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Sonic Academy

SonicAcademy.com is a music technology tutorial, software and soundware developer. We offer the highest quality video tutorials and sound tools to help you on your music creation journey. We have an amazing and helpful online community dedicated to progressing your understanding of music creation where you can meet, learn and share your knowledge with other music enthusiasts.

Products by Sonic Academy

Latest reviews of Sonic Academy products


Reviewed By digitalboytn [all]
May 22nd, 2021
Version reviewed: 2.5.0 on Windows

ANA 2 is getting a whole lotta love in my world and it has been an indispensable workhorse for a few years now...

It's easy to tweak, sits well in the mix and sounds really, really good...

Powerful oscillators with numerous tone shaping and modulation options and a killer arpeggiator and effects section...

The guys who did the the DSP coding are no clowns and they've created a seriously good synth that is a programmer's delight...

Anybody who can't make great sounding tracks of any genre with this synth should be looking in the user error department...

ANA 2 is one of the two synthesizers that I would take with me to the proverbial desert island...

I love using this synth and it's a 5 star winner in my world....

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Reviewed By pvallejosb [all]
April 12th, 2021
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows

To be honest, I wanted to give it a 4,5 rating.

It is an amazing synth, with top sound quality and awesome features. It also has one of the best arpeggiators I've ever played with.

The only downside is that we have better wavetable synths today, even some of them are free (Vital). That's the only downside. Everything else is just amazing.

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Reviewed By replicant X [all]
September 3rd, 2019
Version reviewed: 2.0.92 on Windows

The flavor of Juno, JP, Mini, MS, OB and etc.
ANA2 condense the essence of these greatest synthesizers and it even brings new sounds with 3D Wavetable and G-Env.

You can use it as a instant synthwave machine with those 80's vintage sounds but it can be a growl machine for dubstep.
And the FM section have charactor of TX81Z, so It's very suitable for bass sounds of house music or EBM.
And the Hyper saw is indistinguishable from Virus.

FX section have not only basic FXs, but also Ensamble, Tape simu, Multi Lim, Multi Comp, Sidekick, and etc.
And the preset browser is very easy to use with tags, ratings and a search function.

In addition, the CMD can be secret weapon if you know how to use it.

The specification is.

3 WaveTable OSCs - Including vintage analog waveforms and 3D morphable waveforms.

Each OSC have SubOSC, Phase / Morph, Sync, FM, Voices (up to 9 unison), Detune, Shape, Pan, Filter routing, Volume.

3 Sample OSCs - can load wave file with Drag and Drop.

2 Filters - 46 filter type including vintage analog emulations.

6 ENVs - 1 FilterENV, 1 Amp ENV, 4 Mod ENV. You can chose the charactor from very snappy ENV to more analog ENV.

3 G-ENVs - Graphical, sketchable ENV. It can be used as LFO and syncable to host BPM.

3 LFOs - It can be "one shot" like ENV, of corse syncable.

4 Macros Controls.

1 EQ.

FX - 5 slots, 24 FXs.

Mod Matrix - 16 Mod matrix slots, 16 Macro matrix slots.

ARP - Polyphonic Arpeggiator.

CMD - Chord Memory Device.

what more can i ask for?

Absolutely 5 Stars.

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Reviewed By moonchunk [all]
January 4th, 2018
Version reviewed: 2.0.3 on Windows

This is a first impression review. If you're here because you watched Plugin Guru's video on ANA 2, that's how I learned about it as well (Its a good overview if not). I just purchased this a day ago, so I reserve the right to adjust the review in the near future. Okay, this is a decent synth that may be well, well worth your money. From what I can tell its a really good synth, particularly appealing to me in 5 particular aspects:

1) The features of the synth are particularly well thought out, kind of based on Omnisphere (in terms of mod matrix layout and combination of wave file (in the sampler) with wavetable sound source) meets Serum (the importable wave tables), meets Spire, meets a Kirnu Cream-style pair of arp and chord memory sections (with the Kirnu Cream functionality I think making a number of people's heads turn, especially since not everyone has understood or mastered Kirnu Cream in the first place, and it has both a single-note-to-chord-memory module, and a basket arp memory (which has three 6-basket octave positions, which is a bit wider than Kirnu's).

2) Extensive modulation capability. And I mean extensive.

3) A Three wavetable Osc section and also a three Sampler Osc section - each of which may be loaded with user tables or samples.

4) Feature 3 plus the modulation features and the G-envelope, and a number of other other features, make this a very good synth to design unique and rich sounds in.

5) Overall this is one of the most easy to learn synths I have seen - or it could just be me, but I mean, the layout is really just left to right, down, left to right, down, and so on, and each part of the flow makes a lot of sense to an uninformed synth user like myself.

I saw one user complain that he didn't understand the Arp section, which is understandable.

As a result of this complaint, if others express the same one, then my advice to Sonic Academy would be to add a traditional arp and step sequencer to the list of features because that certainly wouldn't hurt. And getting your head around the new manner of thinking provided by Kirnu is a little bit of an undertaking.

The way it works, AFAIK, is that baskets are available in memory, that receive a set of incoming MIDI Note On's (such as if you hold down a chord with several notes). A graphic display lets a user choose which basket to play the note from, while the "arp/sequence" is running. (Unfortunately from what I can tell here, in this synth, (not in Kirnu) it isn't simple to impact the note velocity coming back out. One could design a G-envelope pattern and do it that way, but to have control of the velocity of each note in the arp on a second screen, as Kirnu does, would be helpful.

But that brings up a drawback of Kirnu not present in this synth. I've always felt it was extremely liberating to have step sequencers built into synths as opposed to VST arp players (or Ableton's Note FX) that route MIDI into a soundsource. This is because the inherent modulation chain of the synth can involve kinds of "retrigger", or not involve them, whereas with MIDI you pretty much have the retrigger (or it would take a very sophisticated programmer to purposefully artfully ignore them in some particular set of rules). So if you play a note and your synth has a step sequencer, the amplitude envelope will not necessarily be a factor in the sound of each note - a much more glissando effect. So it is an advantage to have under your control a development team that is in the process of redefining these functions - there are a great many possibilities.

As far as the Sampler Osc section, my first experience with it was an extremely good one. It is very well laid out, with an intuitively understandable set of controls. It was easy to create non-clicking loops, and there is a built in high pass filter at the front of the chain, for those times when you want to add a vibe without overwhelming your mix.

The reason I only gave this synth a 7 is because I feel that the amount of work that went into the programming/sound algorithm design is limited relative to a synth such as Spire, and the 500 plus factory presets have some goodies, but do not cover the breadth of the Spire factory sounds. Of course, this is about a third less expensive than Spire (Edit, spire is now 30% off, at about $130, so strike that for now), and with Spire one also gets addicted and wants to load up on 3rd party sounds, which is even more money. Personally right now I'm not tempted to buy the ANA 2 Sounds. Yet. Until I do a bunch of sound design stuff with its Sampler Oscs.

But Spire kills as far as sound quality. Full disclosure: VPS Vengeance, and Falcon, two other synths I have the fortune of owning, also manage to demonstrate some power for the bucks in terms of presets and sound quality that will hopefully come with time for this baby. Omnisphere 2 is a powerhouse for cinematic sounds, but also has a very good sounding synth engine. Falcon kind of covers a bit of the territory in their macro aspect that Omnisphere 2 doesn't. Although I think Spire, Vengeance, and Falcon each have unique appeal that extends into territory that none of the others cover, the EDM genre is a particular field with particular needs. I haven't explored Dune 2 long enough to judge where it sits, and as of yet I haven't owned Sylenth, nor have I gotten any of the products of u-he, although I keep telling myself that is the next step. In fact, that was where the money was slated for that I used to pay for ANA 2. Or maybe Tera by VirSyn because I demo'd that and loved its sound. But clearly I'm a sucker for the arps/chord memory stuff since I'm not a good keyboardist and not getting much better as time goes on either. Thus far no one has reproduced the Omnisphere Live mode functions, which are equally helpful (it lets you play slightly ahead and locks your rhythm in - ANA 2, are you listening?

As far as the sound algorithm design, I think the guys at Sound Academy are probably on the right track but need to tinker a bit. They seem to have a pretty good, maybe great, Virus reproduction. Maybe they just have some work to do to create a bit more magic with some of the other sounds in terms of their approaches - or its the FM side of things that's turning me off, that's making their preset library suffer. And I think putting together a great sounding FM Synth is incredibly hard. And it could be a matter of filters as well, although there are a great many in here, I'm no expert on their quality.

Overall though, with features such as up to 9 unison layers per wavetable OSC, and some very powerful modulators, along with 3 Sample Oscs that are available for user sounds, there is enormous potential here. The deep level of experience when it comes to things like FM synthesis is beyond my pay grade, as are topics like what makes a hardware synth sound (in a positive way) the particular way it does.

But I predict you will get a lot of mileage out of this, and if you are a non-keyboard player, and have something like Ableton or Bitwig, it will be much easier to work out progressions, even impossible to play ones, using a single chord memory preset (CMD preset) and the arp functions in ANA 2 (stored as separate presets), than writing MIDI into a clip by hand. Its a creativity-inspiring feature to be sure. Basically if you own Spire, Cthulhu, and Kirnu Cream, you are exceeding this functionality pretty much, but I defy you to do it at this price.

If I clear the wax out of my ears (they are clean as far as I can tell - but hey, do you have a flashlight, maybe you can check for me) I may raise this 7 star review up a point. But I'm happy I made the purchase and am looking forward to watching the further development.

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Kick - Nicky Romero Artist Edition

Reviewed By noiseprovesnothing [all]
February 19th, 2014
Version reviewed: 10.9.1 on Mac

There are several developers that have built VST and AU drum synths - this is nothing new. Where Kick stands out is ease of use and a unique take on building the perfect kick for a track.

In essence, you can work with one of the presets, and there are a ton of good ones, including some from Nicky Romero, and either leave as is or tweak to your satisfaction. You get to pick the "click" - the top part of the kick - from any of the included samples or supply your own. Then you add the sub to taste. You get pitch and amp envelopes, and the pitch even snaps to note values; if you haven't discovered the value in tuning your drums to the key of your project, I encourage you to try it.

Distortion and a limiter are also built in, and work flawlessly.

Your use case may vary - for Ableton Live users, it's painfully simple to add kick to a Drum Rack to either replace an existing kick sample or build your own rack.

It could be said that $40 for a kick drum VST seems a bit excessive. However, I'd encourage anyone producing in a genre where the kick drum is prominent, and that's more or less any EDM genre, to pick this up without hesitation. You get VST and AU, Windows and Mac. It's worth every penny.

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