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Corona by discoDSP is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin and a Software Application for macOS, Windows and Linux. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin, an AAX Plugin and a Standalone Application.
Product
Version
6.2.0
Windows 7 or higher.
Product
Version
6.2.0
macOS High Sierra or higher.
Product
Version
6.2.0
Ubuntu 18 or higher.
Instrument
Formats
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
DWB, SF2 (SoundFont), WAV
Copy Protection
Online Activation (Challenge / Response)
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
90 KVR members have added Corona to 45 My KVR groups 133 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
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+44 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 833   661   816   125

30-Day: 1170; 7-Day: 804; Yesterday: 2990

Virtual analog and wave synthesizer featuring 3 VA + WAVE oscillators, 16 oscillator combine modes, a 32-step arpeggiator with MIDI out, 8 destination matrix modulations, 4 LFOs, 4 ADSR envelopes, unison, distortion, chorus, delay, and limiter effects. Includes dual analog-modeled filters, providing extensive capabilities for creating diverse and rich sounds.

https://www.discodsp.com/corona/

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.40 from 5 reviews
Corona

Reviewed By dave40 [all]
April 9th, 2024
Version reviewed: 6.2.0 on Windows

Here are my thoughts on using this amazing synth for a few months. I'm mainly interested in programming analogue synth sounds from scratch, so that is my focus here:

UI:
Corona is easy to program due to it's clean interface and single-page layout. You can quickly get started on sound-design as it's simple to access a parameter and hear immediate results. I much like the subtle grey theme with the coloured controls.

Oscillators:
This is the outstanding feature of Corona, being typical virtual analogue, but with some truly unique audio modulation algorithms that I have not seen on other synths.

I have a deep affinity for analogue synthesis, but am often frustrated by a lack of imagination by designers when it comes to the oscillator section, considering that modern computing opens wide possibilities for waveform creation based on mathematical formulae. We all love the standard saw, square and sine waves as great building blocks in sound design, along with noise, FM, AM and RM, but eventually you hit a brick wall with what these can do on their own.

What the designers of Corona have done is to add bitwise modulation between the oscillators, allowing them to create sonically exciting textures that sound analog in nature, but with very rich overtones that are digital in a bright, aliased style, similar to 90's synths that had low bit rates.
All that is music to my ears, having grown up listening to the sounds of early samplers and hybrid synths that often failed to reproduce sounds accurately, but imparted a special character of their own.
To be fair, it's not to everyone's taste in sound design, but it covers an important niche in the history of electronic music.

From when I first installed Corona I found myself quickly coming up with sounds I instinctively liked and wanted to use in compositions. They had that aggressive analogue/digital crossover feel that gave weight to a track, especially in the bass, lead and pad department. And it also surprised me with some delicate - sounding imitations of acoustic instruments.
It certainly has that addictive tweak-factor that can go on for hours at a time, coming up with multiple variants of the same sound, starting with just the basic waveforms.
Even after a few months I have yet to fully explore all the different combinations of waves and audio modulation between the three oscillators, which goes to show what a great idea it was to include these algorithms.

My only criticism is a lack of explanation (or online info) for what the various formulas do to the waveforms: Okay, we know what AND and OR operations do to binary numbers, but what about their behaviour in an audio context? I have resorted to experimenting with just pure sine waves at various frequencies (and an oscilloscope) to try and work out how modulator and carrier interact, and which combinations produce good results.

Logically, it seems that when using bitwise operators the modulator is performing a type of amplitude modulation upon the carrier, a bit like traditional ring modulation. The difference being that the formula is going beyond normal multiplication of the two signal amplitudes, often resulting in some very digital-sounding artifacts.

If all this all sounds familiar, think of our initial experience with FM synthesis: randomly adjusting frequencies and levels in an attempt to produce musically pleasing sounds, but sometimes coming up with some real gems.

The Super 7 model does some very nice saw textures, but it's not clear how it interacts with the other waveforms and operators - I need to spend some more time playing with this.

Despite all this these are the best sounding VA oscillators I have heard.

Filters:
The filters certainly have a character of their own, which can take a while to get used to, but are powerful enough to tame the complex sounds coming from the oscillators.

The combination of the drive control and the shape selection takes time to understand as they both radically affect the sound of the filters, but they can add extra dimension to simple waveforms. Quantize shape is one of my favourites for adding top-end crunch.

They also self-oscillate nicely in tune, especially the phase models, and the smash model is great for OTT - sounding lead sounds.

I have found myself mostly using Corona's filters as a typical low-pass and high-pass combination to ensure that the output fits cleanly into the mix without too much low and high end distortion. They are an essential part of making the oscillators usable, considering the amount of digital harshness that can be present.

Envelopes:
Quick and easy to use, with precise time control and a good selection of shapes. A multi-stage envelope would be very useful for making drum sounds.

LFOs:
The usual shapes with handy tempo-syncing, but phase-offset and pulse-width would make them more controllable.

FX:
A very usable delay unit that ping-pongs quite rhythmically.
The limiter adds a nice bite and punch to sounds in combination with the envelopes.

Improvements:
A more controllable portamento feature.
A high-pass filter in the effects section to remove low-end distortion.
A signal-flow diagram would be most useful, as the way the 3 oscillators interact is not always clear.
Better fine-increment adjustment of the controls using the mouse scroll-wheel, and a clearer display of parameter values.

Conclusion:
Despite a few limitations, I'm really enjoying getting to know this synth, and the sounds it makes really do have a feelgood-factor that keeps me coming back.
Sure, it doesn't do everything more expensive synths do, and it does have a distinctively crunchy, digital sound when you open up the filter but I think it has a place in designing thoroughly analogue-sounding patches.
It's done a great job of creating those warm, rich brass pads that some synths struggle with and, after a bit of work, some glassy vibraphone pads.
And I've created some convincing cymbal sounds that are notoriously hard to program using analogue methods - which is where the bitwise operators have show their worth.
It's greatest strength is in bass, arpeggio and lead sounds that have real character and aggression when required, and all done with pretty minimal CPU demand.

Corona would certainly be in my desert island synth collection as it's constantly surprised me with the variety of sounds it can create.
Would I buy it again? Definitely, as no other VA has been as much fun to program.

Read Review
Corona

Reviewed By Indanautilus [all]
May 5th, 2022
Version reviewed: 5.1 on Windows

Corona by discoDSP is the encounter of (clean) Digital Operator Oscillators and (dirty) 'Analog' Filters with Distortion. This hybrid-concept became popular in the 80s with hardware synthesizers like the Korg DW-8000. Corona trumps (technically) their digital flexibility with exotic LFO shapes, [like X*(X*2-1)] adjustable envelope shapes and their dirtiness via different distortion types on two stages of the signal path plus a hard hitting limiter at the end.

Oscillator Section:

  • very inspirational: I have filled a whole bank of presets using almost exclusively the oscillator section.
  • with the right combination of oscillators a new patch can quickly sound like a huge pad with a lot of movement and depth while being still a mono voice that abruptly stops when releasing the key.
  • using operators like XOR can give instant results of crystalline keys/plucks with unique character.
  • often the sweet spot of a 'round' sound is pretty small and requires experimentation and fine-tuning.
  • essential parameters can be modulated so it's possible to turn that bass into the traction engine it was before and back with the mod wheel for example.
  • ships with a ton of 'vintage' wave forms and acoustic samples and has the ability to load own WAVs.

Dual serial filters:

  • LP/HP/BP with different slopes.
  • a 'lo-fi band-smash'-filter.
  • a '303 modeled' low pass.
  • Phaser with variable stages and feedback.
  • can be set to PRE or POST VCA.
  • 10 different types of filter drive.
  • a button for engaging 'zero delay feedback' mode.
  • I can confirm the developers description that the filter sounds 'liquid'.
  • You can crank the resonance and keytracking up to get a playable sine-wave.

A comb filter would be a very useful addition!

Assignable modulation sources besides the 3 LFOs and Envelopes:

  • 2 extra lines of the arpeggiator.
  • bipolar and unipolar Random generator.
  • oscillator 3 can be used as independent modulation source.
  • the combined oscillators can be used as modulation source.

  • both can modulate as they are or as ABS operator.

Otherworldly effects or unstable tones are easy to archive.

Personal summery:
The sound of Corona is different... but on purpose! I can recall a patch in my memory right now. Never heared such a monkey-thing before. The overall sound sometimes reminds me of early ROMplers but with high resolution. It shines on stabs, vocal-like arpeggios, bass layers and strange FM-things.

Read Review
Corona

Reviewed By Xenos [all]
July 19th, 2014
Version reviewed: XP on Windows

Overview

Corona is an underrated gem that deserves more recognition, IMHO. I've come across quite a lot of synths, and I don't normally review them unless I find something particularly striking. In Corona's favor is not only its unique oscillators, but stylistic versatility and fresh sonic character. The sound itself is quite solid and the synth has potential for wide appeal if marketed better.

Sound

It has a very modern sound, clean and bright. Thanks to the neat phase modulation options in Corona's oscillator section, I've gotten some killer dubstep basses with that deep, metallic flavor, which is then run through 2 different filters and a bunch of different distortion options. At the end of the chain is the chorus, delay and limiter. Try using the delay set to very fine vales for a more subtle stereo widening effect. Works great on those "skrillex" basses.
In my opinion, Corona just plain sounds good. The basses that can be dialed in are hard and agressive, and the leads just plain sing. It sure as hell ain't analog, but it doesn't try to be. Like ReFX's classic Vanguard did back in the day, Corona embraces the digital sound, and does so with finesse by bringing its unusual character to the table.
A lot of the info I get on this synth suggests it is marketed more to the dance/edm crowd. While it does Dance/EDM sounds well enough, provided you don't _need_ the very best unison feature, the vibe I get from actually programming some sounds on it is more in the downtempo and breaks vein - Hip Hop, Trap, Dubstep, Breakbeat, Moombahton, etc. The charcter of the unison, chorus effect and oscillator phasing options lends itself VERY well to those genres. IMHO, it is THESE guys that Corona could have been better marketed to.
This synth has some good sounding filters. They definitely have a fullness to them, not the weak and lifeless character you find in some synths out there. Even the effects just sound good. Corona sings its own tune in beautifully digital ways without raping your ears in the 10 - 18 kHz range. The key with programming this synth is in having a soft touch. As the oscillators are based on a form of phase modulation synthesis, Corona is capable of some extremely harsh textures that would excite the dubstep, industrial and noise ambient fans. More subtle settings yeild laid back, singing leads, digital pianos, chill basses, and even those popular Trap stabs with a little trick using the arpegiator to get those abrupt stops.

Features

The star of the show is the "combine" menu within the oscillator section. It encourages you to experiment and find interesting tonal colors/interactions. It is a unique trick with tangible results, which Corona brings to the table in this competative market. There is a decent mod matrix with 8 sections which covers most of your standard programming needs. You have separate LFOs and envelopes for each filter, an amp envelope, mod envelope, mod LFO, and a dedicated vibrato section. The strength of Cornoa is not in having a huge feature set, but just sounding good in a fresh, current way. There are enough sound creation options that you won't feel your creativity is being painted into a corner. Where there is a lack, there is something to make up for it. The LFOs offer some non-standard shapes in addition to the standard ones. There is a wide variety of filter drive and distortion types, as well as filter types. Lastly, you have sample import. I personally don't use that function, though I might check into it more later. You can apply the same "combine" function on your imported samples, making them interact in unusual ways.

Presets

Corona is highly stylistically versatile. It does Trance, Hip Hop and Dubstep sounds all equally well. Browsing the factory patches definitely gives a different impression, though. They are mostly dance/edm oriented, with a smattering of stuff for other genres scattered about. The quality is variable as well. You have dance stuff from Cyforce, which is consistantly good, some good stuff from a few others, followed by the bulk of the patches, of which many were cool ideas, but didn't feel "polished". Self promotion alert - I have a set available for Corona, covering "non-EDM" genres: http://xenossoundworks.com/corona.html.

Value For Money

$169 for the synth. It's up to the person demoing it to be the judge. I'd say it's worth it to those that want to stand out from the crowd while still being able to make many of the same types of sounds those synths are known for. IMHO, it holds its own against the big giants Sylenth and Massive, while offering something under the hood that neither of them have.

Cons

- It's easy to cross the line from musical to chaotic and harsh with heavier parameter settings. Keep a LPF on Filter 2, adjust accordingly, and you're covered.

- Many people judge a synth by the factory patches, and Corona's included sounds are a mixed bag. A more solid factory set, IMHO, would have sold this synth better.

- Ugly GUI. I use the white one, which strains the eyes, but the "dark" GUI is even worse. The sections look a bit choppy. Perhaps a redesign that visually merges these blocky sections with the background would do the trick. From a marketing perspective, the developer might look into upgrading the GUI, as, unfortunately, looks matter in selling a product. He has a real winner on his hands, but I don't feel it was marketed well enough in several key areas for many people to see that.

Read Review
Corona

Reviewed By monk_volcano [all]
July 5th, 2012
Version reviewed: xp on Windows

My first review here. I feel like this synth deserves some recognition.

This may seem like a bit of a "no-brainer" of a statement (heh heh)... but for me the sound of a plugin is always its main attractive force. I'm not easily fooled by fancy gui's and clever marketing schemes. It piqued my interest when I read that Corona had been updated with zero-delay feedback filters (maybe some of you are rolling your eyes right now because of my previous statement about clever marketing schemes, but bare with me :P). So I checked out the demo.

It actually wasn't immediately apparent to me how awesome this synth sounds. Like so many plugins, the presets don't really do it justice. I'm always in pursuit of a lively, present, and organic sound. And those are three words that I would certainly use to describe Corona. I swear I've coaxed the best sounds I've heard from soft synths out of this thing. I've realized that it is the combination of an unique and wonderful filter and very complex and flexible oscillators.

I've heard some people say that filters are not ultimately important in a synth, especially if you're not doing filter sweeps all the time. Well I beg to differ. Even if there is no filter modulation or movement going on, the filter is altering the harmonics in a significant way. The filter on this synth (of which there are two in serial) is very interesting, and very sensitive. It has a saturation circuit with several different curves available, and adjustable drive amount. By pairing the right drive settings with the right filter type, you can really get some wonderful tones. Running it in zero-delay mode (alt mode) is almost always preferable to my ears.

Then there's the oscillators, which are the most obviously unique thing about this synth. There are 3 osc's which can be 'combined' using several different processes. I don't really understand what the processes are. I just think of them as alternatives to FM or ring modulation. You can set how oscilator 1 and 2 are combined, and then you set how the third is combined with that signal (at least I think that's how it works). You can also adjust and modulate the phase of oscillators 2 and 3. There is a library of waveforms for each osc, or you can LOAD YOUR OWN FREAKING SAMPLES... tons of possibilities. Even with out the filters there are an overwhelming amount of tonal possibilities.

Both the filter and the oscilator section are very sensitive, which to me means you can dial in just the right sound. Combine this with a powerful modulation matrix, and you can create some very organic sounds. There are 2 random modulation sources, which is something every synth should have IMO. Dial in a sound, then use these two sources on osc tuning, phase, cutoff etc and see if you're not a bit shocked at the sound that you hear.

Also, overall I would consider this synth to be a good balance of flexibility and power: 3 lfos, 3 envs, 3 oscs, and 2 filters. Nothing too overwhelming, but you can really get a huge variety of sounds out of it.

OK other than the sound and basic features what else can I say... I like the GUI quite a bit. Simple, large, and not confusing. Easy on the eyes. It has a nice little chorus on it, and some simple delay, which I feel like are the only effects you really need built in. The unison mode is great too! Especially when using random modulation, because each voice will be modulated differently, combine that with the spread parameter and SUPER PHAT LEADS BRO.

I think that about sums it up. Check this synth out. It's thabomb.com

Read Review
Corona

Reviewed By fisherKing [all]
May 30th, 2012
Version reviewed: R4 on Mac

(i wrote this review yesterday morning, then got an email from discodsp last night about an updated wave library for corona. just dL'd; there are now an insane number of waveforms to play with).

In my ongoing mission (hmm…should i mention the stardate?) to find the 'right' synth plugins, i've been downloading demos like crazy. but have added very few synths to my arsenal.

i have discovery pro, so got an email inviting me to check out the corona demo. this looks like a stripped-down DP, so skipped it at first. i finally decided to check it out, and it was worth it.

to be honest, i actually like this better than discovery pro. not because it's cheaper, and simpler, but am liking the SOUND of it, always the most important thing (to me at least; this is how i live with, say, 'ugly' plugins…it's the SOUND that hooks me).

the GUI is, at first glance, very simple (a good thing in my book). i was tweaking immediately, it's a very-basic layout. having said that, there are a lot of great options tucked in drop-down menus. and i like the 'subtle' touches, i.e. the indicators (the live mod movement, for example, in the filter cutoff knob, or the oscillator phase knob). so lots to explore (versus a stiff learning curve).

i LOVE exploring, that's the point. rather than spending a day with a manual, i want to spend the day turning knobs, hearing what happens.

the new filters are great; a lot of patches work much better with them (and some patches sound better with the 'normal' filters). really interesting, the difference between the new and the original filters.

there are some great presets, but corona still needs lots more. was looking for (and not finding) arp presets, but…it's really easy to add an arp (i use these a lot). the arp definitely needs more presets, but it's easy to make your own. i'd love to be able to lock in an arp, and scroll thru sounds (i posted the idea on the 'instruments' forum here, and the developer said he'd add it to his 'to-do list'…). what's really impressive is the number of waveform choices: along with the usual sawtooth, triangle, etc…there are a LOT of 'classics' (roland, waldorf, korg, etc.), and some others as well. this should keep soundbank designers busy (and out of trouble).

this is very important thing to me: ease. am a preset-tweaker (as opposed to a sound designer), i want to be up and making music as soon as Logic opens; that's my modus operandi, and it works for me. so plugins with very busy architectures, too many 'hidden' functions, or half-assed soundbanks (and i've encountered all of these things) don't work for me.

overall, like this one. i can see myself actually using this more than discovery pro… and will add some soundsets to the mix (i think most of my income goes to soundsets).

what i like:
the SOUND
the GUI (for it's directness)
ease of use
options

minor quibbles:
extremely minimal effects section, and no reverb (easy to add one in a channel strip, i guess).
the mod wheels, as they're reversed from the way they are on physical keyboards
needs more (& better) presets, new ones especially to make use of the new filters and waveforms.

am an avowed minimalist. i don't need very many synth plugins. but like this one, and will see where i can fit it in on new projects.

last thought: there's been a lot of discussion on the forums about the quality of reviews here, too many '10's'. for myself, am only reviewing plugins i OWN and can recommend. if something is below par, i wouldn't use it, or spend time writing about it.

as always, check out the demo.

Read Review

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Comments & Discussion for discoDSP Corona

Discussion
Discussion: Active
BlackWinny
BlackWinny
16 January 2017 at 9:52pm

A wonderful synth. One of my very few main everyday synths. Tons of possibilities just with the tree oscillators (plethora of waveforms + ability to use SF2 soundfonts in EACH of the three oscillators + tons of mathematical algorithms of modulations between them) even before entering into the filters... which are or many types and themselves able to use many complex modulations. A very underrated synth.

About the vintage ('classic") waveforms embedded in this synth it is good to know that the Aeterphon is simply the original name of the Theremine. Léon Thérémine (who was French from Russian origins, named Lev Theremin for the Russians) never used the word "theremine" for his instrument. He named it the "Aeterphone"... to directly recall the impression of "sounds from the Ether". It is when the copyrights were sold to the firm RCA that RCA decided to rename the instrument under the name "RCA Theremin", the physician Albert Einstein having brought the proofs, the scientific evidence that the Ether didn't exist and that this word "Ether" was to forget energetically. Starting from this day the instrument began to be worldwide known under the product name 'Theremin" (or 'Theremine' for the French market) in the RCA catalog. And the name "Aeterphone" disappeared definitely and definitively at Leon Thérémine's death.

cyrb
cyrb
6 December 2020 at 10:39pm

A bit of an ironic name in these times.

Suh
Suh
21 July 2022 at 7:17pm

correct.

MutantHero
MutantHero
1 April 2021 at 12:10am

I am here for the Waldorf Pulse waves included. Does anyone know if any presets have been made to exploit the capability of Corona sounding like a Pulse? Thanks.

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