Five Korg Vintage Synth iOS Apps

Korg Synths

Post date:

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 11:56


Naomi Bolton

The name Korg is synonymous with innovations in the synthesizer market, but over the years the brand has also diversified into other ventures, such as recording equipment. This is good news for fans of vintage synthesizers as it means that there are now other ways to experience their classic equipment without the need to shell out a fortune. This is thanks to the range of IOS apps that Korg has released to reproduce some of their most beloved synths in software format. While manipulating a software version of a vintage synthesizer using a touchscreen device can obviously never compare to the real thing, it is one of the most affordable and convenient ways to experience what these synths have to offer. These types of apps are not just toys, but many are able to come close to offering what you can get from desktop versions. This means that they are well worth investigating for anyone with an interest in vintage synths in general and Korg hardware in particular.


1. Korg iMono/Poly

 Price: $19.99


The iMono/Poly is one of the latest iOS releases by Korg and is based on their 1981 Mono/Poly hardware. The Mono/Poly had quite an unusual design for its time and was able to be used as a monophonic as well as polyphonic synth. The iOS version, which is available for both iPhone and iPad makes use of the same four-oscillator architecture of the original hardware, but goes a few steps further with eight virtual patches and a few other features.


2. Korg iMS-20

Price: $29.99

Korg iMS-20

The iMS-20 is one of the older synth apps from Korg and is based on their MS-20 synthesizer. In addition to recreating this popular synth, Korg also included a couple of bonus features for enthusiasts to play around with. These range from a 16-step analog sequencer to seven-channel mixer and even a drum machine. The main attraction is still the MS-20, though, and Korg did a good job with creating an interface that looks just like the real deal. Since the release of iMS-20, Korg has also created a new physical version of the MS-20, in the form of the MS-20 mini, which is a good indication of how popular this synthesizer is.


3. Korg iPolysix

Price: $29.99

korg app

After the popularity of the iMS-20, it’s no surprise that Korg followed it up with the iPolysix. As the name suggests, it is based on the Polysix, a six-voice analog polyphonic synthesizer that Korg released in 1981. It caused quite a stir back then as most popular synthesizers of the time were only able to produce a maximum of five simultaneous notes. Using Korg’s component modeling technology, the iPolysix offers an accurate reproduction of the original Polysix, but once again it doesn’t end there. Included in the app is a whole music production environment, which consists of two Polysix units along with a drum machine and a mixer.


4. Korg iM1

Price: $29.99

Korg App2

While two additional in-app purchases for the M1 Cards Pack and T1 Cards Pack is required to get the most out of this app, the Korg iM1 is still a great reproduction of the legendary M1 music workstation. By analyzing the circuit diagram of the original, Korg was able to replicate everything about the original hardware in software, which means it goes beyond simply sampling the original sounds. In addition, they added enhancements such as filter resonance for synth parts, which was a feature that was regularly requested for the original hardware. Through the in-app purchases, this app offers a massive library of 3,300 sounds and 34 cards. Finally, the iM1 can easily be used as a sound module by simple connecting a USB MIDI keyboard using a Lightning adapter.


5. ARP OdyssEi

Price: $29.99

ARP Oddyssei

KORG revived their classic 1972 analog synthesizer, the ARP Odyssey,  in 2015 as the ARP ODYSSEY. Their next step was to transfer the distinctive ARP sound iPhone and iPad devices as the ARP ODYSSEi. The app version is based on the specifications of the revived ARP ODYSSEY and has also been given enhancement, such as polyphony and built-in effects. What makes the ARP ODYSSEi even more appealing is the fact that it features all three revisions of the hardware. All of the distinctive filters used for the different models are also included as fifty new preset sounds on the app.