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DUNE 2 is a powerful polyphonic synthesizer that combines VA/subtractive, Wavetable and FM synthesis with an extensive modulation system, named the Differential Unison Engine (DUNE).
A unique feature of DUNE 2 is the ability to synthesize a very high number of oscillator voices, regardless of the synthesis model in use. At full polyphony, up to 8320 oscillators can be active simultaneously.
The synthesizer output passes through two high-quality FX chains, containing EQ, Delay, Reverb, Distortion, Phaser, Chorus and Compression, in order to polish the sound yet further.
- Two oscillator stacks with up to 32 oscillators each.
- Third oscillator and noise generator.
- 8x Unison, resulting in up to 520 oscillators per note.
- Polyphony up to 16 voices.
- Zero-Delay feedback filters.
- All-stereo signal path.
- Four graphical envelopes (MSEG).
- Two master FX busses containing 9 effects each.
- Modulation up to audio-rate.
- Multi-threaded processing.
- Nice, clean interface with several panel tones to choose from.
DUNE 2 is not compatible with its predecessor, DUNE 1. Both run just fine in parallel, however.
Reviewed By Saukar30
April 19, 2018
I've had Dune 2 since it was released. I always have had a soft spot for Synapse products because Orion was the 1st DAW that I actually liked and started working with immediately about 18 years ago.
Dune 2 is my #1 synth.
Is this the most punchiest sounding synth? No.
Is this the most feature ridden synth? No.
Is this the synth with the best fx or filters? No.
Is this the best wavetable synth? No.
What Dune 2 is though is versatile. Dune2's sound fits a nice modern space due to he power of it's oscillators and how they can function. From the amount of voices, to the tuning, to the layers, to the different synthesis types... you have the potential for a really rich deep smooth sound that can work in all genres. Notice I said SMOOTH. Dune2 isn't something you grab for edginess, and it wasn't really designed to be. It was designed for you to add on sound sources & keep some flexibility in 1 synth.
What throws most people off about Dune 2 is they expect Massive or Sylenth fatness, or Serum or Spire power. Dune 2 is its own field. Dune 2 can do these type of sounds with some love from you programming them, but it's focus is rich & smooth. Dune 2's focus is not the leading man/woman of your sound stage... it's for everything else.
I use Dune 2 a lot for drums. Most ppl dont consider this a very percussive synth, but again, you can layer with this thing and make any kind of percussion you want. I also use it for basses, pads (of course), & atmospheres. It is super light on the CPU considering how many oscillators you can use, so using multiple instances isn't an issue in a modern computer. The reverb is so lush.. though sometimes maybe too lush LOL. The envelopes aren't the snappiest, but you can also use the MSEGS for that if you choose.
Which brings me to the problem. Dune 2 is one of those synths that fits its certain space SO well, that you which it could do more. A deeper modulation matrix. More flexibility to the arp, More envelopes, more LFOS. Better implementation of the wavetables with a wavetable editor. Multitimbrality & Multiple Outputs for the unison voices. Etc, etc. Currently Synapse is working on a version 3, and I cant wait to see what they have in store. Usually, from my experience of using their products & hearing requests, its something between what people want & what people aren't thinking of.
Even in its current state, it is one of the most top notch synths. If you are looking for a synth that may not focus on modern edginess or classic flavor, this is the synth to get. Put Dune 2 in your arsenal. You won't regret it.
(NO I wasn't paid for this LOL)Read more
Reviewed By kevvvvv
June 23, 2015
This is more a series of user impressions than a template review.
Dune 2 is about high quality fresh sound.
I came down the Dune CM trail to Dune 1, and now to Dune 2.
It's got a definite sweet colour of its own, really musical to my mind.
- and boasts really splendid presets of all varieties.
And though there aren't many 3rd party presets.
- the Rob Lee work is pretty good and worth considering.
When mixed with Kontakt tracks, Dune 2 needs its reverb taking down, or it can sound a bit fake next to samples.
The arp is quite wonderful with its MIDI file input.
It's good having loads of oscillators too, though I don't always use Dune 2 this way as it sounds too much "like a trance synth" albeit a very good one.
I often use it more like an analog synth as the oscillators & filters are so thick and nice.
- and while I like analog sounds, I'm not a purist.
So most Moog etc emulations sound pretty good to me these days.
Recently I've worked with Blue 2, Massive and Sylenth - and now pass on all of them.
Dune 2's only serious competition is from high end Omnisphere 2, rather than other similarly priced top spec synths.
- as buying a synth in this range is always very much a personal preference.
But even Omni can't sound like Dune does!
Dune 2 isn't as broad a synth as Blue 2.
- but much less synthetic sounding than Massive.
- and much more interesting than Sylenth as it does more.
- but not as experimental as Serum or Synthmaster, which I don't own.
Dune 2 is very decent on CPU for such a fast detailed sound.
- while the price is average for a full-on totally pro synth.
Should you buy.
I started with Dune CM and was immediately impressed by how good, and how different it sounded - never mind that it was free.
So if you can get a copy of Dune CM, try this instead of a Dune 2 dem download.
Dune CM ain't Dune 2, but it's still got that same special something.
- so it'll always be a keeper instead of another duff demo to get rid of.
This vid walks you through the Dune 2 presets.
Reviewed By sramsay
February 19, 2015
Yes to everything that Yorrrrrr says below.
I wanted to say, though, that this synth is nearly ideal for beginners trying to learn to program synthesizers.
Often, beginners are directed toward free synthesizers. Certainly, that's not bad advice, since there are some stupendous ones out there (Synth1, Tyrell N6, TAL Noisemaker, etc.). As good as they can be, however, they very often come with no documentation -- or documentation that's really just a quick overview for people who already know their way around. What's more, some of these synths can have pretty obscure interfaces (sometimes because, in their devotion to vintage hardware emulation, they make UI decisions that favor looking retro over usability).
I want to be careful, here; Dune 2 is, in every way, a pro-grade instrument. But one of the things that makes it a great beginner synth is that it has one of the clearest workflows you'll ever see, and really, really solid docs. I can't speak for the devs, but I think their goal was to create a modern, state-of-the-art subtractive synth designed for right now. They're not trying to slavishly emulate the UI (or the sound) of past instruments, but they also aren't trying to do something forward-looking (read, weird) with the UI. In practice, this means that the controls and the signal flow are extremely clear. If you're still at the stage of trying to figure out how to make a basic sound that uses a sawtooth wave, a low-pass filter, and an amp envelope, then this thing just won't get in your way. And it's rare to see an instrument this powerful that doesn't.
I can imagine this synth being the perfect complement to Syntorial (the way to get started with synthesizers, as far as I'm concerned). Syntorial has "on your own" sections where he asks you to go program your own patch using the things you've learned in the previous tutorials. If "your own synth" is Tyrell N6, you might be totally lost. If your synth is Dune 2, you'll know exactly what to do.
Once again: This is a very powerful tool. It'll be a very long time before you exhaust its immense feature set, and it sounds magnificent. Any pro tweaker will have a field day. But honestly, this is one of the most approachable synths I've ever used. If you're starting out, this one can really grow with with you -- and on you.Read more
Reviewed By Yorrrrrr
May 22, 2014
DUNE 2: Features such as...
1. The oscillators. 2 stacks of up to 32 voices + 1 Sub Osc/Noise per stack. Very high quality oscillators, on all the frequency ranges. Almost non existent aliasing on the VA, but none on the wavetables. Deep low end, excellent high end. Very balanced sound.
2. The detuning options, with various modes (linear, non linear, random, major and minor chords, etc..), detuning amounts, etc. Detuning sounds good and can be tailored for taste and need in a variety of ways.
3. Virtual Analogue + Wavetables + Frequency Modulation synthesis. In addition to the usual VA, iIt comes with an excellent set of wavetables, and you can find more in KVR or Synapse forums. But you can even load your own wavetables with the proper format. You can use with the free Audio Term tool to create more Wavetables to load them on the synth, or wait for the official Synapse's own tool for creating wavetables for DUNE 2. This means the synth will just grow more and more on possibilities, as more wavetables become available. The FM capabilities are basic, though. Nothing super fancy but just enough to have a taste of FM sound and capabilities, without being a full FM synth.
4. Amazing UNISON implementation with full control over the voices. The unison engine allows to have up to 8 synths stacked, up to 8 different sounds working together, each part with its own filters, envelopes, etc., effectively turning DUNE 2 into a multi-part synthesizer. So you can have 8 synths in one, 8 independent sounds, and you can even detune and spread them (like they were simple oscillators). Crazy. The unison in Dune 2 also mean that there can be up to 8320 oscillators working simultaneously at full 16x polyphony. You can have a multi timbral synth, if you edit the parameters directly, or you can offset the parameters in the mod matrix using the 'const' mod source, to maintain common controls.
This differential unison engine is the defining part of the whole synth, the concept unique to DUNE 2.
5. Various different filters, including Clean multimode ones, plus Sallen Key, Transistor Ladder, Acid Lowpass, and even the filters from DUNE 1 to make similar sounding presets. The new Expander filters (in v. 2.5) sound great, with oversampling and better resonance and drive behavior; It has Zero delay feedback filter design, to mimic analog designs; It also comes with some special "filters effects" (which include various distortion types, comb, notch, etc.), pre or post filter, to spice up filter sound in various ways. All filters sound beautiful and different. Some of them have saturation (Ladder and Expander). It's possible to make them scream with the Drive parameter, which acts as some kind of a mix knob between the resonant part and the not resonant. Very flexible filter design.
6. Very nice set of effects. They all sound great, with the reverb being the best I've heard inside a software synth. There are 2x effect buses, which allow to use different set of effects for different unison voices. The synth even allows to change the order of the effects processing too.
7. 4 multiple point graphical envelopes (MSEGs) included. They allow for things like custom shape envelopes and curves, custom shape LFOs (in 'loop' mode), gating effects, custom arpeggiator, and crazy modulation of nearly every parameter on the synth. The normal knob envelopes for the filter and amplitude are snappy or punchy when the 'analog' switch is enabled (new in v. 2.5), and more linear when not.
8. Extensive modulation matrix of 32 slots and so many sources and destinations. Very nice set of sources and destinations. The mod matrix even allows to modulate its own parameters, or set the modulation of parameters to apply just for some of the unison voices. The "Const" modulation source has so many uses, like offseting a parameter value for a specific unison voice, or to set parameters only available in the mod matrix (like initial phases for the oscillators, phase of the LFOs, etc..), and more.
9. Excellent arpeggiator, with MIDI import, in addition to the usual step sequencing. It can even be used as a yet another modulation source (note and velocity).
10. Oscillator synchronization.
11. Ring modulation.
12. Pulse Width Modulation.
13. Audio rate modulation. The synth can work sample by sample, not by blocks. It allows, for example, the output of an oscillator to modulate any parameter.
14. Full multithreading support. The CPU usage is low for the excellent sonic quality you get. Sylenth1's level of CPU optimization, with similar settings of course, while capable of doing so much more if you really want to.
15. Simple, easy to use, functional, clear, uncluttered, good looking, inviting GUI. The color of the main panel can be changed. You can create and use third party skins as of v. 2.2. There are great skins available out there.
16. And more....
...make this a masterpiece of a synth. Definitely better than similarly priced synths like Sylenth1. Well, better is not the correct word...just 'different'. It's just that it has so much more to offer.
It is a modulation beast. Inmensely powerful, flexible, quick and easy to use. This is pads and sequences heaven. But it can do everything under the sun with flying colors and it's very hard to make it sound bad. But at the same time it's so easy and fast to work with. It's flexible, versatile, quick to dial in. Bread-and-butter kind of synth. Not only it is quick and easy because it can go incredibly deep. It is a sound designers plugin too.
Beautiful sounding. Clean, rich, lush, expensive, musical are all words I would use to describe its sound. It has its own character too.
Excellent patches included, and more are coming. Amazing sound designers behind. Check the patches made by Rob Lee (RL), Kevin Schroder (KS) and Ed Ten Eyck (EDT), for example. They really show the capabilities of this fantastic software synth.
Not enough words to describe this incredible synthesizer plugin. I hope it sells well and gets all the recognition it deserves in then music production community. It's already getting raving reviews everywhere that confirm what I say.
Thanks, .Read more