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Combining algorithmic rhythmic elements, giant pad and space sounds which can be manipulated in real time, as well as a unique warp function, the M42 brings the quality of virtual instruments to a new level. The M42 is named after the great nebula located in the constellation of Orion.
- Two synths, each with 4 mode filter, 2 envelope generators, LFO, Pulsar and a complex modulation matrix.
- Synth 1 (DCO) is a virtual analog synth with 5 different waveforms :triangle, saw, square, pulse1, pulse2. It can be independently tuned from synth 2.
- Synth 2 (SFO) is a sample oscillator with 5 different types of pad sounds: Fantasy, Analog, Strings, Vintage, and Voices. Both have mono-modes with legato settings and portamento.
- Two unique modules: The Pulsar and Arpeggiator which when run together can create complex rhythms and arpeggiation effects. The arpeggiator is very different from the usual arpeggiators as it receives its waveform structure from the LFO and is not dependent on chords played on the keyboard. The Pulsar creates rhythms as well as a sample hold generator. All are synced to the host BPM. This design was inspired by Klaus Shultz's timeless electronic music piece called "Totem".
- Effects section includes stereo chorus, BPM synced X-delay, auto-panner, and mixer.
- Warp module: X-Y joystick with a unique distortion-filter for warping sounds and creating distortion and lead effects.
- 128 presets programmed by Tim Conrardy (a leading sound designer).
Reviewed By IgorP
February 22, 2009
I have spent a very long time looking for THE instrument that could create some of the most stunningly beautiful pads that I have ever heard and have finally found it.
If you write Ambient, New Age, Down-Tempo, Chillout type music and are looking for some of the most spectacular pads you have ever heard, do yourself a favor and preview the demo of this instrument.
The only thing more amazing than the sounds of this instrument is the price tag.
I give this virtual instrument the highest possible recommendation. Download the demo and go through the presets. I think you will be so impressed that you will end up buying the full version.
Interface: Extremely well laid out with every control on the main page. There is no navigating to sub-menus; It is all there right before you.
Sound Quality: Stunning, Haunting, Beautiful, Ethereal, Other-Worldly are some of the words that come to mind. As I mentioned previously - I have been spending quite some time previewing various soft-synths for my specific requirement (Pads, evolving pads, resonance-sweep pads), and this was the one that I ended up buying.Read more
Reviewed By SyntheticAurality
December 11, 2004
All the technical details have been discussed, so I'll focus on what's important to me.. the sounds, and the range of presets (since I'm not a sound designer). This review is for the latest 1.11 release.
The sound vary from long, slowly evolving pads to lead sounds and rhythmic sounds.. the pads are to die for, the lead sounds are decent and the rhythmic sounds are a major treat. I've found that layering M42 with a rhythmic patch over another synth playing long sustained notes can give you all the trippy space sound you'd ever need in life.
The presets are mostly excellent, I have no complaints at all - just about everything is eminently useable. The only bad thing I can say about it, is that for my music I'd not use it solo as a lead synth as it (to my ears) isn't "beefy" enough.
I've had no problems with M42 in either of my hosts, Orion Platinum 5.8 and Tracktion 1.6. CPU useage is pretty good, even on my now-ancient P4 2.53GHz box.
Value for money? This thing is cheap, buy it already! I've spent more on beer during a serious night out and had less fun! :-p
Summary: it's not an end-all/be-all synth, but for spacey sounds, rhythmmic pulsations, and being an EXCELLENT synth for stacking it can't be beat!Read more
Reviewed By carrieres
December 9, 2004
and begins the polemic about SE synth and review.
i was agree with some critics but whatever you think, this synth need to be PLAYED on a keyboard and you will understand why there is such a big buzz or maybe you will not believe what you heard, how a small SE synth can be so good and so cheap ?
this synth prouve that with two litle synth, ( 1 DCO and a soundfont player), one chorus and a delay you can have a LOT of fun.
i have to correct something, when i said play on a keyboard, it does NOT mean that you need to be master with 7 years of practice, it's the contrary with one finger you are blown in the deep space of sound.
with the 1.1 version the interface has been shrinked to a very reasonnable size.
another great update is the selectable soundfont, you can load your own soundfont carefully crafted in your bigger and very expensive synth !!!
i just want to try this, it's look like a dream
i give a bad rating on stability issue just because SE synth and Orion are not very friendly.
One crash was when i was looking for the automation of the warp module and i swaped between automation type vst parameter and midi CC while running.
i want to add that i played this synth only with orion platinum 5.8 (the only hosts i use) and that M42 nebula is my first vsti purchase (i immediately fall in love)
i will repeat, just try it with your keyboard even your computer keyboard !!!Read more
Reviewed By AndreasE
September 22, 2004
User Interface is nice but a little bit confusing, but the manual is describing all in a good manner.
Customer Support and Value For Money are outstanding and this synth never crashed on my machine.
I really have no serious complaints about this synth.Read more
Reviewed By x_bruce
September 20, 2004
Based on a soundfont oscillator and traditional oscillator through a signal chain of digital oscillator to filter, to amplitude filter, to mod envelope and into the interesting stuff - the LFO, Pulsar (a specialized arpeggiator) and finishing with a mod matrix. Replace the DCO on oscillaor 2 and put a soundfont front-end with nicely selected samples and followed by a effects engine featuring chorus, cross delay, pan controller, synth mixer and finally, the warp control which enables you to program functions to a x/y controller. Not to be forgotten, the global section allows for splits, layers and variable pitch control per oscillator.
I often have concerns about soundfonts. It's not that the format is bad, more that most sets I've heard are not well designed and often are a hodgepodge of sounds made as a "thrilling experience of REAL sounds". Fortunately, the set included with M42 are chosen for use within M42's thematic standard with high quality samples that bring out the most in M42's design.
Don't forget the non-sampled oscillator. It also has lots of character and a quality that lends itself to evocative sounds. Combined with the generous soundfont library and the modulations, arpeggiations and general synthesis capabilities available in M42 it is a testimant to good synth design.
More importantly, there is vision as to what a pad synth does. M42 is based on proven techniques in synth design with one hidden weapon, a generous set of presets by Tim Conrardy. In it's own way Tim's programming and mastery of M42 Nebula make this similar within context to synths like Albino, where a developer works in concert with a synth designer and sound programmer make for a synergism that makes learning and playing M42 Nebula vastly easier than the wealth of controls available.
At $45 this is a steal if:
* you actually enjoy pads, spacy sounds and overall capability in synthesis
* keep an open mind as to what this synth's purpose is
if you long for the synths of old where all sounds seemed possible and probably were
If a more established company's name was on it the price of $99 wouldn't be unexpected nor unreasonable. At $45 it's a killer synth.
I put M42 Nebula in the same special catagory of synths like Rhino, Albino or z3ta+. Yes, each is a monster synth whereas M42 is more focused on one area but it is priced suitably and is testimate to what a motivated SE developer and excellent patch designer can do when working together.
Note: M42 is not a harsh sounding synth and as such might not work for those looking to do industrial. Listen before buying. The demo is very good and will give you a good idea of what awaits you in the full version.
Highly recommeded!Read more