GravSynth in Review – Gravity Makes All The Difference

grav_synth5The App Store has been gifted with many applications for musicians and aspiring DJs. While many of these apps have their positives and negatives, they all lacked a pivotal use of the accelerometer. GravSynth, developed by KAYAC Inc., sets itself apart from all beat synthesizers in the respect that it doesn’t solely rely on different track pads and arbitrary sound effects. Heck, it only has one specific beat sound. While this may seem like it kills the longevity because it lacks variety, this is definitely not the case with GravSynth. Once you experiment with the magnitude of settings, and how crucial the accelerometer plays in the process, you soon realize what makes GravSynth unique.

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App Description

GravSynth is a new musical instrument which allows users of any skill level to have a fan of playing.

Touch the GravSynth and titling your iPhone, or iPod Touch, you can play a variety of phrases intuitively.

GravSynth features an analog synthesizer. You can play on music like techno, house, hiphop and so on.

Features

  1. Musical performance via easy-to-use touch pad (including pitch and volume control).
  2. Arpeggiator controlled by varying combinations of gravity (tilt) and an eight pad touch panel.
  3. Phrase speed controlled by horizontally tilt.
  4. Keyboard with 12 different musical keys to choose from.
  5. Rhythm synchronization via TapTempo.
  6. Analog synthesizer (from open source codes. mobile synth http://code.google.com/p/mobilesynth/)

At first, GravSynth’s sound was reminiscent to the alienish sound of Orthovox. Words and pictures can’t do justice on apps such as GravSynth, you have to experience them first hand to get a true understanding of it. The art of GravSynth is fully employed once you mess with all the settings under the “edit” tab. From the edit tab, every nook and cranny of the synthesizer can be adjusted. I found myself ending up with a wide array of sounds from genres such as hip-hop and techno. Even sounds homogeneous to Space Invaders and old NES games can be utilized with a little tweaking.

grav_synth2Accelerometer changes the speed at which the sound is played. By tilting the iDevice to the left, you speed up the sound and by tilting it to the right, you decrease the speed. This may seem like a minimal task for the accelerometer but it makes a pretty significant difference on the sound. You can change the key at which the sounds are played by tapping the black and white “pads” (for lack of a better term). Under the edit tab, you can change the tempo and beats per minute as well as many other settings including modulating the filters, pitches, and waves.

While this all sounded Greek to me, I found myself thoroughly enjoying all these settings by just closing my eyes and choosing random. My results were interesting to say the least. The “derivative phrase” (your guess is as good as mine), or in my terms “sound” gets looped by moving your finger up and down on the 8 stacked rectangular blue pads on the left side of the “analog synthesizer” (giant gray pad that also plays a large role in modifying the sound). By moving your finger left or right on the analog synthesizer, the volume is changed. Whereas moving your finger up or down on the analog synthesizer changes the pitch.

grav_synth3There isn’t much more to say about GravSynth. It may not seem like a lot (besides the gargantuan words to describe it), but GravSynth is definitely an enjoyable experience. I honestly have no complaints or suggestions about the app whatsoever. My two previous gripes (medium being spelled wrong on the analog synthesizer and a lack of instructions), have now been corrected in the newest update, which also improved on the UI and made it more “spiffy”. There’s a limitless amount of sounds and beats that can be made using GravSynth and it’s overwhelming to try and find new ones. Thus, I have no doubt in my mind when bestowing upon GravSynth the illustrious Kiss It rating.

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App Summary
Title:GravSynth (v. 1.1)Developer:KAYAC Inc.
Price:$1.99App Size:0.6 mb
  • Unique synthesizer
  • Several settings
  • Accelerometer control
  • Practically limitless variations in sounds
  • Could use written tutorials within the app rather than youtube video tutorials

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