iMini is based on the TAE (True Analog Emulation) synthesis technology found in Arturia's Mini V soft synth, meticulously modelling the distinctive tones and analogue nuances of the legendary Seventies-vintage Minimoog Model D monosynth.
Any synthesizer connoisseur will recognise the MAIN mode screen as a rendering of the Minimoog Model D front panel, albeit with welcome additional 'analogue' CHORUS AMT. and DELAY AMT. level controls, as well as a POLY switch for playing polyphonically. Other subtle supplements include a gearwheel icon above the keyboard — press to reveal GLIDE, DECAY, LEGATO, and SCROLL switches for performance keyboard control, plus a SCALE function to choose from no fewer than 26 different scales and modes. Meanwhile, iMini comes complete with hundreds of sounds showcasing its sonic versatility; press LOAD from the menu bar and choose from sound designer or category.
But 'behind' that familiar-looking MAIN screen lies a wealth of truly 21st Century audio action: the PERFORMANCE page accesses an arpeggiator with two latch modes and two assignable XY pads for creating all kinds of patterns and real-time morphing sounds; the FX page provides iMini with the same wide-ranging CHORUS and accurate ANALOG DELAY models found in the above-mentioned Mini V software — subtle sound thickening to wildly modulated effects (chorus) and sync to external tempo (stereo delay) possibilities abound here. Handily, all onscreen knobs and switches in each iMini page can easily be assigned to MIDI CC allowing automation from any external MIDI source. The default MIDI map will automatically work with Arturia MiniLab or Analog Player 25 Universal MIDI Controller keyboards.
And that's not all: the CONNECT page is the gateway to making iMini talk to the outside world (using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit) — use WIST (Wireless Sync Start Technology) to sync the arpeggiator and delay to other iPad or iPhone apps, and integrate iMini into a complete studio environment via Retronyms Tabletop. This free iPad app allows multiple iMini instances to be simultaneously run; real-time performance recording into a sequencer; parameter automation; processing of third-party, Tabletop-ready apps through the iMini filter, and more.
"iMini is an ideal Tabletop-ready app," says Retronyms Co-Founder John-Paul Walton. "It's a fresh take on a legendary synth, and comes packed with a ton of amazing presets — everything from retro space sounds to contemporary bass noise."
In recognition of the groundbreaking instrument to which iMini owes its very existence, for every iMini sold, Arturia will make a donation to The Bob Moog Foundation, whose Executive Director, Michelle Moog-Koussa, adds: "We are grateful to Arturia and Retronyms for donating part of the proceeds from the iMini in support of our mission to ignite creativity at the intersection of music, science, history, and innovation. A portion of this funding will go to support our educational initiative, Dr Bob's SoundSchool, which teaches children the science of sound through the magic of music."
For Frédéric Brun, Arturia's President, the feeling is mutual: "We are delighted to donate to The Bob Moog Foundation and acknowledge our gratitude to Robert Moog, who helped us when we released our first virtual instrument, the Modular Moog V, back in 2003. We are also thrilled to work with Retronyms, who are a great company and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to iOS. The iMini sets a new standard for what a virtual instrument should sound like on an iPad."
Appropriate iPad owners can purchase iMini directly from Apple's App Store for €17.99 / $19.99.
iMini can be seen and heard in this 'action' video: youtu.be/MAMWH4gci_g
Watch Arturia Director of Sound Design Mike Hosker's iMini tutorial video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aoIKCS_jsY