SmiteMatter reviews WaveGenerator for iPad, from Wolfgang Palm.
WaveGenerator is not just an “app”. This is a full blown program. I’ve been immersed in WaveGenerator for several days leading up to this review. Just when I thought I was satisfied with the experience, WaveGenerator presented me with a new “ah ha” moment, delaying my review. I’ve decided that WaveGenerator is one of those rare apps that will bring an endless series of moments that will delight, surprise, or impress. So having come to that realization, I now present to you my review.
WaveGenerator is astounding! There, review done, ’nuff said. Joking of course, but there is truth in the simplicity of that brief statement. It’s difficult to really put into words that properly express just how astounding WaveGenerator is. This is a program that must be experienced and given some time to really appreciate. I’ll try to dig in a bit without being lengthy or overly technical. In brief, WaveGenerator is a next generation wavetable synthesis program packed with numerous wavetables, tools, and options with a very hands on approach to allow the user a full range of wave editing, crafting, and routing.
Creating and manipulating your own waves is an experience like no other. The interface is logical and looks more like a computer program than a synth. It IS a program after all. So that can be forgiven. The only problem or complaint I have is it’s not always intuitive, and even a bit convoluted. Everything you need is there, but seemingly simple tasks that would benefit from a more straight-forward design require some additional navigating to another drop down menu setting for selection in order to complete the first desired task. Such as simply changing a patch category from the presets menu requires you to first change to “Uncategorized Mode”. Another example is that some buttons look like you should just tap them to open its menu, or toggle it on & off, except that button doesn’t respond to a tap and requires a double tap. It can all be figured out; it’s not hard, it’s just not very fluid. That said, this is still a great program!
The virtual keyboard can be adjusted to a few preset layouts, and customized to any scale, but is not playable live using just the iPad. It is without a quick octave selector that would allow the user to play across the ranges on the iPad screen. MIDI solves the live playability issue for the most part as all significant parameters of WaveGenerator can be controlled by MIDI. Since I use only my iPads for all my music I cannot attest to how MIDI performs.
What WaveGenerator really delivers is a huge amount of wave design and routing options to create just about any type of sound. Simply touching a key is only the start of what you can do with the presets and your creations. How you route velocity, modulation, envelopes, noise, panning, drive, etc adds greater depth and life with each X/Y movement of your fingers. You’re not constrained by just the keyboard as the whole screen can be made part of the playing surface. Moving up, down, left, and right can impact what the sound does. Edit waveforms drawing or picking precisely by hand, record new ones, control partials, paths, shapes, offset, speeds, glide, and more. The possibilities are endless and very satisfying. There is a lot of power in the synthesis engine. It will make your ears very happy. The audio quality is outstanding!
|The amount of tools and options are so vast in WaveGenerator that I just can’t list them all in detail. I’ve listed the highlights on the right but I strongly recommend visiting Wolfgang Palms WaveGenerator product page to get more details and specifications.
WaveGenerator is a marvel of technology designed with the love for audio creativity clearly in mind. You can also take a picture with your iPad’s camera, or select one from your album and transform it in to a wave table. The resulting wavetable can be viewed and analyzed in 3D. Zoom in or out, turn it around, and view how the sound moves and behaves. Now you can experience what your face sounds like.
The arpeggiator is very simple yet powerful allowing full control beyond just up/down alternating etc. You can easily record your own arpeggio and play it back.
The slightly different design, deep, and complex routing may confuse or give some users a poor impression of what WaveGenerator can really do.
Dismissing WaveGenerator because of a poor experience or misunderstanding how the routing works with velocity settings etc would be a mistake. With such a wide range of parameters to control its easy to overlook a small detail responsible for enabling something else to actually function. When you think something is enabled but doesn’t seem to work, check to make sure that the corresponding controller is also activated and set, or visa versa. My first moments left me a little frustrated and I really was sure it was not working. I’m glad I stuck with it, as I soon learned it was just operator error. WaveGenerator does indeed work. This program is worth your time and patience, and what you can get from it is worth it all.
|In a sea of great music apps priced on average under $10 it’s easy to feel a little hesitant to buy WaveGenerator at its $19.99 price tag. WaveGenerator is more than just a music app. It’s an extremely deep, complex, and powerful program. Having spent a solid week with it so far, I really feel it is worth every penny.
Few others allow you to weave intricate waves into audio tapestry like PPG-WaveGenerator.This is a great synth, and audio design program. Its not the best thing ever but it deserves a spot right along side some of the very best that iOS music offers. Pretty darn good start all things considered. It will surely improve as it grows, don’t you think?
|You can follow SmiteMatter on Twitter, SoundCloud or at his Blog|
|SmiteMatter is David A Israel. He makes music using only iOS devices and music applications. Starting in 2009 with just an iPod Touch and early music apps, he was instantly hooked. His first CD “Technopolis Lost” was released in October 2011 and included music made just with that iPod Touch, as well as his first iPad compositions. It was the first album of its kind and is now widely available on the most popular digital music sales websites including iTunes and Amazon.|