I was not a fan of the original AnaMark synth, it worked well but wasn't my cup of tea. However after a recent thread about version 2.11 I decided it was time to try it again and am I ever glad I did. :)
While still a bit harder sounding than my tastes it is easy to warm the sound up with the filters. Beyond that the programming choices are updated with bezier curve user adjustable multi-point envelopes. It is worth mentioning that AnaMark II uses a unique (for synthesizers) implementation of bezier curve adjustment with the curve handles similar to a drawing package. It's a nice touch and very sensible.
There are 53 oscillator waves to work with ranging from the typical sine, saw and triangle and getting more complex along the way. Each oscillator can contain 2 waveforms which can be balanced to taste. There are three oscillators in all with graphic envelopes for filter, filter modulation, a combiner which works similarly to a control matrix, 19 effects of the delay, modulation, crossfading and stereo variations.
The synth uses a modest amount of screen space with 8 pages of controls divided into logical groupings.
The filters deserve special mention, there are seven different ones sorted by visual representation of the waveform. They are quite different from older versions of AnaMark.
All this control enables a wide variety of timbres. Because of the flexible envelopes and combiner lush pads and evolving soundscapes are easy to program. The effects sound very good and add to the overall character of AnaMark II but like any good synth they are not necessary to get great sounds.
AnaMark II doesn't get the publicity some other synths do but it should. At it's price point it stands alone and is closer to a traditional synth interface compared to synths that do similar things.
The most reasonably priced complex synth available, AnaMark II holds it's own regardless of price. The presets are a good representation of it's sound too.
Been using anamark since 1.x and can only agree with what gargoyle says.
This synth isn't for everyone, but in the right hands it is a sonic gem. The osc section of Anamark alone is more novel and inventive than almost any standard signal-flow VA synth. There are 3 oscillators, each has a pulse control, symmetry, and phase control which works with all waveforms and has a graphic representation. The "pulse" especially has a dramatic effect for tailoring the harmonic content of the waveforms (in realtime). You can then modulate the waves with each other, using a varaiety of algorithms, then send to shaper and strange squelchy multimode filter.
The main strengths of anamark (imo) are *hard leads.. metallic electronic, and beautifully digital and complex sounding, also *rich warm, or cold electronic-sounding pads or keys, which remind of a vintage synth of analog/digital hybrid type, old strings synths, or even PM synths or Dx series. *and lofi-ish retro sounds, synthetic wonderfully cheesy stuff that is hard to create with conventional synths.
Good for dark styles, psytrance, ebm, indust/electro, ambient and others
With this update anamark has been improved in various ways. First, there are a LOT of presets all ready within the plugin.. over 400. If you dont like those.. there's a whole random bank feature that will create a random bank of sounds to choose from or edit to your needs. The presets don't really show the best of the synth anyway. There's now also a poly limiter, oversampling that can make it cleaner if you can afford the CPU, a mono-timbral mode, Midi-syncing effects, The Graphic Envelopes now have adjustable curves per point, making them similar to FM7 or Absyn type and a lot more effective.
Don't expect this to be a general purpose type VA synth.. it's too strange in its approach to synthesis to fill that role. It works best as a esoteric beast for edgy or strange sounds that normal synths cant do. It's a very under-rated VSTi.
I joined the AnaMark train at a good time, just before the latest 2.11 release, which saw a number of areas which were expanded or improved. This is an outstanding instrument, both in terms of the features you receive for the price and for the character of the instrument. It's capable of things you'd expect on a much more comprehensive (and expensive) instrument and what's more it has "guts". Without a doubt, this is a synth with which you can truly explore a wild variety of sounds. It probably appeals most for expansive leads and pads, but with the 17 waveforms, 3 oscillators and an almost bewildering array of modulation and effects, the limits are wide. It's most likely to appeal to techno/electro/dance palettes, however, with that emphasis on that kind of modulations and filters you often find. Most of the noise effects are in that same area.
Some key + points: - Oversampling options give you a good control over CPU usage. - Great envelope drawing capbilities. - The interface, although on multiple pages, is clear and consistent. - Random bank generator which provides some instantly usable tones and other interesting ones for tweaking. - Definite "character" which you might not hear elsewhere.
Minor - point is the preset handling, but it doesn't hold you back. Another minor point is the volume control which it would be nice to "fix" at the global level to avoid the sort of bursts that can blow an eardrum or cone.
I'm loathe to really shout about this synth, since I'd like to keep it all to myself and claim the credit for the output it gives... but the thing is out there now, and you should probably try it. This has been the best kept secret in the VSTi world.