KORG Gadget Review

KORG Gadget Review

KORG Gadget offers a range of high-quality miniature touchscreen synths for making music on iPad

KORG Gadget is billed as the “ultimate mobile synth collection on your iPad” and the “all-in-one music production studio”. Surprisingly, despite this being an app that runs on a touchscreen tablet, these boasts aren’t much of an oversell. Gadget really is an ambitious and hugely capable app, more than suitable for sketching out ideas and even creating complete songs.

The app works in portrait, and the screen is split in half. In the app’s main screen, the top is reserved for arranging your song, utilising an intuitive scene/loop system. The lower half of the screen is a typical mixer, with sliders and panning knobs. When inside a synth, you get access to a piano roll, for writing down notes, and the synth itself. Each of the 15 synths comes with a slew of presets, but it’s perhaps more fun to start with the default sound and build your own patches. These can then be saved and used on other songs.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Gadget is how intuitive everything is. If you’ve used any sequencers before, you’ll be right at home in minutes, but the depth within the app will soon find you immersed, eking out increasingly rich textures and sounds from the 15 synths (which are varied, if — ultimately — geared towards distinctly electronic music). Completed songs can be mixed down to Dropbox or uploaded to GadgetCloud, the app’s Soundcloud-powered social network.

There are some minor niggles. Anything less than a fourth-generation iPad will struggle to run more than a handful of synths simultaneously, effects are limited, and there’s no single-track export, limiting taking your Gadget songs elsewhere for mastering. However, KORG’s promised to iterate on its product, and the 1.0.2 update already brought a number of interface changes that made the app more efficient and pleasurable to use. In short, Gadget is highly recommended.

Rated 5 out of 5

A must-have app for anyone remotely serious about creating electronic music. Great sounds and excellent features.