Rare Optigan Sample Playback Keyboard Now Available As An iOS App, iOptigan

Pea Hicks & Stefan Stenzel have introduced iOptigan, an iOS software recreation of the rare Optigan sample playback keyboard.

iOptigan is a virtual Optigan on your iPad or iPhone, complete with all 40 original sound discs (25 included with app purchase, an additional 15 via in-app purchase) and all the lo-fi character and quirks of the original.

As shown in the video above, you can setup iOptigan with a MIDI keyboard to approximate the playing experience of a real Optigan (chord buttons on the iPad, keys on the keyboard).  But you can also  control iOptigan via MIDI.

iOptigan faithfully emulates the unique playback characteristics of the Optigan, ie the “constant loop” of both the chord section and the keyboard. You also get tempo, reverb and balance controls that also behave as the original hardware.

Here’s a playlist of videos demoing the iOptigan in action:


  • Disc loading rigth-side-up or upside-down
  • Spring Reverb (virtual)
  • Optical Metronome
  • Audio Demo for each Disc
  • MIDI in/ou
  • MIDI chord detection
  • MIDI File Import
  • Sequencer with Record and Playback
  • Sharing for songs as Audio and MIDI File
  • iTunes File Sharing
  • Inter-App Audio
  • Smart background audio
  • Help overlay
  • Headphone optimized stereo (optional)
  • Radio Mode for Chord Buttons or Keyboard
  • Comfortable speed control in semitones or BPM

Pricing and Availability

iOptigan is now available for US $4.99 in the App Store. The app features 25 ‘sound discs’, and an additional 15 are available via a $5.99 In-App purchase.

11 thoughts on “Rare Optigan Sample Playback Keyboard Now Available As An iOS App, iOptigan

  1. Listening to the cha cha gave me an instant earworm, im afraid. But i think that it just killed the “I’m So Fancy” earworm that had been camped out in my head for the last two years. Thanks!

  2. Could totally see BoC working these sounds into their next album. Love Blüe Oyster Cült.
    But seriously, for some reason this makes me think of Boards of Canada. But they probably have the original keyboard. Lucky dogs!

    This app is a little different from the many wonderful iOS music apps. Unique sound. Bet it does well.

    1. I was actually thinking of ‘The Moog Cookbook’ working this into a couple tunes (geez are they even still around?)

  3. After trying this out for a while it’s the best 10€ (IAP so worth the extra money) I’ve spent for a long while, instant inspiration for hours!

    But it definitely needs Ableton link.

  4. OMG – it is amazing, I bought the extra sounds pack immediately., as much as anything to show my appreciation for such a painstakingly designed app. So much potential….Wonderful shonky atmosphere.. I’m going to slow it down for creepy ambient carpet laying

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