Cherry Audio Releases Quadra Synthesizer!

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRist
291 posts since 1 Oct, 2018

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:13 am

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Cherry Audio is capping off an incredible year of new products with the release of Quadra, our highly anticipated reimagining of one of the quirkiest, rarest, and most curiosity-inspiring vintage synthesizers of all time, the 1978 ARP Quadra.

Four On The Floor
During the late 1970s, ARP set out to create a new instrument that combined the best features of several of its existing synthesizers into a single do-everything keyboard. The Quadra merged a mono bass synthesizer, string synthesizer, paraphonic poly synthesizer, and a powerful duophonic lead synthesizer into a single instrument, with the various sections layered across an aftertouch-equipped five octave keyboard. While the individual synthesizer sections lacked some of the control associated with dedicated instruments, there were several surprisingly great features added, including a rudimentary arpeggiator, unique "trill" feature, dual portamento, rudimentary patch memory, and a fantastic 14-stage phaser. The layering of these sounds led to some wonderful possibilities, and many artists made great use of the Quadra, including Tony Banks of Genesis, John Carpenter, and Pink Floyd.

However, the ARP Quadra was not without issues. In the late 1970s, ARP was hurting financially, and there was a lot of pressure to build an instrument that could compete with the new Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. As a result, history records that the Quadra was rushed into production too early, and it's full of odd design choices. It's quite fragile and failure-prone. The five-octave keyboard protruded unprotected from the front of the chassis, leaving keys vulnerable to damage. The built-in patch storage only stores the state of a few dozen buttons (and none of the sliders), rendering patch storage nearly useless. All in all, it was poor competition for the innovative Prophet-5, and didn't sell well as a result. For a long time, the Quadra was largely forgotten.

But oh, the sound... it sounded wonderful. Rich, deep, warm, smooth, and analog in all the right ways!

Behind The Lines
Over the decades, the ARP Quadra has inspired endless curiosity. While discussing vintage synthesizers last year at Cherry Audio, we realized that none of us had ever been in the same room with a working ARP Quadra, and we'd long been curious about this unicorn synthesizer. And if we were curious about it, others likely were as well! We set out to find the unfindable: a completely operational Quadra. $7,200 later, we had a fully working unit in our studio.

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Vintage ARP Quadra at the Cherry Audio studios

Fantastic Voyage
Cherry Audio's Quadra introduces improvements throughout every section, bringing out the full potential of the original ARP design. Each instrument section can now be layered anywhere across the keyboard, and we've increased transposition ranges for most sections.

The paraphonic Poly Synthesizer section has been beefed up with an additional octave, optional oscillator drift, velocity control, new modulation capabilities (including pulse-width modulation), and additional waveforms. The Lead Synthesizer section has been enhanced with a more powerful arpeggiator, additional waveforms, adjustable note priority, and numerous other small improvements. We've turned the Quadra's rudimentary LFO into a full-featured, multi-waveform, tempo-syncable LFO. We've added a deeply flexible bender section that allows pitch bend wheel data to independently bend pitches and modulate filter cutoff for each instrument section.

We modeled the ARP Quadra's 14-stage phaser, and added additional effects - chorus/flanger, echo, and reverb - that can also be turned on and off independently for each instrument section. Imagine strings bathed in reverb, a poly synth slowly phasing and flanging, and a lead synth with a slapback delay, all layered together to create a beautiful swirling pad. The sound design possibilities are endless!

Finally, we assembled a team of six sound designers to create a wealth of presets for this instrument. Led by our lead sound designer James Terris, we enlisted the help of Katharine Fountain, Huston Singletary, Julie Kathryn, Dave Polich, and Brendan Dreaper, resulting in well over 400 stunning Quadra presets. Each sound designer brings their own style and character to the process, and the results are awe-inspiring.

https://youtu.be/ctYpu8O42aU

Four Sides Live
Cherry Audio's Quadra comes in two flavors. "Quadra" is our stereo version, and works like most other virtual synthesizers. "Quadra Multi Out" includes five sets of outputs: a standard stereo mix, plus dry independent outputs for each section, as found on the original hardware.

"Cherry Audio continues to design quality ARP-inspired virtual instruments," says Dina Pearlman, daughter of ARP founder Alan R. Pearlman, and Executive Director of the Alan R. Pearlman Foundation. "Their latest offering captures the lush, exquisite essence and layout of the rare ARP Quadra. Emulating this unique hybrid instrument offers an experience to explore and create that will be welcomed by the synth community. We are grateful that companies continue to build on the pioneering engineering that Alan R. Pearlman inspired through his instrument designs."

Experience this long-lost classic with Cherry Audio's new Quadra Synthesizer. Quadra is available now at cherryaudio.com, for the insanely low price of $39. It’s available for both Windows and macOS, in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats, with a free 30-day demo available.

Even better, Quadra is included with Cherry Audio's new Synth Stack 2, a mind-blowing collection of ten incredible virtual instruments. Synth Stack 2 is normally priced at $249, but during Cherry Audio's 2021 Holiday Bonanza, Synth Stack 2 is available for the stunningly low price of only $199 - that's less than $20 per instrument! Already own some of Cherry Audio's instruments? You'll receive a personalized discount price at checkout!
Last edited by cherryDan on Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRian
964 posts since 25 Jan, 2017

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:14 am

multi-output :love:

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KVRAF
5942 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:18 am

No demo? :neutral:

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KVRAF
16432 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:19 am

foosnark wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:18 am
No demo? :neutral:
Found it here......

https://cherryaudio.com/products/quadra/download
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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KVRAF
5942 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:20 am

That's just a download. After installation it just tells you it's not registered, there's no option to demo it.

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KVRAF
31165 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:24 am

foosnark wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:20 am
there's no option to demo it.
Hmmmm ... how odd. Especially after all the hype.

KVRAF
6137 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:27 am

It worked for me here. I think you may have to create a free account first.
Last edited by Examigan on Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRAF
16432 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:30 am

foosnark wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:20 am
That's just a download. After installation it just tells you it's not registered, there's no option to demo it.
Just keep clicking "refresh" or whatever the button says sorry I don't remember exactly but eventually I got a Demo button and am trying it now....

I think it's down to connection issues their server might be a bit busy right now.
Last edited by Teksonik on Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

KVRian
548 posts since 18 Nov, 2010

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:31 am

bought. love! having fun already. so many presets that are cool

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KVRAF
16432 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:34 am

Yes it's a very nice sounding synth. I don't think I'll pick it up at least right now but if you're looking for those kinds of sounds then $39 seems like a killer deal.
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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KVRAF
5942 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:39 am

OK, reinstalled, failed again, then a demo button appeared this time.

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KVRAF
8702 posts since 30 Apr, 2019

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:41 am

I like the presets I've tried. When I initialized a patch though and started trying to set up splits (using the Range high and low values in each section) the right click menu worked to set the values, but the visible range values appear to be stuck. No biggy, but that's a bug that shouldn't have slipped through. It's a lot better than have it show the new value but not use them, so if there has to be a bug I'm glad it's that way round!

On Windows 10x64 Pro


nvm - some strangeness after first install, but after restarting DAW it's all working fine
Last edited by WatchTheGuitar on Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF
6137 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:50 am

I just tried that on my PC and it worked OK here.

Windows 10 Home

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KVRAF
8702 posts since 30 Apr, 2019

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:52 am

Examigan wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:50 am
I just tried that on my PC and it worked OK here.

Windows 10 Home
The numbers changed?

Edit: Ah ok, it's working now I saved the Reaper project I was in and reloaded. Odd. Maybe a quirk of first install in some cases?

KVRAF
6137 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Post Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:56 am

Yes.

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