NAMM 2019: Nektar debuts the Bolt soft synth

The new software synth boasts a unique sonic character and an intuitive UI.

Nektar bolt

Nektar has unveiled its first-ever virtual instrument: the Bolt Synthesiser. This new virtual synth, available as a VSTi and AU, uses Harmonics Synthesis technology to give it a uniquely warm and organic sonic character.


This technology is based on the MSO (multi-sine oscillator) concept by Professor Udo Zoelzer of Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany, which doesn’t require the dedicated filter section found on most subtractive synthesisers. With just the twist of a knob, you can change the shape of a wave, eliciting tones from dark and subtle to bright and overtone-rich.

Apart from your usual sine, saw and square waves, Harmonics Synthesis enables the Bolt to generate pulse chains and alternating shapes. Cross modulation between the synth’s two oscillators allows for FM-like sounds and downright “modulation mayhem”, according to Nektar.

Moving on to the Bolt’s features, it has up to 16 polyphonic voices and offers two oscillators per voice, each equipped with sub-oscillator, noise generator, distortion and a dedicated ADSR envelope. It also has three syncable LFOs and a modulation envelope.

With over 500 factory sounds – including numerous artist patches – this synth is one of the most flexible instruments yet.

Here’s a snapshot of its features:

  • Harmonics synthesiser with up to 16 voice polyphony (two oscillators and two sub-oscillators)
  • White noise generator per oscillator
  • Overdrive stage for each oscillator
  • One ADSR envelope per oscillator
  • Unison Voice Double Mode with detune and stereo spread (stack up to four instances)
  • FM: Frequency Modulation of oscillator one by dedicated additional sine oscillator
  • X-Mod: cross-modulation of OSC1 from OSC2
  • One ADSR modulation envelope generator
  • Three LFOs with extended range up to 10 kHz, 13 waveforms and MIDI sync
  • Four modulation targets per modulation source (LFO 1-3, Mod EG)
  • Four FX processors: EQ, chorus, delay and reverb
  • Mono and Poly modes with adjustable pitch glide
  • Support for multiple sample rates
  • Automatic two-stage Protection Limiter

The Bolt is compatible with VST, VST3 and AU and runs on all current 64-bit Mac OS and Windows systems.


On sale for $69 (RRP $99). More information at