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 Sawer by Image Line is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin and an Audio Units Plugin.
Product Sawer
Developer Image Line
Price (MSRP)
Type / Tags Synth (Analogue / Subtractive)
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Operating System Availability
Download Released
Downloads Released
Downloads Released

Sawer is a vintage modeling synthesizer that cuts through the mix to deliver precisely articulated and punchy sounds.

Sawer pays homage to the envelopes and filters of a rare 1980's Soviet analog synthesizer, Polivoks. Maxx (Claster) has devoted meticulous attention to the detail of Sawer's filter and envelope designs, ensuring Sawer delivers a unique sonic character reminiscent of the Polivoks hardware. But Polivoks, like all analog synthesizers, wasn't without its problems. Keeping the oscillators stable and in tune has been likened to 'moving a pile of live frogs, by wheelbarrow', impossible. As Sawer is algorithmic, this solves the problems of tuning and stability, however, in the same way electrical component instability makes analog gear unique (if not cranky), Sawer benefits from the 21st century equivalent, a coding error.

While programming the SAW oscillator, Maxx accidentally set some incorrect variables and immediately the sound gained bass, acquired some light but pleasing noise on the attack and an overall richer sonic spectra. Maxx realized this was no mistake but a discovery and built on this, adding some frequency modulation to give it a touch of analog authenticity and so 'Sawer' was born.

Key features:

  • Main oscillator for subtractive synthesis: SAW shape with Sync frequency.
  • Sub oscillator (-2 to +2 octaves) with level, phase & detune controls.
  • 1 Noise Oscillator.
  • Variable polyphony (1 to 24 voices).
  • 8 voice Unison with user-adjustable stereo panning, detune and 'Octaver'.
  • Sync & Ring frequency modulation.
  • 2 ADSR envelope generators (one user-assignable to modulation parameters).
  • 4 Filter modes - low pass (24 & 12 dB/Oct), band pass and high pass.
  • Chorus, Phaser, Delay & Reverb effects.
  • Multi-mode Arpeggiator.
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.00 from 1 review

Reviewed By pheeleep
December 2, 2010

Image-Line had a yard sale recently so I demoed all of their synths. Sawer blew me away from the get go and I just had to have it. It is a very basic/simple synth with a very powerful sound. To me it sounds as good as some of the better known "newer generation" synths.

It has 1 Oscillator (SAW) and 1 Sub Oscillator (Saw or Square). It has a great Unison section with 1,2,4 or 8 Unison voices. You can control the amount of detuning as well as the panning of the Unison. The filter is wonderful. One of the best I have heard in a soft synth. With the Filter envelope and the LFO, one can really have fun tweaking the filter cutoff to achieve some true yummy goodness. I can easily spend a half hour just playing with the filter, just for fun, with no specific goal in mind.

The features of Sawer are limited.. but the sound.....

There's only one LFO. You get 4 LFO shapes, a choice of 7 destinations for the LFO. There are 4 filter types available (LP24, LP12, BP, HP). There are only 4 destinations for the filter envelope.

Sawer can be a CPU hog. On average the patches I use/make range between 15% and 25% CPU and I am using an i7 920. I tend to only have one Sawer play at a time, and it's usually being used as a lead synth. It is more CPU hungry than other synths that I use but the sound makes it worth it.

The effects are very nice. I usually tend to turn off effects in synthesizers and use dedicated effects, but Sawer's Chorus, Phaser, Delay and Reverb all sound very nice and I use them a lot in my patches. Sawer also has a decent arpeggiator with Up, Down, Up/Down, Random and 7 sync speeds, for 1, 2, 3, or 4 octaves.

I really don't like the Preset browser at all but have had to learn to live with it, and I believe Image-Line is working on coming up with a better solution to browse presets.

SAWER is fun, easy to use and I highly recommend it. It's actually kind of nice that it's limited in it's features. It helps me move on with the music. Sometimes I can spend too much time playing around with a lot of parameters because they're there. With Sawer I don't have that much freedom but I really love the sounds that I get out of it. I'm always surpised at the wide range of sounds I have been able to get out of it. Love it.Read more


Discussion: Active
2 January 2017 at 2:55pm

A very nice example of serendipity...

And the page doesn't tell it but it is 64-bit.

It's a shame that now in 2017 it is so overpriced.

21 November 2018 at 10:49pm

On MacOS using it in FL Studio it's a really nice synth. Great sound and 'OK' CPU usage.

Using it out side of FL Studio it's absolute crap. However they wrap their dynalib for external VST / AU is as bad as I have ever seen.

The only reason I grabbed it was 40% off black Friday. I did think it might work in other DAWs since it actually has VST AU etc. NOT SO. :-(.

If it doesn't cause exceptions, it max's out performance like running 5 Divas at full tilt.

I used the Pad Iron Moog as a std patch.

It failed in spectacularly in Cubase 7 & 9.5, Reaper 5.9x, Sawer Standalone, Garage Band, MULAB 7, AU LAB, Hosting AU, MiniHost Modular, My own Hosting app.

How it performs on Wintel I haven't tested.

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Average user rating of 4.00 from 1 review

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