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Image credit: Bram Bos

Ripplemaker brings modular synths to all skill levels with an iOS app

Ripplemaker gives newcomers an easier way to get into electronic music.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
06.19.17 in AV
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Bram Bos

There are plenty of apps that can turn your phone or tablet into a synthesizer, but they tend to fall into two camps: they're either affordable and simple or pricey and robust. While that's sometimes due to the nature of the instruments they're replicating, it can frustrating if you want an app that covers all the bases. However, music app developer Bram Bos may have managed just that. He recently released Ripplemaker, a patch-based modular synth for iOS that's designed to ease you into the West Coast synth method (where you add harmonics to a waveform to produce an effect) while still giving you room to grow.

To start, all the modules are already wired. If you just want to play with a monosynth, you can get started right away. It's only when you want to experiment that you have to think about patch cables. There's also a separate sequencer that encourages dabbling in new sounds, complete with a random pattern generator that can get you started. Of course, you can sync with other apps and devices (in this case, through either Ableton Link or MIDI Clock) and export your creations as MIDI or WAV files.

Ripplemaker is available right now for $9. That's not the lowest price we've seen for a synth app, but it's better than the $20 to $30 you tend to pay for similar software. Professional musicians aren't likely to balk at higher prices, of course (it's still a bargain compared to a real synth setup), but the low cost makes it easier to jump in if you're a first-timer or hobbyist.

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