To call Outta Bass a bass synth is a fairly substantial understatement. It is capable of producing very analog sounding basses with rich sounding filters but its 3 oscillators with 12 wave shapes and FM synthesis options are capable of everything from subtle pads to screaming leads and spaced out effects. Developer Fraser Stuart has spent the best part of a year crafting this visually and sonically pleasing synth.
A large majority of iOS apps feel like they are trying to shoehorn a desktop plugin interface on to an iPad touchscreen. These usually work OK but often make them a little clunky. Outta Bass however has been designed to make the best use of the touch screen interface. Instead of skeuomorphic and hard to play piano keys Outta Bass goes with finger sized hexagonal keys that have additional “aftertouch” expression by vertical finger movement after they are pressed to effect the filter. There are also scales and the ability to disable notes outside of the chosen scale so you can’t hit a wrong note.
The main synth controls are modular in nature but not in an expensive bleepy box with tangled wires kind of way. With Outta Bass 12 control modules sit across the top of the screen and these can be simply dragged down to central area of the screen for manipulation on the fly. This makes Outta Bass a great performance based synth for realtime control. The addition of Midi makes this even more performance friendly as all parameters can both send and receive midi control messages for external control or automation in your DAW.
The drag and drop modules include Waveform, Filter, 2 LFOs, Envelopes, Distortion, Delay, EQ, Key/Tempo settings, Sequencer (With some very nice randomization options), Midi and Patch Management. Each module has settings optimized for touch control. XY Pads or a triangular matrix in the case of the distortion provide intuitive and fun control over the sound.
Here is an AppJam using OuttaBass and showing some of what makes it fun to manipulate on the fly.
Outta Bass is a powerful synth designed with controls that make the most of the touchscreen as an expressive playable interface. The App uses 3 Oscillators, multiple waveforms, effects to create unique and powerful sounds. The developer has obviously thought about design every step of the way while making Outta Bass. The result is a unique synth that is intuitive and fun to play. You can get it for $9.99 at the App Store.
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About The Author
Stuart Kilbride aka Red Sky Lullaby, a musician and sound designer from upstate NY producing music mainly on iOS devices. Check him out here and on YouTube.
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