EDIT: RAPTURE has some problems with its functions. The dials on the frequency filter don't show numbers and there aren't any copy and paste on the filter section. Also in the oscillator section im not able to get the chain up element section to chain up properly. It is very analog but not quite perfect.
Rapture is absolutely incredible. Its a real 10. It's real analog and has so many features for manual adjustability which is for advanced/intermediate users mostly but if you are intermediate/beginner you might be able to learn too. This synth is most likely not suited for you if you want presets. The presets are simple and a little lame.
This synth has many different filter combinations with a total of 2 filters per oscillator. This part is the most difficult to understand of the whole synth by far. What you'll need to understand is that f1 goes to filter cutoff 1 and f2 is to filter cutoff 2. DSP is for those efx listed in that section nearby. And all the filter and DSP gets routed in the drop menu's showing. That being learned, you will be able to easily operate the synth now regardless of ability. Given you put a good amount of effort in.
Rapture has 6 oscillators. Each have their own set of identical parameters. Each osc. has filter cutoff, DSP, pitch with ADSR, cutoff with ADSR, resonance with ADSR and amplification with ADSR. Next and not least is the LFO (low frequency oscillator). It does not have an ADSR but it does have changeable paramters like attack and release sort of things. Quite useful for dubstep and pads especially.
It's EFX are cool but are not capable of many simultaneously per osc. It also has a master EFX and section but lacks a MASTER ADSR at the end of all the oscillators.
I highly recommend Galbalum waveforms. They're way cooler than the stock waveforms. If you want presets I wouldn't look to the factory presets, they are simple and uninteresting.
Rapture is easy to install but you need to install the update separate and the new version I've had trouble with only in the area of it showing the frequency values on the cutoff filter which seem to be missing this time.
Great synth for Hip hop and and rock, metal. That classy sorta hard or more flat trance. It has a mildly hard sound that is very analog when done up right. This could easily be the greatest synth out but it lacks the noise osc. factor of which its noise is very mellow and not bright. Which is well valued for originality I suppose. Well, I guess it's a flat sounding synth with great depth in the analog area. Enjoy! It's got the largest tweakabilty.
User Interface: Rene and company have done a good job at Cakewalk. Rapture's interface is quite functional although it may take some time getting used to it. Having done so, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of data squashed into this multitimbral or single channel instrument; you decide as you work with it.
Sound I was somewhat concerned when I saw the word wavetable synthesis as part of Rapture's features. The synthesis is wavetable based, but the wavetables are frequently single and relatively tiny. The good news is the wavetables are well designed and enable a large number of sounds, mostly of the synthetic type, and frequently used as a performance based synth. Many of the presets use two or more of the six channels available. They are similar to Korg's Combination patches and fairly similar to the Korg Radias' implementation of its various synth engine's techniques. The major difference being the Radias has 128 waveforms, one per sound, and a huge synth engine beyond, but both use extensive splits, layers, Mod Matrix expressions that some synths just don't feature.
Lastly, the synth engine, besides being compact but brutally capable, features many forward-looking ideas such as large, changeable controls of envelopes and functions such as pitch, filter cutoff and resonance ala Absynth. Unlike the prior reviewer, I don't feel Absynth and Rapture are all that similar. Their approach is not at all similar. Also, comparing Rapture to M42 isn't exactly fair. Keep in mind I'm a big fan of M42 and it's cousin M41, but they too work differently and can't get the same ammount of sounds per patch, nor can they work multitimbrally. They have two oscillators whilst Rapture has up to six, and they are heavily editable in comparison. They are different synths and that is the only reason I point these things out.
Features Though it took me a couple of weeks to really get the idea behind Rapture I'd have to say it is a massive synth! The presets sometimes didn't serve it well, nor did the somewhat skimpy manual - though it should be pointed out that while skimpy, the manual is exceptionally good and if read, will teach you the synth's 'way' of making sound. When I say the sounds are sometimes a disservice, I don't mean the quality. In fact, there are some star sound designers and Cakewalk has released two new sets. Also, you can import your own samples. They are meant to be small, but I experimented with wavetables as I know them and got PPG/Wavetable type sounds. That said, you can get those sounds once you understand the way Rapture works.
One of the most pleasant things about Rapture, and this is where the synth programs can confuse, is that it can make perfectly simple, deep synth sounds as well as sizzling leads and patches that range from tepid to non-stop undulating and changing. And to me, that's the beauty of Rapture. As a lot of people go for the incredible and flashy things it can do, I like synths of this type to be able to do everything, particularly since they have the capability to.
The arpeggiator is excellent, consider using it over several channels. The LFOs have over 100 waveforms. There is an X/Y controller and waveshaper ala' Z3ta. There isn't a sound you can't make in here, but that speaks for digalog sounds, not rompler stuff.
Documentation Great manual in many languages but short. Though short it is fact filled and that is better than most any hard or soft synths out there.
Presets As mentioned, the sound developers and patch designers are like a who's who of great quality work. There's about 400 patches in a nicely designed database that helps you find what you are looking for.
Customer Support Cakewalk and RGC audio have always offered great service to me. I'd expect nothing to have changed. Value For Money The first week I got it I questioned Rapture's value. There are a lot of killer synths at the $200 /$300 range. But once I learned to use it, the value is very, very reasonable.
Stability I have yet to have a crash with Rapture and I'm using it on a Athlon XP2400 with 1 gig of ram. It does use considerable ram so don't bother if you don't have a gig minimum.
Conclusion Slick design, smart interface with many options and excellent quality sound. Pros: can take the place of a few synths Cons: you probably have those synths Realization: You may have a lot of the sounds Rapture can do all over your synth library, but there is a nice syncronicity to Rapture's sound. It is in the Native Instruments, VirSyn range of sound quality and should be a serious contender as your next synth.
Wow, I'm shocked no one has reviewed this, so I guess I will. It's my first review.
First I'd like to say that I'm mainly a guitarist, but I cut my teeth in synthesis on old modular stuff at an audio engineering school in NYC, and later saved for a Roland Juno 106. That type of education doesn't get you all that far and I ended up in Music retail. Anyway, I *LOVE* synthesis and in the vain of Adrain Belew and Robert Fripp spent years in love/hate relationships with guitar synths.
So, over the last year I've had to dismantle much of my hardware rig and move to software. It's been a fun ride so far. Recently I asked myself, "why did you ignore Rapture?" I think I thought why have another wave table synth since I had the Korg Legacy Suite. Silly of me. Rapture is a totally different animal So I downloaded a Mac and PC version of the demo software and had at it.
I was blown away. This synth is about to become my go-to synth, I'm sure of it. Sure it's geared towards modern electronica, but the ability to import an audio file to use as an osc makes it AMAZING in a similar way that Absynth (another of my favorites for different reasons) is. This baby can ring like a DX, yet pump like a minimoog... often at the same time. Few VSTi's can really get a filter to "quack" in that really warm organic way that Rapture can. As an ex Virus C user I think Rapture does a better job at modern dance sounds and is easier to program. A A/B'd it to Albino too and I found it better to my ears as well.
Speaking of program, I spend my days (that often run into nights) as a graphic designer/animator and there is precious little time for making new tones. Most of my time has to be spent playing or I end up being a sound designer, which while very fun, isn't as fun as playing IMO. No problem here as Rapture comes with a TON of presets and there isn't a bad one in the bunch.
Then there's the arp and step/wave sequencing ability... wow. It's not quite an M1Galaxy (which I love) synth but boy can you get lost in the evolving, pulsing morphing madness this synth can do.
So... if you have $200, I'd say don't hesitate, go to your favorite retailer and pick this up. It really seems like it could be a "desert island" synth. My only request to Cakewalk is this: Why no MIDI learn with the X/Y pad? Silly. If you want to see how this is implemented perfectly, check out Zebra2 (which btw, is one of my favorite synths ever). Seem silly to include this and expect people to use a mouse or trackpad to control it.
I don't encounter any issue with it. Nothing abnormal after six months of use. Either in the wavetable synthesis either in the sample reading, even with very big samples and the six layers used. Have you sent reports of issues to the Cakewalk support?