I'm giving this synth 10 out of 10. I'm doing this because it's perfect for the purpose it was created, and beyond! I try to rate synths in relation to the average review at KVR, for the sake of fairness. I also only tend to review synths I really like. I wish we could rate out of 15 or 20 because the standard of softsynths in general has sky-rocketed in recent times. I'd give this 19 out of 20.
ABL pro is advertised as a "303 on steroids" and is the stuff of dreams if you're looking for classic Roland-style monosynth sequences and mutant acid lines. Two oscillators with all of the analog waveshapes and an LFO which can go audio-rate and be patched in as a 3rd oscillator feed a lowpass filter that can squelch and scream. The main filter design is more in the vein of the MC-202 than the 303 (and really is a dead ringer! No pun intended ;), but a "legacy" filter is provided with a 18db/oct slope which squelches instead of self-resonating.
If you've wanted to make authentic acid-lines with PWM and sync or stacked oscillators, this is your ticket. The synth engine, combined with the built-in sequencer, just has that certain magic to it which gets my head nodding and my face grinning. Like the straight-up 303 emulation ABL 2, the sequencer speaks Acidese fluently, and is as vital a part of the sound as the actual filters and oscillators! Alternatively, you can switch off both the sequencer AND the mono mode, and use ABL Pro just like any other softsynth, though having a fairly modern computer might be a good idea if you want to really exploit that.
Really, it always comes back to the sound. It's evocative of the past, yet expands into new territory. Features such as a waveshaper (which brings in varying amounts of wave folding), filter and oscillator FM, ring modulation, control signal patching and the audio rate LFO and lizard-tongue quick envelopes make this my go-to synth for tricked out acid.
I don't much care for the 303-style sequencer programming, and would welcome with open arms a graphical editor or piano roll interface, but this is made up for by providing extensive controllable randomization which seriously always inspires me after a bit of clicking around. Again this takes the oldschool acid technique of having the 303's batteries die and the pattern memory being filled with random, chromatic weirdness, and pulls it squelching and pulsating into the modern DAW. The ability to choose the density of notes, ties, and accents, choose to leave certain aspects of the pattern alone, automatically create relevent variations, and lock the randomization to different scales and modes really makes this a winner in my opinion.
In the oscillator department, much care seems to have gone into getting that characteristic Roland sound, especially the squarewave with it's complex spectrum and meaty bass. There are no perfect digital waveshapes here, and the result is something organic that changes timbre with pitch like the original hardware did.
All in all, an oldschool techno masterpiece with mileage way into the future. The bottom line for me is that this is a synth which has provided the spark of inspiration which ended up with entire tracks built around it. You can't ask for more than that!
This is now my favourite synth, it sound absolutely fabulous, the filter is first class, and thanks to his three oscillators (in fact you can choose to use the LFO as a 3rd oscillator) you can make a perfect Minimoog impersonation, somewhere between the Arturia minimoog V and the Gmedia Minimonsta....and i own both A lot of people think this thing is a 303 emulation on steroids, but imho it's a lot more!! I use it for everything, basses of course but also Drums!!It can make huge 909 like kick drum thanks to his very very snappy envelop... The integrated sequencer is a welcome bonus for those classic "comp sequences" from the 70's and 80's and of course for those classic Acid Line and with a little tweaking it can act as a really cool arpeggiator. The cpu usage is very low (on my macbook pro) when used as monophonic synth, but it can go very high, when switched to polyphonic mode, so be careful.. I also own the "classic" Audiorealism Bassline which i also love. The customer support is top notch, Mike Janney is really quick to anwer..
The two products are completely cross platform, including mac OSX universal binaries which for me is an huge plus... ps: sorry for my English..
Latest 2 reviews from a total of 2
Comments & Discussion for AudioRealism AudioRealism Bass Line Pro (ABL Pro)
THANK YOU! Finally someone else sees what I see in this synth.
I think the only reason more people don't know about this synth is the way it's MARKETED. I love acid but I also play in a group that once used an old combo organ from the 60's, now replaced with ABLPro. ABLPro might be marketed to people that love the 303, but emulating the analog circuitry of the 303 is merely a springboard for other things. The bottom line is; this thing breaths and lives when you play it. It feels and sounds like a real analog instrument. Anyone with their eye on anything Arturia makes should download this demo and give it a listen. It might not emulate the specific analog instrument of your choice but it sounds extremely analog, more than you can expect with most specific analog emulation plugins.