So, you’ve seen lots of interesting looking iPhone apps, but most of them strike you as gimmicky. Others have interesting workflows, but limit you to working on the mobile device, not switching back to a computer. And maybe you’re perfectly happy with a phone running Windows Mobile or Palm OS.

Enter SunVox. This is not a mobile music making app for the timid. It’s a powerful suite of soundmakers and sequencers, baked together into a modular environment that lets power users tweak to their heart’s delight. It’s small, it’s fast, and it looks – and sounds – a lot like early computer music programs. It’ll run on iPhone now, but also on Palm, Windows Mobile, Mac, Windows, and Linux. It’ll run on your netbook, your MacBook, and your ThinkPad.

Incredibly, all this goodness is yours on all those platforms for ten bucks and on iPhone for $5, easily making SunVox the biggest steal in music software I think I’ve ever seen:

  • Flexible architecture that adapts to slow and fast CPUs
  • Synths and generators: FM, virtual analog, FFT-based “SpectraVoice”, Kicker
  • Effects: Delay, distortion, filters, LFOs, reverb
  • Sampler with WAV support
  • WAV export when you’re done


And for fans of computer music in the 90s, it’s a chance to get back to some of the no-nonsense, powerful creation of that era, without some of the distractions you may find in modern apps.

To see SunVox in action (and start to make sense of how to use it), check out the YouTube videos from Alex Zolotov (among others). They’re not the best video quality (I wish we had iPhone screencasting software, darnit), but they will give you a sense of what the app is about:

The videos made their debut on the excellent PalmSounds Google Group:
CDM isn’t exclusively about mobile apps, so check out PalmSounds the blog, too, if you like your music making handheld – the site has been on fire lately with updates.

Here’s an example of how SunVox can be used for live playing:

Here it is being used to produce lovely FM synthesis noises:

If you’re new to trackers, especially, you’ll want to brush up on the tracker workflow in SunVox:

  • Thanks for this post. I just recently downloaded SunVox for iPhone and it is truly amazing. Definitely not a "gimicky" piece of software.

  • Michael Coelho

    The iTunes App store is showing the price for this app as $4.99, not $9.99.

  • I wonder if this will run on my Nokia N800, it's looking really good!

  • Ha, whoops… yes, indeed, it's even cheaper on iPhone at five bucks.

    @Fabio: I believe N800 should work; let us know!

  • Looks pretty awesome – like mini Buzz 🙂 Wonder if you can customize the colors.. that monochrome bothers me a bit.

  • aaron m

    You can't customize the colors, and on Windows the GUI is even worse.. but tolerable. The documentation is kind of weak too but if you know your way around apps like Buzz and EngeryXT and are familiar with trackers you should be up and about in a few minutes.

    Also when you make the purchase it's a bit misleading.. you get all the versions in the purchase but you still have to pay for the iPhone app seperately.

    The idea of super cross platform including mobile OS's (its available on everything more or less) is pretty cool.

  • Why on earth would you need to do all of this on your PHONE? Just because you can? It seems we can't ever detach from media anymore–I am a gear whore like anyone, but this seems seriously excessive. I like taking time away from the computer– and I barely ever use a cell phone–maybe I am just old…

  • Well, Dwayne, I suppose one could ask why you'd need to do it on a computer. 🙂

    I keep saying it, and no one seems to listen.

    I believe in desktop software. I believe in the role of a computer. (This is sounding like the Profession of Faith.) I don't believe iPhone apps are for everyone. CDM does have "digital" in the title. If we can cover analog gear from time to time – and believe me, we will, because I love it – I think we can cover digital platforms. End of story.

    How about if instead of using the word "phone," you imagine "a handheld computer"? 😉

    Anyway, this is a moot point. The thing runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux desktop machines. And I understand the app mentioned earlier today also runs on Mac. I'd love to see more of this mobile platform stuff show up on computers. Maybe someday we'll even have a Music App store on computers, a la Steam for games.

  • gwenhwyfaer

    <blockquote cite="Dwayne Erickson">Why on earth would you need to do all of this on your PHONE?

    Dwayne Erickson

    Your entire gear rig in your back pocket, for one thing…?


    SunVox is REALLY a big thing!

    thanks for covering!!!

  • contakt

    Cant seem to find info:

    Can you make a song on your iPhone and then open it on the Mac or PC version of the App?


    Can this export midi?

  • Yes, you can make a song on iPhone and then open it on any other PC or PDA.

    No MIDI export yet, but this feature is in the SunVox todo list.

  • gwenhwyfaer

    I'd like MIDI input, please! On those platforms which support it, of course.

  • It's a really good program, but there are some things still lacking, though. There is no vibrato command and no filter envelopes, for example. These things are being worked on of course, and the developer is very communicative and open to feature requests.

  • golden master

    looks awesome!! I'm going to have to give this a try.

  • dom

    meh. Ill wait for logic mobile.

  • rondema

    and logic mobile will cost $5 right?

    Going to give this a pop..


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  • TJ

    ??? How to send $9.90 to Russia?

  • Со всем уважением к труду, что был вложен в написании этой статьи, сообщаю, что всё это полный бред!

    То же самое я находил по моему здесь . Посмотрите, вдруг Вам понравится.