Artist & Engineer

Nikolozi Synth 1 - NS1

Introducing NS1, a virtual analog subtractive synthesizer audio unit for iOS. This is one of the most exciting apps I’ve ever built, mainly because ever since I got into making electronic music I always wanted build my own synthesizer. They all sounded so cool, but somehow I never got around to properly diving into low level audio programming and digital signal processing. That was the case up until recently. I spent late 2014 and the first half of last year improving my understanding of DSP and how synths are made. And since I believe making music on tablets is the future, I decided to build an Inter-App Audio synth for iPad.

By the end of May I was close to finishing it. I just needed to iron out a few issues. But then WWDC happened and Apple introduced Audio Unit extensions. IAA seemed clunky all along and AU extensions technology seemed like something I’ve been wanting for a long time. So, rather than trying to ship NS1 with IAA I decided to abandon the “deprecated” technology and add the AU extensions support.

NS1 with AU extensions support was ready in December, but I couldn’t release it as I was still waiting for GarageBand and the other AU hosts to appear so I could ensure compatibility.

I expected that there would be a sea of AU extensions and hosts released during the month of October, but iOS 9.0 had a few AU bugs and even Apple didn’t get around to updating GarageBand with AU and iPad Pro support until January. Nevertheless, I’m glad it’s finally here. GB is a great piece of software.

Now, here we are. My first synth is out in the wild and I feel proud. My goal with NS1 was to create a synth with a simple, intuitive and clean interface that can produce great sounds. I hope you enjoy using it. You can learn more about the app here or grab it directly from the App Store.

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.



NS1 inside GarageBand

NS1 inside GarageBand NS1 inside GarageBand