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Homegrown Sounds releases Astralis Microtonal Synthesizer

Homegrown Sounds has released Astralis, a new Microtonal Synthesizer VST instrument for Windows.

Astralis is described as a "tweaker's synth", great for ambient pads/sounds as well as rhythmic effects and very long evolving tones. Aside from having 2 independent synths with dual and spectral oscillators, 2 cascadable filters (8x), 2 Modulation Sequencers, a Gate Sequencer (TranceGate), and a comprehensive FX section, Astralis also includes a unique Microtonal Scale System. This system uses patches created using the included Microtonal Bank/patch manager. Custom scales of up to 24 notes can be created, and scale entry is designed with scala files in mind using either ratio or cent values. 160 tuning patches are included as default including a wide selection of eastern scales. Unlike many other microtonal systems Astralis does not rely on the pitch bend which remains fully functional.

Homegrown Sounds is known for producing unique pads/textures through its range of sample CDs and Astralis was designed to put this sonic creating power into the hands of the user, making complex sounds easy to produce and lots of fun in the process.

The Astralis pack also includes Astralis B which is a single synth version with reduced CPU. Additionally a sample based version Astralis C as well as a standalone FX VST are to be added over the coming weeks. This upgrade will be free to existing license holders. The pack is shareware and fully functional for 30 days. The retail price of the pack is £30 but it is available for a an introductory price of £15 for a limited period.

Main features

Synths:

  • Dual Oscillator - 11 Waveforms, Harmonic Control, 9 Mix Modes and Realtime Modulation.
  • Spectral Oscillator - Sine based oscillator with 16 Partials and realtime modulation. The Spectral Oscillator can be swapped for a second Dual Osc.
  • 2 complete synths, synth 1 uses the Dual Oscillator and Synth 2 the Spectral Oscillator but is swappable for a second Dual Osc.
  • 2 Polyphonic Filters with Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Notch, Peak A, Peak B and both cascadable up to 8 times.
  • Filter Limit - Reduce the lowest/highest filter frequencies.
  • Filter 1 can be routed through Filter 2 or Filter cutoff frequencies can be linked.
  • 2 Volume ADSR Envelopes one per synth.
  • White Noise Source can be added to either synth.
  • Drive/Distortion Each synth has an independent distortion selectable between soft and hard.
  • Each Synth has independent Volume, Pan, Octave, semitone and fine-tune controls.
  • Synth 1 can be used to sync to Synth 2.
  • 6 Voice Polyphony and Mono Mode.
  • Glide - sets the amount of time taken to go from one note to the next.
  • Pitch Bend up to 4 Octaves.

24 Note Microtuning Patch System:

  • Unique system for using custom tuning scales over 1 or 2 Octaves. Patches are built using the included Bank Manager. Built with Scala files in mind patches can be entered in either ratios or cent values, have a title and description. Any MIDI key in the patch can be set to any pitch, and the pitch bend will function properly unlike other Microtonal systems. 160 Patches are included with many World Tunings (Middle East, African, Far East etc.).
  • A Base Tuning - A usually set at 440hz can be set to any value for authentic recreation.
  • Root Note - The root note can be altered over a 2 octave range.

Special Features:

  • Gate Sequencer (Trance Gate) - Can be used on any of the 3 ADSR Envelopes.
  • Spread - Sets the pan of each polyphonic voice to a specified position or can be random.
  • Attack Reducer - Control over the individual attack of each polyphonic voice, can also be set to random.
  • Release Reducer - Control over the individual Release of each polyphonic voice, can also be set to random.
  • Custom Clock - To build a custom pulse clock synced to the host BPM to drive the sequencers.
  • Keyboard Velocity Graph - For building custom velocity maps.

Modulation Options:

  • Modulation Matrix - 8 x 8 Matrix with a choice of 11 Sources can be mapped to a choice of 26 Destinations.
  • Modulation Sequencer 1 - Polyphonic Sequencer which can be stepped or smoothed, synced to the Host Tempo. Also has keyboard mapping.
  • Modulation Sequencer 2 - Monophonic Sequencer which can be stepped or smoothed, synced to the Host Tempo. When smoother behaves like a programmable LFO.
  • Low Frequency Oscillator with a selection of 17 waveforms.
  • Voice Modulator - Per polyphonic voice values which can be set or random.
  • Other Modulation sources are Velocity, Modulation Wheel, Pitch, Aftertouch, Expression and Pitch Bender.
  • ADSR Envelope 3.

Effects Section:

  • Flexible Routing Options to change the order of the effects, plus parallel mode.
  • Reverb.
  • Delay.
  • Echo.
  • Ring Modulator.
  • Flanger.
  • Organic.
  • 8 Band Graphic Equalizer.
  • Clipper with 4 modes.
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