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Applied Acoustics Systems
Sales:
sales@applied-acoustics.com
Support:
www.applied-acoustics.com / 1 514 871-8100 / support@applied-acoustics.com
Address:
486 W Ste-Catherine St., Suite 400, Montreal, Quebec, H3B 1A6, Canada

Applied Acoustics Systems was founded in 1998 and is based in Montreal, Canada. It is a privately-held company, specializing in innovative audio products for Mac and PC computers. Applied Acoustics Systems flagship product, the Tassman, a software-synthesizer program for amateur and professional musicians, as well as audio post-producers, is distributed worldwide through retail, direct and Internet sales.

Products by Applied Acoustics Systems

Latest reviews of Applied Acoustics Systems products

Strum GS-2
Reviewed By kingozrecords
April 2nd, 2022

A good product, versatile. Has a weird sound though that emulates a hummed string, very hard to mix out. Use notches and hope for the best.

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Gorgeous preset pack. Certainly not every patch is going to sound like the actual instrument, but it's astonishing the variety of sounds and variations Cipryan Bot has summoned from what is, essentially, a two-timbre subtractive synth! And even the patches that aren't as realistic, they're inspiring and playable in their own right.

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Multiphonics CV-1
Reviewed By tommyzai
April 29th, 2021

NOTE: I'd like to give this 4.5 stars at this time, but that wasn't an option. I'd rather go with 5 than 4.

INTRODUCTION
Multiphonics CV-1 is a new virtual modular synthesizer from Applied Acoustics Systems, a Canadian-based audio software development team that has produced some of the world's most innovative plugins. ... Lounge Lizard, Ultra Analog, Chromaphone, Objeq Delay, etc.

WHY DID I BUY THIS AND WRITE ABOUT IT?
I'm a registered user of the AAS bundle. Over the years, I picked up each synth and effect one-by-one, usually on an introductory offer, and I never had regrets. When Multiphonics CV-1 was officially released, I wasn't sure if I could justify the purchase. .. I'm currently not working, and I have a good semi-modular synth from another developer. Still, I tortured myself by checking out the promotional ads, watching YouTube tutorials, and reading comments on the forums. I noticed that the tone of the posts range from glowing to dim and not much in between. I simply had to check this out and see and hear what all the hullabaloo was about. AAS makes it really easy to demo, but I pulled the trigger, optimistically hoping I would love it. So, I purchased, downloaded, installed, authorized, and began noodling. As I dove in, I felt compelled to share my first impressions. I hope you find my words informative or at least an enjoyable read.;-).

THE MODULAR SYNTHESIZER (Gurus, feel free to skip this section)
Modular synths are comprised of separate modules, each with a different function. These modules can be connected together by cables in various ways to create a patch. This environment is perfectly suited for creatively sound design. Like most modular synths, Inputs and outputs can be "patched" together in many ways. These synths lend themselves to experimentation and offer a signal path that is extremely flexible in comparison to other types of synths. Wikipedia has a sweet list of "typical modules." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_synthesizer. They include: Sources (VCO, LFO, EG, Etc.) and Processors (VCF, VCA, LPG, RM, Mixer, etc.).

Modular gear is in vogue. Over the past few years, several virtual options have been released. I'm actually surprised that it took so long for this mode of madness to become fashionable. These synths are a natural fit for EDM, Ambient, and anything experimental. I did some research about the various available virtual models. There are a few different approaches that include:

1. Open-Source (expandable via 3rd party modules).

2. Closed-Source (self-contained modular environment).

3. Semi-modular (collection of pre-wired modules).

After noodling around for several hours, here are a bulleted list of my first impressions and thoughts.. .

ReasonS TO BUY
• Version one of Multiphonics CV-1 provides all the basic modulation options needed to make great sounds. There are plenty of modulation and audio possibilities to keep users of all levels satisfied. .. until more modules are added, of course.;-).

• The built-in factory library is modestly comprehensive; yet, the patches are well-crafted and offer a rounded aural palette that illustrates what this synth's capabilities. Some of the patches in the Generative Folder are addictive. The library patches also provide a great starting point for user tweaked sounds.

• This synth sounds fantastic! The modules are pro quality in look, feel, and sound. They are not clunky and chunky like some offerings out there. And, like all AAS synths, CV-1 manages is capable of the unique combination of clarity and warmth. Sonics range from clear as a bell to deep and dirty and everything in between.

• Objeq Filter and State Variable Filter Modules are wonderful.

• This synth looks fantastic! Streamlined elegant interface. Eye-pleasing. Not intimidating. Seems 3D. Patch librarian is smooth, and I especially appreciate the notes section for each patch. .. they are visable without clicking anything.

• Super easy to use. Everything is right there on the main interface, providing a fast, efficient work-flow. Although it's virtual, it behaves and feels physical and tactile. Nothing gets in the way of sound designing and playing patches. It's perfect for modular rookies and veterans. Regardless of experience, CV-1 enables users to work quickly before their muses abandons them.

• It's fun, inspiring, and musical. This is one of those instruments that are a joy to experiment with and play.

• Multiphonics is a closed system, which means the entire library is integrated with all modules sharing the same conventions and designed to work well together.

• Relatively low-CPU hit for a modular.

• Easy to read manual (probably not needed). Good video tutorials.

• Standalone and plug-in (AU, VST, VST3) version.

• Small footprint. Hard to believe so much fits in a handful of megabytes (8.8MB for application version).

• Being a registered user of this synth won't become a money pit. AAS will undoubtedly provide us with exciting free updates, and down the road when they create v2. .. it won't cost much for registered users of v1.

• Applied Acoustics Systems has a strong user base with a responsive customer service.

DON'T BUY THIS IF YOU.. .
• like an open android-type technology that allows you to collect 3rd party modules. The Open vs. Closed system debate is much like PC vs. Mac. Some users like to mix and match components from a variety of sources, while others like to keep it all in a neat, clean box. Some users might want more complexity, more menus, and more under-the-hood tinkering. There are advantages and disadvantages to both camps. For those campers who prefer open architecture, look into: VCV Rack, Voltage Modular, and Softube Modular.

• cannot wait for this new release to add modules and grow into a beast.

• have enough synths. I tried to explain to my girlfriend why I needed another synth. My arguments made me sound like a junkie with a serious addiction problem. It's hard to argue or justify why we need more gear to a non-musician. Yet, we musicians know we need more! Why do I need a Telecaster and a Stratocaster when I can only play one guitar at a time? Because they each have their own unique feel and sound. The same can be argued in favor of purchasing another synth.

SUMMARY
Multiphonics CV-1 is a virtual modular synth that inspires creative experimentation and educational probing. It appears oddly tactile for a virtual instrument. Users can almost feel the patch cables and they drag them from module to module. Speaking of modules. .. they are clearly high-end and provide many patch options; yet, we want more! Experienced modular enviroment users will yearn for more, and I'm sure it will develop and evolve with each update. Knowing AAS, I am confident more modules are in the works, and I look forward to grabbing them. This company is best known for physical modeling. I'd like future updates to include more of their signature physical modeling via modules. Tassman, their synthg from years back included lots of modeling modules. When CV-1 includes more modeling, there will be little comparison between this and other modulars. .. assuming you are like me and dig physical modeling.;-) What I like most about Multiphonics. .. it's fun to use. .. time flies by as I move cables around, creating sounds that will surely lead to tracks and songs. Overall, the synth is expressive and musical. I don't find myself frustrated working with it. My head isn't buried in a manual, fiddling with hidden menus. What you see is what you get, and what you get is pretty cool! Everything is accessible directly from the interface. This makes it both a fast creation tool for seasoned patch designers and a great learning tool for modular newcomers. I've tried other modulars, both hardware and software, and I found most of them to be overly complex. This one is simple, yet powerful. And, the price is great. There is a demo. I highly recommend checking out this modular beast. I'm glad I picked it up.

OUTRO: SO, WHAT HAPPENED TO TASSMAN?
Tassman used to be Applied Acoustics Systems' flagship synth. I loved it! Is this a new version of Tassman, renamed? Well, Tassman was discontinued a few years ago. I did some investigating and found this: https://www.applied-acoustics.com/tassman-4/faq/. Multiphonics CV-1 is not a continuation of Tassman. This is a totally new synth. Both share the same modular philosophy and are closed systems (no third-party modules), but Tassman behaved a lot like Reaktor, whereby patches were created in a "builder" interface, which required users to switch into the "Player" interface to tweak and play — sounds were interrupted when changes were made in the patch. Multiphonics is more like a Eurorack with patching done with wires directly on the playing interface. No doubt, the Tassman's coding became outdated. Multiphonics CV-1 represents the latest in coding/tech, and in my opinion it's much faster, smoother, and more fun.

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Strum GS-2
Reviewed By krofork
March 29th, 2021

Absolutely gorgeous sound for Unobtanium guitar with Mithril strings, played by Cyborg from Alpha-Centauri. It has strings, it can be strummed, amplified but it does not sound like something you hear on stage, or near campfire.

Background for my opinion: I'm not a guitar player - only keys. My main music interests: electronic/edm/experimental/hybrid.

I tried to choose my first guitar VI to buy. Of course I wanted to find "most of the most" guitar: realistic, simple and powerful...and inexpensive :) I trialed couple of them: MusicLab, Amplesound...Absolute fantastic edge of technology, but all of them seemed to me like sample archive with several knobs - you can build a music with it, but it is not VI for playing with keys. Okay, okay - it is not rocket science - I got some results with keyboard, but just did not like workflow. Then, I tried AAS Strum GS-2: "Oh, that is not guitar...and this is guitar..and..woah! i'm playing guitar!". One, two... and I just got music sketch and experiment with a result. Tons of sound presets and built-in rhythmic patterns, but you can just strum with keyboard. Or tweak sound in a way you never thought it was tweakable. "Do I really need 100% authentic super guitar sound?"

Pros: Playable fantastic strumming engine, Playground for guitar sound experiments, Built in patterns and FX, Quite realistic as electric rhythm guitar (and fast).

Cons: Not so easy, fast and plausible as acoustic guitar or lead guitar, No scratches/squeaks/slaps.

Forget about cons if you can consider this VI not as guitar, but "guitar-like synth", or "sketching/experimental instrument"

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Tassman
Reviewed By Q9000
December 7th, 2020

Pro:

* 2020: still unique sound in a modular system.

* allows to model physically impossible instruments, such as a pluck hitting a metal plate which feeds into other signals which feeds int the same metal plate etc.

* number of modules in a design just limited by CPU resources.

Contra:

* cumbersome UI.

* some bugs/problems which probably won't get fixed.

* no Linux support (no big issue).

* last update was in 2015.

Bugs/Problems I encountered:

* samples of the sampler module need to have the same bitrate as the plugin is using, this is annoying.

* I couldn't figure out how to go back in sub-modules without jumping back to the overall design of the instrument.

The program runs fine in 64-bit VST DAW's, which is great.

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Chromaphone
Reviewed By blatanville
August 7th, 2018

Chromaphone 2, bears the same, utilitarian face as most of AAS's virtual instruments. And that's fine - they've devised a simple, clear, and useful interface for their wares.
Underneath, and at the speaker end of things, though, this synth is special. It's alive. Really, really alive and responsive (when you take advantage of the possibilities, of course. Read tommyzai's more-comprehensive review if you want more details. I'm "chiming in" here to lend another voice supporting this amazing synthesizer.

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Objeq Delay
Reviewed By tommyzai
April 17th, 2017

INTRO
Objeq Delay is everything a virtual delay effects plugin should be — PLUS unique features that only Applied Acoustics Systems could deliver — combining a filter and acoustic resonators (objects) with a delay unit. This provides users with a wider palette of effects, timbres, and tones with crisp clarity. Repeats (from a tight slap-back to infinite) are free of the exponential mud that drag many units down. The interface is inviting and reveals a simple, yet effective signal/work-flow.

SIGNAL FLOW (Chapter 2 of the user manual provides a clear illustration)
The input signal travels through a low-pass/high-pass filter and acoustic resonators (the Object module), which makes the object resonate. The signal then enters a two stage delay (Pre and Echo). The resonances and delay are processed to the primary signal in real time. The signal balance is determined at the output via the Mixer module. There is also an LFO to help shape the pre-filtered tone — Types include: Sine, Triangle, Square, Random, and RdmRamp.

MODULES
1. LFO: This can be automated or tweaked manually. The modulation destinations include the usual suspects, i.e., chorus, flanger, tremolo, vibrato, as well as auto-filter modulation effects.
2. Filter: Filtered echoes for added fullness and movement. Sounds especially cool on rhythm guitar and other chordal things. The filter module provides flexibility by shaping the resonance of one of the objects selected.
3. Physical Object: Shapes the tone prior to delay (Beam, Drumhead, Plate, String)
4. Delay: There are two delay lines. The first is a pre-delay. It is used to create a delay between the dry signal and the filtered signal from the Object. This stage allows users to tweak the low and high frequencies and add acoustic object resonances. The second is a feedback loop that can create Echoes, hence the name.
5. Mixer: Balance, Output, Out/In.

Note: Each module may be activated or inactivated.

METER
The meter is located on the far right with numerical Db values and color-coding (green, yellow, orange, and red).

PRESET MANAGEMENT
The preset management system is conveniently located across the top bar. The presets themselves are very useful straight-up or serve as a great start-point for custom control — and they load super fast. I really dig the preset management — banks and programs can be accessed either by up one/down one or a drop-down menu. There is also a History arrow to help users. Auditioning sounds is fast and simple. I created a basic vocal loop and easily scrolled through the seven banks of programs (presets). In total, there are 226. ECHOES contain standard and creative delays, many of which have some filtering. MODULATORS contain wet and wild motion. On the subtle end there are chorus', flangers and tremolos; on the not-so-subtle end there are waves of sweeps and swells along with pounding pulses and bubbling flutters. RHYTHMIC LOOP MANGLERS contains alternation, wideners and other effects that are perfect for mutating incoming percussive loops into a newfound pulse of gyration. KICK TRACK ENHANCERS deliver extra pow, puff, punch, and wobble. SNARE TRACK ENHANCERS bring resonance and snap with overtones that range from plastic to wood. DRONES can be swirling and surreal. The combination of the resonator and LFO create otherworldly, evolving modulation for atmospheric, mysterious ambient textures. RICHARD DEVINE SIGNATURE designed a bank of presets that are geared (pun intended) toward cool, crisp metallic industrial, EDM, and soundtrack. There are several glitches and dreamscapes.

FAV THINGS
• Easy purchase, install, and authorization
• Clear, concise, well-written .pdf user manual for reference, but probably not needed.
• Neat, clean interface
• Intuitive preset management system
• Small digital footprint (about 10MB) with super low CPU hit (meter barely moves)
• Inspiring
• Musical
• Simple, yet powerful
• Cool developers
• Unique features that justify the purchase.

OTHER THOUGHTS
• The Objects provided are sensational, but I'm greedy and want more!
• Scalable interface?

SUMMARY
In addition to the pristine quality and all the things an electronic musical wizard would desire, this unit boasts features that set it apart. Nowadays, it's easy to find virtual delay that will sync to tempo, ping pong, slap-back, etc.; however, this plugin shines is in it's ability to combine a filter and acoustic objects with a delay. Even if another company released a plugin with this combination, it's unlikely they would do a better job at the modeling segment than AAS. How many electric piano plugins compare with Lounge Lizard? Objeq is perfect for anyone looking for a distinctive delay that is musical, inspiring, and sui generis (I recently learned this word and this is a perfect place to use it). I give this fine effect an affectionate double thumbs up — Love it! Thank you, Applied Acoustics Systems, for developing this effects gem.

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Chromaphone
Reviewed By tommyzai
March 30th, 2016

Note: I'd like to give score this a 9.5, but that's not an option, so 10 it is (9 would be insulting).

INTRO

Chromaphone-2 by Applied Acoustics Systems is an extremely versatile and dynamic virtual synth that is capable of an astounding array of timbres. It's the biggest little virtual synth I have ever used.

Chromaphone-2 does not use samples or waveforms, nor does it utilize FM, subtractive, or additive synthesis. It's based on physical modeling whereby algorithms emulate the specific vibration of instruments and other objects. The results yield an unparalleled array of realism and clarity of sound. AAS initially called v1 a "percussive synth," but it soon after proved to be capable of much, much more! As expected, it shined when creating one-shots, plucks, etc., but it easily produced lovely strings, pads, and ambient textures as well. The second version is called an "acoustic object synthesizer," which is more accurate — especially considering all the additions and enhancements. This is by far one of the most versatile virtual instruments ever created. The range of timbers is vast. I mostly used the previous version for ambient wah-wahs to add a hypnotic pulse to my tracks, but I plan to use v2 for just about everything! Be sure to check out the basses, pads, kicks and snares. The overall sound of this synth is fantastic — expressive, crisp, clear, and pleasing to the ear.

The redesigned interface is divided into three sections: Play, Edit, and FX. It's easier than ever to navigate around this lovely beast. There is a streamlined keyboard strip that is excellent for previewing sounds. The multi-effect processor contains all the groovy stuff needed to spice up patches: chorus, delay, distortion, flanger, notch filter, phaser, reverb, and the previously mentioned wah-wah. The filtering section has greatly been improved. It now has pitch bend and a really cool arp! There is also a very useful compressor and EQ on board. The new version contains over 600 patches that sound great as is or serve as an excellent start point for creating new patches.

FAVORITE FEATURES

• Easy purchase, install, and authorization.

• User-friendly, eye-pleasing interface.

• The sound! As nearly every reviewer states,"crystal clear"*.

• I love the compressor, which truly delivers "distortion-free dynamics"

• Excellent collection of presets with a convenient management system.

• Improved resonators.

• V1 presets can be converted.

• Easy to tweak and/or program.

• Fantastic built-in arp.

• Physical modeling = Small footprint (10MB for standalone version)

• Stable.

• Excellent developer — innovative and responsive. They are also great people. I met then in person at NAMM.

OTHER THOUGHTS

• *In general, the sound is crystal clear, but with a little creative processing the possibilities are endless.

• CPU friendly considering the quality of sound. More complex sounds are naturally hungrier. My favorite patches seem to range between 5 to 15 percent.

SUMMARY

Chromaphone-2 is a joy to launch. Don't expect synth to be a one-trick-pony bell-like mallet machine; it's capable of just about anything, either straight out of the box or with a touch of processing. A few words that come to mind (besides clarity): Alive! Dynamic! Real! I highly recommend this fine software synth to any electronic musician, producer, sound designer, etc., regardless of genre! Tommy Zai gives this new version of Chromaphone an extra thumb up! Great job Applied Acoustics Systems. You are creating a clear path to the future of sound.

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