Tag Archives: Virtual analog synthesizer

LuSh-101 / D16 Group

LuSH-101
Since a few years that seemed an eternity, I was waiting (as many other people) for what was originally called the “Shiotor” and that’s now best known as the LuSH-101. As you probably noticed, the name’s first choice wasn’t really attractive and by far I prefer the name LuSH-101.

To read the full review just look a the PDF document available here :

  LuSH-101 Review

DIVA – the Spirit of Analogue

Here is the new synth from “U-He”, I’ve already tryed the beta and my conclusion is that this Synth rocks a lot even if it’s only a Virtual Analog Synth 😉

Here is some info also available on the “U-He” web site :

We’ve been dropping hints about this synth for a good while, and now it has finally arrived. As public beta, at a special introductory price.

The oscillators, filters and envelopes closely model components found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. This comes at the cost of quite a high CPU-hit, but we think it was worth it: Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in realtime. The behaviour of zero-delay-feedback filters when pushed to the limit clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach.

The beta version works without restriction until December 31st. Become an early adopter, play an active role in development as we nurture this baby to perfection over the next few weeks…

Check this site often, subscribe to us on Twitter or Facebook as we unveil more details, post audio demos and offer more insight into the making of Diva.

The latest builds are always available in our support forum: click to go there

Important: Patches made using this public beta may not sound exactly the same in the official release versions.

Normal price: 179$ (+19% VAT in EU)
Introductory price: 119$ (+19% VAT in EU) until December 31st, 2011

Have a nice day !

Phutura VSTi

Phutura is a virtual synthesizer inspired by 80’s hardware synth Alpha Juno, best known for the Hoover sound. Its edgy and futuristic feel makes it perfect choice for Lead and Chord Stab type of sounds, suitable for use in dark & energetic styles of music, i.e.: Techno, Rave, Drum&Bass, Electro, Hardstyle, Dubstep.

Polyphony: 8 Voices (+ 8 release reserve).
Oscillators: 3 Oscillators (Sawtooth, Pulse and Sub, with 4-6 subtypes each) and White Noise Waveform.
Filters: Non-resonant High Pass Filter (4 modes) and Resonant Low Pass Filter.
Modulators: LFO, ADSR Envelope, Pitch Bender, Mod Wheel and Key Tracking.
Effects: Chorus.
MIDI: Automation of all interface controls is possible.
Patches: 128 Patches (80 presets in Hoover, Bass, Lead, Pad, Polyphonic, Synth & Sound FX categories; and 48 blank User Patches).
System: Windows with 32-bit host.

More info here : Phutura VSTi VST instrument plugin for Windows

Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 – Review

A few days ago I’ve started to test the new Z3TA+ so I going to tell you about this long awaited beast !

Z3TA+
Z3TA+2

First thing you’ll notice, is the change occurred in the design. The size of the interface is bigger and cleaner than the old one but the general organization remain intact so you wont get lost If you were familiar with the previous one.

Z3TA+ Oscillators
Z3TA+ Shaper

The Oscillator panel remains globally the same but there are some great improvement in term of usability. For example, the Shaper panel is now directly integrated to the oscillator panel and all the options are now selectable via a context menu.

Z3TA+2 Oscillators
Z3TA+2 Perform

There is now a new panel called “Perform” which contains, a joystick modulator and a small but interesting panel named “Analog”. In the analog panel you’ll be able to control oscillator drift and burst 😉 Last but not least, it is now possible to select and load the “user waveforms” from the wave context menu… Even if there are no real astonishing improvements, changes were made and well made !

Z3TA+ Filters
Z3TA+2 Filters

The filters panel remains the same but with 3 new filter types which are “Formant”, “Reso” and “Comb”.

Z3TA+ Enveloppes
Z3TA+2 Enveloppes

The envelope panel is more visual and more usable but globally there is no real changes at all.

Z3TA+ LFO
Z3TA+2 LFO

The low frequency section offer more waveforms and is also more visual, no much to say.

Z3TA+ Modulation Matrix
Z3TA+2 Modulation Matrix

The modulation matrix is pretty much the same one, with a 16 slots routing table. Now the modulation matrix share the same location with the arpegiator panel.

Z3TA+ Arpegiator
Z3TA+2 Arpegiator

The arpegiator has very few modes available but it allow you to load midi files directly and the default soundbank already contains tons of midi sequences. It is possible to use the arpegiator as a “trance gate”.
The parameters available to control the arpegiator are the same but you have now an “humanize” and a “swing” parameter.

As you can see, even if there were improvement made for the “Synth” part, these are ergonomic changes and finally, 80% the functionality remains the same as in version 1.5 but I have to admit that the basis was already very good, so, cakewalk is forgiven 😉

Z3TA+ Effects
Z3TA+2 Effects

The “Effects” part of Z3ta+2 allow you to chain all effects as wanted but again, this is mainly the only modification.

In conclusion, even if Z3ta+2 is very good, it is more an “ergonomy” update than a technically improved version of the first one and I think that’s a bit light for a “10 years later” upgrade 🙁

Pro :

  • Great Sound !
  • New “Analog” features
  • Very usable interface
  • Nicely designed
  • Effect routing
  • Old presets are still compatible
  • Large set of quality presets

Cons :

  • No arpegiator editor, only presets and/or midi file
  • Lack of apegiator modes (Only 5 modes available)
  • Preset/category management is outdated
  • Bugs

Tyrell Nexus 6

Here is a small review of a free synth called Tyrell Nexus 6…

It’s a virtual analog software synthetizer with 2 main oscillator, 1 sub-oscillator, 1 noise generator,1 ring modulator, 2 LFO’s, 2 ADSR enveloppe, 2 type of filter LP & BP available in 12db, 24dB, 36dB per octave, a modulation matrix and some miscallenous options.

The Tyrell is also bundled with a large amount of patches. IMHO, this virtual software synthetizer if great you should at least give it a try !

It support the following OS :

  • Microsoft Windows 32bit & 64bit (VST only)
  • MAC OS X (VST & AU)

Each version is available at the following location for download :

  • Mac-User Download HERE
  • PC-User Download HERE

D16 Group – Nepheton

A few months ago, during the “Winters Sales” of D16 Group I bought their Roland TR-808 emulation which is called “Nepheton”.

Visually, the design of the Nepheton doesn’t looks like the Real Roland TR-808…

This visual difference is more a story of protectionism coming from Roland than a real design choice !

The Nepheton is a true analog beat-box emulation, each instrument is synthetised as closer as possible to the originals one allowing a great flexibility for what concern sound tweaking !

As you already know, the Nepheton is an emulation of the Roland TR-808 but it is not only an emulation… The Nepheton goes further by offering more parameters than those given by the original one.

The Nepheton may be configured as mono or stereo but allow a maximum of 12 outputs assignable… It’s said 24 on the D16 group site but it’s not really true because they calculate their 24 like 12 stereo equal 24 mono… In fact, they should say that there are 12 mono or stereo separate channel output assignable.
Because I’m not the first one to complain about this “lie”, I saw on their forum a pseudo technical reason saying that Ableton live is not able to handle more than 16 outputs per VSTi… Ok if it’s so they should give the Nepheton 16 separates outputs instead of 12 don’t you think ?

Excepting the story of the ouputs limitation, I must admit that D16 Group compensate it well by offering a really good sound synthesis full of analog warmth and power !

Since a long time ago, I relied on samples like the Tape 808 sample pack of Goldbaby and I must admit that even if these samples are great, they always the same each time they are triggered which is not the case with the Nepheton sound engine cause it add subtle variations from note to note…

To illustrate what I just said here are two superposed “Snare Drum” waveforms.

And as you will notice, it goes the same way for the “Bass Drum” even if it is more subtle because its made of a pure sine wave.

All of these subtle sound variation are the earth of a good emulation of the original beast. Somes would say that is does’nt sound exactly like the original and even they are right, each real TR-808 has his own sound !

Anyway, the Nepheton is a really good virtual analog beat-box !