Willow & Oak AB shows with its Branches app, a patchable, semi-modular Synthesizer for iPad with which you can discover west-coast synthesis for only $2.99.
One of the most powerful synthesizer platforms is actually in many people’s pockets. More precisely on iOS devices such as the iPhone or iPad. With Branches, there is once again a new Synthesizer, this time even a patchable semi-modular one.
According to the developer Willow & Oak AB, the engine is inspired by classics of the past and utilize west-coast style synthesis.
Branches use a complex and modulation oscillator as a sound core known from classic Buchla-inspired synths. In this process, you add harmonics to a basic sine wave instead of filtering them out. One of the oscillators does this by fading between multiple waveforms freely, the other does it by employing a wave folder and blending it with another user-selectable waveform. The first one can also modulate either frequency or amplitude of the second.
It follows lowpass gates, a function generator, and a classic ADSR envelope. A sequencer, attenuverters, trigger divisions, randomizer, quantizer bring even more fun into the synthesis engine. Then, you have a straightforward three-parameter delay and reverb that round off the engine.
The oscillator has a fixed signal path into the lowpass gates. Further, the default patch is set up that it receives MIDI and triggers at the same the lowpass gate. This is useful because you can start experimenting right away without starting each patch from scratch. Branches runs both as a standalone instrument with support for external MIDI input or as an AUv3 plugin in your favorite iOS DAW. It supports MIDI input on two channels. This allows you to control each oscillator and low pass gate individually if you please, acting as a duophonic synthesizer.
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Willow & Oak AB Branches is available now for iPad for $2.99 USD from the Apple AppStore. All in all, it looks like a worthwhile west-coast Synthesizer for iOS. The synth still needs some care so that everything runs smoothly, but it has a lot of potentials.
More information here: AppStore