I think it’s safe to explain that my collection of iPad synthesizers is becoming outrageous. It can’t be assisted however, as an increasing number of inspiring instruments are launched for everyone’s preferred tablet.
Most recently, the venerable German audio gurus, Waldorf, have distilled their famous wavetable synthesis innovation into a contemporary, stylish, and unbelievably effective iPad app called Nave. Extremely anticipated in the audio area, we are excited to go into Nave‘s abilities and see exactly what we discover!
More than 2 Decade ago, Waldorf was established on the strength of a hardware synthesizer called Microwave, which combined developers from PPG– the lead-in company that presented wavetable synthesis to the world– to assist produce an obtainable and compact synth with big sonic adaptability.
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This ugly box is the Microwave synthesizer that made Waldorf popular.
Wavetable synthesis was a clever variance from the standard of how most synthesizers at the time produced their noises. Rather of depending on analog or digital oscillators to produce a standard signal that was then formed using the synth’s numerous devices, wavetable synthesis counts on a series of digital recordings of waveforms – progressing past the standard sine, triangle and so on – as the foundation of the sound.
I Am Nave And I Do Synth
So explains the robotic voice that welcomes you when you play your first trick after introducing Waldorf’s iPad beast. To call Nave feature-rich is an understatement. The speech synthesizer that makes this “chatting” possible is just one of lots of unbelievably cool tools that Nave puts at your fingertips. Let us take a look at some of the most significant.
Nave‘s beautiful user interface greets you.
Along the top of Nave‘s user interface is a thin bar that gives you access to the manufacturing facility patches, a Save button, a button for initializing the synth to fundamental setups so you can start sound designing, and a Compare button for advising yourself what a patch seemed like before you began modifying it.
To the left of this bar is a collection of tabs that determines what component of the user interface you are seeing. Nave has 5 distinct areas: the Wave area, the Filter & Envelope section, a Modulation Matrix, the Arpeggiator/Effects section, and the Recording/Settings panel. Let us start with the Wave location since this is where you’ll invest many of your time!
At the heart of any synth is its means of creating sound. Offering the very best of both worlds, Nave provides you with two innovative wavetable oscillators (each with 86 different waveshapes to select from!) in addition to a basic digital oscillator.
Capable of producing the familiar triangle, square (with pulsewidth modulation), sawtooth, and white/pink sound forms, Nave‘s onboard “basic” oscillator is a welcome addition.
This digital oscillator likewise takes advantage of a layering capability that Waldorf calls “Überwave”, which gives you the power to accumulate to 8 circumstances of the oscillator for significant and rich chorused noises with flexible adjusting spread.
The digital oscillator is remarkably powerful, specifically with Überwave engaged.
A sine sub-oscillator would’ve been appreciated, but one can make do without.
The wavetable oscillators are where the fun lies though. For each module, you are given control over the wavetable option, its tuning, the start position, whether Nave must cycle with the wave or make use of a particular section of it, and even what rate and in which direction that movement must be!
These controls live on the left side of the primary view, and immediately to the right is a 3D landscape that represents the waveform itself. The red line on it indicates the playback start position, and you’ve a massive variety of devices at your disposal to play with that waveform – however more on that in a moment!
It wouldn’t be a Waldorf synth without extraordinary wavetable generators.
To the right of the screen is the Spectrum module. This is a fairly technical location of the synth, but it permits you to shift the harmonic spectrum of the wavetable and afterwards readjust how loud and how bright the resulting sound is utilizing the Noisy and Brilliance knobs.
The Wave View
The central panel showing the wave can be made best use of utilizing the fullscreen button found in the small functions bar below the image. That bar is also where you’ll look at the ability to adjust the peak height in the view, switch between wave and spectrum view, and adjust the diversity of colors utilized to stand for the wavetable.
Once you’ve actually made it to fullscreen view, you’ll see an added few buttons: Tools, Edit, and Load. The first gives you access to the incredibly powerful wave creation capacities that Nave provides you with. Firstly, you can advise Nave to analyze any WAV file and produce a waveform based on it, which is terrific for capturing the character of a certain sound. Naturally, you can also export your developed waves to share with other individuals or archive on your computer.
Get a cinematic view of the wave in fullscreen mode.
The most enjoyable you’ll have in the tool kit’s definitely with the speech synthesizer. By typing words into the Talk field, you can get Nave to automatically synthesize a wave corresponding to the speech. Playing the synth will then get Nave to “talk” the gotten in expression to you. Unnecessary to explain, considering that this is just another wave shape, you can further adjust the speech utilizing any of the onboard processing capabilities. State goodbye to hours of your time.
AppStorm Loves You
As if all that power were not enough, Nave likewise gives you editing tools to actually shape the wavetable landscape as you see fit. By tapping the Edit button once you are looking at the fullscreen view of the wave, you’ll get access to choices for expanding, contracting, rotating, shifting, and even randomizing the waveform with precise position-based controls.
This can come in convenient not only for generating strange wave shapes by hand, but also for raveling any oddities in a waveform that’s been extrapolated from an audio file, for instance, or one that Nave has created using its speech synthesis.
The incredibly effective wave editing devices let you shape your sounds.
Mix & Match
Once you’ve actually set up your standard sound sources – and bear in mind there are two of those insane wavetable oscillators per voice – you can adjust their levels in the Mix area utilizing the touch sliders to adjust the volume of each wavetable oscillator, the digital oscillator, and even the quantity of ring modulation making use of one of 2 different ring modulators.
A fundamental portamento (or glide) function is also included and can be enabled and readjusted from here.
Filters & Envelopes
All that power and we have only seen the first of Nave‘s five work areas! The next houses its filter and envelopes.
The filter is a multimode affair offering LP, HP, and BP modes with 12dB or 24dB slopes, keytracking, and envelope/velocity modulation. Traditional synth lovers will value the typical big cutoff frequency knob. Resonance can also be dialed in, naturally, and while the filter is not really noticeably juicy, the resonance will self-oscillate if you push it hard enough. A convenient display shows you a visual representation of your filter at work.
Nave’s filter is a workhorse, and sounds exceptional.
Beside the filter area is a Drive module. This standard saturation section offers a few different distortion models and you can select its positioning in the chain (before/after the filter area, or before/after the EQ). The tube mode is particularly good for warming up the chilly sounds of wavetable synthesis, but you can also look to the crunch model if you wish to truly decimate the sound.
Below the filter section you’ll look at Nave‘s three envelopes, one for the filter, one for modulation routing, and the standard amp envelope. Each can be toggled between ADVERTISEMENT and the full ADSR, can be knotted, changed between linear, analog, and rapid stage, and they all showcase an easily snappy attack.
Your synth noise is only as good as the liveliness you can impart to it. This is why synthesists love having the ability to regulate specifications, and it’s also why Nave appeals a lot to expert electronic composers.
Ten separate modulation slots exist in Nave‘s matrix, and a strong range of modulation sources are readily available (no aftertouch, unfortunately, but it’s not a big fault). Modulation sources consist of 2 assignable and syncable LFOs (each with 6 shapes including sample & hold), an XY pad, a random trigger, a pitch bender, in addition to basics like essential velocity and the mod wheel.
Nearly every knob on Nave‘s interface can be regulated, making for a vast array of imaginative routing possibilities. In reality, a lot can be modulated that even those ten slots can begin to feel inadequate on complex patches.
I hope you like regulating specifications, since Nave sure does!
Making good use of the iPad’s distinct tactile interface, Nave offers 3 various control systems: the basic keyboard, a velocity tab view similar to Animoog’s, and a pair of added X/Y pads that can be made use of for patches where the arpeggiator is causing notes and you need to adjust parameters in realtime.
The keyboards can both be readied to different sizes, and the tab keys can likewise be restricted to certain scales/modes in a provided key – really convenient for setting up usable areas that make it impossible to strike a “wrong” note.
Additionally, you can set the tricks to either scroll easily through octaves or allow for glissando playing, and if you desire you can restrict the patch to monophonic playing, note holding, and even chord holding. All these settings are saved together with your patch, so you can always ensure that your noise is established to be enjoyed with the best possible control scheme.
This area also houses a “Unisono” location that permits you to replicate voices on a worldwide level approximately four times. This can be stacked with the digital oscillator’s “Überwave” function for some immensely fat noises.
Effects & Arpeggiator
In addition to the Drive area we’ve actually already seen, Nave offers a modulation benefit (you can choose between Chorus, Flanger, and Phase), a hold-up, a reverb, a compressor, and a parametric EQ with 3 bands.
Toss some impacts on your patches for an extra dose of flavor.
While all of the benefits sound excellent, unique mention has to be made of the hold-up, which showcases a helpful variety of controls and works wonders on many various noises.
To the right of the impacts you’ll discover the arpeggiator. Effective and simple to utilize, Nave‘s arp module offers you setups for note order, play patterns, sync, gating, knotting, swing, octave ranges, and even accent patterns.
Nave’s final area is the Tape & Sys page, where you’ll look at a 4-track recorder and the synth’s global settings for adjusting, MIDI, and more.
If you are satisfied with the noises you’ve actually been making and want to develop a little jam precisely your iPad, Nave enables you to tape-record 4 different tracks of product together in a surprisingly good clip-based editing area. Each track has different volume and pan controls, and the outcome can be saved and exported.
Of course, you can also activate Wist to jam with friends, and use background sound or Audiobus to additional procedure your work in various other apps.
Like a portable sketchpad, the tape area lets you record your jams.
Brawn & Beauty
As we’ve toured Nave‘s incredibly broad variety of capabilities, it must be pointed out that Waldorf has actually done an excellent task of keeping the synth obtainable regardless of all this power.
The interface isn’t only refined and advanced, however it continues to be clean, well-structured, and with ease organized. From the opening animation to the broadening touch sliders and responsive knobs, everything in Nave‘s interface exudes polish and attention to information. This is an instrument that was crafted for touch, and it reveals.
Nave is entering a very crowded market loaded with fascinating and one-of-a-kind virtual instruments. However Waldorf is undaunted by the competitors – with great reason – because Nave is merely among the best iOS synthesizers ever developed. Definitely in the leading three in regards to power, functionality, and motivation. It’s as easy as that.
While I experienced a few ommissions in my expedition of Nave‘s depths, they’re unimportant when seen against the shocking scope of this instrument. Years ago, we’d have paid two times the cost of an iPad simply to possess a synth like this. Now, it’s offered on everybody’s preferred tablet for a portion of the expense of its predecessors.
For synthesists, songs lovers, and creative audio people, Waldorf’s Nave synth is a dream come true.