Since the early days of commercial availability for synthesizers, stock presets have been the sounds intimately associated with certain instruments, a fact that remains today. For most musicians, the available presets were the “sound” of the synthesizer, and the preset choices that shipped with the keyboard were the ones that you used. There have always been more advanced electronic musicians that delve deeply into synthesis, making their own patches – they’ve been the exception though, not the rule. The purchase of additional patches have always been a practical quick fix for musicians without the knowledge or motivation to create original patches, expanding their sonic palette and diversifying their music. Fortunately, a number of iOS synths come loaded with a number of quality preset sounds, but users can still reach a sonic end point and purchasing additional sounds presents a good solution. For a good number of iOS synth users, expansion packs full of patches presents a practical, convenient, and realistic way to maintain a unique quality in their music.
New Sonic Options From Sunsine Audio
Despite the practical application of synth patch expansion packs, the market is wide open at this point, and Sunsine Audio is currently leading the way with a wide array of offerings. They’ve developed a small collection of expansion packs that offer patches for both the most popular synths in the App Store, such as Animoog and Sunrizer Synth, and some lesser known apps, like Cassini Synth and DXi FM Synthesizer. Each expansion pack comes totally stuffed with amazing patches, ranging anywhere from 60 to over 100 patches. They’re easy to install into your apps, and if you’re not sure how to do that, they come with instructions. Sunsine fairly keeps their prices reasonable, ranging from $2.49 to $4.99; placing them squarely within the iOS ecosystem. All of the expansion packs are royalty free, meaning that you can freely integrate them into your music without any additional concerns. In addition to providing an outstanding product, Sunsine Audio delivers wonderful customer service – whether you’re dealing with these folks on Twitter or directly through e-mail, they get back to you on every issue. When you’re looking to expand upon your sonic choices within your favorite iOS synths, the Sunsine expansion packs are a great place to look.
Expansion Packs For A Number Of Apps
Sunsine Audio offers a number of expansion packs; some are specifically for iOS apps, while others are applicable to both iOS and desktop software. There are two sets of expansion packs created for BeepStreet’s iPad app Sunrizer Synth or iPhone app SunrizerXS Synth, Sinerise Vol. 1 & Sinerise Vol. 2. They’re both jam packed with fantastic patches – Sinerise Vol. 1 contains 64 presets while Sinerise Vol. 2 has 128 presets. Sunsine’s expansion pack for Animoog, Animation Vol. 1, contains a set of 130 diverse sounds. The Sunsine expansion pack for the DXi FM Synthesizer brings 64 original patches into the mix, focusing upon the unique qualities of FM synthesis. Casino, the Sunsine expansion pack for the Cassini Synth, comes loaded with 59 presets and 1 arpeggiator file, giving you a total of 60 sonic options. In addition to these great packages, Sunsine carries additional expansion packs for Native Instruments’ Massive, Crystal Synth, Arctic Keys, and GlitchBreaks, as well as collections of loops and chiptune sounds. If you want to try before you buy, Sunsine offers a free sample collection of patches for each pack, so that you can get an idea of what the collection holds. When you’re looking to push your sonic palette into new territory on your iPad and iPhone, Sunsine delivers a wealth of options that will keep your creativity shooting into high gear.
Reasonable Pricing For Professional Products
The pricing on Sunsine expansion packs really keys into both the iOS ecosystem and the needs of the musicians working in that setting, providing a high quality product for a reasonable price. Most of the iOS expansion packs cost $2.49 – Sinerise Vol. 1, Casino, and To DX With Love fall into this category. If you’re considering that Casino has 60 presets while Sinerise Vol. 1 and To DX With Love both have 64 presets, you’re looking at anywhere from $0.03 to $0.04 per preset – that’s a fairly amazing deal. Both Animation Vol. 1 and Sinerise Vol. 2 carry a $4.99 price point; these packs cost a little more, but they give you more sounds. When you break it down, the price really isn’t that different – Animation Vol. 1 holds 130 sounds at $0.03 per patch while Sinerise Vol. 2 sits at $0.04 per sound. If you know that you’d like to expand your sonic pallet quickly in a big way, Sunsine even offers a bundle with the Animation Vol. 1, Sinerise Vol. 1, and Crystal Vol. 1 for $7.99, once again putting a value of $0.03 per patch on their products. These are prices that fit into the iOS music world nicely; providing professional products at an accessible cost has been a key appeal of iOS music apps, and Sunsine Audio captures this model.
Putting Sunsine Audio Expansion Packs To The Test
I was fortunate to spend a bit of time with five of the Sunsine expansion packs, giving me an opportunity to put them to the test. I was impressed with the variety of patches available, quickly expanding your sonic options in each app. Some of the sounds within each expansion pack resemble things that we’ve heard before, delivering sounds that are either common in electronic music or close to the factory presets. There’s a number of sonic gems in each pack that make the purchase valuable, adding even more value to the app. Each set of patches drew upon the strengths of the particular app – the Sunrizer Synth patches include some lush pads and strong leads, the Animoog pack has some great grainy sounds, while the DXi presets lean towards the device’s 80s roots. Without a doubt, each Sunsine expansion pack contains a significant amount of value that will inspire you to create new music and explore different sonic territories.
There’s a number of reasons for checking out Sunsine presets, but these expansion packs are really about sound – words don’t quite do them justice. With that thought in mind, I’ve created a song based exclusively upon Sunsine Audio’s preset packs so that you can hear the patches in action. ”Feeling The Sunsine” is a song in five parts, providing ample opportunity to introduce a wide variety of sounds from the Sunsine preset packs. I utilized patches from five expansion packs in this song – Sinerise Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 for Sunrizer Synth, Animation for Animoog, Casino for Cassini Synth, and To DX With Love for the DXi FM Synthesizer. The combined power of these five expansion packs delivers hundreds of new sounds, so you obviously won’t hear each one of them. I did make a conscious attempt to include a healthy number of patches from each pack though, allowing you to become familiar with what each pack offers. In order to help you distinguish the patches within the song, I’ve also included detailed notes for each section of the song that outline the specific patches and describe how they where used. With the exception of the drum beats, everything in “Feeling The Sunsine” utilizes Sunsine patches in their original state – while I did assemble all of the music material in NanoStudio, I didn’t manipulate any of the patches. This is an honest opportunity to hear the potential behind five of the Sunsine Audio expansion packs, and make an informed decision about integrating them into your workflow.
Picking Some Sunsine Audio Patches
Before providing the detailed analysis of “Feeling The Sunsine,” I wanted to pull the patch and pack names out of context and give you an idea which presets were applied in the song. In addition to these Sunsine presets, I did utilize a few drum beats created in Stochastik Drum Machine, as well as a shaker sample pulled from Freesound. Beyond that, everything comes directly from the Sunsine patches listed below. While I did want to highlight the Sunsine expansion packs, I wanted to present them in a musical way; with that in mind, my patch choices reflected the needs of the song. This certainly isn’t a “Best Of” list for the expansion packs, it’s simply a collection of sounds that fit best in the song. You’ll find plenty of great stuff beyond my choices, which would most likely fit into other music nicely.
Master List Of Patches Used In “Feeling The Sunsine”
Sinerise Vol. 1 (Sunrizer Synth)
Sinerise Vol. 2 (Sunrizer Synth)
Closed High Hat
Animation Vol. 1 (Animoog)
To DXi With Love (DXi FM Synthesizer)
Casino (Cassini Synth)
The detailed analysis is constructed with an eye on directing your attention to the Sunsine Audio patches, so most of the attention below emphasizes that goal. I’ve organized the analysis around the song’s five sections, providing a brief introduction to each section. Past the introduction, the analysis proceeds in outline form, spilling the details on the patches with corresponding time marks. Hopefully the SoundCloud stream will give you a chance to listen a few times or isolate specific sections so that you can make notes on the Sunsine sounds. Although I don’t really address composition ideas in this breakdown, I’m always happy to discuss music with folks – if you’ve got questions or comments about the musical end of things, leave a comment on the SoundCloud timeline or shoot me an e-mail through the iOS Music And You contact page. Take your time to check out the sounds in “Feeling The Sunsine”; the Sunsine Audio expansion packs offer iOS musicians some great sonic options that can take your music in new directions.
Feelin’ The Sunsine: Section #1
The first section of the song features a number of patches, making layered entrances. As each additional sound enters, the previous ones continue, leading towards the construction of a very thick tone.
Feelin’ The Sunsine: Section #2
The second section of the song occurs during 2:45 – 4:48, and it plays upon a lot of material introduced in the first section. A big change occurs with the addition of a drum beat, providing some heavy rhythmic motion. This is one of the sounds that doesn’t come from the Sunsine packs; I created the drum beat with Stochastik Drum Machine.
Feelin’ The Sunsine: Section #3
The third section of the song lasts from 4:48 to 8:00, and it introduces a major change in both structure and key center. We transition to a major key, but we also get a whole new set of sonic goodies. You’ll hear this right from the get go with a change to a very thin texture.
Feelin’ The Sunsine: Section #4
The fourth section of the song runs from 8:00 to 10:45, largely recalling the themes and rhythm section parts introduced in the first section. While this section revisits a number of the same musical ideas, the patches are a mixture of sounds from all three previous sections. It’s an attempt to come back to re-contextualize familiar ideas with a variety of sonic colors.
Feelin’ The Sunsine: Section #5
The last section of the song runs from 10:45 to 13:02, and it plays upon material originally introduced in the third section of the song. Just like its inspiration, this section largely utilizes musical material introduced in the previous section with slight changes.
If you like what you hear in the Sunsine Audio patches, check out their offerings at the Sunsine Audio site. They offer some awesome sounds at a great price, so don’t hesitate!
Are you looking for more sonic expansion in your music? Have you checked out the Sunsine Audio expansion packs? What do you think about the choices that they offer you and your music? We’d love to hear about your experiences – LEAVE A COMMENT below and let us know about your experiences with the Digitech iStomp.
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