Picture this: a friend of yours has bought a nice vintage synth with great sounds, and wouldn’t you like to use those sounds in your own music-making? If only you could sample those sounds, but it seems like too much trouble… You would need to persuade your friend to let you borrow the synth, or you would need to visit them with your music-making setup, which nowadays is basically an iPad and an iOS-compatible audio interface.
Turns out that iPad and audio interface are just what you need for making multisamples of any MIDI-compatible synth, with very little effort. You only need to:
Find a cool sound you want to sample on the synth
Connect the synth to your audio interface
Connect your audio interface to your iPad
Start SynthJacker, select the notes and velocities you want to sample, and tap the Record button
SynthJacker plays the notes you selected, at the velocities you selected, through the audio interface and captures the result in real-time. But that is just the beginning: it then goes away and slices the audio into individual audio files, one for each note/velocity combination, and saves them on your iPad. When you switch to the iOS Files application, they are there, just waiting to be imported to a sampler or DAW of your choice.
Watch the SynthJacker demo video on YouTube – it shows the app in action, and details the synth connections you need.
SynthJacker works on the iPad and on the iPhone, and requires an iOS-compatible audio interface (I use the Steinberg UR22mkII).
I developed SynthJacker for iPad and iPhone as a way to easily create a set of multisamples from my trusty old Kawai K4 and K5000S synths, but also the much newer KORG minilogue and IK Multimedia UNO Synth. With these, I have no shortage of great sounds on the iPad. Any synth you can get access to can be sampled in just a few minutes.
If you have a monophonic synth like the UNO, you can make it polyphonic (well, not actually) by sampling its sounds and using them in a DAW.
If you have a Mac, you can get Apple’s MainStage from the Mac App Store and use it to create sampler instrument in EXS format. However, it requires a Mac, and it can be difficult to retrieve the individual samples if you want to use them with other virtual instruments than Apple’s own EXS24mkII.
Coming soon: Inter-App Audio
The first version of SynthJacker is intended for hardware MIDI synths, but I’m also looking to add Inter-App Audio and/or Audiobus, and possibly also Audio Unit v3 support. This would allow you to sample the iOS synths on your iPad, which has been requested by many.
Let me know what you need from SynthJacker, and I’ll see if it can be supported. Many early adopters have already sent great development ideas, so please keep them coming.