March 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm

The iPad Is Where Vintage Synthesizers Go To Live

vintage synth ipad

The following is a guest post from Sean Walker of iOS Musician. He can think of four reasons why the iPad is home to so many vintage analog synthesizer recreations — apps that are made to look and sound like ancient analog gear, but with the convenience (and affordability) of a digital product. Vintage synths don’t go to the iPad to die — they go there to live on, so that more people get to use them than ever before.

Is the iPad becoming the platform of choice for classic synthesizer recreations?

This idea has been floating around for sometime now, but the release of Arturia’s iMini for iPad (pictured above) really made me realize it: The iPad has quite a variety of classic synth apps:

Other recreations:

What is it about the iPad that’s attracting so many classic synth recreations? I’ve narrowed it down to a few contributing features:

1. Touch – A touch screen allows users to interact directly with the synthesizer, as opposed to using a keyboard and a mouse. You can literally drag-and-drop cables in iMS-20, turn knobs and sliders, etc.

2. It’s a second computer – Live setups can be complicated. Having a second computing device (especially one that’s as advanced as the iPad) gives musicians an extra screen for software that may have otherwise been crammed onto a laptop along with several other VSTs (Virtual Studio Technologies). This will get exponentially better as soon as the iConnectMIDI 2+ and 4+ arrive with AudioPass Through.

3. Capable of producing complete tracks – Audio copy & pasteVirtual MIDI, and Audiobus bring all of these apps together.

4. Portability - This one’s a given.

5. Anything else? What do you like about producing on iPads? Leave a comment below.

Comments on the original post suggest affordability, Apple’s careful design, that an iPad acts like hardware if you have the right attachments for it, and, again, cost. 

  • http://www.beats1.com/ Beats1.com

    How the f*** to make music on a ipad. Maybe for childs …. or electronic s***…real music beats are made in studio with music instruments, gear, hardware not a iPad lol …Don’t work like that …never

  • Rap sucks

    Almost monthly an amazing app is dropped in the app store that is professional grade. I did’t want to give my ipad a chance with music at first. But, now its all i use it for. You’d be a fool to not accept the fact that it’s close to if not already at the point of being considered an instrument in some way. I really hope more vintage synths arrive soon.

  • Rap sucks

    Almost monthly an amazing app is dropped in the app store that is professional grade. I did’t want to give my ipad a chance with music at first. But, now its all i use it for. You’d be a fool to not accept the fact that it’s close to if not already at the point of being considered an instrument in some way. I really hope more vintage synths arrive soon.