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Products by SuperWave

Latest reviews of SuperWave products

Yes, I know, this synth is ancient, like 10 years or so. And the company has a bad reputation because of some trouble years ago, lots of customers were pissed by abysmal service. Afaik that was the fault of a former employee that did not take his job seriously. The developer as such seems to be a friendly guy, who does answer inquiries, although he has switched to developing other things instead of music plugins. Occasionally there are maintenance updates for his old synths, though.

Anyway, regarding the synth as such, I have both the Trance Pro and the Professional as both were part of a bundle. Since they are virtually identical, what I write applies to both. The only differences are the GUI color, the factory presets (I hate Trance and similar genres, thus the presets on the Trance Pro are crappy in my view), and most importantly there is a slight sound difference because of the Gibbs effect used in the Professional. The Professional sounds a bit warmer in my view, fewer high frequencies... Some people have said they are the same in terms of sound as well and that offering those two versions is a rip-off. That is not the case, they do sound different, I have created the very same patch using absolutely identical settings on all parameters (easy because the marker on the knob turns yellow at every other scale line), there is a clear sound difference. Personally I prefer the Professional's somewhat more muted sound most of the time, only for brass and other metallic sounds do I use the Trance Pro. If you think you can simply turn down the cutoff frequency on the Trance Pro to achieve exactly the same sound, that does not work, it changes the whole sound.

Superwave has a supersaw reputation because of the oscillator setup. But frankly, I never use that irritating sound, I hardly ever detune the 7 waves per oscillator beyond, say, 10:30 or 01:30 max. Combined with equally slight detuning of the two oscillators as such, one can get pretty pleasant pads out of those synths. Sounds one does not expect from a SE synth, let alone an old one. If necessary, the typical thin SE sound can be achieved by switching the oscillators to single-wave mode. Dual-wave mode sounds a bit thicker, but the superwave mode really boosts the sound to a different quality level. Interestingly, it consumes very little CPU even with both oscillators running in superwave mode, which by the way works with all waveforms, not just saw. There is no unison mode or sub-oscillator, though. But with those 14 waves per voice you can get pretty fat sounds like Quincy Jones synth basses, string ensembles etc. For certain sounds such as guitars the single-wave mode works fine, of course. You would not want multiple waves there, not even two oscillators because of the phases. In this case - 1 single wave per voice - the synth can get a bit quiet, even when setting volume to max.

Speaking of phases, the synth is funny in that it needs to warm up almost like hardware :D When you open an instance, you have to play around for 15 seconds or so before the oscillator/wave phases have shifted enough to produce a good sound.

The whole osc-filter-amp-delay chain is dual, i.e. each osc has its own filter, amp, and envelopes, and you can pan them individually, allowing for a wide stereo sound. Often however you will use the same filter and amp settings for both oscillators, in which case you simply lock the second filter, amp, envelopes to the first ones. That is one advantage of the paid version over the free P8: the envelopes also have such lock switches. Thanks to the dual layout you can do nice sounds, like picking the same osc and filter settings, but unlocking the envelopes and thus creating multi-stage envelopes. Nice for brass ensembles etc.
By the way, another advantage of the paid versions is that you can set the velocity as you please, unlike with the P8, where it seems set to 100%, which can be irritating, especially for people who are not good keyboard players. But I guess it is meant to be irritating, else nobody would buy the paid versions. Nor does the P8 have pulse width knobs.

What I also like is that the filter envelopes are always retriggered, which unfortunately is rather rare. Very handy when playing pads with certain envelope configurations.

Regarding the cons, for such cheap synths there are few. One is the resolution of the LFO rate slider. Cycling through the LFO Beat options is also a pain in the ***. While there is a kind of modulation matrix, it unfortunately allows for only one single modulation, i.e. one can't set up several sources and destinations. The basic sound of the filters is not top-notch of course, no 0fd or anything fancy, but at least there is very little aliasing compared to other SE synths. Finally, it would be cool if one could load Professional patches into the Trance Pro and vice versa, after all, they use identical parameters. This way one could easily compare which of the two is better for any given patch.

All in all, I really like those synths, the Professional is my go-to synth until I get my hardware synth for Christmas. Since I make mostly old-skool 80s music (RnB, Fusion, Jazz), I am happy that I can get decent electric guitars (clean, not distorted) and basses, pads, brass etc. out of it. Of course the sound is not as good as with Diva and the like, but it is far better than with most SE synths, and that in a very CPU efficient way. A dozen instances and more are no problem even on my AMD computer :).

PS: Almost 1.5 years later, this synth still is one of my go-to synths. Since I am emulating real instruments a lot now, the two independent synth lines are really cool. I can build a sound like with building blocks. On this electric piano patch for instance I used one line for the click alone, and the other for the sound as such:

https://app.box.com/s/3arkodt1ssnuol8trbz2.

This is without any effects, when adding reverb or chorus, it sounds way better :)

Three things I would like to see improved, though:

- The filter should have 24db variants as well, especially lp of course. That would be really great.

- They should add a global static hp filter to get rid of low frequencies like on the Juno's.

- The envelopes are pretty snappy (different curve compared to the P8), but there is some strange behavior regarding certain combinations of kb follow and envelope amount. Seems the kb follow control determines whether or not the envelope can be set to a negative amount, which is unusual and probably not supposed to be that way. On the P8 the envelopes work as they should.

Read Review

Superwave P8
Reviewed By bongodrums
February 19, 2006

I was looking for a softsynth of my favourite real synth (the JP8000) and finally, after a lot of vsts, I discovered Superwave P8.
This has to be THE JP8000 emulator of the bunch. Its sound quality is brilliant, it produces huge, fat strings, pads, sweeps that are dance essentials. If you've ever used AXS, think of that but with far superior sound quality, and of course VST integration.
I'm not much into the grey theme though; I'd much prefer to see it done in sexy silver or JP blue!

At first, I find the GUI overwhelming: there is just so much going on and so much control. Which is great, btw. It has 2 oscs with all the usual waveforms, and then it has 'superwaves', which really give the unit its huge fat sound. Along the top of it are 7 superwave controllers (which seem to only affect superwaves) that allow you to detune 7 superwaves it seems for each osc. I really like how you have two knobs for L/R pan pos, so you can position your sound anywhere in the stereo field that you like with as much width as you like. The delay fx are slightly complex, allowing you to have control over left and right delay lines. Basically, every parameter has oodles of control for really adjusting the sound to fit what you're doing.
The filters are unique for this synth in that they work extremely well for big sweeps, pads, strings, etc but they seem to lack 'bite' when you want to get certain bass sounds out of it, so I use other VAs for bass (and it's not quick to program in a simple punchy bass sound all those controls - you end up having to manually reset everything just to switch everything off and get an unaffected sound - very time consuming).

Presets: This is one of the few synths around that has incredibly useable presets. So much so that I don't think I'll bother programming it much at all, apart from simple filter mods. They really show off this machine perfectly. Drool-inducing!

Overall, the perfect machine for strings/pads/ambient sweeps. Don't forget it's FREE! Youd pay top-dollar for a hardware equivalent of this thing! Thousands have!
A massive thanks to the Superwave team!Read Review

Superwave Trance-Pro
Reviewed By Timeflyer
October 29, 2004

I like to use this synth for arpeggiators or trance-mainsynths in my Fruity Loops 4.12 .

At first sight the Interface is a little bit confusing, but playing with all the knobs can be very useful to learn how this synth works and which potential it has.
For me the filter is not very good, but there are other cheaper Vst-Synths which sounds more worse or not so good.
The Presets (Arpeggiators and Tranceleads/ and very much) are all well and they sound very good for
a synth that has this little price.

If you want to buy this synth, buy the Superwave Bundle with the superwave p8, superwave pro and performer. I did it so.
With this vst-plugins you can easily create good-sounding Tranceloops and integrate these in your songs.
Not good: the Superwave Trance Pro uses a bit to much CPU !!! Don´t set this plug too much into your sequenzer/vst-host.
I didn´t use the customer service , but i will do in earlier future to get more informations about this plugin, so that I can create much more good sounds.

Try it yourselves !Read Review

Superwave P8
Reviewed By Hypertone
August 2, 2004

This just may be the best free synth out there. I can't believe I didn't try this sooner. The sound is so rich and fat, it's just beautiful. I'm a vst minimalist, but this one is definitely staying in my vst folder. I can't believe it's free! :)

Superwave comes with a list of midi CC's so you can set your controller for controlling the parameters, which is a very nice feature for a free softsynth.

The presets are excellent and really showcase Superwave's ability to do rich analog sounds. The brassy sounds are some of the nicest I have heard in a virtual synth. This synth is a great choice for trance sounds, but I'm using it for ambient pads and sweeps and I'm very pleased.

Try this synth if you have not already!Read Review

Superwave P8
Reviewed By Daedalus
May 16, 2004

This is one of my favourite freeware synths. It's perfect for trancy lead sounds and full,warm pads or strings. I'm quite new to using VSTi's and mostly I have a lot of trouble figuering out what all the buttons and switches do, but the Superwave P8 has a clear, easy-to-use interface and when you turn a knob or clik a button it intantly becomes clear what the knob or button is for and what the posibilitys are, even for a n00b like me. The presets contain al lot of nice sounds and with a little tweaking they sound just right in your music. The Superwave P8 is also very stable, it has never crashed on my computer (unlike some payware synths!). Best of all: The Superwave P8 is free. Just download it and in minutes you'll experience it's usefullness!Read Review

Superwave Performer
Reviewed By VitaminD
May 2, 2004

Ben took his sweet time adding this one to the list.. :P anyways...

SuperWave Performer:

Pluses:
* 14 oscillators (all can be enabled/disabled)
* 2 multimode filters (1 per 2 banks of 7 oscillators)
* 2 arpeggiators (1 per 2 banks of 7 oscillaors)
* big, phattt (yes I just used the p word) sound that (imo) is rare in the soft synth realm.

Minuses:
* HUGE gui - all of the parameters on one screen - doesnt all fit at 1024x768 in orion platinum
* Patch recall issue in orion where after a song with SW:performer is used, upon reloading the song, one must cycle back and forth the patch selector to get the wanted sound
* Cpu cycle eater
* Unusual licensing C/R check that wasnt TOO bad but I'm not a fan of C/R
* Metallic sounding Reverb that I detest.



I'll be upfront in that I use this synth 99% of the time for trance.. it can be reminiscent of the big supersaw sounds one can get out of the JP8k from roland.. (let the multipage threads begin...) and is just screaming (well not like a bahssstaaahd) to play trance (bass and leads).

can also do a whole different range of sounds though.. huge pads are also a forte' of SW:Performer. Try switching off the reverb and use a 3rd party instead, you'll thank me later.Read Review

Superwave P8
Reviewed By dburgan
February 8, 2004

SuperWave is one of those soft synths that has a distinctive sound. The UI is spectacular, of course, and the synth features are very well conceived, but what really makes this synth is the sound. Put simply, it is a great, great VA.

Loosely modeled after the Roland JP8000/8080, this synth comes with a great set of presets that do an excellent job of showing off its capabilities - and its full-bodied, warm sound. It's not a bread-and-butter VA sound like you might get in, say, a DreamStation, but it is highly usable and flexible.

I have had a few problems with the synth - stuck keys being the biggest, but the occasional crash also happens. Your mileage may vary.

Despite the fact that this synth was developed using SynthEdit, it really shines as a pro-level product. Why the developer gave it away free is a bit beyond me - but I'm glad he/she did.Read Review

Superwave P8
Reviewed By Holandes
December 16, 2003

HI

This one amazed me. I you need pads (trance, house, new age, electronical, pop), this is it! This vst is sooo cool. And you can control if with your midi control surface. Midi controller list included. you don't need more. You don't need to understand the knobs. They are obvious. You need to experiment a bit.

It has good knobs and good funcionality. I cant wait for the trance synth he is working on. This shouldn't be free I think. This would sell!! But at the same time I don't mind having it at home. This sounds much better than the pro 53 or the fm7 things.

One of the best in my collection.Read Review

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