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Arctic Keys: A compelling synth in a sea of iOS music apps Review

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A compelling synth in a sea of iOS music apps
I have been anticipating Arctic for a while now and overall I am very impressed. The sounds are very unique when compared to the recent torrent of synths flooding the app store. Arctic has some very unique features and in my opinion is a must have for anyone who has the analogue synth bug. The sounds I was able to produce felt very raw and not manufactured like other synths. However after an hour of play I had the app crash twice and keys froze to an unusable state. I lost a preset I was working on... Too bad, it happens though. But the sounds are so nice I did not care enough to stop playing. But because the crashing and keyboard glitches, the app looses a star. But I'm sure it will be fixed soon and with the fix it will most definitely be a five star app. As for the interface, there are a couple of things I do not like. The mod wheel only turns if you touch on the indention, I would prefer for the mod wheel to react if touched anywhere (much like a real mod wheel... real mod wheels work anywhere you touch them). Also the sequencer requires you to lift your fingers after each column between notes for note entry,.. this is kind of annoying to me. I would like to be able to run my finger horizontally across the sequencer to make a fluid motion for parameter automation (I'm thinking like drawing filters in addictive synth). Many aspects of the menus resemble the iMS-20 which I am very happy with. I will say that I am really digging the automate able parameters, but I would like to see the effects (echo, chorus, distortion) included in the programable parameters (in the sequencer). Also I would really like to see more than 16 notes per sequence. Requires a bit of extra work for sequencing but suppose I can use another app via virtual midi or core midi for sequencing. So it's not a major problem. Had some issues getting Polychord to talk to arctic, but I think it might have been a polychord issue. All things considered it's a great app. Worth the cost even with a couple bugs.
Obis11 on Oct 10, 2011 for Arctic Keys
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Sweet, pick it up.
I especially like the sequencer. You get 4 parameters to control, and each can have its own independent loop length. Reminds me of the iMS20 "reset trig in" wiring, if you get my meaning. Careful though, if you're trying out how your sequence might sound on this or that parameter. This thing is really 'live', so if a knob received a value from the sequencer, then it will stay at it, instead of falling back on its old value, if the sequence routing is changed. The sequencer needs a 'try routing' and a 'commit routing' functionality. Also, i think i tried too many routings, because it stopped making any sounds at all. Had to restart the app. So in conclusion: Top-Notch sounds, but main unique feature needs polish. Get it, it's cool.
Darth Sneakers on Oct 10, 2011 for Arctic Keys
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