|Synthesizers||Samplers/Controllers||Music Analysis||Drum Apps|
|Geospatial||Photo/Video||Science Apps||OSX Apps|
Orbulator is a new kind of multi-pad touch controlled synth for iOS devices. Extending ideas first introduced in earlier apps like Mandala Music, Orbulator takes these apps to a new level. Orbulator consists of nine circular frequency modulated (FM) pad controllers. Each pad has its own pitch from an assigned scale. The pads independently control four synth "voices". There are 32 presets, which can be modified statically using x-y slide controllers, or dynamically by sliding your finger on the control pads. Orbulator plays more like a real instrument than a conventional synth, allowing the user to articulate control synth parameters while playing.
The latest version includes a new autoplay feature available under Settings. Options control a random note/rhythm sampler. Here's a short video of the autoplay feature (Theme from "Gremlins").
The instrument has thee basic views, which are described below.
Tapping a pad plays a note. The initial touch reveals a circular control ring on the pad as shown above. What happens then when you move your finger depends on the X: and Y: pad settings at the bottom of view. Tapping the pad settings moves through the following choices which affect the x (left-right) and y (top-bottom) finger movement within the control ring:
The P: button on the bottom controls the portamento (slide from note to note). Tap "Show" on the bottom to see the note names, which are also color-coded for convenience.
At the top are four synth level sliders. Tapping one of the controls selects that synth. Finger movement within a control pad affects the only the selected synth. When the app starts up four randomly selected synth sounds are loaded into the four voices. The sounds can be changed either in the setting view (discussed next), or by shaking the device to load a new set of randomly selected sounds.
SynthEach voice is generated by a 2-oscillator FM synthesizer. All of the controls are exposed in the iPad version. In the iPhone/iPod Touch version you must tap the button on the bottom to reveal that control. The controls are as follows:
The synth controls establish the basic sound of a voice, which can be changed dynamically as you touch pad controllers as described above.
Orbulator comes with 32 preset synth sounds, which are stored in the patches.xml file in the Documents directory of the app. At present edited sounds cannot stored, or new sounds added; however you can change the xml file (at your own risk) in the meantime. Removing this file will automatically reload the factory settings the next time the app is launched.
SettingsSettings reveals one of two tables below the voice controls.
Tap "Sound Patch" to reveal the other table which loads a sound into the selected voice. Like shaking the device, tapping the "Dice" icon at the bottom loads four randomly selected sound patches into the four voices.