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User Reviews by KVR Members for DUNE 2

Rate & Review DUNE 2 Now!

Reviewed By kevvvvv [read all by] on 23rd June 2015
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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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 [read all by] on 19th February 2015
Version reviewed: 10.10.2 on Mac.
Last edited by sramsay on 19th February 2015.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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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.

Reviewed By Yorrrrrr [read all by] on 22nd May 2014
Version reviewed: 10 on Windows.
Last edited by Yorrrrrr on 9th January 2016.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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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, .

Latest 3 reviews from a total of 3

Discussion: Active


6 May 2014 at 11:08amPUSHA

Synapse Audio you did a killer job on Dune 2. Sound, Look and Function are superb and I would love to get the full version.

12 May 2014 at 8:12pmjendakub

I am really impressed with DUNE2. The direct unison voice editing is huge improvement now allowing to take advantage of the unison engine fully.

14 May 2014 at 9:07pmYorrrrrr

I cannot express how much love I got for this amazing synth.

23 May 2014 at 6:02ammiaousse


For me it's not just an version 2. It's a whole new synth, and a good one.

14 July 2014 at 11:42pmlsc9x

Agreed! DUNE II is now in my top 3 favorite VST synths list along with Blue II and Sylenth1. It has also fixed some serious limitations with DUNE and made the whole interface much better. It's really easy to use, it sounds GREAT (think hardware), and the patch save/load system is freaking genius! Each patch is it's own file, and the VST automatically numbers them when loading from a folder, so theoretically a single patch folder can contain up to 999 sounds. Even if it's limited to only 128, that's still simple to expand by creating another folder and starting to drop sounds into it. This also makes backing up patches very easy. Highly recommend this one!!.

28 July 2014 at 10:01pmfoster911

Great job but Image-Line's Synths are much better than this. I think the only advantage of Dune 2 is its Arpeggiator supporting Chords via MIDI import. I have used lots of synths till now but the capability of micro tuning provided by Image-Line's Sytrus and Harmor synths and also their fast loading is fascinating that I have not seen in other synths like Dune 2. The other facility of Dune 2 is its supporting of 8 parallel channel of oscillators that is included in LuSH-101 too. After all I prefer Sytrus and Harmer. They are my goddesses.

8 August 2014 at 8:00ampeteman

I bought Dune2 yesterday and I gotta say it sounds absolutely fantastic! Very versatile synth and the internal effects (especially the reverb!) sounds awesome.

27 August 2014 at 5:49pmclipnotic

Dune 1 I tested and tested again over the years but didn't like it. Dune 2 I'm only testing since one week and still love it.

- great user interface
- great synthese features
- great effects
- great MSEG envelopes
- great OSCs
- better sound quality
- better filter quality.

OK, the LFOs and the standard envelopes could react a little bit finer and noble and the stepsequencer could have 64 or better 128 steps and the option to save own presets, too (!) ... but this are only little wishes, this synth still is wonderful.

Thank you, great work.

17 November 2014 at 11:43amLogictree

I agree with all the positive reviews. I've tried many synths all those years. the biggest problem for me is that all those synths are all boring to use. Imagine if you have an acoustic piano, which has only one sound - the piano sound, but you can play it all day without boredom. Any synth I've tried always has hundred sounds, but almost none of them has the power that could make me play whole night. So what really happens is that I would spend few hours just browsing presets, every preset for few seconds. Dune 2 did something really different, the presets are amazing. Not all of them is my kind of sound, but still there are many of them have the power that could make me play for at least one hour before I got bored. It is definitely something different. The soft synths are no compare to acoustic instruments so far, no matter how many companies already have been trying for all those years. But Dune 2 is very close to be one. That is something really incredible.

6 December 2014 at 11:41amDJ Warmonger

Next time someone asks me "how to make it sound big", I will answer Dune 2. Sick unison for dummies, just out of the box. Also, it has great syntheis possibilities despite simplicity. I think I'll cut my wishlist just to fit Dune in.

14 January 2015 at 8:07pmbrainpacemaker

Would love to see visual representations of oscillator, ADSR and LFO's etc but sounds great.

13 June 2015 at 4:12amaaron aardvark

I was able to put Ghost Dog and Cubrick Soundset soundbanks into Dune 2 folders. Wasn't able to figure out the other two. Haven't tried them yet, but thank you for the patches, I'll try them in the near future.

23 December 2015 at 5:56pmYorrrrrr

Amazing new analog envelopes and filters in version 2.5.

11 January 2016 at 5:22pmdjavemcree

one of the best VST synths on the market PERIOD.

12 January 2016 at 3:11pmSunlightSpirit

I had saved up the $169.00 but found out there is 20% VAT to add on top bringing this to $200 mark.

12 January 2016 at 11:58pmRichard_Synapse

Hi SunlightSpirit, .

the VAT is now inclusive regardless of location, we changed our pricing model recently. So you should see exactly $169 when adding DUNE 2 to the shopping cart.

Best Regards, .

Richard / Synapse Audio.

3 February 2016 at 3:07pmkevvvvv

I love the new Dune 2.5 Kevin Schroeder and Cuebrick presets.

I use them in everything.

Any more planned soon?

8 February 2016 at 7:39pmsecretsmilemusic

impressed with DUNE2, really looking forward to buy the Cuebrick preset.

8 February 2016 at 8:24pmkevvvvv

Cuebrick presets are free.

The recent Dune upgrade is brilliant for presets.

like bags of Kevin Schroder presets, and a couple of hundred Ambients by someone I don't know.

The only shame is that the MIDI files in Dune presets can't be exported as midi. But that's a very minor thing. Dune just keeps getting better.

22 March 2016 at 2:00pmarseniy2

Good sounding synth, but the interface is terrible. How anyone can like this interface...

Still it's worthy for good sound.

17 May 2016 at 3:08pmVospi

Can't really imagine what's exactly terrible about it. Everything is clear, no clutter, tweakable colors, very fluent envelope editing — I just love it.

5 September 2016 at 1:13am100F

I for one cant stand multipage synths. i like dune 1 cause you can have most things in one single screen.

I just wished 1.4 had al the filters from dune 2. those sk filters are sweet.

5 September 2016 at 6:52amRichard_Synapse

Yeah it's nice if everything can be fit on one screen. But Dune 2 has many more parameters than Dune 1. Synths of this complexity are always multi-page, there is simply no other way. In Dune 2 all the key areas like the Oscs, Filter, Mixer, ADSR etc are always visible though, so the need to switch pages is greatly reduced.


8 September 2016 at 3:53pm100F

I realize dune 2 is more complex than dune 1.

So... its alright i guess, .

Have you thought of maybe adding the extra filters to dune 1 for an upgrade price? Id buy it.

12 September 2016 at 11:03pmmelodyz

Dune 2 is due for an upgrade IMO. It sounds good though.

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Average user rating of 9.67 from 3 reviews

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