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Best MONO synth?

Hey there, so I have been asking myself, which mono synth is considered to be king on iOS? Is it Model 15 by Moog or the wonderful Minimoog app? Do yous prefer a completely different synth for your mono stuff or do you guys just hit the mono button in your go-to synth? I am curious, as a lot of the iPad synths I see are mainly poly it seems.

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  • Currently Zeeon with the mono button pressed. Yeah Moog is Moog - awesome sound but I prefer zeeon TBH. I like also it starts on init - I rarely turn to the presets just start twisting knobs

  • I've lately been 're-discovering' Viking from Blamsoft and ENKL from KLVGR.

  • edited April 18

    Wow, didn't even know that KLVGR were doing a mono synth, awesome!

  • Attention, heresy: ANY mono software synth is essentially "bad", because the developer was too lazy to implement dynamic voice allocation, and to compensate develops a marketing strategy insinuating that being "mono" is good!

    It's a different story with actual analog hardware synths, because there, cost multiplies by the number of available voices.

    OK, you can flame now :)

  • Troublemaker and Ripplemaker from Bram Bos should also qualify here.

  • Model D. BAM!

  • edited April 18

    @Samu said:
    Troublemaker and Ripplemaker from Bram Bos should also qualify here.

    Don’t know about RippleMaker but TroubleMaker doesn’t have a tune control. Makes fantastic sounds though and it’s not an issue in a lot of people’s use cases.

  • edited April 18

    @SevenSystems said:
    Attention, heresy: ANY mono software synth is essentially "bad", because the developer was too lazy to implement dynamic voice allocation, and to compensate develops a marketing strategy insinuating that being "mono" is good!

    It's a different story with actual analog hardware synths, because there, cost multiplies by the number of available voices.

    OK, you can flame now :)

    I guess Moog get extra credit then, for adding Poly functionality to their mono emulation! (Model D)

  • @OscarSouth said:

    @SevenSystems said:
    Attention, heresy: ANY mono software synth is essentially "bad", because the developer was too lazy to implement dynamic voice allocation, and to compensate develops a marketing strategy insinuating that being "mono" is good!

    It's a different story with actual analog hardware synths, because there, cost multiplies by the number of available voices.

    OK, you can flame now :)

    I guess Moog get extra credit then, for adding Poly functionality to those mono emulation! (Model D)

    Yep. Extra marketing creds 😇

  • @SevenSystems said:

    @OscarSouth said:

    @SevenSystems said:
    Attention, heresy: ANY mono software synth is essentially "bad", because the developer was too lazy to implement dynamic voice allocation, and to compensate develops a marketing strategy insinuating that being "mono" is good!

    It's a different story with actual analog hardware synths, because there, cost multiplies by the number of available voices.

    OK, you can flame now :)

    I guess Moog get extra credit then, for adding Poly functionality to those mono emulation! (Model D)

    Yep. Extra marketing creds 😇

    They get some rock credibility too because it sounds wicked and brings some totally new flavours to the table!!

  • @christsinfamie said:
    Hey there, so I have been asking myself, which mono synth is considered to be king on iOS? Is it model 15 by Moog or the wonderful Minimoog app? Do yous prefer a completely different synth for your mono stuff or do you guys just hit the mono button in your go to synth? I am just curious, as a lot of the iPad synths I see are poly.

    It really depends on what sounds good to you. The various emulations are pretty true to their origins and have their own unique character. Model D, model 15, OddyseI , iVCS3 are great but so are many polysynths when set to mono mode.

    It really depends on what you like.

  • edited April 18

    Viking is also a venerable contender that has a lot of weight to throw around (in mono) and is one of the earliest AU synth synths!

  • SynthMaster One with Mono turned on

  • I must say, I am super impressed with Ripplemaker. Bram Bos just seems to have my number... :D

  • Zeeon and Model D arebut what about DRC as a mono? I always seem to get good stuff in mono out of it.

  • For me in order of preference:

    • Odyssei
    • Model 15
    • Model D
    • Ripplemaker
    • Ruismaker Noir
    • iSEM V

    Shoot me for saying this, but iVCS3 doesn't even come close to qualifying as great. I've never owned a Putney VCS 3 but have been lucky enough to work with an artist who owns 2! iVCS3 may look like a Putney but it sure doesn't sound like one. I own the XILS-Lab, XILS 4 on the desktop and that's a far closer simulation. I feel likewise about the TroubleMaker, which be the way I love, but it's not the best 303 emulation I've heard, and in this instance, I'm the one lucky enough to own 2 hardware 303's (purchased in the 80's too so I stand to make a huge profit should I ever decide to sell them - not that I will befor the PM's start overflowing my inbox!). But in terms of simulation, the Roland Cloud version of the 303 is spot-on.

    Ruismaker Noir is a drum synth strictly speaking but it's a damn fine bass synth too (and general mono noise maker) so that's why it's in my list.

    Zeeon isn't on the list because it's designed as a poly-synth, it just happens to be a well modeled VA synth. Everything in my list is or was originally designed as a mono-synth.

    The only iOS synth that's a 99.9% match for its hardware is the Odyssei. I was blown away by Odyssei when it first appeared. It was the iOS synth that made me re-engage seriously with the iOS platform having dabbled with it from the sidelines for a number of years. And it's the only VA synth on any platform other than the Softube Modular, that can do audio rate modulation accurately.

  • edited April 18

    @SevenSystems said:
    Attention, heresy: ANY mono software synth is essentially "bad", because the developer was too lazy to implement dynamic voice allocation, and to compensate develops a marketing strategy insinuating that being "mono" is good!

    It's a different story with actual analog hardware synths, because there, cost multiplies by the number of available voices.

    OK, you can flame now :)

    No flames and i agree partly. However, because for some characteristics cant be the same in "the best" mono and poly synth, i could see that some synth could be great for mono and not so good for poly. Just adding more voices to "best" mono wont automatically mean that its now also "the best" poly. If both sides have not been perfected to be "the best", a synth that is best for poly and mono couod be two different synths. Ofc a synth that is truly "the best" will have developed to perfection, but ofc not perfecting everything is sort of laziness ;)

  • However, because for some characteristics cant be the same in "the best" mono and poly synth, i could see that some synth could be great for mono and not so good for poly.

    For hardware sure. For software I don't think this really holds up. It would be nice to have more options (does the envelope trigger for the first note, or all of them. How does voice stealing work), but that's about it really.

  • Great mono-synths don't always make great poly-synths. You only have to look at the history of poly-synths in the late seventies/early eighties.

    If you look at Model D and Model 15 on iOS they have altered signal paths when operating polyphonically. The early hardware Polymoogs where far from successful. In a word, the classic Moog mono synths of the 70's were simply too 'bombastic' in audio terms. A perfect quality for a mono-synth but pile on the polyphony and things quickly become a mess.

  • That's why I agreed it's an issue for hardware. For software it's not really an issue, so long as you follow a few simple rules.

  • Geez I don't think I use any except Cyclop if I use that even...

    love my Mono Station....

  • I love Moog Model 15 but it's actually 4-voice poly, not mono - just fyi for it's gotta be mono or bust purists ;) The main gotcha w/ Model 15 is it can gobble CPU time depending on the complexity of the patch.

    I also like Korg iMS-20 because I have a hardware MS-20 Mini and it's convenient to try out patches in the app before patching on the physical synth, and it saves presets while the physical one doesn't. My only complaint is lack of zoom on the sequencer panel, because steps are set by knobs that are hard to control - Model 15's knobs are easier to manage. I do realize lack of AUv3 support is a cause of other user complaints but I'm not dependent on AU to get things done. iMS-20 is also not pure mono, because the sequencer lets you program multiple instances of the synth.

  • I revisited the Klevgrand recently, and the aliasing was so ridiculous it had to be intentional. Not only for Enkl the monosynth, but all of their palette synths they released as well. They've come a long way.

  • edited April 18

    @christsinfamie said:
    I must say, I am super impressed with Ripplemaker. Bram Bos just seems to have my number... :D

    Indeed. I always get lost (in a good way) when I open Ripplemaker. Also +1 to Enkl.

    From the iOS archives... Argon still sounds great.

  • edited April 19

    @jonmoore said:

    • Odyssei

      The only iOS synth that's a 99.9% match for its hardware is the Odyssei. I was blown away by Odyssei when it first appeared.

    I agree. I’ve had a fair bit of experience with the real odyssey (ie the ARP 2800) in the past, and have an ARP 2600 personally (must continue fixing it back to fully operational when I get time, then perhaps sell it). The ARP Odyssey (or Avatar) would be a good compact alternative.

    I like the idea of an odyssey being the optimised slightly subsetted version of the 2600. There’s a lot of the ARP 2600 that rarely gets used, such as the voltage processors (inverters, summing, etc) so it’s fair to convert those in the 2800 into a summing mixer preceding the S+H. The third VCO on a 2600 is very frequently made to be an LFO, so fair enough swap it with an actual LFO in the 2800. The extra waveform shapes on the VCO2 are not harmonically rich or distinctive, so the 2800 with only saw and square/pulse is fair enough also. The 2800 gains a high pass (non VC) filter, loses the balanced-modulator analogue type of ring mod replacing it with a straight digital X-OR arrangement for pulse waves only. No envelope followed external input. The most significant but hidden difference (for me, as I’m rebuilding this module on mine) is that the 4019 VCA module of the 2600 has two antiphase audio inputs (useful for mixing the ring mod in) and log and lin CV inputs (the ar and adsr). The 2800 Odyssey has a simpler VCA based on an OTA (as by now they existed). I wish it were possible to waveshape on a 2600. If I can find a way to modify one of the voltage processors into a variable rectifier, I might go ahead and modify mine (or at least, replicate it off board first).

  • My guess is the OP wanted to know the 'best' of the classic subtractive synths offered on iOS...

    I too would like to know how people feel the various offerings stack up for:

    • a light (ish) cpu hit
    • the best vco / vca / vcf emulation
    • the most modulation and routing options
    • great presets and user sharing
    • crash resistance

    I tend to use Zeeon a lot for the above reasons, although iSem, ModelD, Kauldron, Mood, Volt, Ripplemaker, Sunrizer, Ruismaker Noir, Kaspar and others are in my arsenal. I recently picked up Lorentz which I like... I look for synths that have interesting filters, especial ones that can go from subtle to extreme... Noir is great for techno related mayhem.

    Mostly I want to pick a couple and really know them like the back of my hand, my 'go-to' synths, probably AU unless there is something really great about a non-AU synth.

  • @scottsunn
    the most modulation and routing options

    Have you taken a look at SynthMaster One wavetable synthesizer?

    Full blown browser. Preset management is being enhanced.

  • It’s easily moog model15....and then after that perhaps model d....and the arp isn’t joking either

  • My iOS preference is DRC for analogue emulation. Brilliant mono synth. Nice as a poly as well. Great, controllable distortion characteristics. Lots of analogue-like imperfections. I’ve tried many of the iOS synths mentioned in this thread, as well as used many hardware analogue synths. I still have a few hardware synths, but iOS is easier/more portable.

  • @jonmoore said:
    And it's the only VA synth on any platform other than the Softube Modular, that can do audio rate modulation accurately.

    Really? ODYSSEi does audio-rate modulation accurately? That's one of the reasons why I was never too impressed with any VA. Always favored digitals like the Wavestation and Microwave.

    Oh, and to keep this on topic, with patience, good eyes, and a 12.9", Cyclop is a wild digital mono with Effectrix-lite built-in, tons of sequencers + modulation. It doesn't do warm and buttery analog though, which is what the OP seems to be after. UI is slow, so you need a fast iPad.

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