rotor is “not a conventional synthesizer; neither a sequencer nor DAW” although it includes elements of all of them. Rotor incorporates dozens of modules, among instruments, audio effects, modulators and controllers, which can be linked all together using a “flexible and unique” routing system, for creating expressive and intricate patches. The Rotor multitouch/tangible instrument is designed with live interaction and performance in mind.

reactable_rotor_w-controllersWith exclusive physical control objects especially conceived for the iPad (which, Reactable notes again, can be purchased separately), Rotor brings the tangible experience of the Reactable for the first time to the iPad! While all standard multi-touch capabilities of the iPad are preserved, the ability to control any parameter by moving and twisting the tangible pucks over the iPad’s surface brings 3 additional degrees of freedom to each hand. Rotor can be “perfectly” used without the controllers. Controllers will be available for purchase in November.

Rotor comes with automatic real-time key detection and time-stretching algorithms that allow for samples, loops and sequences to stay not only in sync but also in harmony with each other. All wave files can be configured either as masters, thus determining at any instant the tonality of the whole session, or as slaves, thus adapting automatically to this computed tonality.

reactable_rotor-collaborativeThe Rotor Mic/Line In module and its “panoply of effects and modulators” allows the user to process voice, guitars, or any other instrument. With Audiobus, Rotor can be used as an input/output device in combination with any other compatible music apps. Any Rotor module can also receive external MIDI control from any user-selectable MIDI port/channel. Moreover, its integration of Ableton Link allows Rotor to play “in perfect sync” with Ableton Live and other Ableton Link-compatible iOS apps running in other devices.

Rotor also comes with over 100 loops and sessions. Users can import their own loops, and combine them using Rotor’s advanced synthesis and processing capabilities.

Rotor includes dozens of multi-touch control panels such as virtual keyboards, polyphonic and monophonic step-sequencers, envelope generators, or 2D panels, enabling the user to control, in real time, every “detail or nuance” of the performance. On the other hand, interconnecting less linear and less predictable modules, such as the accelerometer input, feedback, and so forth, opens new, complex generative and “serendipitous” creations. In addition, Rotor’s live recording capabilities simplify the capturing of loops on-the-fly and always in sync.

Here is a short Reactable Rotor first-steps tutorial:

reactable_rotor-appReactable Rotor Key Features:

  • Automatic real-time key detection of your loops and wavefiles, allows to play them either as masters, thus determining the tonality of the whole session, or as slaves, thus adapting them to this computed tonality.
  • Up to 9 simultaneous voices using loops, samplers, synthesizers and line input, plus any combination of effects and controllers.
  • Create patches on the fly combining up to 24 simultaneous modules. Modulate any parameter.
  • Control everything using multi-touch gestures plus the optional ROTOR controllers (can be purchased separately).
  • Ableton Link integration allows to play in perfect sync with Ableton Live running in your laptop, as well as with other Ableton Link compatible iOS apps running in other devices. Combine multiple ROTOR instances running on separate iPads.
  • Change the tempo of your session without affecting its pitch.
  • Additional Swing and Tap tempo control.
  • The automatic real-time key detection of loops and sound files can also be applied to ROTOR’s synths, samplers, sequencers and virtual keyboards, insuring that no note will ever be out of key.
  • Configure manually up to 6 additional tonalities or chords, that will also affect the tonal content of keyboards and sequencers.
  • Record and save loops on-the-fly and integrate them into your performance, without interrupting the music and creative flow. Save them for exporting them to other applications.
  • MIDI IN settings allows any object to receive external control from a different user-selectable MIDI port/channels.
  • Use the iPad accelerometer for controlling any module parameter.
  • Use ROTOR 100+ exclusive loops or import your own, in WAV or OGG format.
  • Use ROTOR 100+ sampler presets or import your own in SF2 format.
  • Contextual help and 100+ pages interactive manual with 30+ demos and tutorials.

Pricing and Availability. Reactable Rotor is available today for an introductory price of $9.99 US (regularly $19.99) via the Apple App Store. Reactable Rotor is officially supported on the following devices: iPad Air/Air2, iPad Mini 2/3/4, and iPad Pro. Additional information and product specifications are on the Reactable site.


9 thoughts on “Reactable Releases ROTOR, Tangible Modular Synth for iPad

    1. I don’t know. I think it’s about getting the “experience” that originally started this thing off. I guess instead of giant cube blocks — we get tangible rotors to interact with. I can see the benefit of having a 12″ iPad pro now, i think.

    2. no it is not, it just like any interface device though, it just makes things easier.
      You can still do the functions, just may be tricky if you have big fingers thats all

  1. I wonder when the tangible rotor will be available; Also it does not seem to run on older ipads.

    1. horsepower (cpu)
      i have several apps that will NOT run on my iPad mini and have few others that limit (try using korg gadjet with a big song)

  2. I do like that there is a manual and tutorial videos.
    There is allot of apps that don’t have that at all
    you can also see manual with getting app, though their website

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