iPhone App Directory

Horizon Synth arrives!


Here's one you've all been waiting for! Horizon Synth from BeepStreet has arrived:

Description
Horizon synth is a virtual analog synthesizer that takes the definition of iOs synthesizer to the next level.

Thanks to carefully designed architecture and heavy usage of coprocessor it blurs the boundaries between iOs and hardware synthesizers.
Horizon was built to perform and works perfectly with any MIDI keyboard or sequencer. A lot of research has been done in order to achieve unheard warmth and clarity.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • True SuperSaw sound emulation, first found in the legendary Roland JP-8000 synthesizer. SuperSaw is a layered waveform consisting of multiple saw waves which are detuned to create an extremely full and epic sound. It's possible to use 2 supersaw oscillators per voice * 7 polyphony = 98 saw oscillators playing the same time!
  • Two independent filters per voice with configurable routing. You can select between various filter types including classic resonant LP,HP,BP,Notch and less common like Comb and Formant.
  • The Morph Group function lets you continuously morph of up to 30 parameters in a sound (including effects), using only the modulation wheel.
OSCILLATORS
  • 2 warm-sounding analog modelled oscillators per voice + 2 sub-oscillators (except SuperSaw). Available waveforms: Saw, PWM pulse,Triangle, SuperSaw.
  • Oscillator 2 hard-sync and configurable routing
  • Osc-mix, ring modulator
  • White noise oscillator
FLEXIBLE MULTI FILTERS
  • Two independent filters per voice with configurable routing. You can select between various filter types including: resonant LP,HP,BP,Notch, Comb and Formant.
  • Configurable routing: serial or parallel with bypass option.
  • ADSR envelope, keyboard tracking and full LFO control
MODULATION
  • Two LFOs per voice. It's possible to assign each LFO to almost any parameter. 3 LFO running modes: trigger, 1 shot, global. 6 waveforms, phase and fade-in knobs
  • The Morph Group function lets you continuously morph of up to 30 parameters in a sound (including effects), using only the modulation wheel.
  • Two Modulation ADSR Envelopes for amplitude and filters cutoff
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
EFFECTS
  • A number of effects are built in: distortion, chorus, equalizer, stereo delay. All parameters can be modulated using mod-wheel.
ARPEGGIATOR
  • Horizon incorporates very powerful programmable arpeggiator. You should think of it more like a small step sequencer.
OTHER FEATURES
  • Over 200 presets
  • 7 voices polyphony
  • Playback modes: poly, solo, arp
  • Built-in recorder supporting AudioCopy and iTunes file sharing.
  • Supports CoreMidi and MidiMobilizer. MIDI key velocity can affect up to 3 parameters.
  • Configurable piano keyboard size
  • Hold button allows you to to keep notes sustaining until you play new notes.
  • With Chord Memory function you can play the chord by only pressing single keys.
  • Tube soft saturation on output
"Horizon is the first truly mature polyphonic synth for the iPad, a real, smooth and powerful sounding option for all sorts of stage and studio performances. Horizon offers a huge range of analog-style and complex digital-sounding textures with sound quality which is absolutely uncompromised".
Mark Jenkins, author "Analog Synthesizers"

So, is there anything missing from that list?

Horizon synth - BeepStreet

iPads at the Apple Store

Clip to Evernote

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dunno but the presets sound lovely :D

Tom TM said...

"Horizon is the first truly mature polyphonic synth for the iPad"

Erm..... What about NLog?

Robert said...

Holy sh*t, Horizon totally rules!

I've been waiting for this one, thanks for the head's up Palm Sounds! :) And at such a cheap price, everybody should get this.

lala said...

love it!

Scott M2 said...

Great sound.
Great look.
Great price.
Very tweakable.
Many subtleties.
Where's my manual?

lala said...

the 2nd big wheel moves all other knobs ;)

mister-rz said...

Already got a jp-8080 so I wasn't sure if I should get this, glad I did in the end tho, as others have said it comes with some nice presets, very tasty.

Michael Aldridge said...

This synth is just incredible - you won't get anything better for the price!

Zsoltt said...

Incredible! Thank BeepStreet.

Tom TM said...

The only attraction I can see in this app is the low price. But apart from that, Horizon looks like the same old boring polysynth architecture of of the last 30 years.

I'll probably buy this, but only out of curiosity and only because it is inexpensive (if it was the same price as FL or NLog, I probably would have passed it by).

I also find it rather intriguing that most posters here have either only read about Horizon or have simply seen a demo. It's a shame that what really sells a product is hype and not content. I mean it doesn't even appear to work on an iPhone. So instantly we are leaving out another large section of the community who don't own iPad's.

lala said...

@tom tm:
"The only attraction I can see in this app is the low price"
u sure haven't heard/played it then...
"I also find it rather intriguing that most posters here have either only read about Horizon or have simply seen a demo."
are u talking about yourself?!

Anonymous said...

Tom - I saw, I bought, I messed around and then I posted..

I think your assumption is arbitrary

John Saunders said...

I bought this earlier today and have had a good mess around with it.
It sounds like an expensive Roland VA. Very impressive.

Considering you can pick up a 16gb Ipad1 pretty cheap these days. Add in a cheapy Midi keyboard and you've got a pretty good alternative to a hardware synth.

giku said...

iPhone version is coming. Just a 2-3 weeks.

robman84 said...

Bought the moment it arrived in the App store. Sounds fantastic and instantly became my 2nd favourite virtual analog synth (after NLog). The arpeggiator is very powerful, if a little complex. The filters can really shape the sound well.

I'm really looking forward to the new version of ThumbJam which, I think, would allow it to be used via CoreMIDI to control Horizon in an XY continuous pad style rather than a keyboard.

Tom TM said...

@Anon,

I think my 'assumption' is very sound!

What really makes, apart from the obvious price, Horizon any better or groundbreaking than any other polysynth that has been released over the last 30 years or so?

Nothing.

$4.99. Yes it's cheap. But it's hardly 'groundbreaking' is it? :)

Anonymous said...

its about time we play the tom tom game again

Burg said...

"@Anon,

I think my 'assumption' is very sound!"
Good for you Tom! It was a solid demo genius and exactly what I wanted. There are many overhyped demos that can't mask a crappy product.

- Great package, great price, great product.
- Any suggestions on the best way to use this in connjuction with outher apps? (NS specifically). There doesn't seem to be a way to play with audio.

John said...

@tom tm:

Yes you can decry it for the lack of innovation but what it does it does very well.

The devs have managed to cram in a lot of functionality into a single user interface. It's so much easier programming a patch on this then it is for the nLog synth.

The ARP editor is also pretty amazing. You can get some very complicated arp patterns programmed in pretty quickly.

It just sounds very big. If you had a hardware version of this you wouldn't be disappointed in it.

Robert said...

@Tom TM

I purchased, played it, then posted just like several others around here, so your assumption stinks. :)

Why all the sour grapes, anyway? Giku did an amazing job with this software and should be celebrated for that!

lala said...

@burg: there is a record button, recordings are available via itunes file sharing...

lala said...

im playing with it for months now, the sound eats nlog for breakfast, ui is much faster to use, cant say enough good things about horizon

Tom TM said...

It's amazing that one man's opinion can stir such hate and vitriol. I'm even more amazed that I am threatened simply because I dare have an opinion which is in a minority.

Do you people know the history of national socialism in Germany? Or Stalinism in the Soviet Union? For heaven's sake, get a grip.

I'm sure people will love Horizon. It's just not for me. Am I not allowed to express that opinion?

Jaybry84 said...

I agree with Tom. I don't care how good it sounds or what awesome features it has or how great the price is. I don't want any instrument unless it's "groundbreaking". Whatever that means.

Jaybry84 said...

Tom, it was so much your opinions as much as your baseless assumptions. You were wrong about the people who do like it, assuming they didn't use it. You also came down on them not releasing an iPhone version when some research would've shown one is coming.

Jaybry84 said...

*it wasn't so much

lala said...

@tom: 1st u bash something you haven't tried & then call everybody who disagrees nazi, nice

Burg said...

@Tom

That is because your opinion was not only a critique on Horizon but ALSO your on other's personal views/tastes which of course pissed people off

"I also find it rather intriguing that most posters here have either only read about Horizon or have simply seen a demo. It's a shame that what really sells a product is hype and not content." (the contect WAS the hype)


I like how you try to victimize yourself in your last post like everyone is out to get you. You're a funny dude. Probably a nice enough chap in person, but judging other peopls opnions online will always create a backlash. I'm suprised you weren't smart enough to understand that. Or maybe you are and simply wanted to stir up sh*t. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Tom TM you don't have an iPad?
I feel your pain. I once too use to compose on an inadequate iOS device (iPod Touch), but upgraded a year ago to an iPad. I can never look back.

My gripe is the opposite of yours. I've been patiently waiting for both Beatmaker2 and NanoStudio to go HD. Such a long wait :(.

Burg said...

@ lala


Thanks! Yeah I saw and played with the record function, but there didn't seem like there was a way to play along with pre recorded material from another source or app within the app.

Unless multitasking works with other apps..haven't tried yet.

lala said...

this works:
playback the playback from the daw on the laptop, play along on the ipad and record that,
take the track from itunes & ad that as another track in the daw
>so use it like a hardware-synth that can record itself to wav
there is no multitasking, the sound needs so much cpu

Anonymous said...

Wow, and to think that just yesterday I was considering Retronyms' Synth with its over the top priced in app purchases.

Thanks BeepStreet for saving my wallet!

Tom TM said...

Unbelievable.

I am told that my opinion 'stinks'. It certainly doesn't. I am told that "we should play the "tom tom" game". Yes how democratic of you. Then the icing on the cake is that the word "Nazi" is branded around. Well, think about it. Wasn't that the idea behind national socialism, that others weren't allowed to express their opinions? "Nice" you say? No mate. It's not nice, but to bully me, simply because I don't agree with you, is hardly 'nice' either is it?

Think about it.

kidBaltan said...

It is kind of frustrating watching all these
things come by since I dont have an ipad.
so I'm going to buy one.
am I being sucked in?
is it shallow or beautifull? I always feel so bad buying stuff.....

lala said...

@tom tm:
thx for the history lesson, greetings from germany ;)

Tom TM said...

"I like how you try to victimize yourself in your last post like everyone is out to get you. "

Dear Burg.

You're reading far too much into my comments. I have (or I think I have) a dry sense of humour and a deep irony of things. People often misunderstand me. But no one's out to get me- or that's the way I see it. :)

Burg said...

@Tom

You must be purposely ingoring what people are reacting to.

Let me be clear and simple.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO POST ASSUMTIONS and OPINIONS ABOUT FELLOW POSTERS then be prepared for backlash because that is not polite behaviour especially because you don't personally know us. You are by definition acting in a selfish and rude manner.

THAT SAID, your opinions about any products here are certainly welcome and appreciated. Even if I don't agree with you.

GOT IT? KAPEESH? UNDERSTAND?

Good. Happy Soltice!

And Thx Lala for the advice!

Burg said...

@Tom

You must be purposely ingoring what people are reacting to.

Let me be clear and simple.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO POST ASSUMTIONS and OPINIONS ABOUT FELLOW POSTERS then be prepared for backlash because that is not polite behaviour especially because you don't personally know us. You are by definition acting in a selfish and rude manner.

THAT SAID, your opinions about any products here are certainly welcome and appreciated. Even if I don't agree with you.

GOT IT? KAPEESH? UNDERSTAND?

Good. Happy Soltice!

And Thx Lala for the advice!

Tom TM said...

Greetings from England lala :)

Tom TM said...

"You must be purposely ingoring what people are reacting to. "

I'm sorry. What a lot of nonsense.

Let's put some things straight here.

1. I have an iPad

2. I bought Horizon this morning.

3. Yes, for what it is, Horizon is very good as a synthesiser.

But that's it for me. I don't find it very groundbreaking. Is that too hard to comprehend?

And please don't shout at me in uppercase. It only shows that you are loosing an argument.

Burg said...

@ Tom

Ha. Yeah I totally know your not that crazy. No worries. Just being clear online about my position.

As I said I'm sure your totally cool in person ... although probably one of those button pushing "smirking" types. Which I appreciate as well ;)

Tom TM said...

"I always feel so bad buying stuff....."

Baltan,

No one should ever feel bad about buying stuff. But I've always felt that one should try and squeeze as much out of as little as they have.

But yes, buy an iPad, even a mark 1. I've barely touched my iPhone since (apart from now that I've got a Synthstation 25!)

:-)

Tom TM said...

Burg, Cool! :-)

I think the problem is, is that we all have never met, and we only know one another via this blog. Meeting up for real is very different and often changes people's opinions of others. For a start, you don't get body language on a forum, even less indication on a blog.

There's a lot of brilliant & cutting edge creativity here- and in that cauldron tempers fuelled by passion will fly.

The consumption of cold beer usually does the trick!

Cheers! :)

giku said...

Yes it's not groundbreaking, since nothing new was invented. The assumption was to:
1. Take the best algorithms (I hope so, a lot of hours spent on PHD papers :)
2. Take some good solutions (JP - supersaw, NordLead - Morph Groups and filters, Poly - chord memory)
3. Add a classic, straightforward UI
4. Make it usable and competitive to hardware / computer plugins

It's just an initial release, a few things will be added soon. I'm open for suggestions.

John said...

@ giku

It's awesome. I've been playing with it all day.
Please release an OSX AU version :)

John said...

@giku

Some suggestions.

- An easy way to share presets with other users.
- Make the ARP latchable. So I can hit a note and tweak away. It might be able to do that already but I didn't have any luck doing it from a midi keyboard.
- Expand the ARP to allow automation of filters etc...
- You can have an ARP step to call another ARP program. You could then sequence a song.
- Ability to create folders or user banks.
- Add a Phaser.
- Midi clock sync for the LFO's etc...
- Make the audio record snap to bar lengths to allow easy repeatable arp wave files.

Robert said...

@Burg

"Unless multitasking works with other apps..haven't tried yet."

I tried it with MoDrum, and it worked fine, although the MIDI output of MoDrum was triggering Horizon, so it wasn't exactly usable as a metronome. Speaking of metronome...

@giku

Could you add a metronome? :)

@Tom t m

I honestly didn't mean to offend you, but I did remark that your "assumption" stinks (with a smiley face), and not your opinion. Either way, I hope there are no hard feelings. :)

mister-rz said...

Having played with this some more I'm impressed with the ease of creating my own presets, randomIze is very useful, for quick and dirty sound creation, saving of presets is also very straight forward.

Thinking about the possibilities of synthesis on ios has left me feeling drained due to excitement, two things I feel apple should implement is two way airplay in logic and licence the api for other audio companies, like vst. Also they should lift not having plug-ins in the mac app store, they have a ton of audio dev's on ios, would be good being able to get au versions of a quite a few of the apps I have on my ipad, in one convenient place.

For me horizon has become one of my fav synths on the ipad, due to the sound and ease of use, I would love it even more with network midi and airplay, especially if I could pass external sounds thru horizon. Flex could make up for latency issues if dealing with audio, or just slightly shift the notes if using midi. I hope apple has this as app of the week, they need to start thinking of having a dedicated section for audio apps on the app store.

lala said...

a john:
there is a hold button=latch, clock sync for lfos is also there (sync)

robman84 said...

Giku (or anyone) how do I map midi controls to the knobs? Or if it is fixed, is there a list of assignments? Apologies if I've missed the obvious somewhere!

John said...

@ Lala

Yes. Latch does work for the iPad keyboard but not for an external Midi keyboard connected via camera connect kit. Maybe that is normal behaviour.

And yes, the LFO's do sync internally but I was hoping to sync them over wifi midi which I can't seem to be able to work at the moment.

John said...

Okay. Horizon can receive coremidi over wifi from my Mac via Logic so I can treat it like an external sound module. Nice.

Although, as suspected. The arp, LFO's etc... don't midi clock sync.
Hopefully that will be added in a future update.

Formal said...

It's not downloading on my iPad. I keep getting an error that says to download on the desktop iTunes store :( Anybody else getting this?

lala said...

@john: cloth-peg?
for latch over midi you would need to have a midinote that triggers that, as far as i know, then everytime that note would be played everything would go crazy...

giku said...

Currently it supports only mod wheel and pitch cc midi messages. Upcoming update will support midi clock as well as knob assignment (with midi learn).

Tom TM said...

@ Robert;

I think where all this misunderstanding comes from is a British-American thing. I feel for all those whose 1st language isn't English. I assume you are from America?

An amusing thing that happened on another forum was from this guy in Switzerland who always used a google-type online translator, the results always being really funny- but the guy was always being dead serious, but the translator made him sound like a character from the film "Delicatessen". I don't know if you have seen this film, but it is very funny.

John said...

@ Giku

The midi clock sync future feature is very welcome. Thanks.

John said...

@ Lala

What do you mean "cloth-peg?" er... ?

lala said...

fix the note with a clothes-peg on the midikeyboard,
very very oldschool

lala said...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Wklammer.jpg/220px-Wklammer.jpg

John said...

Ha ha. Very good. I need virtual cloth pegs ;)

lala said...

if u r triggering from a sequencer just send a note that sustains for minutes ;)

robman84 said...

@ Giku, thanks. MIDI learn like in Ableton would be cool. Put it in MIDI learn mode, touch a virtual control then touch a physical control tommap the two.

Anonymous said...

TOM you're just a pompöse Ruck, people find monquent much of what you say, but that everything you say in an offensive manner. After all annoyed by your attitude rude and insulting, you deal with the Nazis or say that they do not understand their language enough to capture your fine ... Tom Tom a fast operation seems necessary, or just ignore?

jimmij said...

couldn't have said it better, myself.

Anonymous said...

@tom no it's not that people don't "get" your ironic british humor. The problem is that you're not ricky gervais and you come off a lot more full of yourself than you think you do.

If your dry sense of humor was actually charming, you wouldn't have to go around telling everyone how dry your sense of humor is and how deep your sense of irony is.

If you were _really_ being ironic, then I guess you actually believe that horizon is the best purchase you've ever made? BTW, I agree with you about the nlog thing, it's a bit ridiculous to say it's the first "truly mature" polyphonic synth.

Anonymous said...

btw, this could be a record for the longest PS comment thread ever. Any publicity is good publicity! eh Giku? :-)

giku said...

Yep, thats better than 10 cups of coffee :). Makes me work harder. btw. iPhone version coming soon.

Mat said...

Great news, will the iPhone/touch be as powerful as the iPad version (I'm on an iPod touch 3rd gen)?

Tom TM said...

Hi giku! :)

The main reason I 'complain' isn't really anything to do with the sound engine (it's very, very good- not better than NLog, but different. Like comparing a Yamaha to a Roland for eg), more to do with the way I can interact with the instrument.

An iPad was never really meant to be "played" (I don't think?). Putting a chromatic keyboard on it usually results in a tiny keyspan of usually only a couple of octaves max. Sure you can plug a midi keyboard in, but then you loose that ipad 'portability' thing (and anyway it would be better to use a Laptop of some sort because of the extra power etc?)

I downloaded a lovely little app ages ago called "Loop" and another called "Pulsate". Both, especially the latter, have similar examples of an interesting interface, but which are let down by unimaginative sound engines. "Sound Cells" is another intriguing interface, although the developer assures us that SC will have MIDI out at some point (although that means that you really need more than the iPad to make interesting music).

It would be nice if developers who create decent engines could also offer something more advancing than the same old & tired chromatic interface of yesteryear. Bach did wonders with his fugues and sonatas, but how about some 12-tone stuff and "Harry Partchness" etc etc etc- if you see what I mean? (Sorry, writing isn't my strongest subject- I prefer to burn people's ears off with my gob, as I'm sure many will testify! lol!!)

Tom TM said...

btw, $4.99 and a version for iPhone (3G compatible too?)? Many thanks! :)

robman84 said...

I think, Tom TM, that's the benefit of Core MIDI. One app, with a different approach to controlling sounds (e.g. Thumbjam, with its scales, stepped/smooth notes, sensor input) can control the sound engine of another app such as Horizon.

That's how I see it anyway. Haven't tried that yet as I was busy fixing some dodgy keys on my controller keyboard last night during a stonking Horizon and NLog Pro session! Also ThumbJam with MIDI isn't out yet of course!

giku said...

@Mat: exactly the same, except of "packed" interface and only 3 voice polyphony on 3GS.

giku said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
giku said...

@Tom: Personally I love these " same old & tired chromatic interface of yesteryear" and find them very useful and comprehensive - it's the metaphor that works. Whats better than a knob? :) I'm tired of flashy reinvented interfaces that looks great on the screen but working with them is rather hard. On the other hand - yes you are right - horizon needs XY theremin like screen found on other apps; with configurable scales. I'm working on this. As for iPhone version - yes the price and features will be the same.

Tom TM said...

Nothing is better than a knob, but it isn't 'a knob' is it? It's a flat and rendered representation of a 'knob'. There's nothing to hang on to!

I'm sorry if I've been a bit grumpy. Over the last few days I've watched one of my best friends slowly slip into a coma then die. He was only 51. Chris Beckett RIP.

Tom TM said...

"I'm tired of flashy reinvented interfaces that looks great on the screen but working with them is rather hard"

Learning to play any new musical instrument is hard. It's what makes for a good performance. Watching Jordan Rudess with Bebot was an inspiration to me. I tried to play Bebot like Jordan and failed. Miserably!

giku, please have a look at Pulsate and Soundcells. Their interfaces are not difficult to learn, yet the very nature of their interfaces means that they create some really interesting rhythmic passages that can be used as the background for further improvisation.

Rob, I know you are right, but it is common knowledge that as soon as hardware gets faster, then that increase in speed is taken advantage of in more elaborate design, meaning that apps then tend to hog all resources so that running anything in the background becomes a much slower performance. My old iPod and my 3G iPhone are already redundant with many apps- this is a shame (if you get what I'm trying to say?)

:)

dswo said...

@giku: I just bought this. Thanks for all the work you have put into it, and for making it affordable.

May I suggest a feature? It's marvelous that you have audio copy, for export, but would it be possible to have audio playback of a pasted loop from another app?

Horizon doesn't need to become NanoStudio; but it would be nice if we could (for example) jam on top of a a drum track that was recorded earlier in Funkbox or iElectribe.

Maybe this is already possible by multitasking Funkbox in the background, but let me suggest two reasons why playing over a pasted WAV file is better.

First, it frees up RAM and CPU resources, because you're not running two apps at the same time.

Second, that background loop can be anything: it might come from Funkbox, but it could also be a very complex track that combines elements from several different apps (iMS-20 + iElectribe + Thumbjam + Beatmaker + Eden, all mixed down to one track in MultiTrack DAW). If it's just a sound file being looped in the background, it can be as complex as you like, and it won't affect the performance of Horizon Synth, because all of the background sounds will have been prerendered.

Anon #1, #12 & rondema said...

Just had to pop back and say I am properly in love with the sound of Horizon Synth. My favourite app of 2011 so far. Thank you!

Mat said...

@Giku,

thanks for your answer, I listened to the demo Soundcloud track, I'll be buying it day one, I can live with 3 voice polyphony...

John said...

I wonder on the iphone, if a patch didn't use supersaws, that you could have more voices?

dswo said...

Is there a manual? I looked for a link on the website and in the app.

antignorant said...

Com'on Mr. Tom. I could read your first post with sympathy and the second too but afterwards is boring. Nobody needs so much space in a review, just the app.

I did my two good days of research, wondered and read and thought and checked my account and yesterday decided to buy it.
I NEVER hada a roland synth of my own, and more KORGish from the early '80s, so the sounds are ok, sort of retro compared with oter soundtoys I really dig more nowadyas.

All in all a good purchase at the price and the possibility of having it instantaneously in your iThingie means that many people can talk about it after doodling a while. And that first impression is great. It's fresh and contagious.
I know is not going to save my noise life, but I don´t regret either. Still waiting as you for real "groundbreaking" antimusic apps.

All u take care and have fun. Aaaaand don't forget to pay your bills (dog*damm capitalism!!!) ;0)

antignorant said...

Excuse me for the typos on my previous comment. U know, typing on vitual keyboard and long fingernails... d:p

About the Horizon: still I could use a good online manual sometimes, but not imprescindible, and the ability to store your sounds instead of the classical presets. Good for start but not only. I envision it for some live pads along the Mellotronics app.

Top of the mornin' u all!

John said...

I bought Funkbox drum machine to go with this. You can play a drum track on Funkbox, background it and then launch Horizon.

Some of the arps with a 808 behind them can sound extremely hypnotic.

Arthur said...

Horizon synth is the best synth on iOS since NLog. However when I turn the resonant filter knob down there appears to be no sound. Is this normal?

Arthur