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 Predator 2 by Rob Papen is a Virtual Instrument and a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, an RTAS Plugin, an AAX Plugin and a Rack Extension Plugin.
Predator 2
Product Predator 2
Developer Rob Papen
Price (MSRP)
€149 / $179
Type / Tags
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Instrument(s)     
Effect(s)    
Operating System Availability
Operating
System
Latest
Version
Download Released
 
1.1.0.4
 
Downloads Released
 
1.1.0.4
 
Downloads Released
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionSerial Number

Predator includes powerful features such as Preset Morphing, Intelligent Preset Variation, MIDI and Synth Controllable FX, Unison Detune, Chord Memory and a versatile Arpeggiator. Preset banks include: Hip Hop (NY, Club, DirtySouth and Gfunk), Jump, hardcore, breakbeat, various trance styles, DnB banks and more...

It also includes PredatorFX, allowing you to use the filters, modulations, effects and vocoder as an FX plug-in within your music host.

Features:

  • Oscillators section:
    • 3 Oscillators with 128 waves included Analogue, Additive and Spectral type of waveforms plus pink & white noise generators.
    • Oscillator waveform Symmetry control for each oscillator.
    • Free running option for each oscillator and Oscillator Syncing of oscillator 2 or 3 to oscillator 1.
    • Extended semitone range going from -48 semitones up to +48 semitones.
    • Separate octave control and fine-tuning.
    • Keyboard tracking on/off for each oscillator.
    • Each Oscillator offers Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) using an independent LFO for each oscillator with individual speed and amount controls.
    • FM and Ring modulation modes for Oscillator 2 and 3.
    • Each oscillator has a PWM square wave Sub-oscillator.
    • Spread function for detuned multiple oscillator sound within one Oscillator.
    • Volume control for each oscillator and output on/off for Oscillator 1 and 2.
  • Overall Pitch modulation section:
    • Tempo sync-able global Pitch LFO. You can set the amount and also which wave is used for this LFO.
    • Pitch bend with separate settings for up and down pitch-bends.
  • Filter section:
    • Main filter is an analogue modelled stereo Multimode Filter, offering 6dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB, 18dB and 24dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB and 24dB BandPass, 12dB and 24dB Notch and Comb Filter.
    • Pre-filtering distortion with smooth or edgy mode option.
    • Easy Filter control by pre-defined Cutoff Frequency modulation controllers: Envelope, Velocity, Key-tracking, LFO and Modulation Wheel.
    • Build in Filter Envelope with Attack, Decay, Sustain, Fade and Release.
    • Build in Filter LFO with various waveforms, modulation amount control and tempo sync option with speed settings between 16/1 and 1/32t.
    • LFO Poly, free or mono mode options.
  • Filter2 section
    • Additional Filter with cutoff control offering 6dB, 12dB and 24dB LowPass or HighPass setting.
  • Amp section:
    • Build in Amp/Volume Envelope with Attack, Decay, Sustain, Fade and Release.
    • Volume control.
    • Velocity> Volume amount.
    • Panning control.
  • Free modulation section:
    Free Envelopes
    • 2 Envelopes with Attack, Decay Sustain, Fade and Release.
    • Option to control the Envelopes times using "velocity" or "key played".
    • Modulation Amount Envelope 1&2 and amount control for Envelope 1.
    • 44 modulation destinations.
    Free LFOs
    • 2 LFOs with various waveforms.
    • Tempo sync option with speed settings between 16/1 and 1/32t.
    • Poly, free or mono mode options.
    • Modulation Amount LFO 1&2 and amount control for LFO 1.
    • 44 modulation destinations.
    Free Modulation Matrix
    • 4 free modulation routings.
    • 28 modulation sources.
    • 44 modulation destinations.
    • Secondary modulation source & control.
  • Play modes section:
    • Poly / Mono / Mono2 / Legato / Arp / Unison2 / Unison4 / Unsion6 synthesizer play modes.
    • Portamento featuring constant rate/constant time or held (legato) constant rate/constant time.
    • Unison detune amount, if Predator is in Unison2, Unison4 or Unsion6 mode.
    • 8 note Chord memory, saved within the preset.
    • Demo C3 button to preview sounds.
  • Arpeggiator section:
    • 16 step arpeggiator, which can be used as a step sequencer or as modulation source.
    • Arpeggiator patterns can be 1-16 steps long.
    • Speed setting of 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1, 3/2, 2, 3 and 4x BPM.
    • Up, down, up/down, down/up, random, ordered, reverse ordered, ordered up/down, ordered down/up, chord and modulation mode.
    • 1-4 octaves settings.
    • Overall step length.
    • Swing amount.
    • Slide amount for sliding steps.
    • Velocity control knob which mixes between keyboard (MIDI) velocity input and the steps velocity settings.
    • Each step has on/off, Tie, Slide, Tune, Velocity and Free row.
    • Tie modes normal or special which allows Slide, Tune, Velocity and Free settings inside a step if that step is set to Tie.
    • Arpeggiator Latch which can be controlled by the MIDI sustain pedal.
    • You can load, save, copy, paste and reset arpeggiator patterns, so you can reuse them in different presets.
  • Advance section:
    • Adjustable Analogness setting to simulate the instability of vintage analogue synthesizers.
    • Global Tuning.
    • Attack Shape. This changes the curvature of Predator's envelopes attack stage. From exponential to linear to logarithmic.
    • Decay/Release Shape. This Changes the curvature of Predator's envelopes decay and release stages. From exponential to linear to logarithmic.
    • Velocity Shape. Changes Predator's velocity curvature. From exponential to linear to logarithmic.
    • Over-sampling mode: Sets the over-sampling from 1x / 2x / 4x / 8x / 16x.
    • Over-sampling filter on/off: optional post-over-sampling lowpass filter.
    • Audio input selector >FX or >Filter (PredatorFX only).
    • Audio input gain control (PredatorFX only).
    • Synth Amp Hold on/off. Turn off the PredatorFX's Amp envelope and so the sound plays without changing volume. (PredatorFX only).
    • All advance settings are saved within each individual preset.
    • External controller hardware (fader-box or synth) settings can be saved and restored.
  • Overall:
    • 16-voice polyphony.
    • Parameter read-out field at lower right corner.
    • Help function for most controls.
  • FX section:
    • HQ effects blocks in serial mode.
    • Available effects: Mono Delay, Stereo Delay, Comb, Reverb, Chorus, Chorus/Delay, Flanger, Phaser, Wah/Delay, Distortion, Low Fi, Amp Simulator with 5 models, Waveshaper, Stereo Widener, Autopan, Gator, Vocoder, FX multi-filter, 5 Band Equalizer, Compressor and Ensemble.
    • Midi tempo based settings in most effects.
    • 2 FX modulation sources for connecting MIDI or synth controls to FX parameters.
  • Preset section:
    • Uses sound banks composed of 128 presets.
    • Preset handling with copy, paste, clear and compare function.
    • All settings included the Advance panel settings are stored inside each preset.
    • Presets are stored in clear categories.
    • Four 'Preset variation' buttons with amount control of the variation.
    • Preset morphing with amount control to morph between two presets within the selected bank.
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.43 from 7 reviews

Reviewed By tommyzai
December 11, 2012

Predator by Rob Papen is an amazingly simple, yet powerfully deep synth. The interface is well organized; knobs and controls are accessible and easy to use. Creating sounds from scratch is fun and rewarding, and for those who are less adventurous, the synth comes with a vast array of presets from the master himself, Rob Papen. One of the most enjoyable features are the randomize buttons, which allow the user to generate new sounds without much effort. This vicious beast has 128 waveforms, not just saw, square, sine, and triangle. There are also many ways to modulate and tons of high quality effects

Predator suits any kind of electronic music, and can produce many kinds of sounds — cutting leads, meaty basses, soothing pads, atmospherics, rhythmic soundscapes, etc., but where it really shines is with leads and arpeggios. For this reason, Predator is an electronic dance music producer's dream synth. Tracks created with this synth usually sit well in the mix, standing out just enough, but not getting lost and buried. Grrrrr, a gentle roar. The only area whereby I would suggest improvement is the patch browser it could be more intuitive. Otherwise, it's all there and is an extremely stable plugin. It has never crashed on me, launching smoothly and performing well in Logic, Studio One, and Numerology. Considering the depth of the sound, CPU demand is not bad, and the sound quality of the most recent version is fantastic, without any noticeable aliasing.

Customer/User support is excellent. Rob and Jon are active on the threads and respond to emails within a day or two. They are great people creating great plugins — a pleasure to deal with!

I highly recommend Predator to any electronic musician or producer looking to add a powerful, killer VSTi to their plugin collection. This synth cannot do it all, but what it can do — it does REALLY well. It successfully combines the sonic nuances of analog and digital to deliver a punchy modern sound that you may quickly become addicted and never be able to live without. That's what happened to me! I've been going to counseling and a recovery program for nearly a year, and it hasn't helped. I keep launching every chance I get! Thank you, RPCX, for creating such a ferociously addictive synth. Tommy Zai gives Predator three thumbs up. Love it!

BTW, if you search online you will find many threads on electronic music forums comparing synths, i.e. this synth versus that synth. Don't be surprised if Predator is mentioned a lot!

Read more

Reviewed By Introspective
June 29, 2012

Predator was one of the first synths that I bought after my studio was broken into and everything stolen. Along with this synth, I also bought the Virus Powercore and Spectrasonics Atmosphere.

I ended up selling the Virus Powercore, because I found I was using Predator more often that the Virus.

Okay, I admit: that's a bit of hyperbole. The Virus sounds better than Predator, sorry. But the Virus GUI was much, much worse. I just wasn't compelled to use it, when Predator was there, inviting me to program new sounds... or tweak the bajillion presets. ...the presets, by the way, cover a LOT of territory and are all expertly programmed. I maintain RP is one of the best companies to buy from for preset sounds.

Anyway, the point is: the GUI is what makes Predator a great synth. Everything is laid out perfectly, there's plenty of power there, the modulation options are deep and interesting, and it just looks damn sexy, IMO. You want to play it, to program it. Of all the synths I've ever owned, I have written more patches for Predator than any other. ...many more, in fact.

As for the sound: I found myself most attracted to Predator's pluck sounds. Pads are... okay... not quite magical, compared to other synths in this class (Surge, Massive are better for pads). But for those really electronic-sounding, Berlin-school arpeggios, it's one of the best synths out there. In fact, the closest competitor IMO was Albino... and Predator definitely caries Albion's DNA: they sound very similar in character and soul. Predator has a little bit more "punch" to its arps, though: I suspect that behind the scenes, this synth is secretly adding a little PCM transient to the beginning of each wave and probably affecting the attack of the sound slightly to give it a little more "pop". For example, when I pull up Predator and Largo side-by-side and program the sounds from Predator into Largo, I get a much stronger attack on Predator. (In fact, I end up using the more complex envelope in Largo to match the attack a little more closely). ...By the way, Predator and Largo stack extremely well, I recommend it. Predator has a nice warmth to the sound where Largo has a more metallic quality, and the two together provide a lot of depth. ...You'll have to turn Predator's volume down, though: Largo's outs are not as hot.

It's also worth mentioning that Predator has a few neat tricks in its OSCs that give it more character than other synths (PWM on any waveform, for example). It's also good for simple FM sounds. The waves available make for some really great digital sounds, too: you'll get wonderful JD-like bell sounds out of Predator. Leads are generally very good, though (for reasons I can't put my finger on) I think I actually preferred Albino for leads. Still, passable. The effects are... okay. I usually end up replacing them with external FX, but they get the juices flowing.

BUT! (and it's a big but, I cannot lie, yuk yuk:) I don't use Predator anymore. [shrug] I don't. Never. ...I still have it installed, but I can't recall the last time I actually loaded it. I've become a Diva / ElectraX fanboy, mainly because these newer synths sound better. ...Quite a bit better. The filters have more depth to them and a (much) warmer quality. (The filters on Predator are... okay. The bandpass in particular has a nice quality to it that I enjoy.) ...I also find the digital sounds crisper in ElextraX, and Tone2's synth uses less CPU.

It's a shame, though: this is a wonderful synth, with one of the best GUIs I've used (I do wish patch-management weren't so old-school, I'll add), a great sound, great OSCs, great versatility. And RobPapen's company is very classy. I've contacted them multiple times for support, and they always replied within a day or so, and were very nice and very helpful.

...If Predator added a filter like Diva's, I would gladly and quickly go back to using it: the interface is wonderful and, as I said, I love the versatility of the oscillators. It was my workhorse synth for many, many years, and I love it. :)

Bottom line: it's a very powerful, very classy, surprisingly good synth... but it's getting dated. Not to wax philosophical, but: I think we're entering a new age of VST capabilities. I hold hope that Predator will get a major update and join the ranks of the new wave... but at the time of this writing, that doesn't seem particularly likely.

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Reviewed By djphenaproxima
October 23, 2011

This is, in a sentence, the best synthesizer I have ever used.

USER INTERFACE:
If you know the basics of subtractive synthesis, and you probably do, Predator's interface is immediately crystal-clear. Pretty much everything on a single page, although certain features, like the arpeggiator, are tucked away behind buttons. The interface is consistent with the signal flow, so you don't need to RTFM in order to get going. The interface itself is clean and attractive, although I admit I'm not a big fan of the font they use for the readouts. But that's a minor complaint.

SOUND:
I find Predator to be clean, unbiased, and punchy. To my ear, it's more "flat" than, say, Arturia's V-Collection synths, which pack an enormous amount of fatness and warmth without having to do any tweaking at all. You might have to do a little bit of mixing work to get extremely fat sounds out of Predator, but I think that is an advantage because, as I said, it's unbiased and can fit easily into any mix. For me, that characteristic more than anything else is probably what makes Predator my go-to synth, because I know it will work in any situation.

FEATURES:
Man...it does pretty much everything that you could ever want a subtractive synth to do. There are 3 oscillators, with 128 waveforms each, which means you can immediately get a universe of different textures without touching the filters or modulation. Each oscillator has FM, ring mod, sub osc, and PWM. The sheer number of possibilities offered by the oscillators alone is staggering!

The filters themselves are multi-mode, and the main one has a dedicated envelope and LFO. The second filter ONLY has a cutoff knob, but the main one is so versatile that you may very well never need to touch the second one. The main filter has a very cool pre-filter distortion knob. One thing about the filter that bugs me is the "vowel" (formant) mode - this doesn't really sound like any other formant filter I've used, and I don't really "get" it or find it too useful. But's probably just me.

You get two freely-assignable LFOs and envelopes, PLUS an expansive modulation matrix. The arpeggiator is very easy to understand and can also be used as a modulation source. It has a handy swing control, too :) There is a dedicated LFO for the pitch, so adding vibrato is effortless. I love the chord learning feature - very simple and highly useful!

The on-board FX are unbelievable; there is a ton of them and they all sound fantastic. The FX are so freaking good that Predator can be used solely FX plugin, completely bypassing the synth bits. You get 3 FX slots in Predator, which is usually more than enough. The whole FX chain has two dedicated modulation routings, though I rarely have need for them. One unfortunate thing is that there are no presets for the FX themselves, but that's probably not a big deal since Predator is, after all, a synthesizer.

DOCUMENTATION:
The manual is perfectly fine; it's clear and readable, although you can tell that English is not Rob's first language. Every control in Predator is explained in the manual, and that's basically it. There are no tutorials in it or any kind of theoretical knowledge; it's strictly a reference.

PRESETS:
Predator has a ton of preset banks, probably comprising more than 1,000 presets, covering every conceivable style. The presets and interface are actually what convinced me to buy Predator in the first place, after only 20 minutes of using it.

SUPPORT:
Rob and Jon are frequent posters here on KVR and seem to be very good about answering their users' questions and taking their suggestions, although I have not had any problems with Predator myself. On the occasions when I've had to get support, it's been due to some kind of activation snafu (although this has improved since Rob got stopped using the eLicenser dongles), and they have been both responsive and more than reasonable. These guys take care of their customers.

VALUE FOR MONEY:
I'd have happily paid twice the amount that Predator costs. In fact, if you're cheap like me, it's likely that you can find a copy of Predator for about $150 (it costs $180 if you buy it from Rob's site).

STABILITY:
Predator has never crashed on me. Ever. I have had it on four computers since I got it years ago, two PC and two Mac, and it has not crashed one single time. Need I say more?Read more

Reviewed By tibah
May 8, 2010

I was looking for a good go-to-synthesizer for all my needs in the studio and I ended up with Predator.

Interface:
One of the best out there. Easy to use and intuitive. Everything, beside 2 sub-pages (arpeggiator / advanced settings), can be accessed at a one single page interface. The overall layout is clean and simple. Since I had already some experience with different synthesizers I think even beginners will quickly get into the handling.

Sound:
Very good sound that's all I can say. It can sound very warm and even the phrase is sometimes over-used *analogue*, but in the same time it can sound very digital.

Even with just one oscillator turned on you get nice results immediately, thanks to features like the spread button and the dedicated sub-oscillator each oscillator has.

The best thing about Predator is the width of possibilities when creating sounds. Most of the subtractive synthesizers I know just have the standard waveforms like saw, square, triangle, sine and a noise generator. Predator offers you a range of 128 different waveforms, including spectral waveforms and loads of different vocal waveforms.

Features:
It comes with a PredatorFX version too, which gives you access to the decent FX on each track and other instruments. This way you can use all the build-in effects also as an insert in your DAW. All of them are good and the reverb is one of the best build-in reverbs I know.

Another top feature for me are the variation options which is the randomizer of Predator. You got 4 different variation modes, randomizing different parameters of a sound by an amount you can select. The results of those variations are always useful, and you don't turn up with useless sounds, where the volume are other essential parameters are set to 0 or other, weird "randomized issues" you sometimes get with other tools.

Morphing lets you combine 2 single presets by a amount you can select.

Having LFOs already set up to the Filter and the OSC Pitch is a nice idea, since I usually go for these anyway and this I don't have to set them up manually each time.

Presets:
I think they are 2.000+ presets for every style you can imagine and all of them are very useful and inspiring. After browsing trough them, I instantly recognized some sounds I know from some productions I really like. You got all classic synth-sounds, modern sounds for dance or ambient and banks that really show the possibilities like the bank made by Antonio Sage, which is one of my favourites.

A decent amount of 3rd party banks is available to, made by designers like Ummet Ozcan, Arksun and Andy Tau.

Documentation:
A decent manual.

If you click on the "?" on the Predator GUI, a help file going to open up, which is like a quick start guide.

Customer Support:
Rob Papen got his own forum here at KVR and I see him posting here daily, helping out people having problems or bugs.

Value For Money:
For what you get, the price is unbeatable. A workhorse for all your subtractive (and beyond) synthesis needs, with new sounds in no time, more presets than I ever saw in any other synthesier and some great build-in effects.

Stability:
Not one single crash here in the time I've been using it so far.

All I can say, after 3 weeks of having it is that I already have nearly 2 banks full of custom made sounds by myself. I never was getting into any synthesier as quick and easy as into Predator. It can sound very soft, warm, fat, harsh, whatever you want it to sound like. With all those features on top, I never had one single moment playing around with it, not having a smile on my face.Read more

Reviewed By ozmoz2008
June 18, 2009

First, this VST synth has an excellent sound quality and a very nice playability. The presets are well done and there are plenty of them.

I have work with many different VST, and often when looking for that special bass sound or nice lead type sound, predator did the job. I do a lot of soundtracks and sound quality is a very important factor for me, but also the "organic" feel of a sound, a sound that is not too static or muddy. Predator is everything but this.

The user interface is pretty straight forward and really easy to program. There is some nice effects in it and some great morphing possibilities, also very fast and easy to adjust in real-time.

The documentation is complete...no need to go further much into details, IMO.

Customer support is great; very fast response both on their site and on KVR. They really rocks on that side!

Predator is worth every penny, after all it's really not expensive considering what it does and all the presets that are included. It is also very stable, it has never crash and never got some holding blank GUIs like some other VSTs.

One of my favorite so far....Good job Rob and everyone else that worked on it!
Should be in top 10 for sure!Read more
Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
Sophiam
Sophiam
27 December 2011 at 7:01am

I wish Predator had a better browser.

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Predator 2

Average user rating of 4.43 from 7 reviews

Rob Papen
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