Love patching. Hate running out of patch cords.
For all the quantity and inventiveness of iOS music-making software, only a few titles have become contenders as must-have apps. KORG’s iElectribe often tops those lists. What makes the iMS-20 especially interesting news is that it may have a bit of an edge even on hardware. Touch is a natural interface for patching sounds with virtual patch cords. We got to see a small taste of that with the stylus-driven, MS-20 inspired Korg DS-10 for Nintendo DS. With the iMS-20 for iPad, you can take advantage of the tablets far more-sophisticated sonic and UI capabilities. And you never have to run out of patch cords.
The iMS-20 is as much descended from the Nintendo DS title as it is the original Korg MS-20 analog synth. Like the DS cart, the iMS-20 combines KAOSS Pad-style X/Y control, and a “studio”-style rig with synth, drum machine, mixer, and sequencer, plus patch cord-equipped sound design.
- 16-step “analog” sequencer
- Claims to recreate the full MS-20 analog synth (hmmm… okay, who has the original?)
- MS-20 mono synth, six-part drum machine, mixer
- Kaoss Pad X/Y control. (Analog synth returns, coupled with a touchpad – sounds familiar.)
- Share songs on SoundCloud. (very cool – although DropBox might be more convenient for adding those sounds to your computer DAW.)
The other thing that’s interesting about KORG is, alongside the likes of IK Multimedia, they’re quietly working to make iOS apps worth a little more. US$15.99 is the intro price, with the final price of $32.99 after January 31, 2011. At the same time, you get the sense that the software is something you could spend a lot of time with. It’s definitely not a throwaway. Whether that answers critics or not is another matter; overhead on Facebook: “f*** ipad – avoid this consumption madness! the more tools people get – the weaker music they produce! music is in minds – not in tools!!!!!!” [read]