It seems like there's a trend for German synth engines on the iPad right now, with Wolfgang Palm starting things off (Wave Generator and WaveMapper. Waldorf have now announcedavailability of Nave, its first synthesizer app for Apple's iPad. Waldorf says that, jointly created by Stefan Stenzel (audio algorithms), Rolf Wöhrmann (iOS development), and Axel Hartmann - him again! (graphic design). Listening through to the sound demos in the video and it does appear to have a pretty wide range of sounds- and looks like a lot of fun with the animated wave analysis - though I suspect that might tax the older iPads.
It comes complete with over 500 presets from highly acclaimed sound designers like Richard Devine, Sacha Dikiciyan (of Sonic Mayhem fame), Laurence Rapaccioli (Arksun), David Boldini (7 Skies), and Fletcher Kaufman (Sunsine Audio), amongst many others. Waldorf tells us that all seriously showcase the depth and diversity of this synthesizer -- so much so, in fact, that Richard Devine was suitably moved to create no fewer than 95 presets alone, all of which are included for free. Here's more details in Waldorf's own words...
For the benefit of those who want to indulge in some serious sound design of their own making, Nave does not disappoint. Its powerful sound engine includes two trailblazing wavetable-based oscillators, leaving all previous attempts at wavetable synthesis severely wanting. While the sound spectrum can cleverly be transposed independently of pitch, the waves can be rendered from perfectly periodic to very noisy and anywhere in between.
Nave's clear-cut GUI invites both beginners and advanced users alike to experiment both sonically and musically while the hosting iPad's generous display helps make wavetable creation and editing a blast! Besides integrated speech synthesis, wavetables can also be formed from analysing audio files. Furthermore, stretching, rotating, and shifting in the spectral domain allows wavetables to be refined or distorted in the fullscreen Wavetable Edit Mode. Here users can edit and fine-tune the wavetables using several 3D views that are as easy on the eye as they are to use. And in a reverential nod to Waldorf's illustrious past and present, factory wavetables from the breakthrough Microwave, mighty Wave, and price barrier-breaking Blofeld synthesizers are all present and accounted for, complemented by an abundance of tasty new ones that make extensive use of those enhanced possibilities!
And if that's not enough to get your creative juices flowing then Nave additionally includes a classic oscillator with an ultra useful selection of basic waveforms, plus a super-fat-sounding Überwave function for beefing up sounds by up to eight individually detuned oscillators a la Waldorf's recently released Rocket synthesizer. Nave is, indeed, truly a sound designer's dream machine!
But, Waldorf being Waldorf, that's not all: Nave's flexible Filter section delivers that high-quality synthesizer sound recognisable right away by anyone at all familiar with Waldorf's noteworthy name, and, as such, features LP (low-pass), BP (band-pass), and HP (high-pass) filter types with either 12 dB or 24 dB slope settings. Its neighbouring Drive section offers contrasting characteristics by being positioned Pre Filter or Post Filter or as a summing overdrive Pre EQ or Post EQ -- perfect for those who prefer harsh and screaming sounds rather than delicate wavetable sweeps.
An extended modulation matrix and diverse realtime control functionality also awaits anyone wishing to animate any Nave sound in any desired direction. In addition to the classic virtual chromatic keyboard, Nave can be played with the Blades that allow for dynamic triggering of polyphonic modulation by simply sliding fingers in X and/or Y direction.
Yet more flexible fun is to be had on the FX & Arp page with pro-quality ModFX (Phaser, Flanger, Chorus), Delay, Reverb, parametric Equalizer, and a highly effective Compressor all adding to Nave's sound and performance possibilities, as does a full-featured Arpeggiator. And last, but by no means least, the Tape & System page plays hosts to an old school, four-track recorder -- replete with virtual tape spools. Use it to record complete compositions or simply sketch some musical ideas inspired by the superlative sounds of Nave!
So how does Nave naturally sound, then? Totally in a class by itself. Just like Waldorf! After all, the well-known Waldorf name has been synonymous with high-quality synthesizers for nigh on 25 years; indeed, its innovative position in the musical instrument marketplace dates back to 1989 with the release of the wavetable-based Microwave, an extraordinary reincarnation of the legendary PPG Wave series -- arguably amongst the most coveted high-end synthesizers of the early Eighties. Time and technology stand still for no one, of course, and today Nave takes those heady heavyweight hardware developments of yesteryear -- and a whole lot more besides -- and serves them up to thankful iPad-adoptees at a fraction of the cost of its forebears.
Any adventurous musical iPad owners out there intrigued by the creative possibilities of wavetable synthesis surely owe it to themselves to check out Nave, the advanced wavetable synthesizer from Waldorf. Going for a song on Apple's App Store, right here, right now!
Pricing and Availability:
iPad owners can purchase Nave directly from Apple's App Store for a five-day special introductory price of €10.99 EUR/$11.99 USD. (Thereafter it will rise to €17.99 EUR/$19.99 USD.)