If you are not familiar with Reason, it is modular studio that includes synths, samplers, drum machines, effects, mixers and other devices. Power of Reason is that you can combine this devices (you connect it with virtual wires) so you can easily modulate one device parameter with other parameters. Propellerheads have demo version of Reason on their site and if you haven’t seen it yet, it is worth trying.
What I expected from Propellerheads is that someday they introduce Reason for iPad. I think their virtual rack would be so nice on the touch screen of iPad. Anyway, they choose different way. One device=one app. As the first step they launch Thor for iPad. And I think as the next step they will introduce one of their other Reason devices: Kong (drum synth) which has MPC-style pads, that are great on iPad screen so you can play with this pads or they could make Mallstrom (another great synth) version for iOS.
But let’s go back to Thor.
Thor is modular synthesizer with fantastic modulation capabilities. It comes with 3 oscilators, 3 filters, 3 envelopes, 2 LFOs, large modulation matrix and powerful sequencer.
Six types of oscillators
Thor comes with 6 types of Oscilators: Analog, Phase Modulation, Wavetables, FM (1 Carrier and 1 Modulator), Multi Analog Oscillator and Noise.
The Thor advantage is that you can combine these different ocsilators/different types of synthesis to get really interesting sound that you can’t get from other synths.
3 slots for 4 different filters
There’s flexible routing system with 3 slots where you can put a filter. Thor comes with 4 different filters: Low Pass Ladder (Moog-like filter), State Variable (multi-mode filter), Comb Filter and Formant Filter. Combine this filters and you can get really different sound from the other synths.
Advanced modulation matrix
Thor’s modulation capabilities are well-known in the Reason’s world. You can modulate almost anything. But the true creativity starts when you use audio in modulation. With modulation matrix you can send audio from one oscillator to another oscillator. You can operate with LFO as the audio source and send it’s waveform directly to Filter Audio Input or to modlate frequency of another oscilator. With such flexible modulation system you can create strange complex audio routings and create feedback loops (send Filter Audio Out to same Filter Audio In). Or how about FM synthesis but not with analog waves but with Wavetables? There are not so much so flexible desktop synths and it is really nice to have this on the iPad.
Thor has thousands of presets, hundreds of tutorials
Thor is sound designers tool of choice already for years and you can find a lot of presets, tutorials in the Internet. Start with Thor’s webpage, watch youtube videos (there are literally hundreds of video tutorials on how to make different sounds in this synth), read articles (on web, on magazines like Computer Music, Future Music, MusicTech). Also Thor comes with huge amount of carefully picked presets from best sound designers. And here’s nice micro-tutorial from Propellerheads: