Syntorial for iPad arrives to teach you how to make sounds, it’s free, but …

It’s a nice idea, and a free app, but the IAP is a killer at £99.99!

Here’s the app’s description from the app store: 

“Syntorial is the most direct route between hearing a sound in your head and knowing how to bring it to life.” – Electronic Musician Magazine

“The most comprehensive and fun tool for learning synthesizer programming, hands down.” – Keyboard Magazine

“The best training in synth sound-design we’ve come across. A unique and fun way to train your ears in re-creating synth sounds.” – MusicTech Magazine

Syntorial is video game-like training software, that will teach you how to program synth patches by ear. By combining video demonstrations with interactive challenges, you’ll get hands on experience programming patches on a built-in soft synth, and learn everything you need to know to start making your own sounds with ease.

* Electronic Musician Editor’s Choice 2014 *


  • Interactive Learning: Syntorial doesn’t just show you how synth programming works. It engages you in Interactive Challenges in which you program patches on a built-in synth. You aren’t just learning how to design sound, you are becoming a sound designer.
  • For Musicians, Not Physicists: Instead of talking about the science and physics behind synthesizers, Syntorial will show you how each control effects sound, as well as when, why and how you would use them when designing sounds. This is information that you can immediately apply to real-life situations.
  • It’s All About The Ear: One step at a time, Syntorial trains your ear to recognize how each control shapes and manipulates sound. By the end of the program you’ll be able to take the sounds you hear and re-create them, completely by ear.


  • Challenges: Learn by doing! Complete challenges by programming patches with Syntorial’s built-in synth.
  • Videos: Everything is taught through video demonstrations using the same synth that you’ll use in the challenges.
  • Patches: Program, program, program. After all, that’s what it’s all about, right? By the end you will have programmed tons of patches, from simple to complex, familiar to strange.
  • Quizzes: Multiple choice questions to help you retain and remember everything you learn.
  • On Your Own: Syntorial will give you periodic tasks to be carried out on your own with whatever synth(s) you use.


  • Subtractive synthesis
  • Three Oscillators (Two with Waveform, Pitch, Pulse Width, and Mix controls, and a Sub oscillator with Waveform and Volume controls)
  • Saw, Pulse, Triangle and Sine waveforms
  • FM knob
  • Noise Oscillator
  • Oscillator Sync
  • Filter (Low, Band and High Pass) with Resonance and Key Tracking
  • ADSR Filter Envelope
  • ADSR Amp Envelope
  • AD Modulation Envelope
  • LFO with four waveforms, seven destinations, rate, amount, trigger, and mono/poly modes
  • Mono and Poly Voice Modes
  • Portamento
  • Unison with Voice, Detune and Spread controls
  • Ring Modulation
  • Distortion, Chorus, Phaser, Delay, and Reverb effects
  • Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel and Velocity controls
  • Audiobus, Inter App Audio, and Virtual Midi enabled.


The free app comes with the first 22 lessons, as well as Syntorial’s fully featured synth (see above). Upgrade to get:

  • All 199 Lessons, including 129 Challenges, 147 Videos, and 706 Patches covering the most common synthesis parameters.
  • Additional Lesson Packs covering Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 and Minimoog Voyager, each containing 30+ videos. More Lesson Packs planned for the future.
  • Pay once and get access to all of the above on iPad, Mac and PC. Sync your progress across all 3 platforms. Train where you want, when you want, and how you want.
  • Plugin version of Syntorial’s synth, Primer. Program, record and play Primer in your favorite desktop recording software. VST (Mac/PC) and AU (Mac).

Personally I think that £100 is too much for the IAP so I’ll be passing this one up, but if you do go for it I’d be interested to know what you think of it in terms of value for money.

Remember those MIDI controllers printed on paper, well the same company has this on Kickstarter

So this campaign still has 6 days to go and it’s over half way to getting to its target, it’s a great idea and a great company, so please consider backing it.

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Now there’s an interesting combination of technology …

A great use of technology and a great bag too

I’m a big fan of Bare Conductive, their TouchBoard, their conductive ink, and of the use of conductive thread too. Especially as I’ve recently been on workshop using conductive thread in weaving, which was great fun.

This kind of idea really does make music mobile, and very personal too, it gives me lots of ideas as well.

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