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Icarus3

Synthesizer Workstation Plugin by Tone2 Audiosoftware
MyKVRFAVORITE69WANT59
€149
Icarus3
Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3 Icarus3
Icarus3 by Tone2 Audiosoftware is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin and a Software Application for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and a Standalone Application.
Product
Version
3.0
Windows 7 / 8 / 10 / 11 (32-bit or 64-bit)
Plugin formats: VST, VST3, Standalone
Product
Version
3.0
macOS 10.12 or higher / macOS 11 / macOS 12 / macOS 13
64-bit Intel or M1 or M2
Plugin formats: VSTi, Audio Unit (AUi), VST3, Standalone, Universal Binary
Native support for M1 and M2
Instrument
Formats
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
WAV
Copy Protection
Key File
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
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Product page: https://www.tone2.com/icarus.html

One of the most powerful synthesizer available on the market

Icarus is an epic synthesizer and a must-have for producers and sound designers. This award-winning workstation is one of the most versatile and powerful synthesizers ever created. Icarus offers a huge sonic range and is capable of producing all the classic synthesizer sounds as well as a wide range of fresh sounds not possible with other products. The audio engine offers many exciting features like 62 (!) different synthesis methods, a drum sequencer, a vocoder, 65 (!) filter types, a glitch sequencer, a wavetable editor, an extremely powerful oscillator section, MSEGs, ...
A reliable re-synthesis can recreate any sound with a single mouse click!
Yet the synth remains very easy to use. A comfortable interface gives you instant visual feedback, immediate acoustic results and context-sensitive help.
The synthesizer delivers true high-end sound quality with low CPU usage.
It ships with over 2000 inspiring, production-ready sounds from professional designers.

Sounds

Icarus ships with a huge and inspiring collection of over 2000 (!) hand-picked sounds. The production-ready patches were created by professional designers. Each sound has been meticulously crafted with love and attention to detail. The patches are easy to mix because they're already EQed and pre-mastered. They run in perfect sync with the tempo of your DAW. All the sounds are properly programmed - they are not sampled. This gives you the full dynamic range, much more musical expression and the highest possible sound quality. It also saves disk space.
The patch browser gives you instant access to a large and inspiring library. The patches are organized into categories to help you find the right sound quickly and easily. You can tag your favorites with a ranking system. An on-screen keyboard lets you audition the sounds.
Get inspired by the huge number of fresh, original sounds and create tracks with unique and individual characteristics.

Synthesis - Exceptionally powerful audio-engine

Icarus is one of the most powerful synthesizer on the market. The award-winning audio engine offers a huge sonic range, true high-end sound quality, and the ability to create sounds that are impossible with other synths. The exceptionally versatile audio engine is capable of creating all important synthesizer sounds in high-end quality. Icarus is capable of 62 (!) different synthesis methods, which can be combined:

  • 3D wavetables & classic wavetables (known from the Waldorf Microwave).
  • Analog & subtractive synthesis.
  • FM with up to 6 operators.
  • Hypersaw / Supersaw (known from the Access Virus and JP8000).
  • Classic sample playback.
  • Additive synthesis (known from the Kawai K1).
  • Granular synthesis.
  • Phase-Distortion (known from the Casio CZ).
  • Formant-Synthesis (known from the Yamaha FS1R).
  • PWM (unlike conventional synths Icarus can do PWM with any Waveform, not just Squarewaves).
  • Resynthesis of samples and waveforms.
  • Vocoder.
  • Waveshaping (known from the Korg 01/W).
  • Ring-Modulation & Amplitude-Modulation.
  • Oscillator sync.
  • Resonance (exclusive to Tone2 synths).
  • Noise & Lofi.
  • Physical-modeling.
  • Many other innovative synthesis-modes, exclusive to Icarus.

True high-end sound quality with low CPU usage

The sound quality of the Icarus easily surpasses that of conventional synthesizers. However, no high-end computer is required to operate it. The algorithms of this synthesizer were developed and optimized by an experienced DSP expert. As a result, Icarus offers the best possible sound quality with a low CPU load.


User-friendly interface

Icarus offers a huge sonic range, is extremely versatile, yet remains easy to use. Animated displays give you visual feedback. You can instantly see and hear the results of your actions.
Context-sensitive tooltips explain the function of the control you're tweaking. The user-friendly and accessible interface makes tweaking easy for anyone, regardless of skill level or experience.
The GUI can be displayed in 26 different sizes and five scales. It's also possible to hide parts of the interface, such as the keyboard, when you don't need them. Icarus offers native support for WQHD, 4K, 5K and 8K UHD displays. The GUI comes with HiDpi and native Retina Display support for ultra-sharp graphics.
The customizable interface lets you choose your favorite color from 37 schemes.


Arpeggiator

The included arpeggiator instantly creates inspiring and beautiful melodies. Working with the powerful arpeggiator is easy: Just type the notes you want into the Note Sequencer. The Arpeggiator supports many advanced features such as Glides, Swing & Shuffle, Split, Smart Note Sorting, Matrix Integration, and gives you precise control over play direction and velocity. Comfortable playing aids, such as Auto Chord, speed up the production process and are there to help you whenever you need them. You don't want to program your own patterns? Just load one of the many ready-made pattern templates.


Drums

Icarus2 has been extended with a drum sequencer. It is an easy to use but powerful X0X style sequencer module. It comes with a wide variety of drum sounds, noises and waveforms. A large collection of 100 drum patterns created by professional designers is included.
The drum sequencer supports many advanced features like swing, shuffle, loop length, effect send, key split, roll, stereo samples, looped samples and looped waveforms. You can also import your own samples and save your own templates. WAV files containing drum loops can be stretched to automatically match the BPM-rate of your DAW. Add punch to your tracks with the help of ultra-fast envelopes. With Icarus you can create impressive 'gated drums' easily.
The Drum Sequencer is not just limited to playing drum sounds. It is also a small multi-timbral synthesizer that can play looped samples or waveforms with or without pitch tracking. It comes with an intelligent auto accompaniment that automatically resolves the chord you are playing and plays a bass line that 'fits'.


Filters

Icarus3 comes with the most powerful filter section on the market. Our flagship synthesizer offers 65 fascinating filter types. It's a best-of selection of over 300 filter algorithms developed by Dipl. Inf. Univ. M. Krause during the last 15 years. Many filter types are exclusive and not available from other companies, resulting in a wide range of unique sounds that cannot be produced by other synthesizers. All filters are musically useful and have very different sonic characteristics.
Two modular filter blocks are available. Each features true stereo architecture, flexible routing, and multi-mode filters. Two stereo distortion sections, each with 15 different modes, allow you to further shape the sound.
An animated display shows the frequency response and gives you instant visual feedback. This makes it very easy to tweak sounds.

Filter types (it is also possible to combine two filters):

  • Low-pass: Digital 12dB, Digital 24dB, Butter 24dB, Curtis 12dB, Curtis Analog, Tone2 24dB, Tone2 Analog, Tone2 Scream, 303 18dB, 303 Analog, Chain 6-48dB, Elliptic, Octave, Shaped, AM, HighQ, Ladder, MS-20.
  • High-pass: Digital 12dB, Analog 12dB, Analog 24dB, Chain 6-48dB.
  • Band-pass: Digital 12dB, Digital 24dB, Analog 12dB, Analog 24dB, Boobs.
  • Equalizer: Notch, Peak Tight, Peak Medium, Peak Wide, Shelf Tight, Shelf Wide, Bandlimit.
  • Vocal: A, U, I, IEA, AOU, IYU, IEAOU.
  • Comb-filters: Phaser 2x, Phaser 2x FB, Phaser 3x, Phaser 3x FB, Comb+, Comb-.
  • Fractal-filters: LP 1, LP 2, LP 3, LP 4, FO 1, FO 2.
  • Ring-modulation: Ringmod, LP, LP2, FM Lowpass, AM.
  • Pysical-modeling resonators: Guitar, Flute, Odd, Even.
  • LoFi: Resampling, Sample & Hold.

Oscillators

The oscillators have many different operating modes:
Classic wavetables, sample playback, FM, additive, PWM with any waveform, hypersaw, looped waveforms, phase distortion, formant, waveshaping, ring modulation, amplitude modulation, oscillator sync, resonance, noise, lofi, 3D Wavetables, and many other modes exclusive to Icarus. All synthesis modes can be combined.

True stereo architecture:
Icarus features three blocks of oscillators in true stereo architecture. This is one of the secrets why Icarus sounds wider and fatter than competing synthesizers.

Import custom samples, waveforms or wavetables:
You can import and export your own samples, waveforms and wavetables with ease. The custom content is automatically embedded into your songs and patches. You will no longer have to deal with songs or patches that are broken because a file is missing from your hard drive.

Hypersaws:
Each oscillator block can contain up to 16 detuned oscillators. We've taken the popular Hypersaw concept and added stereo processing, precise phase control and the ability to make individual oscillators play chords. 37 different modes are available which can be combined with any type of synthesis method. Unlike competing synthesizers ours do not occasionally sound ugly. We developed smart algorithms that carefully tweak the phase alignment to prevent occasional 'phasing' and huge volume peaks. We are convinced, that Icarus3 has the best sounding "hypersaws" and "supersaws" available on the market.

Additive:
Icarus3 bas been extended with additive synthesis. These modes drastically extend the sonic range, especially with disharmonic and unusual sounds. Unlike competing synthesizers our additive synthesis is not limited to boring sine-waves. It can handle any waveform or synthesis mode. We developed smart algorithms that prevent the occasional volume peaks that competing synthesizers suffer from.

3D Wavetables:
The award-winning 3D Wavetable Synthesis creates sounds that are impossible with other synthesizers and opens up a new level of dynamic expression. Classic wavetable synthesis only allows you to cross-fade waveforms. We have extended it with an extra 'morph dimension'. You can use 62 morph modes to further shape and modulate the sound. The morph modes are not limited to traditional waveshaping methods. We have also included a wide range of innovative and exclusive synthesis methods that are not available from other companies. This results in a wide range of unique sounds that cannot be produced by other synthesizers. Take your musical dynamics and expressiveness to the next level with the power of 3D wavetable synthesis.


Wavetable-editor

Icarus is equipped with the most powerful wavetable editor available on the market. It includes over 100 professional tools for creating and tweaking wavetables or waveforms. You get basic functions such as cutting, mixing, and filtering, as well as advanced tools such as noise reduction, enhancement, re-synthesis, vocoder, spectral modification, and phase manipulation. A random generator allows you to create new and musically useful wavetables with a single mouse click. The spectrum editor turns Icarus into an additive synthesizer. You can also draw your own waveforms with the mouse. The open WAV file format makes it easy for sound designers to create their own soundsets, waveforms and wavetables. It is even possible to import and export wavetables or waveforms from and to other synthesizers. In Icarus, all wavetables are automatically saved within your patches and songs, so you don't have to worry about managing additional files on your hard drive.

3D Wavetables:
The award-winning 3D Wavetable Synthesis creates sounds that are impossible with other synthesizers and opens up a new level of dynamic expression. Classic wavetable synthesis only allows you to cross-fade waveforms. We have extended it with an extra 'morph dimension'. You can use 54 morph modes to further shape and modulate the sound. The morph modes are not limited to traditional waveshaping methods. We have also included a wide range of innovative and exclusive synthesis methods that are not available from other companies. This results in a wide range of unique sounds that cannot be produced by other synthesizers. Take your musical dynamics and expressiveness to the next level with the power of 3D wavetable synthesis.


Resynthesis - rebuild any sound with a SINGLE mouse-click!

Icarus comes with the most powerful and advanced re-synthesis engine on the market. Unlike competing products, it always delivers good results. With Icarus, anyone can create amazing sounds quickly and easily. Traditional resynthesis methods require in-depth knowledge of sample editing to achieve good results. It requires time-consuming pre-processing with a sample editor and precisely tuned samples. We have eliminated all of these hassles and developed completely new algorithms. Icarus' innovative wavetable resynthesis can rebuild sounds with a single mouse click! It works with almost any type of audio material and produces high-quality results. Just click the 'Re-synthesize' button, select a WAV file, and Icarus will automatically create a patch that sounds like the original. Optionally, you can further shape your sound with morphing, BPM synchronization, time-stretching, filters, effects, or any other module. Traditional sample import, auto-tuning, beat-slicing, pitch-shifting, noise reduction and granular playback is also supported. All waveforms, wavetables and samples are automatically saved within your patches or songs. So you don't have to worry about missing files on your hard drive or broken song projects.


Vocoder and vocals

If you listen to popular songs you will notice that nearly all of them use a lot of vocals. We are naturally drawn to those sounds, as they are reflections of the spoken word. However, adding vocals to your tracks is a demanding task: You need a singer, a microphone, a recording studio, a wealth of experience and a lot of patience... Icarus can take care of your work since it can sing chants for you. Simply pick one of the vocoder patches and play a melody. These sounds are not just a bunch of 'vocal samples' - this is real speech-synthesis. These vocalic chants are never out-of-tune. Magically they can automatically synchronize to your song's BPM-rate! With the built-in vocoder you can also create your own phrases. The top quality vocoder module has 1024 bands and is very easy to use: Simply click on 'Vocoder' and select a WAV file containing speech. Icarus will analyze it and automatically create a patch. Optionally, you can further shape your sound with morphing, the filters, the effects or any other module. Playing the sound forwards, backwards, formant shifting, BPM-sync, time-stretching and looping is also possible.


Effects

Icarus comes with a sophisticated and flexible effects section. 54 different effects, feedback and a limiter can be combined in multiple modular slots. This allows you to create new and exciting results, which can also be saved and loaded separately.
The innovative Ducking module can make the mix sound more transparent and lush. It dynamically adjusts the volume of the effect mix and prevents delays from clashing with the original signal.
An equalizer with a dynamic bass control and psychoacoustic processing gives your mix an extra boost. A real-time frequency response display makes it easy to tweak the EQ.

Glitch-sequencer / Trancegate:
Icarus has been extended with a grid-based glitch-sequencer. You can chop your sounds and create modern glitchy, pitchstop, trancegate or stuttering effects. 'The Glitch' works similar to a multi-effect sequencer. The incoming audio is passed through 10 different effect-modules. Each effect is controlled by up to 16 segments to adjust the parameter of the effect. Furthermore, it is possible to adjust the speed, groove, routing, mix, smoothness and loop-length. Random-buttons allow you to create new sequences quicky. It is also possible to load and save your own templates.

Microtuning:
Microtuning can improve chords and make the sound warmer and richer. To create a more harmonious relationship, the voices are slightly out of tune. But there's a catch: if you set the wrong key, it can sound "off" pretty quickly. We have solved this problem. Unlike competing products, Icarus can automatically detect the key. There's nothing to worry about - it just works.


Modulation

Add exciting movement to your tracks! Want to use the LFO to wobble your sound? Just drag-and-drop it onto a knob. That's it! It is possible to modulate almost any parameter at audio speed. Via the matrix, different modulation sources can be precisely linked to any sound parameter: LFOs, multistage envelopes, punchy envelopes, step sequencers, MIDI signals, ...

Multistage-envelope-generators:
Two MSEGs are available as additional modulation-sources. The MSEGs can be operated as LFO or envelope and allow you to create any shape you can imagine. The MSEGs offer highest precision, support frequencies up into the audio-range and have been designed with the aspect of musical usefulness. Literally anything is possible: The MSEGs can be synced to BPM, sync with the arpeggiator or run freely. Triads or dotted rhythms are also supported. You can define loop-points and start points. You can delay or fade the MSEGs. You can move, add or delete points with your mouse. You can bend lines upwards or downwards to change their shape or even create precise rectangular curves. The MSEGs can be edited completely freely or you can snap points to a grid of a select-able size. It is also possible to draw triangles, bars or ramps.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.20 from 5 reviews
Icarus3

Reviewed By Chipi [all]
April 6th, 2024
Version reviewed: 3.0 on Windows

Icarus is one of the most versatile, impressive-sounding synths we've heard since... well, Xfer Records Serum, whose wavetable crown it clearly has its sights set on. The Wavetable Editor is particularly worthy of singling out for praise, as it makes the potentially daunting job of messing with waveforms supremely easy and rewarding.

It doesn't hurt that the whole GUI looks great, either, with its beautiful animated waveform display - including a rolling 3D view of the wavetable as it's scanned - classy font and switchable colour scheme. An epic synth in every sense.

Sonically and functionally, Icarus stands up well to Xfer's mighty rival, despite sounding very different to it. Icarus definitely has that characteristic larger-than-life Tone2 vibe - right from the raw oscillator level upwards, it's a shouter, designed to sound big, bold and glossy at all times, which may not be to every producer's taste.

It would be unfair to call that a 'criticism', though, and ultimately there's no denying that Icarus is Tone2's finest achievement yet. Epic in every sense. Well done Tone2.

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Icarus3

Reviewed By VELLTONE MUSIC [all]
October 8th, 2022
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

The only virtual synth, which sounds more convincing than hardware synthesizer - amazing filters, friendly workflow, incredible intuitive 3D sound via 3 osc architecture.

If need something to add character and presence to your mix, Icarus do it easy.

Outstanding synth!!.

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Icarus3

Reviewed By MegaPixel [all]
April 16th, 2022
Version reviewed: 2.08 on Windows

The good:

  • 3 x Oscillators which you can create some rather cool stuff with.
  • 3 x LFOs.
  • 1 x Step LFO (user customisable).
  • 2 x MSEGs.
  • Resynthesis (very cool, bit hit and miss though).
  • Vocoder.
  • 2 x Filters (chained).
  • Wavetable editor.
  • Half decent preset browser.
  • Arp editor.
  • Drums editor.
  • Glitch editor.
  • 1 x Vol Env.
  • 3 x AHDSR Env.
  • Wavetable paradise (almost).
  • Lots of effects (but there's more to this).

Overall its not that complicated to use, and you can get some great result just keeping things light with OSC1 to 3 and playing with the LFOs, MSEGs, Arp and/or the Glitch machine.

The bad:

  • Step LFO module should be part of the main editor area as it's user editable, so its a very small area to edit what you want and often is a trial and error repeating the note for a very very long time till you get what you want. Also no presets.
  • Routing, LFOs are fixed into modules and divided between OSC1 to 3 & Filter 1 & 2. So you get only 2 LFOs for OSC 1 to 3 and 1 LFO for the filters. You can however drag LFO 1 & 2 to other things resulting in some insanity (but this can be a good thing), but overall this is a limiting design/approach to things. It ties you down, bitwig will help you greatly here. Same with the MSEGs but Bitwig can't help you with that as they don't have a MSEG modulator and doubt we will see one for many years yet.
  • Preset browser (everything starts with 3 stars) where as it should be zero, and you can't give a zero star rating.
  • Presets are stored in with the VST folder (should be in the documents folder as per most other synths).
  • Preset classification, what is a seq or an arp is often in the leads or bass folders and so on, even worse for the expansions, they are all over the place and you have no idea what you will get next, best to ignore the folder names and due to this a drag and drop and create folders feature would be good so you could re-organise or delete but there's none of that.
  • Expansions / Additional presets, very poor, 25% of them if that are any good, very poor sound design.
  • The effects are often overpowering, their presets are drowned in them and are often unusable for anything other than showing you what they can do. Reverb ducking is nice though, every reverb should offer this but I pref to take my effects out to other 3rd party vst's I've purchased but some are very usable. So use them gently.

Overall, you can make some cool stuff but don't rely on the presets or the expansion presets, the good ones in the factory presets is as good as it gets, making your own is where its at. If your a preset junkie, this is not for you, if your into sound design you should enjoy this VST but you will soon find yourself wishing it did things in different ways and needing more LFOs and you will get annoyed with that step LFO. Those with bitwig will get a lot better use out this VST thanks to its modules (modulators) which can be assigned to nearly everything inside the VST giving you superior control than what the VST offers alone.

Worth a buy?
If you have Rapid or Avenger, NO.

If you want resynthesis and don't have Halion6 or Falcon, maybe, expensive for just that though.

I would say its a YES, if its on sale (50%+ off), you have Bitwig and enjoy sound design, but don't waste your money on any of the expansions, maybe grab the wavetable expansion only, and then set a good few hours aside to make some cool sounds ranging from the usual to the insane.

As for this becoming part of someones daily / weekly workflow, I don't think that will happen, well not for me, I might reach for it now and again but I will probably only end up using it when I have something unique I think it will be good for or I have started to accumulate a lot of presets I've created, which will take much time.

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Icarus3

Reviewed By mdstudio [all]
January 8th, 2019
Version reviewed: 1.6 on Mac

Excellent resynthesis (importing samples and creating wavetables). Low CPU usage. This is my favorite wavetable synth (with Serum being close second).

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Icarus3

Reviewed By Introspective [all]
June 16th, 2017
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Mac

Icarus is Tone2's magnum opus.

If you are familiar with the company, you will know that there's a particular "quality" to their synths: a fairly digital sound, a fairly scratchy reverb, a feeling of "technical excellence" at the expense, perhaps, of refinement. Those qualities are still here in Icarus, but they seem to have "owned" that, more or less, and produced something that really stands out. Icarus has a striking *clarity* to its sound, a snappiness to its envelopes, and an elegance to its workflow that is quite compelling.

If there is a standout negative to this, it is that Icarus more or less makes the rest of their synths superfluous. My first Tone2 synth was Gladiator, and I loved it. ...Then along came ElextraX, and I felt I no longer needed Gladiator to get the same kind of sound, so I stopped using it. ...In fact, ElectraX was so much easier to use and such a capable synth, that even after extensive demos of their other synths (notably their FM and "transwave" synths), I felt their was too much overlap in the sound to warrant another purchase. And again, when Icarus was released, I listened to the demos and thought "meh: this is just a reskinning of ElectraX."

I forget what the catalyst was—perhaps a YouTube video comparing Icarus to Serum or something—but eventually I broke down and downloaded the demo. I bought it a few days later. Indeed, the workflow here is quite similar to that of ElectraX, though I like that it's not "four synths in one," which is something I always found a little irksome. Everything is a bit more "succinct" here, in ways that are difficult to qualify, but was actually the *sound* that hadn't quite come across to me in the demos I'd listened to. The hypersaw sounds fuller, the wavetable scanning seems smoother, the filters are a little more refined, and the effects ... well.. perhaps they *use* them a bit less in the presets or something; that Tone2 reverb still has a quality to it that I *strongly* dislike (turning off the reverb is always my first tweak for Tone2 patches), but it bothers me much less with Icarus. :)

Tone2 has really outdone Serum in terms of wavetable manipulation: every feature here is a delight, from the drawing tools to the randomize function: you will end up with very pleasing results with MUCH less work. They are really to be lauded here. The resynthesis is always great fun to play with and can result in your own very distinct patches.

(A quick note: I do NOT think that Icarus "sounds better" than Serum. There is still a *crispness* to Serum that Icarus does not capture. Serum sounds much more ... clinical: I am going to play EXACTLY these frequencies, RIGHT here. Icarus reminds me more of a Virus, here: still very digital, but somewhat "warmer" or perhaps "smoother". If you own Serum, you do not *need* Icarus. ...but if you are a wavetable-junkie and really like editing them, you will find Icarus a delightful addition.)

The mod-matrix here meets all the modern requirements: drag-and-drop but *also* right-click assign, and *also* directly editable. Assignments are graphically displayed along with their depth and can be modified right from the affected knob. A good number of envelopes (4), a good number of LFOS (4), surprising number of waveshapes for the LFOs, the arp can be used as a mod source, and one mod slot can affect the depth of another. (This is actually less powerful than a matrix with built-in depth modifiers, but it'll do—it is at least clear, here.) A good number of slots—I haven't found myself wanting for more, yet (though, eventually, I'm sure I will. I always do).

The filters are really amazing here: there are SO MANY of them, and the "typical" ones are very high-quality and the "creative" ones are a lot of fun. The drive is not the highest-quality, but it's available and it does contribute to the quality of the sound. The display is also highly appreciated: while it's not *attractive*, it's actually one of the most useful graphical representations of a filter I've seen: very fast and very detailed. You really feel like you can see *exactly* what the filter is doing.

I'm not personally a big fan of Tone2's effects, so I largely skip this section. They "work," but the controls are a bit weird (rather than knobs, you "drag" text values). There is, as Aiyn Zahev said (of another synth) "a cheeky duck knob" to the effects, though, and that's nice for when you want THAT sound.

The EQ and limiter of limited (har har) quality, but, again, they add to the sound.

Really, the "stand out qualities" to this synth have to be the wavetable oscillators (PARTICULARLY the editor), the diverse filters, and the *cracking* all-on-one-page workflow.

Icarus is one of those synths that doesn't quite scream "we are aiming squarely at synth X." If it did, I would have to say it was aiming at Serum. ...which would be a shame, because I think, ultimately, Serum is a superior overall synth. That having been said, personally I actually find Icarus a more *usable* synth. It's more immediately creative, it's a bit broader in sound and usability. ...I've never really gotten a *truly* satisfying pad out of Serum, for example: that's just not its strength. ...Icarus handles them with aplomb. For me, Icarus is more of a stand-in for an Access Virus or a Blofeld or the like: a decent VA, albeit on the digital side, with that "wavetabley" sound that excels at pads and plucks.

I don't care about making dubstep basses, so don't ask me if it's good for that. ...I doubt it could touch Serum for that sound, though.

[shrug] I am finding this difficult to express, but: I reach for Icarus more often than Serum. Serum, for me, is something *specific, * for cutting, standout sounds. It screams "here I am!" regardless of how you use it. Icarus is more of a broad tool that handles almost everything very well, AND it is best-in-class for wavetable editing, hands-down.

I also own VPS Avenger ... and ... yeah... I would have a *really* hard time selling you Icarus if you were looking at Avenger. You're just going to get more bang for your buck, there: better-sounding (sounds very much like a Virus), better depth ... just a whole lot more "to" it. ...Unless you're still looking for that Wavetable editor, which is decidedly superior in Icarus. ...Think of Icarus like a Blofeld, here: would you still buy one if you owned a Virus? ...If so, then, yeah, you will want both Icarus AND Avenger. If you just want one, go for Avenger, period. (You might also prefer Icarus if you were one of those people who hate REALLY broad synths for being really broad. Icarus has more personality.)

All of that said, Icarus, today, is certainly one of my top-ten VSTs, right up there with Serum, Avenger, Omnisphere, Strobe, Diva, RePro, and LuSH. For me, I would probably even put it in my top five. Perhaps I cannot *quite* tell you why. ...it's probably because I *love* wavetables. :) When it comes down to it, if you are a studio-minimalist (or just don't have the money for overlap), Icarus is a hard sell. You'll probably want either Serum or Avenger. But if you just love sound-design and can handle having another creative synth in your arsenal, you would be remiss to pass over Icarus. It is really something very special.

A final note: I am aware that there is a group of users on KVR who feel it is their duty to downvote all "overly-positive" reviews. Conceptually, I understand their motivation: to account for some of the "hype" that surrounds synths and to point out that "things can always get better." So be it; I am powerless to stop them. I do, however, have a message for them: you are idiots; get over yourselves.

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