Kubik is the cumulative work by ConcreteFX. It incorporates a new level of sophistication and unique features seldom found anywhere but CoFX products. I was a part-time beta tester and perpetual nag, trying to get my ideas heard. Were they? No, they were developing before I could say to Jon, "hey can we have an individual dialog box for each of the 64 note waveshapers, and so on.
The interface is a lovely, easy on the eyes flat design. It screams functionality and lives up to it's promise. Each oscillator is exceptionally modeled with filters that are warm to pliantly thin. Kubik is about sound possibilities and uses several approaches to it, in particular wavetables, many of them, all as simple as you want it to be and capable of massive complexity that I wouldn't be happy with in a ConcreteFX design.
Patch designers will love the wavetable designer which works like a microWave on steroids yet can make the funky, weird little sounds PPG Wave users have grown fond of. More importantly, Kubik takes on the wavetable design, makes it dead simple (providing you read the included manual) along with a slew of analog beauty in the filter department straight through to near FM by way of implited FM sound matched to a beautiful timbre reminicient of Big Tick Rhino 2 and even parts of VirSyn TERA 2. These are not idle comparisons, for as good as the wavetable theme is addressed, and it beats Waldorf's PPG Wave 2.v VSTi which was quirky and a tad confusing compared to Kubik's clean lines and direct programming capabilities, Kubik ups the ante and throws a "diga-log" style synth at you as well.
Hybrid synths are more the norm than specialty item they were in 2003. Users are expecting more and they are getting a full compliment in this exemplary synth. For those who ever wondered if the Waldorf sound could be improved upon and driven in different directions that have a truly unique synergy, the answer is yes.
Kubik can sound like the virtual (no pun intended) Chaeleon. Big thick leads, pads and basses are available. Even bigger, expansive pads and evocative synth sounds are shown in full ardor. Kubik is one bad ass synth that does a lot of things well with less firepower than some may expect.
While the effects are excellent and of course have gating capabilities that will make a trance head get moist, the thing that keeps impressing is how broad the range and how high the quality Kubik exudes. In a recent discussion I asked Jon at ConcreteFX if he felt Kubik was his masterwork. It is obvious Jon has confidence in his work, and of the existing developers, none have been as neglected as ConcreteFX; most likely because, like Kubik, selling at $90. The line is kept ascessible in price with wonderful package deals and frequent updates.
While Jon may be too polite I'm not; Kubik is one of the best synths of 2004 and on a budget that Mother Theresa could have found the cash for.
Customer support is excellent with potential bugs taken serious as a heart attack. ConcreteFX has run the gammut of virtual synths but in Kubik have found ways to uncrown several FM synths (used with external effects!!), the venerable PPG Wave 2.v and other wavetable synths.
There are many available single cycle waves to work with. Just like a real PPG you add the waves to create a wavetable. In terms of control you have 64 waves per table and those left blank are interpolated, meaning in essence morphed, for that classic sound we've grown to love (and in some sad souls, hate) but even in the wavetable itself there is enough control between the modulation and LFO routings and envelopes to take the typical moving sound and make it more undulating and liquid. It's a neat trick and when employed with the modulation matrix can do some remarkable sounds that are refreshingly unique.
Though often thought of as a "role player" synth, there is plenty of sonic firepower for the average user to experienced developer.
There are many hundreds of presets available in Kubik's library. More will show up as I think this will become an important synthesizer, not just for 2004, but in years to come.
The craft and complexity of Kubik are trademarked ConcreteFX staples, but on Kubik there are many areas that are simpler to use than previous "concept synths" such as Adder, Ensembler, Etherial and Digital. For the first time ConcreteFX extend the audience by creating an exceptionally full and rich synth that can be learned as one goes along and has the presets to make all audiences happy.
At $90 it is a steal. Support shareware developers, they like to eat. Download and hear for yourself how wonderful the overall sound is.
Kubik is my pick of the year. It is amazingly deep while remaining fundementally easy to learn and outright fun. It's only down-side is how easy it is to get lost in the many traditional and expressive sounds capable...and at such a reasonable price!