4 Hardware Synths and Their iPad App Counterparts

4 Hardware Synths and Their iPad App Counterparts

Vivian Kim
Oct 28, 2011

Many people say that the iPad and other tablet devices are made for consuming media. While this may have been true when the iPad first hit stores, developers have truly stepped up and made the tablet an actual creation tool. Music-making apps are a perfect example--many top music brands are now making revolutionary apps that turn your tablet into a full on instrument. Here are 4 synthesizer iPad apps and their hardware equivalents.

Moog Animoog - This app from Moog is an amazing value at only $0.99 cents (for a limited time, price is normally $30) compared to its real life counterpart, the Little Phatty ($1400). Add an inexpensive midi keyboard and you have a full on synth with rich Moog quality sounds. Made specially for the iPad, the touch screen adds a unique and more dynamic experience. Unlike Korg and Yamaha, Moog took a different approach with their app by utilizing the unique features of the touchscreen rather than simply replicating the instrument's interface.

Korg iElectribe - I own the Korg Electribe ESX-1 that the iElectribe was modeled after, so I was definitely anxious to check the app out. At $20, it's a steal next to the actual hardware version ($500). iElectribe has a simple 16-step sequencer and with the update to 1.1 you can now record live sessions and export them to your computer. The interface is almost identical and the iPad app is a great way to test the ESX-1 if you've ever thought about purchasing the real thing.

Korg iMS-20 - The Korg iMS-20 app for the iPad does a beautiful job of recreating the vintage analog synthesizer it's based on (the Korg MS-20), right down to the yellow patch cords. Midi support was recently added to the app, so you can now connect a midi keyboard to it. The app also features a built-in 16-step analog sequencer. Once you're done creating a song, you can upload your tunes directly to SoundCloud. You can grab the iMS-20 app for $32.99.

Yamaha TNR-i - The Tenori-on is already an eclectic electronic instrument with a touch-based method of playing. Like Korg, Yamaha pretty much duplicated the actual Tenori's interface onto the iPad, calling their iPad equivalent the TNR-i. You don't get the tactile feel of pressing an actual button, but the app plays and sounds the same. With the Tenori-on costing as much as $600, a $20 app is a small price to pay to experience such a unique instrument.

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