iSEM is compatible with iPad 2 and later, iPad with Retina Display and iPad mini.
Apple’s Inter-App Audio connectivity, AudioBus, Korg’s WIST and Apple’s CoreMIDI are all supported.
Furthermore, iSEM is fully compatible with the Audio Unit Extension format. It can be directly launched in any Audio Unit host applications.
iSEM is a recreation of the classic 1974 Oberheim SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module), one of the world's first self-contained synthesizer modules and the first to bear the "Oberheim Electronics" name.
The Oberheim SEM was made famous by artists and bands such as Lyle Mays, Jan Hammer, Joseph Zawinul, Supertramp, 808 State, Vince Clarke and Depeche Mode.
Based on the TAE® technology found in our Oberheim SEM V software, iSEM brings back the sound and special characteristics of this iconic synth in an sonically accurate and expanded touch-based emulation.
What you can do with the iSEM?
The iSEM is a powerful instrument capable of producing a wide range of warm analog sounds.
Reproducing the unique SEM architecture, with its oscillator sync, characteristic filter shape and specific envelope response, the iSEM is able to generate the fat basses that have made the Oberheim brand so popular. Thanks to its simple and clever PW and pitch modulations, it is also very easy to produce moving and lively leads.
Its remarkable 12 dB/oct multimode filter is a real blast from the past, becoming an awesome weapon in the context of current electronic music. This unique module can instantly tailor your sound to fat, crisp, or spectral textures with access to all the nuances in between…
iSEM comes with over 500 sounds that you can browse through and play. You can also easily create your own sounds with the easy to use interface.
Play iSEM's numerous sounds from the iPad keyboard or control iSEM from a MIDI keyboard or other app via CoreMIDI and integrate it into your studio or live performance.
If you are an owner of of the Arturia SEM V software on your Mac or PC, you can even import and export sounds between your laptop or desktop SEM V and iSEM.
All the original parameters of the Oberheim SEM: two oscillators, each offering sawtooth wave and variable-width pulse wave with PWM, sine wave LFO, 12dB/oct multi-mode Filter with low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and notch, two ADS envelope generators.
Added functionalities: New LFO, Noise, Sub oscillator, Arpeggiator, Portamento.
8 Voice Programmer module allows each voice to have different settings
HOLD and CHORD modes.
Virtual Analog Chorus.
Virtual Analog Delay.
Full user MIDI mapping of panel controls.
Supports WIST sync to other iOS devices.
Support of Audio Unit Extension, AudioBus and Apple’s Inter-App Audio connectivity.
The Oberheim™ name used here is a trademark of the Gibson Guitar Corp. The trademark is used by license to Arturia.
- Arpeggio sync when used in Inter-App Audio & as AudioUnit
- Support sample rate changes with Inter-App Audio or AudioUnit hosts
Ratings and Reviews
This is probably my favourite 'virtual analog' synth. It has everything I'd want o a real SEM module - additional, dedicated LFO, sub osc, even an arpeggiator and a nice sounding delay. It doesn't seem too resource hungry, and I've had no problems with crashes or conflicts/incompatibilities.
It sounds absolutely beautiful, and has lead to me wanting the real thing too. However, this is also polyphonic (if wanted), so it's a very capable instrument.
I own a variety of real analog synths too, and find the snobbery about software synths ridiculous and mostly uneducated. Quality software such as this proves their worth.
Great but needs some AU fixes
I love the sound and flexibility of this synth but am getting increasingly frustrated with it taking an extremely long time to load as an Audio unit within Cubasis (all my other AU apps load almost instantaneously, on an iPad Air 2). Sometimes it doesn't load at all and will throw an error. I imagine this is a relatively heavy app to load compared to other audio units but it would be great if it was possible to further optimise this.
Additionally, when used as an AU in Cubasis, the preset will more often than not load incorrectly, so I usually have to re-find the preset after loading a project. I'm not sure how much of this is the fault of iSem or Cubasis but it can be quite frustrating.
I am hopeful for some upcoming optimisations to these issues :)
This was my first ipad synth and despite many others since, is still one of the warmest and richest sounding. The matrix mod and voice settings allow for some of the finest "analogue" nuances that any of the iOS synths display. I own a real Matrix 6 and have replicated many of my patches on this, absolutely awesome Obi sound emulation. It's in my top 4 favourites, depending on mood and flavour I'm after that constantly vie for top spot in my affections, but hands down best Arturia ipad synth IMHO. Truly wonderful.❤️🎹
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.