Best Of 2018: Software Synthesizers

2018 saw a raft of updates and new releases, from emulations of vintage gear to new and totally unique soft synthesizers. There's never been a better time to make music with virtual synths.  

iZotope Vocalsynth 2

Not only is VocalSynth 2 a creative tool for vocalists, but it also offers the opportunity to process all kinds of instruments and audio material through the flexible chaining architecture. A multitude of controls and sonic surprises await you within iZotope’s clean and user-friendly design interface.

The BioVox, Vocoder, Compuvox and Talkbox Voice Modules all expand to reveal advanced sound sculpting tools, including two oscillators with 5 waveshape options, pitch shifters, multiple modulation knobs, filter, LFO and pan. In order to use multiple voice modules, it’s important to have access to these controls for blending, filtering and matching waveforms if need be. We’ve gone over the Vowel Shaper in the BioVox section, but also worth noting is the ‘Bands’ control in the Vocoder section.  Here you can adjust the Vol and the Pan of the Vocoder Bands to bring out or cut certain frequencies and also spread the frequencies of the Vocoder across the stereo spectrum. it's a powerful tool not only for voice processing but all kinds of other sounds too.

UVI Drum Designer

Drum Designer combines the best of synthesis and sample-based drum techniques, breaking down drum hits to the component level and allowing users to rapidly create, edit and combine sounds with the flexibility of a synthesizer and the polish and impact of high-quality sample libraries.

Users can make broad-stroke changes to preset sounds with front page macros or take complete control over individual hit components with detailed editors and a versatile effects section. Each voice archetype (kick, snare, clap and cymbal) allows surgical sound shaping through component-specific editors including control over time, gain, pan, pitch, key-tracking, HP and LP filters, sample start time, phase, AHD amp envelopes, stereo width and more. Drum sounds can be further tweaked and refined through an effect section including transient designer, soft clipper, stereo width, EQ and convolution reverb.

ROLI Cypher 2

FXpansion’s world-class sound designers and software engineers have built on the best features of Strobe2 and Cypher from DCAM Synth Squad, while also creating the world’s most extensive library of MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) compatible sounds.'

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More

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