The new synth on the block
Björk’s award-winning Biophilia app is still one of the best examples of the modern, interactive-multimedia experiences best achieved on mobile touch screen devices, and the influence of Second Wind’s work for the Icelandic songstress seems to have been keenly felt in Tachyon, a stylish new dual-instrument synth for both iPhone and iPad. Developed by serial audio app developer Jordan Rudess (SampleWiz and Geo Synthesizer), Tachyon, much like Biophilia, features a space-inspired visual interface which reacts to user input. The app’s uniqueness comes from the ability to access two different synth instruments simultaneously – one at the top of the screen, one at the bottom.
The UI actually has a use, revealing the extent to which you’re hearing either instrument. Swiping the screen right in the middle? You’ll hear a crisp blend of both instruments, while moving your finger from left to right will adjust the pitch; like any good synth you can pick the scale, while other options enable you to tweak the UI to show the notes or the lines between notes for ease of use, increase the range or adjust chorus and delay. Most importantly, despite only offering combinations of ten instruments, it’s Tachyon’s sound quality which shines through, enabling users to create satisfying ambient soundscapes in seconds. A shame then that there are no beat-making or recording features, but as an app for audio-doodling, you could do a lot worse.
An engaging, polished synth which overcomes a lack of features with immense usability.
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