THOR: a God for Beginners
Hey, I want to sing the praises of Thor for a minute. I know it didn't get many votes in the recent poll, but as a beginner I have to say I am floored by it! And here's why:
First, and maybe foremostly, THE MANUAL! It is, for me, the clearest, most concise and informative compendium I have so far encountered. It leaves no definition to chance, including the ubiquitous LFO! For me it was a primer about synthesis.
THE SOUND! Of course, these things are subjective, but for once the hype seems to be true. The sound is extremely rich and variable. And it comes with a thousand presets. So a newbie can have a great time while he/she figures out how the thing works.
THE LAYOUT! The graphics are lovely and straightforward. A beginner can really see that synthesis is made up of oscillators, filters, envelopes (local and global), mixer, shaper, etc and their positions in the synthesis flow. And the use of expandable sections puts all the controls at your fingertips, creating the magical effect that all the parameters are on one screen.
THE KNOBS! There was a thread recently on the poor quality of adjustments on iOS devices. Well, Thor seems to have made the best of it. By swiping sideways (and the more you swipe the more accurate your adjustment) Thor avoids the "covering of the dial with your finger" syndrome, and the value does not change when you lift your finger!
THE LEARNING CURVE! IMO, for a beginner, the combination of manual and layout allows one to experiment with each component module at a time in a very intuitive way and then explore the effects of combining modules. Again the graphics are first rate in helping to understand the flow.
THE ROUTING!? Well, I must say the routing screen is a little beyond me, but I am imagining that if you know anything (and maybe one day I will) that this is also very clear and easy to navigate. And the same screen is shared with a sequencer/arp that I was able to figure out in a couple of minutes (after reading the manual).
THE KEYBOARD! X axis sensitive, easily adjustable and expandable AND a master volume control (something missing or hard to find on a lot of synths I have fooled with) also, other basic controls, like portamento, chorus and delay, polyphony, etc on the keybd screen.
And finally, THE PRICE. $14.99!
Could you ask for anything more? Please tell me, I know it can't be perfect. But I mean, for a beginner it takes something pretty complex and makes it pretty darn easy to work on. I know the desktop version is well received and I did discover Thor on this forum (as I have discovered most things!) but I think, for a beginner who wants a bit of a challenge this synth is ideal. And beginner's need all the help they can get!!