Review: Perforator adds Rhythm to your iOS Synths

Bram Bos continues to worm his way into the workflows of iOS musicians across the world. We previously covered a host of cool iPad music apps from Bram, including Troublemaker, Ripplemaker, Kosmonaut, and the essential Rozeta Sequencer Suite. His latest app, Perforator, serves as a rhythmic gate effect for iOS.

Perforator for iOS Features

  • Gate Effect used to create Rhythms out of Sustained Sounds
  • Manipulate both Amp and Filter Gates
  • Varying Number of Steps for you Prog Weirdos
  • Independent Left and Right Channels
  • AU Format!
  • All AU Parameters Automatable within Host App
  • Support for AU MIDI
  • Massive amount of Presets
  • Available at the iTunes App Store for $3.99

If your iOS music explores the world of rhythm, Perforator provides an easy way to enhance the groove in your tracks. Like the rest of Bram’s apps, it’s intuitive and musically useful. Put Perforator on your app purchase short list. Let’s find out why.

Perforator features a Typical Bram Bos User Interface

Like any other Bram Bos app, Perforator’s interface feels like an old friend. The two step channels dominate the interface. It is a breeze setting each step level with a mere finger swipe. A toggle keeps the two channels in sync or lets you manage each by itself.


Bram Bos Perforator in action. Screen shot by author.

Knobs to the right of the step channels control the filter vs. amp gate level as well as the overall gain and wet/dry setting. Knobs to the left serve as an envelope and for controlling the shuffle. Check out the Utils button to access a variety of pattern mods as well as the AU MIDI out settings.

Speaking of AU, Perforator works as both an audio effect and a MIDI effect within a compatible host. Thankfully, this plugin format is rapidly becoming an iOS standard. It positions Apple’s mobile platform as one for true professional music-making.

Studio Fun with Perforator

To give Perforator a test run, I used it as an audio effect within Beatmaker 3. VirSyn’s venerable microTera – which also supports AU – provided the sound. I quickly conjured up a 12 step gate pattern to give the cool microTera patch a sense of waltz-like motion.

Changing things up to effect the amp, filter, or a mixture of the two is simple. The envelope controls as well as the shuffle knob provided some subtle variants to the rhythm. If you need some inspiration to get started, check out the copious amount of factory presets.

Since the gate pattern syncs to the tempo of the DAW, it’s possible to easily create huge rhythms using percussion as well as synth pads and other sustained notes. Most importantly, I had a blast using it. As is typical with Bram’s apps, the intuitive user interface never gets in the way.

Just like the rest of the Bram Bos app collection, Perforator belongs in the library of any serious iOS musician. While a rhythmic gate is a pretty esoteric function, it helps to get new life out of your current iOS synths. Build the full and funky rhythms of your dreams!