I especially liked the commentary that goes with this track …

If there’s one thing that making music with an iPhone has changed in my own musical “life”… well, there are plenty, but it has definitely reawakened my interest in synthesisers and electronica. Lots of iOS app developers have created electronic music apps, from synths and rhythm machines through to audio-processors and recorders, and often available for the price of a Starbucks beverage (or even less).

DR-OM (from the developers Fluxama – www.fluxama.com/) is one of the more interesting, even quirky, iOS synth apps. The story behind it, if true, is intriguing in its own right – the app is reputedly a digital recreation of a 1970s electronics project (a function (tone) generator), which with some homebrew modifications could be turned into a primitive two-oscillator, one-filter synth/tone-generator.

DR-OM is capable of assorted effects, from ear-splitting noise through to pulsating, tanpura-like drones (Fluxama claims the original box was nicknamed “Doctor Om”, suggesting one use it was put to). The synth isn’t equipped with traditional pitch-controllers (keyboard, ribbon, MIDI, etc.) – you set the “Frequency” dial for each of the two oscillators, flick the “on” switch and…

…play this track and you’ll get the idea 🙂 This is an example of DR-OM in “tanpura” mode; the settings are pretty much what you see in the image assigned to this upload (a screenshot of the app as it was generating this sound). I captured this sound entirely on the iPhone 4S, running DR-OM’s output via the Audiobus app into Audioshare (kymatica.com/audioshare ), where I trimmed the silence at both ends and uploaded it directly here.

I’m not entirely certain whether DR-OM will end up in any of my “main” musical projects, though there’s probably a self-indulgent ambient electronica album in this little box 😉

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