iOS Music App Roundup: Pulse Code Boom 808, apeSoft iVCS3, Mosaik Loop Warper, Sliver, Oscilab +

In this iOS music app roundup we look at a new TR-808 clone called Boom 808, an iOS version of the classic EMS VCS3 synth, the Mosaik iOS Loop Warper, a 3D iOS interface for the Waldorf Blofeld, and a soundscape / texture creator called Sliver. 

Boom 808

boom-808-software-drum-machineHave you been considering that new Roland TR-8 but questioning the price tag? Check out Pulse Code’s Boom 808 . It’s a new TR-808 emulation that offers the classic sounds and swing of the original drum machine along with a built in compressor and overdrive functions. The best part – it sounds great and it’s only 99 cents.

“With Boom 808, getting the classic 808 drum sounds into your music has never been easier. Audiobus compatibility, background audio, and audio export options allow Boom 808 to fit into your music without slowing you down.” – Pulse Code


Sound designers take note – iVCS3 is a new software version of the classic EMS VCS3 synthesizer that is now available for the iPad. The EMS VC3 was a popular synthesizer in the mid-1960s and used by sound design icons Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. In this software re-creation you can dial up classic Dr. Who sounds for $14.99. Available now at the iTunes App Store.

History: The VCS3 was created in 1969 by Peter Zinovieff’s EMS company. The electronics were largely designed by David Cockerell and the machine’s distinctive visual appearance was the work of electronic composer Tristram Cary. It was one of the first portable commercially available synthesizers (portable in the sense that the VCS 3 was housed entirely in a small, wooden case). The VCS3 was popular among progressive rock bands and was used on recordings by The Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michel Jarre, Hawkwind, Brian Eno (with Roxy Music), King Crimson, The Who, Gong, and Pink Floyd.

ivcs3The VCS3 has three oscillators (in reality, first 2 oscillators are normal oscillators and the 3rd an LFO or Low Frequency Oscillator), a noise generator, two input amplifiers, a ring modulator, a 18dB/octave (pre-1974) or 24dB/octave (after 1974) voltage controlled low pass filter (VCF), a trapezoid envelope generator, joy-stick controller, voltage controlled spring reverb unit and 2 stereo output amplifiers. Unlike most modular synthesizer systems which use cables to link components together, the VCS3 uses a patch board matrix into which pins are inserted in order to connect its components together.

Sliver – Soundscapes & Sonic Texture Creator

Sliver is a new “soundscape and texture creation tool” that was created by developer Alex Matheu who also created the popular GlitchBreaks application. The application looks like a new way to manipulate audio as it allows you to take a sample and dissect it into four different “slivers.” From there you can effect and modulate the sounds and record automations of your movements. The end result is a beautiful ambient texture that we are eager to play with. Currently available for $3.99 on the App Store.


“The core of Sliver is 4 real-time resizable clips (slivers) that can be moved around the waveform. Each sliver has its own channel with independent volume, pan, filter, and sliver size. These controls can be set in motion with Sliver’s automation engine. Sliver uses a real-time automation system to put movement in your textures. This system also allows for override to be able to shape the ongoing captured performance. The filters and size windows are controlled by XY pads. Touching along the waveform places, moves, and sizes the slivers, allowing you to intuitively scrub the waveform with a variable loop size.”  - Alex Matheu

MIDI Blob for Waldorf Blofeld

MidiBlob is a new app that was released to support the Waldorf Blofeld synthesizer. While this might be a fairly specific use of your iPad, the results are pretty cool. The app is “plug and play” ready and offers a 3D interface for controlling the synth’s parameters.

“MidiBlob can modify and control your synth sound to a depth that cannot be reached with traditional controllers,” explains Developer Maurizio De Cecco. “By manipulating a 3D scene (the Blob) with a set of very intuitive interaction MidiBlob can modify and control your synth sound to a depth that cannot be reached with traditional controllers.”

MidiBlob is available in the App Store for US $4.99.

Oscilab (Preview)

2Beat’s Oscilab is a combination synthesizer, sequencer, sample player, and loop creation device that uses an intuitive interface and waveform visuals to control your sound experience. You can then record your performance and export via Soundcloud, Audio Copy and other methods. We’re not sure exactly when this app will hit the market but we are eager to check it out.

Mosaik iOS Loop Warper (Preview)


Mosaik is an upcoming iOS app that specializes in BPM-synced / time-warped loops that was developed by Endeavor. The app has an auto BPM feature that allows you to import music, loops, or samples, and manipulate them with a grain-based time stretching engine that seems to be the basis of the application.

Here’s what they have to say about it: “All you have to do is import your samples or songs. The App searches the audio for beat information. With the help of this information Mosaik is able to match the audio to any BPM. It also incorporates a high quality grain-based time-stretching engine. This means that you can now match any audio to your songs on your iOS device. Exactly like that prominent audio software you are thinking about right now.”