KV331 Audio has announced the release of version 2.5 of their semi-modular synthesizer and effect plug-in SynthMaster.
With version 2.5, SynthMaster becomes a cross-platform plug-in running on Windows (32/64 bits) and Mac OS X (32 bits) operating systems in VST and AU formats. The latest version comes with 400 new factory presets, while introducing new filter types, improved filter algorithms with pre/inside/post distortion routings, stereo oscillators with improved unison, vector synthesis with 2D envelopes, sample playback (SFZ) synthesis, improved arpeggiator, improved modulation architecture, improved easy parameters, online preset browser, microtuning, multiple skins, flexible effects routing, improved effects as well as 3 new effects: Phaser, Ensemble and Compressor.
Since the release of SynthMaster 2.0 in December 2009, KV331 Audio have added the following major features to SynthMaster:
- Cross-platform VST & AU: SynthMaster 2.5 now runs as a VST instrument/effect on both Windows and Mac OS X, and as an Audio Unit instrument/effect on Mac OS X.
- 400 New Factory Presets: SynthMaster 2.5 comes with 400 new factory presets from a world class team of sound designers: BigTone, Ümit 'Insigna' Uy, Frank 'Xenox' Neumann, Teoman Pasinlioglu, Mr Shoufuku and Brian 'Xenos' Lee.
- Improved Filter Algorithms: The 'analog' filter models have been improved to better model the analog ladder filter. The 'digital' filters on the other hand have been rewritten from scratch for better VA sound.
- Before/After/Inside Filter Distortion: Custom distortion stage added into the filters so that signals can be distorted before, after or even inside the filter. With this flexibility, it is now possible to create screaming sounds using the filters in SynthMaster.
- 'Multimode' Filters: With the new 'multimode' filter type, it is now possible to switch from Lowpass to Bandpass to Highpass filter types continuously using the 'filter mode' parameter. For analog multimode filters, it is even possible to change the slope of the filter continuously from 0 db/oct to 24 db/oct using the 'continuous slope' parameter.
- 'Dual' Filters: With the new 'dual' filter type, it is now possible to run two multimode filters simultaneously, either in parallel, or in series. The mix ratios between the filters, and the topology (parallel/series) between them can be changed continuously, as well as the modes and cutoff frequencies of the filters.
- Vector Synthesis: A new 'vector' oscillator type has been added to add support for vector synthesis in SynthMaster.
- 2D Envelopes: A new envelope generator type called "XY envelope" is added, so that line segments between points in 2 dimensions can be used to generate 2 dimensional envelope signals. XY Envelopes can be used not only for modulating "vector" oscillator x/y indexes, but also for all other voice parameters within SynthMaster.
- Sample Playback (SFZ) Synthesis: A new "sample playback" oscillator type has been added so that SFZ files can be played back. It is also possible with version 2.5 to generate SFZ files by dragging and dropping multiple WAV/AIFF samples onto an oscillator waveform display.
- Stereo Oscillators with Improved Unison: Oscillators in SynthMaster 2.5 have now stereo output. With the new "voices", "pan spread" and "detune spread" parameters, each basic/wavescanning oscillator can have its own unison settings which eliminates the need to enable unison for all voice elements.
- Improved Arpeggiator: The number of steps in the arpeggiator is increased to 32, while classic arpeggiator modes such as up, down, updown, downup and as played are added as well. Drag and drop of MIDI files onto the arpeggiator display is also possible now so that monophonic/polyphonic sequences can be imported into the arpeggiator.
- Improved Modulation Architecture: The modulation architecture has been vastly improved, so that now there are 3 modulation sources available for each modulation target. A modulation matrix with 64 slots is also added. The matrix has filtering as well so that targets for a specific source, or sources for a specific target can be filtered and shown on the user interface.
- Improved Easy Parameters: The easy parameters can now be globally linked to MIDI controllers, and they can be assigned automatically by SynthMaster.
- Online Preset Browser: Registered users can now upload their own presets to the online preset library, or browse and download presets created by other registered users; using the preset browser right inside the plug-in UI.
- Multiple Skins: SynthMaster 2.5 comes with 3 different skins in different color variations. Using the included user interface editor, users can not only customize the existing skins but also can create their own custom interfaces as well.
- Flexible Effects Routing: With version 2.5, there is no more the differentiation of layer/global effects. Each effect can be inserted on a layer or on one of the 2 global effect buses.
- Better Reverb: The reverb effect in SynthMaster 2.5 has been improved and now it is a high quality reverb with advanced parameters such as 2 band EQs for early/late reflections, early/late mix ratios, damping control, distance and room size.
- Better Delay: The delay effect in SynthMaster has been improved and now it contains a 2 band EQ and a custom distortion curve to filter and distort the delayed input signal.
- Better Distortion: The distortion effect in SynthMaster has been improved and now it contains 2 band EQs before/after the distortion stage and a custom distortion curve as well.
- New Effects: 3 new effects are added to SynthMaster: 4/8/12/16 stage Phaser, 2-8 voice Ensemble, and Peak Compressor.
Pricing and Availability
SynthMaster 2.5 is available as an online download at the introductory price of $99 exclusively at KV331 Audio website. The introductory price offer will last until October 20th 2011, and after then the regular retail price will be $129. Academic licensing is also available for students, teachers and academics for $59.
A demo version of SynthMaster 2.5 is available for download. The demo version is identical to the standard version except for three limitations:
- Saving presets is disabled.
- Mutes output and emits white noise at every 60 seconds.
- Comes with 150 factory presets (demo users can check out the remaining factory presets from the online presets browser though).
Following the release of SynthMaster 2.5, KV331 Audio will start releasing preset expansions for different genres. The first expansion pack will be Rob Lee's House/EDM expansions that are expected to be released at the end of November 2011.