Aftertouch adds 3D Touch Control to your iOS Synths – Synth News Digest 9

The capacitive touchscreen ushered in a new era of mobile device interfaces, as illustrated by the smartphone and tablet. Recently, Apple upped the game with 3D Touch, which enhances the touchscreen by adding support for velocity and pressure sensitivity. I’ve always felt that these were the two missing links in iOS becoming a truly professional platform for musical applications, but my new iPad doesn’t support 3D Touch. Sigh.

In fact, some industry pundits question whether Apple will ever bring 3D Touch to the iPad. Cost is likely a big factor in their hesitation. Until that time, companies like Roli and others remain the true interface innovators in music technology.

aftertouch ios

Controlling Arturia’s iSEM with Aftertouch. Screenshot by author.

Aftertouch is an interesting MIDI controller app for iOS which supports these new 3D Touch features. It features a unique grid-based interface with a host of configuration options, including key, interval, and more. The 3D interface uses X, Y, and Z axes configured to control the parameter of your choice, with the Z axis only working on Apple devices with 3D Touch support. So you are still able to get some value out of Aftertouch on older iPhones and iPads running iOS 9.0 and newer.

Robust MIDI support lets you use Aftertouch to control any iOS synth app that supports Core MIDI. There are also two built-in basic synth sounds useful for experimenting with configurations. I would’ve really loved to give Aftertouch a full review on a device with 3D Touch, but it just wasn’t in the cards at this time. If you have a newer iPhone, Aftertouch is surely worthy of further exploration. Check it out!

Rob Papen introduces RP-Verb 2

Rob Papen remains a legend in the world of software-based music technology. We previously covered his excellent soft synth Predator 2, which I used on the next Church of Hed album to be released in early 2018. Recently, Papen revealed RP-Verb 2, an updated version of his classic reverb and effects plugin. It is available in most popular plugin formats for $149.

Some of the new features of RP-Verb 2 include the “Reverser,” a reverse reverb algorithm, as well as some synth-related functionality, including envelopes and LFOs. There’s even a modulation matrix to supercharge real-time parameter control. RP-Verb definitely is worth checking out.

Getting your Old School Computer Sound On with Impact Soundworks

I had an Atari 800 in the early 80s. Actually, I still do; buried in a closet somewhere. I loved playing around by writing small BASIC programs to create sirens, explosions, wind, and other freaky sound effects. Well, Impact Soundworks makes it easy to return to those halcyon days of yore, without having to type in one CLOAD statement.

Super Audio Cart PC features samples from a host of computers from the 80s and 90s, including Atari’s famous POKEY chip, the Commodore Amiga, the AdLib soundcard and more. This package is a companion to Impact’s Super Audio Cart which focuses on video game systems from the same era. It is compatible with the Kontakt Free Player and NI’s NKS control standard.

This package is available for $99, but if you already own Super Audio Cart, a crossgrade is available. Thousands of samples are available, as well as a 4-voice synth engine using those classic tones. Get your chiptune on!


  1. […] iOS mobile device opens up a world of possibilities for controlling synths or other music apps. We previously covered Aftertouch, an app that takes advantage of 3D Touch on newer iPhones for additional control options. This time […]