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Desktop/Laptop News

This thread is going to be about any lil news that may be of interest in the desktop/laptop world.

I just got a couple VI's from a company called Cherry Audio. First, a brand new Arp 2600 emulation called CA2600. It got a rave review over on CDM. It's on sale for $25. Sounds amazing. Very nice GUI. While I was there, I saw they had a Roland Juno-106 emulation, the DCO106. Sounds just like the real thing. Nice added touches. A breeze to edit. Also $25.
November 02, 2020  | favorite_border stub
I just saw/heard video demos of an upcoming wavetable synth called "Vital".

It features customizable wavetables, speech synthesis & vocoding, MPE, audio-rate modulation, tuning map capability and much more. The demos sound stunning. I'm curious to see how complete the modulation sources are, and how well implemented the mod matrix is (especially with regard to secondary depth sources). This could replace quite a few of the not-so-great synths in my tool box.

Available on Nov 24 with four options: free, $25, or $80 licenses (each with additional features & presets), or a $5/mo subscription. Very nice options for any level of user.
November 22, 2020  | favorite_border stub
Vital is a beast. It's apparently got some similar DNA to Serum, but with some different features.

It's a study in elegance, clarity of GUI, power, and uncluttered options.

The rollout was a little bumpy. For the paid versions, some new users had trouble getting the added wavetables & presets. Within hours an update solved those issues. Looking at the forums it's difficult to tell what proportion of users are having smooth sailing.

On my system, the standalone and VST work perfectly, but the AU failed "inspection" in DP.

Folks have created some tutorials to reveal some of its hidden powers. Some of the vids are better than others. I've really come to appreciate videos where the presenter has done ample preparation. OTOH, I watched one user work so fast to create this crazy FM thing using a bunch of custom LFOs. It was impressive.

The synthesis methods, moduation capability and effects are all of the highest quality. I don't imagine it will ever run on an iPad, but I suppose it could happen.
December 05, 2020  | favorite_border stub
Cherry Audio also is giving away a free version of their emulation of the Radio Shack Moog. Probably pretty useful. If you're not familiar, it's a pretty interesting and very usable synth for analog bass & kind of organ-ish sounds. It's also a nice entry level synth as the controls are more minimal and basic.
December 05, 2020  | favorite_border stub
There's a really nice freeware/Open-source subtractive wavetable synth called Surge. I read about it over on CDM and just downloaded and installed it on my older laptop. My first impressions are very positive. It is both intuitive to use and quite deep.

As a weekend-experimental-sonic-adventurist, my wishlist of features is pretty specific, and this synth ticks quite a few of those boxes.

* polyphonic
* poly AT/MPE compatible
* release velocity is in the source list
* loads scala and kbm tuning maps
* passionate development team, engaged community, frequent updates
* versatile envelopes (with curves) & LFOs
* nice FX with routing options
* skinnable GUI

It compares pretty favorably to the other wavetable synths I have (Z3ta+2, Synthmaster (& SM One), and Dune 2).

Z3ta+2 is my favorite of those three because of the way it implements controls. It has a great mod matrix with depth controls & curves. It also has a cool feature where you can have polyphonic pitch bending set in scale degrees-- so it will scale the bending, based on how many scale steps it is moving. With this option, you can play a G chord and bend up to an Am chord (for example).

Synthmaster is cool. It has cool features and a great library of presets. No poly AT, no release-velocity, and the developer is pretty aloof (in my experience).

Dune 2 (Dune 3 is now out) is has a pretty GUI and sounds really good, but again, it has similar limitations as Synthmaster.
January 30, 2021  | favorite_border stub

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