By Francis Preve
LET’S GET THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OUT OF THE WAY. DOES IT SOUND
like a Moog? Yes—Animoog is quite possibly the warmest iPad synth I’ve heard yet.
The designers have done a brilliant job of capturing that creamy-yet-aggressive
vibe that defines the Moog sound, but there’s so much more to this app than that.
As its name implies, Animoog specializes
in animation. You can certainly play it as a
straightforward lead synth, with static saw,
pulse, square, and triangle waves running into
its Moog-flavored multimode filter. There’s
a tempo-syncable LFO and three envelopes:
filter, volume, and an extra mod ADSR. Via
the Unison parameter, you can create sounds
with up to four oscillators, detuned narrowly
for fatness or widely for chords. There’s even
a cool oscilloscope that shows your everchanging
waveform as you work. This is a great
way for beginners to get a handle on analog
synthesis, and I’m going to use it in my sound
Animoog’s X/Y pad delivers powerful
performance possibilities. The vertical axis
is divided into eight regions, each of which
can have its own assigned timbre, letting you
morph the sound in ways reminiscent of Native
Instruments Massive or a PPG Wave. The results
range from simple square-pulse-saw morphing
to nasty stuff that’s extremely well suited to
electro and dubstep.
Either axis can be assigned to useful
parameters like cutoff , resonance, volume,
detuning, drive, and several animation-specific
destinations that rely on Animoog’s Orbit and
Path functions. Which brings us to Animoog’s
most unique feature: The ability to automate the
X/Y position (where your finger would be) via an
The Orbit section uses three parameters—
rate, X amount, and Y amount—to create a
circular automation whose center you can drag
around the pad manually. This is fantastic for
evolving and rhythmic effects. Things get more
interesting with the Path controls. They let you
automate the motion of the X/Y cursor along a
definable set of coordinates.
Sound complicated? It’s not, though in
conjunction with the synthesis tools, the
musical results can be mind-bogglingly complex.
Animoog also includes distortion, bit-crushing,
and delay, and can record your performances as
audio files for cutting/pasting into other apps or
exporting to your desktop.
If you’re an iPadder fiending for the Moog
experience, Animoog is your gateway drug. Just be
careful, because it’s so cool, there’s a good chance
you’ll get a hankering for the real thing.
PROS Compelling emulation
of the Moog vibe. Tons of
performance features and
and Orbit automation are a
treasure trove of evolving
and rhythmic sounds.
CONS None significant.
BOTTOM LINE One of the best
iPad synths available.
$29.99 | moogmusic.com