Whilst I haven’t tried out LayR as yet, it describes itself as a massively polyphonic, multi-timbral synthesizer for iPad and iPhone, which sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it. It’s optimized for modern 64 bit devices delivering up to 256 voices of rich, multi-layered and textured sounds. So all in all worth a look. In version 1.0.4 there are a lot of new things and a lot of fixes too. Here’s all that’s new:
- Cinematic: A full new bank of wonderfully evocative Performance presets by Brice.
- Ableton Link for arpeggiator. Link can be enabled/disabled in settings.
- MIDI Output port: Enabled with an option in settings, defaults to off.
- MIDI Virtual Destination Chooser: To send MIDI to other apps. Only available when the MIDI out port is enabled.
- MIDI Controller Templates: Tap the new MIDI icon at the top of the Layer Editor view.
- Sends MIDI controller from assigned dials when MIDI Out is enabled, (on the Instrument channel).
- “Pickup” Mode for MIDI controllers. Option in settings.
- Channel Pressure added to the list of assignable MIDI controllers.
- AudioBus 3: Audio and MIDI.
- Settings has an option to stop Master Tempo being set when Performances are loaded.
- Manually loading a performance or instrument makes that bank current for MIDI program select.
- Group and assign on iPad is now high enough to accommodate 8 rows instead of 7
- New Shortcut: Double tapping on a dot in the link/assign view selects or deselects the entire column.
- New Shortcut: In Preset Selector Views, long press on bank names to rename banks.
- Fixed: Crash when starting mono-legato voices in 64 voice mode.
- Fixed: Potential crash when rapidly changing presets via MIDI Program Change.
- Fixed: Preset Files stored on iCloud Drive can now be loaded by tapping on them or selecting “Open In…”
- Fixed: Layer volume sliders now show MIDI icon when assigned to a MIDI controller.
- Fixed: MIDI controller assignations no longer seem to disappear after deleting another instrument.
- Fixed: Possible crash caused by corrupt UI after launching from an IAA host.
- Fixed: Layer strip name label resizes font to t width.
- Fixed: MIDI Assign view rendered incorrectly if a layer has a really long name.
- Fixed: Tempo was not always correctly set when loading a performance.
- Fixed: Arpeggiator stops if IAA host doesn’t provide beat clock.
- Fixed: It’s now possible to select LayR as a MIDI destination from inside other apps.
- Fixed: Issue with jittery response with dials and sliders when moving very slowly.
- Fixed an envelope bug that could cause loud clicks with some settings.
- Improved voice stealing in attempt to reduce clicks when max polyphony is exceeded.
- Changed the wording of the “Import” button to “Append” in the Load Performance view.
LayR on the app store:
A pretty big update for LayR – Multi Timbral Synthesizer. Here’s all of what’s new:
- New preset banks created by Red Sky Lullaby and Brice Beasley.
- FX sends added to Layer Strips.
- An option to select an alternative dials view for Envelope, allows assigning MIDI to A,D,S and R.
- Added IAA transport buttons and time display when hosted in IAA.
- Improved IAA beat Sync for Arpeggiator. ( in preparation for Live Link and Audiobus 3).
- Slightly improved reverb with a pre-delay parameter.
- You can now assign MIDI and link controls in Layer Strips by long pressing.
- New shortcut in MIDI Assign View: Repeatedly double tap range dial to set various default ranges.
- Added a toggle switch to enable/disable Pitch Bend in Layer Strips
- Added a Reset Factory Presets button to Settings for updating/restoring latest presets.
- Small improvement to note stealing algorithm.
- Increased threshold for closing FX view with a swipe.
- Arpeggiator: Hold mode can now be set by a Sustain Pedal message over MIDI.
- Settings option to save state on quit and restore on launch.
- Settings option to ignore all notes off over MIDI
- Settings option to not reset master volume when loading performance.
- Settings option for iPad UI: swipe left or right on background to change layers
– Settings option for iPad UI: swipe down on background to exit layer editor
- No longer crashes when using MIDI controller with LFOs in Tempo mode.
- No longer crashes when attempting to assign MIDI controller to Envelope Time Mode buttons.
- Fixed a small glitch when releasing looped envelopes in tempo mode.
- Fixed a potential crash when starting legato notes which are transposed out of MIDI range.
- Fixed an issue with CME Air keyboards that caused stuck notes.
- Fixed a bug in reverb damping filters.
- Lowest note of a key span is no longer ignored if key span has a fade.
- Settings view is now scrollable, Background Audio switch no longer scrolls up to be unavailable on iPhone SE
- “Open In” now works when using sources other than iCloud Drive via iOS Documents Picker.
- Onscreen keyboard no longer scrolls back to middle after scrolling to low notes.
- iPhone onscreen keyboard no longer jiggles around while dragging.
- Keyboard Edit view is now rendered correctly on small screen phones.
- Text and notes are now saved with exported presets.
- LFOs for AM modulation are no longer incorrectly inverted.
- Improved solo/muting behaviour.
- Fixed a rare bug where a high random smoothing value could cause an effect similar to a long portamento.
- Fixed a case where portamento wasn’t reset when voice is restarted.
- MIDI Volume cc7 for controlling Instrument Volume now uses full range if instrument is saved with zero volume.
- Performance name no longer reverts to “Master” after editing
- In layer help overlay “FM Amount” changed to “Env Pitch Amount”.
- iPad help, “Random mod amount” and “LFO2 mod amount” captions were reversed.
- iPhone help typo in Filter 2 Section.
- Keyboard: increased contrast of playing notes when using coloured keys
- Keyboard: Now correctly uses first key touched to determine range for velocity/mod
After an initial false start by putting up the wrong version LayR is now with us and looks pretty interesting actually. Here’s all you need to know …
LayR is a massively polyphonic, multi-timbral synthesizer for iPad and iPhone, optimized for modern 64 bit devices delivering up to 256 voices of rich, multi-layered and textured sounds.
LayR’s primary sounds are called Performances: A Performance is a set of Instruments where each instrument is a set of Layers and each Layer is a complete synthesizer. A performance can consist of over 100 instruments each with it’s own MIDI channel and crossfading keyboard span. Voices are assigned to each layer in each instrument until the audio engine runs out of available voices. This means that with normal playing technique it is possible to create extremely complex texture on each note or even to have a single insane monophonic instrument equivalent to 100 synths all playing at once!
Every Layer has a dual oscillator which can morph with modulation between two shapes and phase states, two rich and warm state variable filters and a mixer to blend the oscillator with filters in any serial/parallel combination. For modulation (Frequency, Amplitude and Phase) there are two aux oscillators ranging from DC to audio frequency switchable to optionally follow keyboard pitch and restart phase when a note is started. 2 loopable ADSR envelopes ranging from fractions of a millisecond to 100 seconds, a volume level ADSR and a random level generator with a smoothing filter. With stereo delay, reverb and EQ on the output section LayR excels at not only emulating normal analog synth sounds but also at creating ambient textures with extremely long evolution cycles.
Focused at keyboard players looking for a mobile synth that can be reliably used live on stage it is equally at home in the studio. LayR is provided with an extensive selection of usable instrument and performance presets which can be loaded using MIDI bank select and program change messages in the same manner as hardware synths. There is also an 8 channel arpeggiator with a 16 step event sequencer for creating exciting polyrhythmic patterns. Full IAA and Audiobus compatibility means LayR can be used with hosts and other music apps on iOS.
- Optimised 32 bit Audio Engine.
- Up to 128 Voices ( 256 on iPad Pro ).
- Multi-Timbral with 8 individual stereo instrument outputs + full mix output.
- Multi Channel Arpeggiator with 16 step event sequencer.
- Stereo Delay, Reverb and EQ on output section.
- Ranged MIDI control for all parameters.
- AudioBus and Inter-App Audio compatible.
- Performance and Program preset import & export via iTunes.
- Performance and Program preset sharing via iCloud Drive.
- Built-in Help
LayR is tested as thoroughly as possible and we hope there are no bugs left! If you do find one, rather than writing a negative review because of it, please report it to us either on our forum or by contacting support from our website. We hate bugs too and we’re always ready to stamp them out quickly!
LayR costs $19.99 on the app store now