Noise.io – the iPhone Synthesizer from ToyoBunko on Vimeo.

Noise.io became available on the iTunes App Store this week, with a “pro” app US$9.99.

I’m not going to say too much about it, instead focusing on getting a review done over the weekend. (I still wish there were an easy way to capture video output from the iPod touch / iPhone, but I gather most apps can’t support that. Any tips, anyone?) But this looks like a real soft synth, and not simply a toy with an oscillator:

  • 3 generators + 2 filters + 3 LFO
  • 3 onboard sequencers (with an interesting-looking interface)
  • 6 onboard effects
  • Unlimited presets, plus 9 factory preset banks (81 presets in all)

Lots of hype in the above video, but it sounds great, so here’s my suggestion: just close your eyes and listen.

Noise.io site

Looks fantastic to me. Now, I’d just like a really rich Pd-based set of synths and I’m a happy man.

Incidentally, I haven’t chatted much about the Google Android — largely because, at this point, it still seems a bit early to say much. But while the Android platform does have a Java-based sound engine, to me some of the technical appeal of the Apple tools — developer restrictions and closed nature aside — is that it really is an environment in which you can do serious synthesis. That’s been true of the Sony PSP, too, but only after you hurdle the even-worse anti-piracy restrictions of a game platform.

More soon. If you’ve got it and are making presets, we may set up a place for you to share here.

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    Thank you very much for this piece of news, Peter!

    We'll be waiting for the review…

    As for capturing the video, here's my setup.

    I use photo camera Sony DSC-W300, mounted on a micro-on-table-tripod. The device (iPod touch) is positioned underneath it (so the whole construction resembles a microscope), and secured in place with several pieces of 2-sided Scotch (otherwise it moves during the filming!)

    The resulting .mpeg file is later processed in Premiere (resizing, positioning). The quality is certainly not the best but quite enough.

    While filming, I record the audio separately via a audio-out of iPhone plugged into the soundcard and then the DAW.

    Later I replace the audio track in the mpeg (recorded by the camera) with that audio track from DAW (it's very easy to match them precisely by wave display).

    So that's my recipe.

  • http://www.jonbro.tk JonBro

    do not want. I need to look into the return policy. All of these iphone toys are reminding me of the kind of dj trash that you could buy at sharper image. That the sound on that video has very little to do with what is produced on the software itself.

    ds-10 is a much more powerful tool.

    breath, breath, breath… someone please make the equivalent of lsdj/lgpt for iPhone before I lose my shit.

    In the meantime, I will continue buying every do nothing app that you post about peter, and continue seething.

  • http://noise.io Ilya Tretiakov

    Dear JonBro,

    I used nothing but Noise.io to create that song. It took me 2 hours.

    The song is created from the factory presets – if you have bought Noise.io, why do you have any doubts?

    I can even send you the project file (Cubase 4), so that you make sure there's no lie in our words.

    Noise.io's range of sounds is much wider that DS-10. Again, if you'd bought Noise.io, you'd see that for youself.

    It's not a toy. I am a musician myself and lots of my fellow colleagues have a strong intention to use Noise.io in their perfomances.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I'm unclear, JonBro, you bought it and hate it?

  • Josiah

    Hopefully I'm not overlooking the fine print, but does Noise have midi export?

    Also, I'm very much looking forward to reviews of this from actual users. I'm nearly sold but… not quite.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Wait, wouldn't you want audio export, not MIDI export, given that it's a synth? If its main function were sequencing, that'd be something else entirely…

    Yep, looking forward to testing.

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    Audio export will appear in the update to Noise.io.

    It will most probably also an integration with BeatMaker.

    We (the Amidio team) are ready to provide such a functionality.

    We've been contacting Intua sice August and finally came to a decision that this could be implemented.

    It will most probably be done when we get a kind of API from Intua.

    QUOTE FROM INTUA: …we are working into ways to exchange data between the two programs via a new version of BeatPack, we will get into more details once we are set on our part.

    If something won't work out, we will implement WAV export to our own server (could be several variants of that, will run a public poll then).

  • http://www.jonbro.tk JonBro

    @Ilya Tretiakov

    I am unclear on how you can claim to have used nothing but noise.io and also have a cubase 4 file to send me to prove it. Unless I am mistaken, you used nothing but noise.io AND cubase 4 to create that track. Unless the cubase file is just a single wav channel.

    I just feel like the video is a little bit of a trick. I should have read it closer. The app does what it claims to do in the written text, however, that video ad is more of an ad for cubase then anything else.

    yeah, this is a synth, not a sequencer. Don't get confused. I guess I just jumped the gun.

    @peterk: yes, I bought it, but I didn't get what I was expecting based on that video. I need to learn to read.

  • http://www.jonbro.tk JonBro

    uhh, yeah, I really flamed out on that first comment. sorry about that devs. You have done great work here! I am just waiting for a solid seq to go along with these synth tools.

  • Motion

    Fantastic bit of work ToyoBunko….just before I reached your last post I was thinking I would love to be able to export audio to BeatMaker….and there it was….hope it can be worked out internally within the device.

  • Josiah

    Having audio and midi export would be wonderful. For the time being, is there a way to get what you do in Noise inside a DAW like Logic, etc.?

    I guess I could be looking at the wrong app, because what I'm looking for is something where I can make something while riding home on the subway, and then use it with Logic.

    Still, this has a cool factor similar to the DS-10. I just wonder if, at least for my purposes, it goes beyond just being cool.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Josiah: Well, the DS-10 has no audio export (side effect of it being an official game app), so the solution is the old-fashioned one — a minijack Y cable hooked up to your audio interface! (And there's a certain fun with that — you can even perform live with your mobile device…)

    But yeah, if we got audio export, that'd work, too.

    Here's my vote for a straight audio export. Beatmaker integration would be way cool, of course, but export isn't a bad place to start!

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    @JonBro

    Yes I used nothing but Noise.io *in terms od sources of sound*. Not a single sound in the song that is produced by something which is not Noise.io :-) Of course, I had to use Cubase to combine all those little bits together. Is it bad?

    Just dont' you think, that if it would be possible to create a fully working sequencer with synths on the iPhone, would we spend so much effort onto Noise.io ? :-)

    We tried many variants and have some ideas regarding future updates and apps, and most certainly you will like them :-) (DAW-integration etc.)

    @Josiah:

    Maybe you should check the demo videos at noise.io/media and decide if you like it? Take a look at that "Fabric Presets Demo" video.

    @Motion:

    Thank you so much! We have some ideas regarding the internal exchange of data.

    @Peter Kirn:

    The export feature will follow soon. But we have to wait for what Intua decides first. Hope that will follow soon.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I'm unclear, why is export dependent on Intua collaboration? Is it that you'd prioritize Intua integration before doing audio export, or that you'd use their client app to get the files off the device?

    Of course, to me it's still insane that Apple isn't providing file sync capabilities as things like Windows Mobile and even basic phone bluetooth drivers typically do, but that's another story. ;)

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    Yes we're planning to use their BeatPack server app.

    We just do not want to end up with users having to run tons of different servers for each app. We suggested that Beatmaker could become something like an iPhone-based host for all other soft synths, with Noise.io being the first of them.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Ah, very nice.

    Sounds like we need a single (open source?) MuzeApp for all these tools, exchanging loops, samples, MIDI clips, etc. and syncing with your Mac and PC.

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    I'f afraid open source is something not currently possible with the App Store :)

  • Leslie

    4 months down the track and I am still waiting for Korg DS-10 type of app for iPhone – or is iPhone not powerful enough to achieve such level of sophistication..?

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    DS-10 apps are completely different compared to iPhone apps.

    You can work straight with the video memory etc. thus things can be done pretty fast.

    On the other hand, no doubt iPhone's D/A converter is the best in the handheld devices, and DS-10's D/A is a far, far distance away.

    DS-10 is stylus-controlled and iPhone is finger-controlled so the control layout and the whole app concept have to be completely different.

    In any case, my personal opinion is that Noise.io is just more usable for a musician-on-the-go than DS-10. At least you do not have to carry another device because it's in your phone/ipod :-)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Why isn't open source possible with the App Store?

    The NDA is lifted.

    mrmr is an open-source app, and it's available.

    So what's the hold-up? Am I missing something? (not to mention, if it's a server app, it's just the server app!)

    @Leslie: what about DS-10 are you missing, exactly? We've got synths and drum machines. What *I* haven't seen is something with the sophistication of PSPSEQ, with real synthesis and advanced tracking, but that's another story — and it's partly the result of the genius of its developer, partly the superior performance capabilities of the PSP. It would likely be hard to replicate as an iApp.

    But anyway, for handheld capabilities, I'm really not complaining. There's a heck of a lot you can do with a $200 iPod, a $150 PSP, or a $200 (after you add the additional hardware) DS. I'm actually looking for more bus rides so I can get some stuff done.

    And I badly need to recline on the sofa and get some PSPSEQ work done so I can report back and explain why I like it so much.

    I'll be rotating between PSP and iPod. :)

  • http://noise.io ToyoBunko

    Yes I was indeed wrong with the statement that free source is not available via the AppStore :-) Sorry for that.

    We have to wait till Intua provides us the API to their BeatPack server. Meanwhile, we're implementing our own export features, just in case.

    The situation over the Noise.io's export audio will be clearer most possible within a month.

    That's the first thing in our update list and we're strongly inclined to give users such ability as soon as possible :-)

  • Leslie

    @Peter Kim: what about DS-10 are you missing, exactly? We’ve got synths and drum machines.

    Yes, and I have majority of them on my iPhone, but I am yet to see all of them combined into one single app – mini DAW if you like with built in synths, samplers and drum machines. Something I can use to sketch my ideas on the run and at the end of the day easily transfer it to my DAW of choice and continue on. As far as I know, only iDrum allows it (with iDrum VSTi/AU), but it is drum machine only.

    Perhaps almighty KORG will release streamlined version of their Legacy Cell for iPhone or better yet, mini Reason from Propellerheads … one can only dream…

  • Maxx

    Hey. Just bought your synth. was at 7.99 euros on appstore

    which is rather cheap!

    havent had time to play much with this thing. just downloaded the manual and i hope i'll figure out how to get something of this nice tool

  • autoy

    I got to say I'm pretty much blown away by the quality and sounds of this synth, I think it's probably the best thing I've heard in a portable device. You can get pretty deep at most edit levels, maybe the GUI is a bit weird but I think I'm loving it in the end. Great selection on the presets, maybe a little too many pad sounds, I'd like some more sequences and beats but I'm just beign picky for such a cheap source of inspiration :D Great stuff, congrats.

  • Josiah

    Being a tad compulsive, I went ahead and got Noise.

    I rather impressed by the sound quality.

    The sequencer is tedious. You should be able to pinch to zoom in and out.

    The record button is confusing because it really does nothing. A quick search of the PDF manual says this is feature for the future depending on Intua.

    This is promising. Give me the record mode so I don't have to use the sequencer initially. Allow me to pinch to zoom in/out to fine tune my creations.

    I feel mostly positive about Noise. It is very promising.

    *No need to declare within the app that Noise is the first iPhone app. I feel like there's a commercial in my app. Perhaps a little tacky, in my opinion.

  • aaron

    Power and specs aside (which actually makes this statement more impressive) the Nintendo DS is far more impressive with its library of music apps, commercial and homebrew, than the PSP and iPod/iPhone.

  • http://dspmusic.org/psp ethan

    @Peter

    And I badly need to recline on the sofa and get some PSPSEQ work done so I can report back and explain why I like it so much.

    yes, yes you do. ;)

  • Sjoerd

    Peter, if your iPhone / iPod Touch is jailbroken, you could try "veency" to get the screen displayed on your desktop monitor and capture it from there. The framerate will not be very high, but it does have some practical uses imho (btw saurik has been thinking about or even working on combining veency and cycorder into "veencycorder" for high framerate video capture, so for the future the problem may get solved).

  • Paul "cookster&

    Just a line to say how magnificent i think this gadget is . By far and away the best app of its kind for iphone.Tried to add my location to user map {without success}.So im just letting you know its happening right here in New Brighton Wallasey England.

  • Anthony

    So did you ever post a full review?