AudioKit Synth One Turns Your iPhone Into A Powerful, Open Source Synthesizer

AudioKit Pro’s Matthew Fecher let us know that they have released an update for Synth One that makes it Universal – so you can now run the powerful, open-source software synth on your iPhone.

Synth One was originally released for iPad, and it’s a mind-blowing example of open source software done right. The synth offers features that are competitive with anything available:

  • Hybrid Analog/FM Poly Synthesizer
  • Over 300+ Presets crafted by famous sound designers
  • Audiobus 3 & Inter-app Audio (IAA)
  • Ableton Link
  • Five Oscillators (2 DCO, FM, Sub, Noise)
  • 2 LFOs with over a dozen routing possibilities
  • Vintage-Style 16-Step Sequencer
  • Classic poly arpeggiator
  • MIDI in (Control with a MIDI Keyboard or AudioBus/IAA)
  • Touchable ADSR Envelopes for Amp & Filter
  • FM Oscillator w/ Mod
  • Mono glide and legato
  • Dedicated Sine/Square -12/24 Sub Osc
  • 4-Pole Vintage Low-Pass Filter
  • High-Pass/Band Pass Filters
  • Beautiful Costello Reverb
  • Multi-tap (ping-pong) delay
  • TouchPads
  • Preset & Bank Import/Export & More…

We got an early preview of the update at NAMM, and it’s impressive how much power Synth One puts in your pocket:

  • For people new to synthesis, Synth One offers a free way to learn the basics, with hundreds of presets and a user-friendly interface.
  • For experienced iOS musicians, Synth One offers a powerful synth engine and support for tools like AudioBus and Ableton Link.
  • And, if you want to dive deep into synthesis, Synth One offers a rabbit hole, with features like MIDI Learn, microtonal support, tempo-synced effects modulation and more.

In addition to the Universal app update, Synth One has also been updated with presets from sound designers Francis Preve (Korg, Ableton, Serum, etc) and James Edward Cosby.

Pricing and Availability

Synth One is available now for iPad and iPhone as a free download. If you’re hardcore, download the source.

11 thoughts on “AudioKit Synth One Turns Your iPhone Into A Powerful, Open Source Synthesizer

  1. This is freaking unbelievable! And it’s absolutely free!! Probably one of the best iOS synths I’ve used yet.
    Thanks to all who donated their time and expertise.

  2. This is pretty big.

    The key feature request from current users of both AudioKit Synth One and Digital D1 has been AUv3 support. (Digital D1 is an inexpensive commercial synth with great sound which shares some of the Synth One codebase and helps support it financially.) Once AUv3 happens in Synth One, it means that developers will have a working example of code they can use to write their own plugins. That’s coming very soon, we’re promised, and that’ll get a lot of attention from the community.

    But Synth One going universal is bringing attention to a wider audience. Many devs struggle in making their UI fit an iPhone screen, especially now that there are a few different screen sizes. Several of the most phone iOS synths are only available on iPad (and iPad Pro) because developers haven’t found a way to shrink their UI to a small screen. They also claim that not enough people buy their apps on the iPhone side when they do sell both versions. But that can be a self-inflicted issue.
    Of course, some devs could start with a small screen and expand to the bigger one, which still requires work but can have several advantages (including in the plugin version). Still, many people want to create synths full of so many features that it requires page upon page of control. Synth One is certainly one of those.

    As a result, there’s a significant group of very vocal users who use iPads for musicking and who dismiss the iPhone outright. Not because of performance issues with the phone, but because they themselves don’t perceive a use for the phone version. Many of these users even dislike the iPhone and it’s not rare for them to carry an Android phone along with their musicking iPad and, maybe, a Windows laptop for use with a mainstream DAW.
    Thing is, there are many iPhones in circulation, many of those phones serving as the primary device for people in different parts of the World. Maybe they don’t buy many synths for their phones, and so they don’t figure prominently in the sales figure for the devs of those iOS synths which are already universal. Simply put, they belong to a separate “user category” from the iPad-focused core of the iOS musicking “community” (say, in the forum hosted by Audiobus). Which means that they’re exactly the group who could benefit from AudioKit Synth One.

    Apple has been loading Synth One on the iPads in its Stores in the United States. No idea which impact it has had on people getting inspired to do music on a mobile device and it’s probably difficult to assess. But it’s also likely to be significant.

    If Apple decides to load the synth on all its demo iPhones, that could be a bigger impact. Again, this might not generate more sales for iOS musicking apps, at least not in the immediate future. But it could enable a lot of people to start appropriating music.

    This, in the end, could be a win for much wider group of people.

    1. I’d expect a MAC version pretty soon, because the hurdle to making it work on the Mac isn’t that high compared to getting it to work on Windows.

      Seems like there would be substantial interest, because it’s great to be able to make patches on an iPad, but to be able to use them in your DAW.

  3. This is fantastic. The only mobile device I make music on is my iPhone – who wants to carry a stupid iPad around everywhere instead of something that can fit in your pocket that can be used to make music anywhere, anytime? What a barrier to creativity!. And when I’m at home in my office I can use my PC. No need for a superfluous iPad.

    In addition to the forthcoming AUv3 functionality later this year, I’m also looking forward to a Universal D1 app.

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