I won’t pretend to know a lot about musical instruments or their usage, but even someone like me can see that SunrizerXS synth is sure to be among the most remarkably thorough synthesizer apps available for iOS. Of course, Garage Band rules the category of apps related to musical instrument simulators, but there are a lot of instruments available in Apple’s own app, while SunrizerXS synth focuses solely on just being a true replacement app for a real analog synthesizer. You will be hard-pressed to find any other iPhone app that has so many synthesizer options available as SunrizerXS. The app comes with a ton of presets, and you can adjust the awesome filters available in there as well. The app has got everything from oscillators to modulation and even a powerful small-step aggregator.
If you want to just try out the general sound of the app before tinkering with any of the available options, start playing your favorite tunes on the keys at the Main screen. The app only works in landscape mode, but even then the whole keyboard cannot be accommodated in one view and you will have to swipe across the keys to make your way to other areas of the keyboard. Hitting the Prefs knob on the Main screen will take you to the app’s settings screen, and from there you can adjust the size of keys, and control other options like MIDI transposition and polyphony level. Other knobs in the Main view will let you lock keys, activate hold mode (so that each key you press remains active even after you have taken your finger off it) or enable BKG Audio for an echo-like effect. The Pitch and Mod controls occupy a large area of the controls view, and you can change their values by simply rolling them around. The most important feature of SunrizerXS is its record knob, which ensures that none of the masterpieces you create are ever lost.
Only the rudimentary controls are located on the Main screen, and for more advanced options you will have to take a look at the top bar of SunrizerXS.
- Presets: There are over 200 presets available in the app, and you can sort them via the tag associated with each entry in the list. It is possible to bank and edit these presets, and then share them via email by hitting the Export button.
- Osc: Divided into Osc1, Osc2 and Mix subsections. You can change the default waveforms from the first two subsections, while the third one will let you regulate white noise and invert the current waveform.
- Filters: The available filters include Bypass, Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Notch, Comb, Formant and All Pass. Whichever of these you choose, SunrizerXS allows you to choose its cutoff value, RES and routing options.
- LFO: Modulation, sync and waveform selection options for up to two filters at a time.
- FX/AMP: From here, you can mix, delay and add feedback to the tune you are playing.
- Params: This menu sports circular controls for volume and filter cutoffs. There are subsections for tempo and modulation configurations in the Parameters menu as well.
- Mode: The modes available in SunrizerXS include Poly, Solo and ARP. The ARP mode has got a dedicated menu of its own, from where you can choose step size and save configurations to the library located within SunrizerXS.
So, if you use Garage Band just for its piano and synthesizer, you are sure to love SunrizerXS, as the app is much more comprehensive when compared to all its competitors. It has gone free for a limited time. According to the developer of SunrizerXS synth, the app will work best with iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and 4th generation iPod touch (although older versions of iPhone and iPod touch are supported too).