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Olga is a virtual analog synthesizer designed from first principles to be distinctive.
"Imagine a handmade experiment from an unlikely place, a synthesizer so full of life and character that it earns the right to be called a musical instrument. Olga encourages risk, experimentation, and exploration, and rewards you with unexpected and exciting sounds, vibrant and human. This is the dusty gem you could spend your life searching for."
Bezier Anti-aliased Dynamic Analog Synthesis System: Olga uses a new approach to DSP waveform generation to emulate glorious analog imperfection. Olga's free running oscillators are in a constant state of structured variability, a deeply musical instability, free of aliasing artifacts and light on your CPU.
Gaussian Reactive Oscillator Overdrive Virtual Engine: Throughout Olga's signal path, levels can be pushed through saturation and into full overdrive, with a thickness that develops organically, breathing life and character into your music.
I was enamoured with Olga when it was first released, a long time ago now, but at the time it cost more than I was willing to pay. I loved the GUI and the sound was brutal, just what I like. Someone recently mentioned it in a forum thread, which made me go and check it out again, and I am really glad I did.
There are still only a handful of presets but it's not such a complex beast that hundreds would be of any benefit. This time around, I started from the last preset in the list and worked my way forward, tweaking presets I liked the sound of and saving them off as new patches. What I ended up with was a dozen or so patches that make great starting points for getting Olga into a song.
Whilst it is obviously designed for big, brutal sounds, I have found it surprisingly versatile. The multiple voice modes mean you can dial in exactly the amount of fatness you need and if you don't pump the big, scary dial up too much, it can sound quite nice, easily cutting through even a dense mix without dominating. e.g. I used it instead of a piano in Ultravox's I Remember (Death in the Afternoon) and it does a great job. I've been using multiple instances of it in some projects and it always seems to deliver when I need it to. Olga is almost starting to feel like my new "go to" synth, which I would never have imagined possible. So, needless to say, after a few weeks with the demo I bought it and I'm really happy I did.
As it's been around for a while now, and was designed to run on far less powerful machines, Olga uses very few system resources on a modern computer. It's a very straightforward instrument and I found that after a week or so I no longer need to turn on the English language labels. I imagine, though, that some people will find the GUI too small, even in it's larger size, which is a shame.
Overall, Olga looks amazing and it is so easy to work with that you won't care that it doesn't come with many presets. It also has a big, aggressive sound that can easily overwhelm a mix but, equally, it is capable of some real subtlety when that's what is needed. However you patch it, though, it always gives you want you want with a minimum of fuss. If you download the demo, start from the last preset and work your way forwards, I think you'll be impressed.Read Review