Softube has expanded its modular ecosystem with the Buchla 296e Spectral Processor – the only software recreation of this rare and expensive module that’s officially licensed by the US synth maker.
In practice, the 296e functions as a programmable graphic EQ, a real-time performance filter and a vocoder.
Like the original hardware filter module, Softube’s recreation features 16 programmable band-pass filters, each with its own VCA input and envelope follower output.
In the hardware version, you could use the module as a limited vocoder by splitting the aforementioned bands into two halves – eight performing analysis and the other eight resynthesis. But with the software, you can now run two 296e modules simultaneously, catering for a “full 16-band spectral transfer vocoding experience”, according to Softube.
To augment the vocoding effect, you can tweak envelope decay times for each band and add pre-emphasis for smoother and more shapeable vocoding.
Should you want a more hands-on experience, the plug-in also has a neat ‘play’ function which lets you interact with filter bands via MIDI. In this mode, note values correspond to different fixed filter frequencies, while MIDI velocity shapes the amplitude of a band’s VCA.
Retails at $99 (RRP $149). More info at softube.com.