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GR-8

 My KVR
Synth (Analogue / Subtractive) Plugin by Phuturetone
GR-8 Synth
GR-8 Effects GR-8 Presets
GR-8 by Phuturetone is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as an Audio Units Plugin and a VST 3 Plugin.
Product
Version
1.0.7
Product
Version
1.0.7
Instrument
Formats
Copy Protection
None
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
19 KVR members have added GR-8 to 2 My KVR groups 21 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
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KVR Rank

Overall: 25   20   25

30-Day: 2; 7-Day: 3; Yesterday: 6

GR-8 is an 8 voices virtual analog synthesizer with built-in effects and an arpeggiator.

Features:

  • Arpeggiator: 5 Modes (Up, Down, Alt 1, Alt 2, Random), 4 Octaves Range.
  • Voice Modes: Mono, Unison (8 voices), Chord (4 stereo notes), Poly (8 voices).
  • Voice Effects: Glide, Legato, Voice Detune, Voice Stereo Spread.
  • Oscillators: OSC 1 (Tri, Saw, Pulse, Square), OSC 2 (Sine, Saw, Pulse, Noise).
  • Oscillator Effects: Cross Modulation (FM), Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), Sync.
  • Filters: Non-resonant High Pass, Resonant Low Pass (12, 18, or 24 dB/Octave).
  • Modulation: Pitch Bender, Mod Wheel, LFO, 2 Envelopes.
  • Effects: EQ, Distortion, Phaser, Chorus/Flanger, Delay, Reverb.
  • Presets: 88.

Caution: Each preset has its own MIDI assignment. If you make a MIDI assignment you need to save the preset. Otherwise, the MIDI assignment you've made will be lost as soon you change the preset. If you want to make your own presets with the same MIDI assignments, you can do it by assigning MIDI controls to the Initial preset, saving a copy of it, and using it as a template for your sounds.


Change Log.

v1.0.7 - 2021-07-27:

  • Fixed silent presets caused by the Phaser module.

v1.0.6 - 2021-07-24:

  • Fixed DC offset caused by the Phaser module.
  • Updated About screen.

v1.0.5 - 2021-07-24:

  • Fixed arpeggiator.

v1.0.4 - 2021-07-22:

  • Replaced arpeggiator module with a newer module.
  • Updated About screen.

v1.0.3 - 2021-07-19:

  • Replaced arpeggiator module.

v1.0.2 - 2021-07-18:

  • Fixed wrong pitch caused by switching from Mono to Poly mode.
  • Various fixes to prevent excessive use of CPU.
  • Removed diffusion from Delay to reduce CPU usage.
  • Removed oversampling to reduce CPU usage.
  • Doubled Filter Env Depth range.
  • Assigned MIDI CCs to Init preset.
  • Enabled custom installation folder on PC.
  • Added manual installation option for plugins and presets on PC.
  • Added manual installation option for presets on Mac.

v1.0.1 - 2021-07-04:

  • Fixed silent Saturation mode on Distortion. All the presets using it were silent too.
  • Fixed Pitch Bender returning to zero when controlled via MIDI.
  • Updated About screen.
Made with SynthEdit

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.50 from 4 reviews

GR-8
Reviewed By hallwayraptor
July 25, 2021

Sounds great, looks great, controls are intuitive and well thought out. Only issue I have with it is there's no VST version for MacOS which is annoying since I use Bitwig and it doesn't support AU. Didn't remove any stars for that though since it's a limitation of the tools and not the developers choice.

Read Review

GR-8
Reviewed By binbasteni
July 10, 2021

Great plugin with a beautiful and unique Retro/Modern hybrid user interface capable of producing quality sounds. It has a great ARP functionality, good sounding presets and high quality sound effects. I love the ARP and delay fx which has 1/3, 1/6, 1/12 and other triplet signatures which is good for some of the music genres like Afro which I produce. This is a solid plugin I am gonna be using a lot in most of my projects and with every update it keeps on getting better.

Read Review

GR-8
Reviewed By BONES
July 7, 2021

This synth is pretty much what it says it is - g-r-eat. It is a straightforward 2 osc V/A synth with the usual features - four different waveforms, PWM and the usual cross-modulation functionality. It has six effects - delay, reverb, phaser, chorus, EQ and distortion - that are all very usable and do what you'd expect without setting the world on fire. Global controls, like voice modes and portamento/glide, are easy to find. There is also a basic arp.

The GUI graphics are really good and everything is laid out really well, which makes it very quick and easy to work with. Usability is one of GR-8's real strengths.

There aren't a huge number of presets but they show the capabilities of the synth quite well. There is a patch browser and preset management is good - not overly fancy/fussy, it's straightforward and easy to use.

There is one glaring downside to GR-8 and that is that its CPU use is on the high side but, for the sound quality on offer, I think it's a reasonable compromise. And to be clear, the sound quality is excellent. This is a synth that has a full, thick sound with a character all its own. It's not trying to sound like anything else, it just sounds good. This sound quality is up to the standard of synths in the $100-$200 price range. For free! The other thing holding it back from a 5 star rating is that there is no velocity modulation to be had, which is a bit limiting.

GR-8 is not just good for the price, it's actually a good synth and well worth checking out. For me it is the pick of this year's Dev Challenge crop.

EDIT: Version 1.0.2 has reduced the CPU usage considerably and seems to indicate the developer is willing to action user requests.

Read Review

GR-8
Reviewed By catatron
July 6, 2021

This synth competently does what has been done before. It's a solid subtractive virtual analog with a corresponding workflow, sound and feature set. A rather crowded market, so naturally there's a lot of competition there.

That is, until you take the price point into account.

See, most of the aformentioned competition will cost you upwards of 100 euros for a comparatively similar sound, if a bit cleaner. And this one is free. Suddenly there are a lot less competitors :).

Moreover, most of those other free VA lack either looks, sound quality, or ergonomics of GR-8, or are simply too unruly in comparison. If you want to get started with VA, you can't really do much better, .

It's hard to rate free products, because mathematically speaking, any musically functional free synth automatically gets 5 stars by its quality/cost ratio (as the cost is zero), so in this review I'm ranking the synth's sound and workflow on their own merits, disregarding the price. Ultimately tho, this is the second best free subtractive VA out there, and not by a long stretch.

Read Review

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Comments & Discussion for Phuturetone GR-8

Discussion
Discussion: Active
eb23
eb23
2 July 2021 at 6:12pm

This is a nice entry to the DC'21. It looks like a simple beginner's synth, and it is or can be, but it is more. A bit heavy on the CPU, perhaps, but nothing that makes it unusable here. Some decent FX section, which is unexpected from that kind of 'simple' synth but makes the difference, and the FX themselves have many modes, so there's a palette of achievable sounds under one hood.

At the time of writing, v1.0.0 has a small bug with the Distortion fx, the "Satur" mode makes it go silent, at least on my system (Win7/64, REAPER/64). Anywho, give it a try.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
4 July 2021 at 1:58pm

Hi eb23, .

Thank you very much for reporting the bug. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to reproduce it on my Intel CPU machine. The Saturation mode works in the latest Reaper both on Win10 and macOS. Do you have Intel or AMD CPU? However, there were few minor problems that I fixed in the Saturation module. I would be grateful if you could try this version and tell me if the saturation works on your machine: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6yzts8wkoefz7mz/GR-8%20Setup.exe?dl=0

Thank you.

catatron
catatron
4 July 2021 at 3:58pm

Hello, I'm a different person with the same problem. Win7, both FL and Studio One 4.

This new version didn't fix the issue. On top of that, it tells me that MSVCP140D.dll is missing twice in a row on startup (despite VC++ 2015 being installed on my system), but then goes on working regardless, the only issue being the aforementioned saturation issue.

Also the envelope overlaps are somewhat clicky? When you stop pressing one note and quickly press another you can hear digital clicks.

Otherwise it's indeed a GR-8 synth;).

catatron
catatron
4 July 2021 at 4:25pm

Also, my CPU is Intel Core i5-4460. Figured it might be needed.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
4 July 2021 at 4:44pm

Many thanks, Catatron! Can you please try this version:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6yzts8wkoefz7mz/GR-8%20Setup.exe?dl=0

Thanks.

eb23
eb23
4 July 2021 at 6:43pm

Sorry for the delay in my reply, wasn't home all day. :) Anyhow, I tried the v1.0.1 2021-07-04 from the DC'21 page, and it's fixed on my machine (i7-4790K). Cheers! Very nice plugin.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
4 July 2021 at 9:33pm

Great, thank you.

Pianatuna
Pianatuna
15 July 2021 at 6:22pm

Hello, .

I apologize for posting here but I cannot find an email link on your website.

I saw the great reviews and so I installed GR-8, but I'm unable to try it.

I run the installer but it does not ask WHERE I want to install the .dll's, it just installs them (somewhere?).

However, after installation completes and after scanning all my VST directories GR-8 does not show up.

Also, there is no icon anywhere in order to launch the standalone, yet there is an uninstall for it in the control panel app uninstall page...

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Pianatuna.

HP ProBook 640 G2 i5 2.3.

16 GB RAM 256 GB HD NVMe PCIe.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
17 July 2021 at 8:07pm

Hi Pianatuna, sorry about that, I've added the custom installation folder option in the latest update, v1.0.2. Thanks for your interest in the plugin. Cheers.

bubusblue
bubusblue
3 July 2021 at 8:55am

Some presets dosent work. But in general sounds good.

eb23
eb23
3 July 2021 at 12:09pm

Confirmation that my system is not the only one with that problem. If a preset doesn't produce any sound, you can disable the Distorion fx or change it from Satur to another mode, You still get a useable sound, if not the designed one. Oh, well... :D.

Yeager
Yeager
3 July 2021 at 6:37pm

Indeed the distortion section is faulty at least the saturation part, the presets without sound all have the mix set to 100% and the type set to (Signal In) saturation.

Windows 10 20H2 FLStudio/REAPER.

Waiting for version 1.01;).

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
4 July 2021 at 2:03pm

Hi Yeager, .

Thank you for the bug report. Can you please check above my reply to eb23 regarding the same bug?

Thank you.

Yeager
Yeager
4 July 2021 at 3:50pm

Hi Phuture, .

tested the version you posted on the fourth of july, and the problem is still there.

Thanks for trying, I'm on an Intel CPU Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-9900 CPU @ 3.10GHz 3.10 GHz.

Thank you.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
4 July 2021 at 9:37pm

Thanks for testing! Working v1.0.1 is available for download. Cheers.

Yeager
Yeager
5 July 2021 at 4:25pm

Downloaded the "new" 101 and all is well .

Thank you Mr. Tone;).

catatron
catatron
4 July 2021 at 6:49pm

The second new version works for me.

And the sound got cleaner too, or is it just me?

Anyways, thank you very much for a really great (heh) synth and for a quick fix! I'll go add it to my top 5 now.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
4 July 2021 at 9:34pm

Awesome, thank you.

Examigan
Examigan
5 July 2021 at 2:10pm

Sounds good! Nice interface also. I was surprised it was made with SynthEdit but maybe there were custom modules added?

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
6 July 2021 at 12:11am

Thanks, Examigan! Yes, there are some modified standard modules and a few originals. Cheers.

Rumdrum
Rumdrum
8 July 2021 at 2:21pm

Works as AU under logic on my MAC, but NOT as VST3 under Cubase on MAC. Cant find it installed at all. Is there a VST3 for MAC?

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
8 July 2021 at 3:13pm

Sorry Rumdrum, only AudioUnit for Mac – a limitation of the platform I'm using for plugin development.

Rumdrum
Rumdrum
8 July 2021 at 3:42pm

That is ok. I can wrap AU in through Unify or Patchwork. Thought it was something wrong as the KVR web site indicates VST for MAC.

mibrilane
mibrilane
13 July 2021 at 1:36am

I cannot get the GR-8 Presets.pkg to install (macOS Mojave 10.14.6) - it gives me the yellow exclamation triangle and "The Installation failed." This is directly after downloading and decompressing the gr-8-au-2021-07-04.zip file.

Synth sounds good but only the first preset is there.

×
Phuturetone
Phuturetone
13 July 2021 at 11:43pm

Hi Mibrilane, .

Here's an alternative method for installing the presets:https://www.dropbox.com/s/juhuep3uj8hnnlu/GR-8%20Presets.zip?dl=0.

Hope that works.

Cheers.

z.prime
z.prime
14 July 2021 at 6:44am

I had a play around with this in Logic and I have to say it sounds great, looks very nice, and has a really well thought out design. Really excellent job on this, m8! CPU usage notwithstanding, it's probably the only synth I would use from DC21, but alas I'm a macOS Bitwig user and there's no VST. Bug Jeff to get VST3 macOS export!.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
14 July 2021 at 7:38pm

Thanks, Z! Rumdrum mentioned AU wrappers a few posts above: Unify or Patchwork. I still have to test them to see how they work. Doubt I have the power to change Jeff's plans.;).

Rumdrum
Rumdrum
15 July 2021 at 5:46pm

I have tested GR-8 in Cubase on my MAC Pro 2010, Sierra, using both Unify and Patchwork. Works just fine. Now Unify and/or Patchwork is perhaps not something you buy just for wrapping one piece, but both programs are much more than just wrappers and I had them for other reasons.

coupe70
coupe70
14 July 2021 at 7:43pm

Nice look, good sound.
A bit too heavy on the CPU for my taste (and my machine).
What I really dislike are the fixed installation destinations for plugin and presets.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
17 July 2021 at 7:56pm

Hi Coupe70, the updated plugin is less CPU intensive and custom install locations are enabled now in v1.0.2 Cheers.

Oublietteone
Oublietteone
14 July 2021 at 8:09pm

Great looking Virtual Synth... cool interface... dig the tones(albeit when they work)... I've tried it side by side with every other V-synth I have, as well as trying multiple ASIO settings and no matter what I've tried, I get glitch noise and artifacts... for reference, I'm on a brand new computer 16GB RAM, i9 Intel Core... running on Reaper. I think I could really dig this, but not in it's current state. I'm watching for updates. Cheers.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
14 July 2021 at 9:12pm

Hi Oublietteone, thanks for checking the plugin. Sorry that it doesn't work on your setup. I've tested the plugin in Reaper, both Windows & macOS, and I haven't experienced any glitches, though I don't use ASIO drivers in Windows. Have you tried using DX drivers instead, just as a test? I'm working on a new update, addressing higher CPU usage. Maybe that will help. I will also test use with ASIO to see if I can replicate the bug you've reported. Thank you.

Oublietteone
Oublietteone
15 July 2021 at 6:56pm

I have not tried DX drivers... not sure how that would work on my setup - seeing how my audio interface uses ASIO... perhaps I'm missing something. But I gave your plug the top rating for the Dev Challenge so I'm really hoping the next update works for my setup. The top rating was largely do to the GUI, Hey what can I say, I'm a graphics guy. lol.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
17 July 2021 at 7:53pm

Thanks, Oublietteone! The v1.0.2 is out, uses much less CPU, maybe it'll work on your setup. Cheers.

Oublietteone
Oublietteone
19 July 2021 at 7:52pm

GOLD!!! Works great, Glitch Free! Solid Work! Thank you for the effort.

catatron
catatron
24 July 2021 at 9:44am

What is your buffer size? Have you tried making it larger?

jovo
jovo
15 July 2021 at 5:32pm

I'm very keen to try this synth, because I really like your older plugins, Phutura and Philteroid.
Any chance you could provide us with a ZIP for manual installation, containing the plugin, presets, and a short note where to put the preset files on the respective OS?

Cheers.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
17 July 2021 at 8:01pm

Hi Jovo, thank you for your interest in the plugin. I've enabled the custom folder installation on PC, and added the manual installation option on Mac. Hope that works for you, otherwise, please let me know. Best regards.

jovo
jovo
18 July 2021 at 10:05am

Thanks for the reply.

Perhaps the term 'installation' was a little distracting from the object of my request/suggestion.
I really do mean a literal ZIP file or any other compressed archive that is not an unsigned executable
(for instance, windows 10 doesn't even allow me to execute unsigned files while connected to the internet).

Long story short, providing both, a ZIP and an executable, would cover everyone's liking.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
18 July 2021 at 12:39pm

Thanks Jovo, I had many requests for installation to the custom location, so I thought your request was the same. I think you should be able to pass that warning window by clicking on a link in its bottom-left corner. In case that doesn't work, I've added a manual installation option. Please download the latest files for Windows. Cheers.

jovo
jovo
18 July 2021 at 5:30pm

That's it. Quick an easy to just copy/paste the folders. Thanks a lot for the quick response.

catatron
catatron
24 July 2021 at 9:41am

Please please please leave the oversampling and diffusion in! Make them toggleable maybe, some sort of performer mode with fancier stuff turned off. The heightened CPU usage is fine, really. But what's imperative is sound quality, even if it comes with high CPU usage. Especially for us bedroom producers who can't afford proper hardware or even a high-end premium VA like Diva (which is also CPU-heavy).

I mean, you can always negate the CPU usage by rendering a synth into a wav, but you can't take an aliased signal and un-alias it, And the most important part of analog sound is lack of any aliasing.

Also diffused delay sonds cool. So please please please leave the fancy CPU-heavy stuff in.

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
24 July 2021 at 10:56am

Hey Catatron, .

If you set the sample rate to 88.2kHz, it will be the same as the plugin is oversampled 2 times, except it will take less CPU because the oversampled signal needs to be downsampled to the original rate. A special type of filter is used for that task and it is very demanding of the CPU. While upsampling a .wav file will not improve the sound quality of that sample, playing a virtual analog plugin at double sample rate will double the computational precision – aliasing will be pushed an octave higher, out of our hearing range.

GR-8 has antialiased oscillators that sound very good at 44.1 kHz, you could maybe hear real quiet aliasing with some extreme, unusual settings at about 8kHz. If you render the project at 88.2 kHz, that aliasing will be at about 16kHz, where you can't hear it at all.

Currently, the delay diffusion and reverb are probably the most CPU-intensive parts in GR-8, because I used the standard SynthEdit delay module to create them. In my coding journey, I still haven't come to the point of coding my own delay. Once I do that, I will be able to optimize them for lower CPU consumption. Then, I will probably add an option for delay diffusion back.

Cheers.

hallwayraptor
hallwayraptor
25 July 2021 at 7:23pm

Love this plugin, I've been reaching for it often! My only request would be a VST version for MacOS so I don't have to use a wrapper but I realize that's not entirely in your control. BTW for anyone who wants to use this as a VST in MacOS, you can use Kushview Element instead of Patchwork or Unify for this if you don't need the other features of those, it's only $2.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

Phuturetone
Phuturetone
26 July 2021 at 9:52am

Thank you for your comment and the Element tip. VST on Mac is actually none in my control with the current development platform, it doesn't exist as an option and there's no plan for it. I think that the creator of SynthEdit is currently working on support for Apple silicon. Sometime in the future, I will probably start working in JUCE, which supports many major platforms. But, I don't see that happening soon. Cheers.

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