The iOS Guitar Synth Thread

mbenigni

Rock Star
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UPDATE: Changed the the thread title, since this is where I'll probably talk to myself about anything iOS music-related. One thread ought to suffice for the level of TGP interest, collectively. :D

I don't get the impression that many TGFers are using iPads for music, but I think this is a valuable topic of discussion.

Most immediately, I happened on a new (to me? newish?) iOS app/ plugin this weekend that I think is an incredible value: SoundFont Pro. I think we all know what SoundFonts are by now; it's a standard rompler kind of affair. As is often the case with apps like this, it's free with in-app purchases for additional samples. But the samples are extensive, they're almost all of very high quality, and - whereas iSymphonic will hit you up for $30 for a few pianos or whatever, and easily cost hundreds for a useful library, SoundFont Pro is cheap. It has monthly, annual, and "for life" pricing tiers. For some reason "life" costs the same as annual right now... at all of $30. So I put on my best "is this a trick question?" face, and punted.

So here's the thing: AUv3's will run as plugins inside Jam Origin MIDI Guitar. They don't all do so effectively - some present more latency than others, some have weird dynamics that affect tracking, some have UI's that don't scale very well in the MIDI Guitar window. SoundFont Pro is excellent in all of these regards. I installed everything and now this one plugin is pretty much one stop shopping for me. iSymphonic was too expensive and not flexible enough. SampleTank was overcomplicated and IK never released an AU version. (Routing Jam Origin to virtual MIDI and worrying about which app was going to crash first was always a PITA.)

So seriously, Jam Origin + SoundFont Pro + all the samples. ~$60, thank me later. :D @JiveTurkey, "Half Blown Sax" is probably the best sax I've ever played on a guitar. Just sayin'. ;)


And that's just to get the ball rolling. Please comment if you have any favorite AUv3 plugins you'd recommend for Jam Origin or other iOS apps.
 
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I don't get the impression that many TGFers are using iPads for music, but I think this is a valuable topic of discussion.

Most immediately, I happened on a new (to me? newish?) iOS app/ plugin this weekend that I think is an incredible value: SoundFont Pro. I think we all know what SoundFonts are by now; it's a standard rompler kind of affair. As is often the case with apps like this, it's free with in-app purchases for additional samples. But the samples are extensive, they're almost all of very high quality, and - whereas iSymphonic will hit you up for $30 for a few pianos or whatever, and easily cost hundreds for a useful library, SoundFont Pro is cheap. It has monthly, annual, and "for life" pricing tiers. For some reason "life" costs the same as annual right now... at all of $30. So I put on my best "is this a trick question?" face, and punted.

So here's the thing: AUv3's will run as plugins inside Jam Origin MIDI Guitar. They don't all do so effectively - some present more latency than others, some have weird dynamics that affect tracking, some have UI's that don't scale very well in the MIDI Guitar window. SoundFont Pro is excellent in all of these regards. I installed everything and now this one plugin is pretty much one stop shopping for me. iSymphonic was too expensive and not flexible enough. SampleTank was overcomplicated and IK never released an AU version. (Routing Jam Origin to virtual MIDI and worrying about which app was going to crash first was always a PITA.)

So seriously, Jam Origin + SoundFont Pro + all the samples. ~$60, thank me later. :D @JiveTurkey, "Half Blown Sax" is probably the best sax I've ever played on a guitar. Just sayin'. ;)


And that's just to get the ball rolling. Please comment if you have any favorite AUv3 plugins you'd recommend for Jam Origin or other iOS apps.
I will only believe when you play Careless Whisper flawlessly. While never blinking over moving off the Roland JamOrigin Demo Couch
 
"Creeps down the stairs, thinking you have something on your mind" :love:rofl
Seriously, though... it's a very clever melody. F13 arpeggios - who knew? Also sounds really good with "Vintage Tenor Sax". Not to spend your money or anything. ;)

Strike that. You finally put together a GR-55 rig where nothing's sideways or in a drawer. :D
 
Seriously, though... it's a very clever melody. F13 arpeggios - who knew? Also sounds really good with "Vintage Tenor Sax". Not to spend your money or anything. ;)

Strike that. You finally put together a GR-55 rig where nothing's sideways or in a drawer. :D
Clever melody and stupid to play economically on a guitar :cuss:rofl
 
Clever melody and stupid to play economically on a guitar :cuss:rofl
I'm playing it kind of like an open C grip but with the root (F) at the 8th fret of the 5th string, and that ascending line at the end as A Phrygian from the 5th fret of the 6th string. You might need to add an octave depending on the voicing of your synth.

But we seriously digress LOL.

(Digressing further: maybe Dm9 would be a better name for this chord. I’d have to actually learn the rest of the song to make my mind up about that. :giggle:)
 
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I know I'm just going to continue talking to myself here in my "Guitar Synth for Cheapskates" thread :) but anyway...

Although I was hoping SoundFont Pro might be my new "one stop shopping" app for AUv3 sounds, I have since run into a couple of weak points. One of them is: super lame electric piano sounds. Everything is based on '80s synth versions, meaning no character and no high frequency content.

I started casting around for something better and - being a cheapskate - settled on an app called "House Mark I" for $4. I convinced myself that a dedicated Rhodes app must sound better than the SoundFont file... and maybe it did... but only just. (It was also a little messed up in terms of velocity response, so I had to crank the volume up on my returns just to match my guitar tone.) Eventually I just switched back to the "MDA E-PIANO" instrument that's included with Jam Origin, and that sounded and played better than all of the above.

Then I found a company called "MIDIculous" that does a whole bunch of AUv3 plugins, including a line called Neo-Soul Keys. I downloaded the free standalone version and ran virtual MIDI from JO. WOW, the variety and the detail are incredible. I then downloaded Neo-Soul Keys Studio 2 - $25, but tons of content, and most importantly, AUv3 support. I just hope my little iPad can keep up. I'll report back if there's any interest.
 
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I gigged with an IOS synth app once. Once.
:oops: :rofl
IMG_1303.jpeg
 
It was Poison(?)? Cool as hell soft synth! I used the Triple Play with it and I am 99.9% sure that was the problem :poop:
Trying to make it sound like iOS was the problem...

i-got-my-mu7kyj.jpg


;) :rofl

I'm telling you (again) I just can't believe how painless JO with the right plugins can be. Emphasis on the right plugins, and you do have to be aware of certain limitations, e.g. with most instruments I'll disable pitch bend altogether just to save myself the headaches.

Making "fetch" happen.:horse
 
Trying to make it sound like iOS was the problem...

i-got-my-mu7kyj.jpg


;) :rofl

I'm telling you (again) I just can't believe how painless JO with the right plugins can be. Emphasis on the right plugins, and you do have to be aware of certain limitations, e.g. with most instruments I'll disable pitch bend altogether just to save myself the headaches.

Making "fetch" happen.:horse
You with JO are the equivalent of guy on the couch playing piano parts flawlessly with the GR55

Me with the JO every time I've attempted to make the jump
Feeling Dumb Jim Carrey GIF

:rofl
 
You with JO are the equivalent of guy on the couch playing piano parts flawlessly with the GR55
AKA the devil. :D



I could never do this kind of stuff with the GR-55, but I get this level of tracking and predictability out of JO all the time now. :idk

Me with the JO every time I've attempted to make the jump
But when's the last time you tried? AUv3 support is a relatively recent thing, and it is a game changer IMO.
 
AKA the devil. :D



I could never do this kind of stuff with the GR-55, but I get this level of tracking and predictability out of JO all the time now. :idk


But when's the last time you tried? AUv3 support is a relatively recent thing, and it is a game changer IMO.

Here a year or 2 tops ago? Don't hate me :sofabut I don't like anything about it at all. Other than the ability to use it with a regular guitar which I have never actually proven to be true in any of times trying to make it work :bag¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Configuration in the app as well as the routing as well the results have all had me throwing an IOS device I already hate across the room 10/10 every time I try giving it a go. Marrying the FTP to the IOS synth was not a good way to remove/de-enforce those overall negative connotations/existing biases from my mind either
:cuss:rofl

This is coming from someone who has yelled at Roland for years and has had the wonderful experience of a bum flute noise going through a 50,000 watt PA :rofl
 
Configuration in the app as well as the routing as well the results have all had me throwing an IOS device I already hate across the room 10/10 every time I try giving it a go.
So weird. I'm confident I could change your mind if I sat you down in front of my JO rig. I'm not really doing anything special with configuration, either. I think it's simply down to which virtual instruments you target. (And some of JO's own freebies are actually quite good.) Ah well, different strokes.

This is coming from someone who has yelled at Roland for years and has had the wonderful experience of a bum flute noise going through a 50,000 watt PA :rofl
:oops: :rolleyes: :whistle

(I will never understand why the GR-55 is capable of playing notes like 12 octaves above middle C... :rofl)
 
So weird. I'm confident I could change your mind if I sat you down in front of my JO rig. I'm not really doing anything special with configuration, either. I think it's simply down to which virtual instruments you target. (And some of JO's own freebies are actually quite good.) Ah well, different strokes.


:oops: :rolleyes: :whistle

(I will never understand why the GR-55 is capable of playing notes like 12 octaves above middle C... :rofl)
It's mainly a culmination of things I don't like (aka thing aka IOS). The GR certainly has a bucket loads of things that have you scratching (all the flesh Off) your head but it just works for me at this point. I will say I have thought a number of times about finding a good usb midi controller and using it in tandem with IOS synths because that seems like a KILLER combination without the JO or Fishman "headaches". You know; actually playing (almost) keyboards :hmm:wat:rofl
 
It's mainly a culmination of things I don't like (aka thing aka IOS). The GR certainly has a bucket loads of things that have you scratching (all the flesh Off) your head but it just works for me at this point.
I guess this is where our experiences diverge. I really loved my (our?) GR-55, but a lot of that love was based on the theoretical potential of the product - not on what it actually delivered. I mean, none of my high tech solutions ever work quite as well as I try to tell myself they're working :D but JO + a dedicated modeler comes a lot closer now than GR-55 ever did then.

(Also: I really hated that cable.)

I will say I have thought a number of times about finding a good usb midi controller and using it in tandem with IOS synths because that seems like a KILLER combination without the JO or Fishman "headaches". You know; actually playing (almost) keyboards :hmm:wat:rofl
I think you'd be surprised at how many of the things you dislike about iOS guitar synth would persist in your pursuit of iOS keyboard synths: having to keep track of multiple apps, octave/ sample ranges, proper CC mapping and velocity envelopes, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's not insurmountable - plenty of keyboardists get it done - but it's not a no-brainer, either. And it certainly won't make your load in/out any simpler.
 
I guess this is where our experiences diverge. I really loved my (our?) GR-55, but a lot of that love was based on the theoretical potential of the product - not on what it actually delivered. I mean, none of my high tech solutions ever work quite as well as I try to tell myself they're working :D but JO + a dedicated modeler comes a lot closer now than GR-55 ever did then.

(Also: I really hated that cable.)


I think you'd be surprised at how many of the things you dislike about iOS guitar synth would persist in your pursuit of iOS keyboard synths: having to keep track of multiple apps, octave/ sample ranges, proper CC mapping and velocity envelopes, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's not insurmountable - plenty of keyboardists get it done - but it's not a no-brainer, either. And it certainly won't make your load in/out any simpler.
That's why I just keep the GR and carry on doing my trumpet bends :rollsafe :rofl
 
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