CHAioS Synth iPad App

CHAiOS Synth

Information and Specifications

Category: Synthesizer Apps
Released: Nov 22, 2013
Version: 1.00
Size: 4.3 MB
Language: English
Seller: Christian Epe
© Fachhochschule Düsseldorf
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.1 or later. Compatible with iPad.
Price: Free
Get it here: CHAiOS Synth – Christian Epe

Description: The CHAiOS Synth is a synthesizer app for the iPad. It features 3 waveforms, envelope, 3 types of filters, delay and reverb effects and a basic beat rhythm.


Review
CHAioS Synth was created by a team at the University of Applied Sciences in Duesseldorf. As a University project the app makes a great attempt to create something that is interesting and above all works well. Simplicity is the key to great apps and success usually starts with the UI. If that’s a mess than the rest isn’t going to be any better. CHAioS Synth is simply structured. You have 3 screens. The first is the main screen where you play the touch surface to generate the sound. The second screen allows a bit of sound design including filters, tempo change and key structure. The final screen is the info screen that explains all the sections.

The main screen has the touch pad in the centre of the screen. Depending on what note you decide to start with, when you touch the screen it triggers random notes. It’s really an arpeggiator, although moving across the pad increases the amount of notes being played and moving upward varies the sound, it still just spits out sounds randomly. You can’t tell it what notes to play or select an arpeggio from a bank. The 2 sliders on the left side are to adjust the filter cutoff (top) and adjust the active effect (bottom), such as increasing or decreasing the delay or reverb. On the right side of the screen there are 6 buttons that can be activated. The first (from top to bottom) is where you select what wave to use. There are 3 waves: Triangle, Saw and Square. The second button lets you hold a sound that is being used. Touching it again releases the sound. The third button activates a single drum pattern. There is no option to change the pattern or the drum samples used. Underneath that is the Delay and Reverb buttons. At the bottom is a white rectangle button to move between the screens.

The second screen is where you can adjust the ADSR envelope using your fingers, such as changing the slope of the attack or decay. Next you can change the tempo setting. Underneath that is the key structure. You can choose which note you want to use and also if it’s going to be a Major, Minor or Melodic key. Underneath that you can turn on the Deep Mode for lower notes and deeper bass. The Filter-Mode section has 3 different types of filter to choose from: Lowpass, Peak and Highpass.

That’s it. The app is simple enough. Although there is a level of sound design available it is very limited to what it can do. Adjusting the ADSR graphically is a neat inclusion. The filters are nice and the effects, although there is only delay and reverb, are enough to create space and depth. The 3 waves are limited as well and the inclusion of white noise would have been great. The big let down is the single drum pattern. It’s a nice 808ish pattern and it works well with the arpeggiated lines, it still is just one pattern.

But is it any good? As a student project it’s brilliant. As a serious music making app there’s still a long way to go. It’s free and it looks great. The layout is simple, yes, but with a few more inclusions CHAioS Synth could be a killer.