I wrote about Synse when it came out and I’ve been playing with it off and on for a while now.

It is one of those apps that you can pick up, play with, enjoy and put away without knowing what to do or how to use it or anything. I guess in some ways it is in the mobile music world the equivalent of casual gaming.

I was playing with this yesterday in a coffee shop whilst I had little else to do, and it was great fun to use.

The app gives you video and audio to play with and whilst there is no record function at all I don’t think this is a problem as mainly you’d want to just play with this app and not record anything.

I’m not sure there’s much I can compare it to either. In some ways it is like RJDJ, but it doesn’t have an audio reactive element to it, although that could be fun too.

What the app isn’t is a synth, or a workstation of any kind. It is somewhere between a kind of audio visual toy and a portable interactive installation in your pocket, and probably leaning more towards the latter.

It is an app that’ll probably stay on my iPhone for a while for those times when I want to make music but have no inspiration and just want to play for the sake of it for fun and nothing more.

I’ve copied in the app details below so you can see a bit more about the app;

• Video Mode (Device in portrait or landscape with Home button on the left)

In this mode you control each instrument/track and their visuals with one touch. Each instrument has its own touch area. To show these areas, simply tap on the “Show Grid” area on the left or right corners at the bottom of the screen.

• Sequencer Mode (Device in landscape with Home button on the right)

Arrange a whole song by tapping inside the sequencer grid and scroll through the arrangement by swiping left or right.

Sequencer buttons:

  • PLAY/PAUSE: Lets you play and pause the song.
  • STOP: Stops the song and the locator jumps back to the beginning of the arrangement.
  • LOOP: When activated, loops the current bar of the arrangement.
  • SETUP: Shows the setup screen, where you can
  • ⁃load a different set (music and visuals)
  • ⁃save and load arrangements
  • ⁃change the length of the song
  • ⁃turn off LiveTouch mode (disables touching in video mode)
  • ⁃activate Shake mode (toggle video and sequencer mode only by shaking the device)

Hint: Hold the STOP button with one finger and tap in the sequencer grid to move the locator.


  • The concept of Synse was presented at C/O-Pop-Convention 2009 and won the KurzUndSchoen-Award 2009 in the category “Mobile Miniaturen”.
  • Mentioned in PAGE 03/2010 (German magazine for creative media design).
  • This Version includes three sets: PARIS, FLUID and LIFETIME
  • More sets coming soon!

If Synse CRASHES, please close all apps in the background including Synse (on multitasking-enabled devices) and launch it again.

All of the three included sets work on iPhone 3GS and 4 / iPod 3rd and 4th gen. / iPad!
One set also works on iPhone 3G and iPod 2nd gen.!
iPhone Classic and iPod 1st gen. not supported 🙁 !

Synse is priced at $1.99

Synse - Christian Sander

http://static.evernote.com/noteit.js Clip to Evernote


  1. Perfectly described. I also tend to pick this up when I'm at a creative loose end and don't really want to get into anything serious and have a few minutes spare. The Paris street scene works the best for me, I heard somewhere that the developer was working on new scenes….hopefully more real life scenes too. While it would be amazing if you could load your own loops/sounds to trigger I doubt it will happen with this app, but it doesn't really detract that it is still a lovely thing to play with.

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