There seems to be a backlash against so-called 'large' companies and their products. N.I. experiences this problem as does Steinberg. In Steinberg's case some of their entries in the VSTi world have deserved negative attention.
Plex is different though. It is a 90's rompler workstation with the brain of a mad scientist. At times Plex sounds like the Wavestation's cousin.
Plex works with a bit more than 90 processed samples that work as data for various color coded segments of the instrument's character. Yellow = filter, Red = base sample and Green = Top component. The forth component is the simple but effective LFO and ADSR envelope areas.
Designed by Wolfgang Palm this instrument cleverly combines simplistic control while associating timbre and sound functions with colors on a interface that at first look seems daunting but is very simple. Read the manual, it is well written.
The principle of Plex's synthesis engine boils down to this; you have restructured waves as your virtual instrument's basic tonal character, it's color (or overtones) and it's physical characteristics. Restructured waves are based on traditional instruments, synths and a few novel but interesting artificial objects and for lack of a better way of saying it, realities.
The LFO is simple yet powerful and depending on how you construct your instrument can be anything from a simple lead to something wildly exotic. Plex is digital sounding due to some seemingly uninteresting samples, but looks decieve.
If you're buying Plex as your virtual rompler keep looking. Plex is more than the sum of it's samples. They are constructs that come to iife when the patch is designed.
Great sounds can be made with Plex. It's samples are designed for synthesizing, not realism. Think of wavetable synths, would you judge the microWave based on the sound of it's wavetables? Similarly, why judge Plex by bland samples. It's not a sample playback synth!
Full documentation in german, english... and french! Great.
Wolfgang Palm was the owner of PPG and its chief designer. As far as I remember he made his first synthesizer in 1975 with the help of... Tangerine Dream! He is the creator of the digital wavetable oscillators that were used for the first time in the famous PPG Wave 2. When PPG ceased to exist (in 1987 if my memory doesn't fail) he continued his work with Waldorf, which is now reknowned for their fabulous synthesizers developed around his digital wavetable synthesis and used by many of the most famous musicians all around the world.
This is a very fun little synth. Just drag and drop the 3 waveforms into the various sounds and the parameters seem endless! Right click the mouse in a section for a drop down menu to add sounds to each section. Many presets to choose for starting points, too. This thing has kept me up late quite a few nights. Haven't even got to thinking about a manual yet. Very nice for a freebie.