Review: Sunrizer (iPad)

sunrizer ipad review

Before I begin this review I must admit that I’m kind of late to the ‘make music on the iPad’ train, although I’ve kept my eye on it since the development of music making apps really started taking off for the iPad. Playing with apps like these on the iPad lets you break free from your usual working environment, i.e. it’s an escape from sitting behind your DAW all day long juggling plugins and softsynths with a mouse, occasionally twisting your torso to reach for outboard gear. I never go out to play with my DAW for half an hour to check out a couple of presets of a synth, or make something from scratch. Half an hour always turns into hours so I consider my DAW environment to be a working environment. The iPad is a far more playful environment to just be loose and fool around on. So, hello Sunrizer!

I won’t display all features in this review, they’re all laid out in detail on the Beepstreet website. Instead, I’ll run you through some of the most interesting features that caught my eye:

  • Two independent filters per voice with configurable routing. You can select between various filter types including classic resonant LP,HP,BP,Notch and less common like Comb and Formant.
  • The Morph Group function lets you continuously morph of up to 30 parameters in a sound (including effects), using only the modulation wheel.
  • True SuperSaw sound emulation, first found in the legendary Roland JP-8000 synthesizer. SuperSaw is a layered waveform consisting of multiple saw waves which are detuned to create an extremely full and epic sound. It’s possible to use 2 supersaw oscillators per voice * 7 polyphony = 98 saw oscillators playing the same time!
  • A true Supersaw, could it really be? That waveform has been very much in demand for quite some time now, so let’s get straight to the point and bluntly ‘judge the synth by its Supersaw’ with an audio example:

    That’s very Roland JP-8000. Wow. Major 90’s flashback! When I heard this I was sold (I had to buy the app first though).

    Is Sunrizer a Beginner’s Synth?

    Not quite! You can make Sunrizer your synth to start learning basic synthesis – just keep your approach simple. Start with just one oscillator, one filter, and maybe a little modulation. Each step further is just a slide or a tap away. Sunrizer will keep you learning for days, maybe weeks. The manual is pretty straightforward, and lightweight – great for newcomers.

    Is Sunrizer a Professional Synth?

    Would I use this synth professionaly? With included support for CoreMidi and MidiMobilizer, Sunrizer could very well be used in a professional studio, but for me, no. I have other gear to fulfill my needs, and sounds that Sunrizer can generate could quite easily be re-generated on other (soft)synths. But hey, sitting in your easy chair, shoes off, headphones on, making sketches and patches? Priceless…well almost. Sunrizer is $4.99 in the App Store. iPhone version will soon be available has been released at the introductory price of $2.99.

    Get Sunrizer here.

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    • Tom

      Thanks for this honest review (and sorry for my late answer 😉 just found the time to read through some other threads, which I really enjoy). Yep, I have the same feeling – when I got my iPad, I thought that I´d use it for sketching and pre-production (sort of), but in reality – aside from having to transfer everything forth and back – I do miss so many features of my DAW, that I actually stopped using it for that purpose. And to be honest, I wished that some companies would stop putting their development power into iPad apps but instead lift their “real” plugins to the next level, aka 64-bit etc. (ehm… Korg, anyone listening?).
      Merry Christmas!

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