I had previously reviewed Ondes back when it was released in September. I loved the app back then, as I'm a big fan of this type of app. Apparently Ben Kamen (Olympia Noise Co.) wasn't finished bringing the awesome, and he has just released Version 1.1. I don't recall seeing such a huge update from 1.0 to 1.1 for an app before.
Check out the list of updates:
Two extra oscillators to thicken your sound. Detune them and tell them lag behind to create a swarm effect.
Press the ‘hold’ button to sustain notes indefinitely. Play melodies over top or move the sustained notes around.
You asked for it… You can now control other synths and electronic instruments with Ondes using MIDI. Please read the instructions though — there are a few things you should know about first!
NEW MODULATION PARAMETERS
The Y Axis can now control more parameters:
Assign the Y Axis to control wavetable LFO rate & depth.
Assign the Y Axis to control filter LFO rate & depth.
Adjust the Y Axis to control volume from -100% to 100%
INTER APP AUDIO TRANSPORT
Using Ondes as an instrument in Garageband or other DAW just got easier! You can you control the play, record, and rewind buttons from right inside Ondes.
Choose between small (1.5 octave) and large (2.5 octave) range for the keyboard.
New “Scale” and “Chromatic” snapping modes.
In the mood for some modes? How about the “prometheus” scale? Choose from a bunch of pre-loaded scales or create your own. Save and reuse your custom scale types!
Put all that microtonal space to good use with alternate tuning systems. Choose from experimental and traditional tuning systems such as Just Intonation, Pythagorean, and Highland Bagpipe tuning. Create your own tunings or import & export .scala files. (Some limitations apply)
Ever feel like A440 isn’t right for you? How about A415? That’s more like it.
He has also released two new YouTube videos highlighting the MIDI capabilities now available.
These updates bring so much more to this app! Being able to use it as a MIDI controller is neat. I really, really like the new 'hold' feature as well. This allows you to hold a note (or series of notes), and then play other notes on top of them. You can even take those 'held' notes and move those to different notes, all the while keeping the drone going. So smooth.
The new 'swarm' feature is outstanding as well. Ben says he was trying to emulate the Swarmatron instrument with this feature. As I'm a huge fan of Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross's soundtrack work, I instantly remembered that Trent Reznor used the Swarmatron in abundance on the "Social Network" soundtrack (see the YouTube video of Trent playing the Swarmatron here).
Choosing which of the Olympia Noise Co. apps are my favorite would be like trying to decide which of my kids was my favorite - they're all so good. But these recent updates to Ondes absolutely push this one to the top. I can see myself building whole songs out of this app. If you haven't bought it yet, go get it!
If you're thinking about buying Ondes, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!Ondes : Expressive Electronic Instrument
Developer: Olympia Noise Co.