Here’s an interesting one. Did you know that Korg once developed a synth for the Nintendo DS, and that it was really popular? Because that particular fact had passed me by. It’ll be much harder to miss this though: an iPhone version that has been expanded and upgraded to take advantage of the more powerful hardware in Apple’s portables. It runs on an iPhone 5S or faster which means it’s pretty power hungry, and also on recent iPads, presumably in doubled mode. It has a regular price of $19.99 though there is an introductory 50% off deal in effect.
It’s rather more than a standard bleep box and actually has an analogue synth, voice synthesizer and analogue drum machine onboard. As you’d expect, Korg says that it’s inspired by the original DS-10 for Nintendo, which itself emulated a bunch of Korg MS synths. As well as turning dials you can also move virtual patch cables around and automate parameters, which are pretty advanced features for a phone app. The voice synth allows the entering of text which can then be turned into a synthesized voice, and it can also use the phone’s mic to create classic vocoder effects. As if that wasn’t enough, you get a six-part drum machine to give your tracks a bit of punch complete with a grid-based composer.
Up to 32 patterns can be chained together and track mute and solo settings can be altered in real time. The smart keyboard and KAOSS mode help you to program on the small screen without needing external hardware and without hitting any wrong notes. When you’re done, email off the song data directly from the phone. Korg has a pretty good pedigree when it comes to creating iOS versions of its apps so if you grab this one you should find plenty of fun stuff to play with. From the video it looks really slick and well designed. Read more about it at http://www.korg.com/uk/products/software/korg_ids_10_for_iphone/