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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

Comments

  • Was just using it today!

  • I think Thor didn’t get many votes because it has been around for I’m guessing close to 10 years and there are tons of patches for it. Volt got voted on because, well it’s very new and patches are needed!! I personally don’t like Thor, I think it’s because it reminds me of using Reason 5 when I used it. Use what you want! It’s an iPad don’t use what people tell you to use. Thor is very flexible and you’ll learn a lot and not need to buy any more apps for a while.

  • I love Thor, wish it would get AU support..the iOS version has a few less options routing wise then in reason,but it is a great synth!!!!! AU please!!!!

  • Second this +1
    And then Europa both AU please ;)

  • Thanks for this, as a beginner I’ve been holding off buying tons of synths and getting lost. Looks like Thor could be my next purchase.

    What are the presets like? Being a newb I could do with some good ones/variety.

    Syntorial is superb for learning synths too if you’re still looking for training related. Haven’t been at it long but learnt a lot already in a short time with it.

  • edited June 2018

    @EDB said:
    Thanks for this, as a beginner I’ve been holding off buying tons of synths and getting lost. Looks like Thor could be my next purchase.

    What are the presets like? Being a newb I could do with some good ones/variety.

    Syntorial is superb for learning synths too if you’re still looking for training related. Haven’t been at it long but learnt a lot already in a short time with it.

    In the other thread you searched for some junge DnB material/technique - Google loopmaster, they have a Thor dnb preset pack. These will show how much capable the hammer is of this genre. You can import these patches for Thor win/Mac also for iOS.

    Edit. What the heck. Here the link :)

    https://www.loopmasters.com/products/1138-DnB-Synths-Thor

  • @david_2017 You’re a legend B)

  • @EDB said:
    @david_2017 You’re a legend B)

    Haha, i was in the same place :)
    I bought these for 8€ I think. Never regret. The presets are superb. I am always amazed what can be achieved when you know which knob to twist (or when you are a knob-magician).
    The midi files are cool too.

    (caution OT: Sugar Bytes Cyclop. May be you want to watch some videos too)

  • @david_2017 /anyone
    Can these patches be downloaded from loopmaster direct to an iOS device or is it pc/Mac only to actually get the patches?

  • @EDB said:
    @david_2017 /anyone
    Can these patches be downloaded from loopmaster direct to an iOS device or is it pc/Mac only to actually get the patches?

    I don't really remember. But I imported them with dropbox I think. But i am not sure.
    You can use the "open in..." function, but this is a pain to import one by one, I got it all at once, but how!?!? Maybe with iTunes file sharing thingy. Sorry. I don't remember

  • It’s ok I’ll hack it when I’ve more time. If I could give you audiobusGold I would :D

  • edited June 2018

    @LinearLineman said:
    1. 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.

    Also check out Gordon Reid's series of tutorials Thor Demystified.

  • edited June 2018

    The thing I love about Thor (aside from being a Swiss Army Knife of synths) is the ability to swap presets with Reason. It's nice to be able to make my own patches anywhere and come back to the desktop with some new ideas. I wish Korg could make iPolysix and iMono/Poly compatible with their Rack Extensions like they do with the Legacy Collection. But that's a whole different topic.

  • edited June 2018

    No AU - that's a bummer.
    Why is Thor better than Kauldron?

  • Thor for iPad puts the mighty Thor synthesizer at your fingertips.

    “A truly must-have synth for iPad users of all skill levels” – Keyboard Magazine
    "A Synth-Geek’s Dream Synth” - Synthtopia
    “A game changing synthesizer for the iPad” - Dubspot
    "Thor sounds just as good as its bigger sibling, and its ability to share patches makes it a fantastic tool for portable sound design.” - MusicRadar

    Reason's legendary flagship synth delivers a thunderous sound, god-like sound sculpting capabilities and an innovative, lighting-fast keyboard designed for iPad. Thor is a synthesis playground, a flexible sonic workhorse, but above all, an expressive musical instrument for the iPad.

    Thor highlights
    • Play Reason's Thor Polysonic Synthesizer on the iPad.
    • Load any of the 1000+ expertly crafted synth patches, or create your own from scratch.
    • Create your sounds using a palette of multiple oscillator and filter types.
    • Play Thor using an expressive touch interface keyboard with aftertouch and strumming.
    • Collapse the keyboard to a key and scale of your choice, just like in Figure.
    • Move your favourite patches from the iPad to your computer and use them with Thor in Reason

    Thor sounds like no synthesizer you've ever heard before - and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilizes synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

    On the iPad, Thor comes with a specially designed interface that's optimized for touch control and the iPad screen. Cleverly designed panels expand and fold at the touch of a button to hide or reveal oscillators, filters, envelopes and more.

    The app is divided into three main screens: Keyboard, Knobs and Routing.

    Keyboard mode features:
    • Piano keyboard with transpose and range control
    • Modulation and pitch bend controls
    • Assist function lets you select key and scale to highlight chord notes or to collapse the keyboard to only show the chord notes of the selected scale.
    • Strum function lets you play arpeggios by holding a chord while strumming across the strum control.
    • Two assignable knobs and buttons acts like performance controls
    • Settings for polyphony and portamento

    Knobs mode features:
    • Access to all of Thor's synthesis features
    • Three oscillator slots for Thor's six oscillator types: Analog, Wavetable, FM Pair, PhaseMod, Multi Osc and Noise
    • Three filter slots for for Thor's four filter types: Low Pass Ladder, State Variable, Comb and Formant
    • Three envelopes
    • Dual LFOs
    • Delay and Chorus
    • The Knobs screen is divided into panels that expand and collapse at the touch of a button
    • Miniature keyboard to audition your sounds as you are working on them

    Routing features
    • Comprehensive but easy to use routing matrix lets you create complex modulation and signal flow setups
    • Step sequencer with 16-steps and six channels: Note, Velocity, Gate length, Step duration, Curve 1, Curve 2

    General App features:
    • Patch compatible with Thor in Reason on your computer
    • Move patches to and from your iPad using iTunes
    • Sound bank with more than 1000 Thor patches from leading artists & sound designers (Kill the Noise, Richard Devine, Chris Petti and many more)
    • Gorgeous retina display interface
    • MIDI in - play Thor from an external MIDI source or from another app on the same iPad
    • Audiobus compatible - stream audio from Thor to another audio app on the same iPad
    • Audio in background option lets Thor keep playing in the background when working with other apps.

  • Kauldron is our warmest sounding, punchiest synth yet! A completely new modeling technology, combined with carefully designed features help you create aggressive synth sounds full of rich analog textures with the fewest knob tweaks. The result is a pure, head-on tone that requires little or no FX or post-production to sound big.

    Kauldron pushes every available iOS technology to the max: it is not only fully universal (you can run it natively on your iPad and iPhone), but also an Audio Unit plugin. In fact, it is one of the first fullscreen AUv3 plugins for iOS: with iOS 11 and a compatible DAW, you can enjoy all the great Kauldron features on a nice, big spread.

    Kauldron debuts the next generation of our Artificial Intelligence preset creation system, SPAWN². Completely reimagining the groundbreaking SPAWN algorithms in our hugely popular Magellan, the new SPAWN² gives you unprecedented control over generating presets. In the expert mode, you can accomplish anything from subtle ‘variations on a theme’ to bold new sounds. In the basic mode, where Kauldron does all the thinking, you get preset after usable preset with just a touch. This is not simple randomization: it is the power of machine learning put to benevolent use!

    Kauldron is designed with modulation and fine dynamic control in mind. The two fully-featured LFOs and the mod envelope combine with a wide variety of MIDI learnable controls to manipulate multiple parameters. Everything is easily set up in a clearly laid out ‘mod matrix.’ The dual XY-pads can be used for controlling modulation or a wide range of synth parameters. MIDI aftertouch can be routed via the matrix for even greater control over expression and tonality.

    Powerful arp with both live & program modes; comprehensive MIDI features with effortless MIDI learn; over 900 presets; recording, sharing, IAA, Audiobus 3, Ableton Link — these are just some of the features brewing inside Yonac’s Kauldron.

    Selected Specs

    SYNTH

    • 3 analog modeling oscillators w/ multiple waveforms & true PWM
    • FM via Osc 2
    • Maximizer module with drift, spread & voice count for huge, stereophonic all-synth sounds
    • New vAnalog filter design w/ ‘dirt’ overload for even warmer, harmonically complex tones
    • Dedicated filter ADSR envelope
    • Filter tracking, contour & more
    • Pink/white noise generator
    • Osc. phase reset & sync
    • Retro & modern glide algorithms
    • Virtual VCA envelope with 2 attack types
    • Poly/mono operation
    • Legato mode for buttery smooth passages
    • Extensive modulation options via the ‘mod matrix’
    • 2 LFOs w/ BPM sync, keytracking, trigger mode & more
    • Assignable mod envelope
    • 23 mod targets
    • 11 mod controllers, including aftertouch, velocity & keytracking
    • 2 XY-Pads for controlling mod targets or synth parameters
    • Arpeggiator with live & program modes, 11 algorithms, gate, swing, note value, octaving & more
    • Stereo mod effect with chorus & flanger modes
    • BPM-syncable stereo delay
    • Studio quality reverb w/ 7 room types, damping, time & mix
    • 900+ presets in a wide variety of styles & sounds

    SPAWN²

    • Automatic preset generation via artificial intelligence
    • Generate infinite new, usable presets at the touch of a button
    • Expert mode lets specify Variation & Autonomy for each major synth module
    • 3 unique A.I. algorithms
    • Auto arp programming in any listed scale

    PRO FEATURES

    • AUv3 - use as Audio Unit plugin on iPad & iPhone
    • Fullscreen AU mode in compatible DAWs & iOS versions
    • Extensive MIDI: MIDI learn, aftertouch, MIDI CC map save/share, KB mapping, program changes & more
    • Inter-App Audio
    • Audiobus 3
    • Ableton Link

    APP

    • Universal
    • Powerful YPAT2 preset management system
    • Classic or ribbon key controller
    • Ribbon controller: Poly aftertouch into Kauldron
    • Ribbon controller: Settable musical key & scale
    • Classic KB: Velocity w/ sensitivity setting
    • Tapedeck: Record, loop & share
    • Metronome
    • Tap BPM

  • Sure. But why is Thor better than Kauldron?

  • Not "better", but "different":

    Kauldron: 3 analog modeling oscillators w/ multiple waveforms & true PWM

    Thor: Three oscillator slots for Thor's six oscillator types: Analog, Wavetable, FM Pair, PhaseMod, Multi Osc and Noise

    For example :) ;)

  • Why is Thor missing from AppStore (in Propellerhead’s lineup)?

  • Thor was my main modular synth for years until model 15 came out. But I still use it from time to time. The sound is fabulous and the possibilities endless.

  • Thor was a nightmare when I first started on iOS music making. It was one of the early apps I bought after being told how good it was. Problem was it had a horrible bug that only seemed to affect me!

    How ever I tried, I could not get Thor to load without occasionally making a loud noise and then my iPad switched off sound until I restarted it! This was a right nightmare!

    I did report it, but received no reply. I discussed it on here, but people always think you are mad, stupid or both when you report a problem they don’t have :D So that was it for my adventures with Thor. iOS 8 Thor had this intermittent problem. iOS 9, 10 and a few updates of Thor itself and yes, still happening.

    Finally sometime in iOS 11, it stopped. Why? No idea! But by this point, I could not use it anymore because I was always waiting for that noise again. What it was all about I will probably never know (shrugs)

  • While Kauldron is 'cool' it like many other synths it falls short in the modulation department :(

    I mean it's 'software' so why limit the number of LFOs and Envelopes? And why limit LFO waves to being bi-polar when uni-polar is also very handy option to have to avoid values 'wobbling around 0(ie. -1 -- +1) and give them an option to go 0-1(uni-polar).

    And what's the deal with not being able to control the start-phase and/or polarity of the Oscillators and LFOs?
    And when will we get iOS synths come with step/modulation-sequencers ie. 'custom' LFO-Waves' built-in?

    I've spent way too much time with Alcheny in Logic Pro X and it's modulation options and it's kinda annoying to see many of the nice sounding iOS synths being 'crippled' with limited modulation capabilities.

    Sure I could use ApeMatrix but please, let's vote for ApeMaterix getting the XLFO from the Mood synth as an optional modulation source / LFO-Wave and also allow the LFO's in ApeMatrix to be triggered/reset with midi-notes for added performance playability.

    I need some new 'toys' for sure :D

  • @Fruitbat1919 said:
    Thor was a nightmare when I first started on iOS music making. It was one of the early apps I bought after being told how good it was. Problem was it had a horrible bug that only seemed to affect me!

    How ever I tried, I could not get Thor to load without occasionally making a loud noise and then my iPad switched off sound until I restarted it! This was a right nightmare!

    I did report it, but received no reply. I discussed it on here, but people always think you are mad, stupid or both when you report a problem they don’t have :D So that was it for my adventures with Thor. iOS 8 Thor had this intermittent problem. iOS 9, 10 and a few updates of Thor itself and yes, still happening.

    Finally sometime in iOS 11, it stopped. Why? No idea! But by this point, I could not use it anymore because I was always waiting for that noise again. What it was all about I will probably never know (shrugs)

    I had the same problem with Xequence actually when it first came out. I was the only one having a problem with saves on app restart on my ipad 10.5. Thankfully, the dev agreed to tweak it so it wouldn't happen anymore. I felt like it was a bug fix just for me, which was cool :)

  • @Norbert said:

    @Fruitbat1919 said:
    Thor was a nightmare when I first started on iOS music making. It was one of the early apps I bought after being told how good it was. Problem was it had a horrible bug that only seemed to affect me!

    How ever I tried, I could not get Thor to load without occasionally making a loud noise and then my iPad switched off sound until I restarted it! This was a right nightmare!

    I did report it, but received no reply. I discussed it on here, but people always think you are mad, stupid or both when you report a problem they don’t have :D So that was it for my adventures with Thor. iOS 8 Thor had this intermittent problem. iOS 9, 10 and a few updates of Thor itself and yes, still happening.

    Finally sometime in iOS 11, it stopped. Why? No idea! But by this point, I could not use it anymore because I was always waiting for that noise again. What it was all about I will probably never know (shrugs)

    I had the same problem with Xequence actually when it first came out. I was the only one having a problem with saves on app restart on my ipad 10.5. Thankfully, the dev agreed to tweak it so it wouldn't happen anymore. I felt like it was a bug fix just for me, which was cool :)

    Yeah the dev for Xequence seems very helpful :)

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