Modular Diary – 004

The only thing with the iPad as an interface is it’s not quite possible to ‘play’ those knobs in the way that, say, Mylar Melodies might.

I decided to take a look at another modular synth on the iPad – Moog’s recreation of the Model 15. The attention to detail in this app is incredible, both from an aural and a visual/interface point of view. It looks and sounds amazing.1 Unlike the Ripplemaker, there is too much to fit onto the screen at once, and so one has to get used to scrolling around and zooming in and out. While sliding around the interface is an unfortunate necessity, the ability to zoom in on a specific module or knob and make adjustments with an incredible degree of finesse (there’s also a handy little tooltip at the top of the screen) is something that I miss when moving back to the Ripplemaker.

One drawback with the Moog app is that one can only adjust a single control at a time. Tom Simmert got around that by building a custom MIDI controller specially for it. Patching still takes place on the screen, but there’s a physical knob for each control.

And that takes me back to an aspect that I’ve been enjoying with making music on the iPad – the fact that there needn’t be an intermediary controller.

  1. Since it’s modules are running constantly, even if there’s no sound coming out of them (as is the case with Audulus), the app uses quite a lot of CPU power, and so the visual aspects are handled using Apple’s Metal framework

Modular Diary – 004: The only thing with the iPad as an interface is it's not quite possible to ‘play’ those knobs…

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<a rel="me" class="p-name u-url" href="">Rudiger Meyer</a> is a composer interested in the play between traditional concert music and new media.

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