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EHX Mini-Synthesizer app brings ’80s analog recreation to your phone
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EHX Mini-Synthesizer app brings ’80s analog recreation to your phone

by Stephen Charlton2016/07/27

The Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer app is a recreation of the company’s ’80s analog model, the Mini-Synthesizer EH-1600. The EHX Mini-Synthesizer is available for iPad and iPhone and will be available for Android in late September. If you want it on your phone it’ll only cost $2.99, but tablet users will have to fork out $4.99. The YouTube demo shows quite a lot of versatility on the instrument. It definitely brings back memories of classic ’80s records. One patch has a strong Van Halen vibe, which is just fine by me.

Virtual input allows use with guitar and keyboard MIDI controllers

The app delivers the vintage synth sounds of the original unit along with modern updates. There’s a virtual MIDI input, so if you have a MIDI keyboard or MIDI guitar, you can skip the touch screen and play directly on your instrument. The app has direct connectivity to a DAW as an audio input along with Audiobus and inter-app audio capabilities. There’s also aftertouch for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users.

The Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer is polyphonic, rather than exclusively monophonic like the original. The keyboard range has been expanded to 88 keys. If you’re using it on your phone it won’t be easy to take advantage of that however. There’s a filter sweep retrigger and an effect section with a two-second delay and holygrail plate reverb. You can control the order of the effects. There’s also an “almost unlimited” user preset library for storing your presets.

EHX President Mike Matthews commented on the app:

“Fans of vintage synths will appreciate the app’s ability to re-create the original’s warm analog sounds and deep funky bass. But because it’s so affordable, parents, educators and non-musicians will love it, too.”

EHX Mini-Synthesizer app is feature-packed

Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer app analog

The original analog Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer.

The Mini-Synthesizer app features 22 presets and 12 sliders and nine switches. The OSC section has the following functions: Pitch Slider, Sub-octave, Octave Up and Tune (which covers a +/-50 cents range). The Filter section has Phase Rate, Filter Start, Filter Stop, Sweep Rate, Phase, Q Switch, Re-trigger and x2 Filter (which switches between in parallel or in series operation). The Delay has Time, Feedback and Blend controls. The Reverb controls include Amount, Blend and Reverb>Delay (which alters the order of reverb and delay operation).

The ribbon control above the digital keyboard allows you to glide from note to note, giving a theremin-like effect, as well as enabling vibrato. Users can choose between polyphonic and monophonic operation. There’s also a horizontal slider above the keyboard that allows you to move up and down the Mini-Synthesizer’s eight octave range.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton

Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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