FM4 emulates Yamaha's DX synths on the iPad

Primal Audio's FM4 is the latest synth to emulate Yamaha's legendary DX series from the '80s. Unlike many previous efforts, though, this one is for the iPad.

It's been designed to be simple to use, with all parameters available on a single page. The developer also says that great care has gone into analysing and replicating the inherent sonic characteristics of the original hardware, with the aim of replicating those punchy bass, crystalline bell and lush pad sounds that we're all familiar with.

Specs and audio demos are below, and the marvellously grandiose video teaser is above. Check out the Primal Audio website for more. FM4 will be released in December at the introductory price of $0.99.

Primal Audio FM4 features

  • Four operators configurable via eight different routings
  • Three sound engines modelled on 1980s hardware units
  • Eight waveforms derived from classic FM synths
  • 2x, 3x, and 4x polyphonic unison
  • Tempo-syncable arpeggiator with up, down, up-down, and random patterns
  • Microtuning with eight different temperaments
  • Supports Inter-App Audio, background audio, and MIDI (support for Audiobus is planned)
  • Up to 24 voices of polyphony
  • Import/export presets through iTunes
  • Works on all iPads supporting iOS 7.0 and up
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.