We’ve seen our fair share of tutorials on how to recreate the iconic Blade Runner “sound”, but Looplords’ Replikator aims to do all the legwork for you…
Replikator key features
- 63 ‘inspired by’ Blade Runner sounds
- Polyphonic (up to 32 voices), monophonic and legato
- Reverb effect
- High- and low-pass filters plus LFO with depth and rate control to pitch/pan/expression
- 3.9GB space needed
- Aftertouch controls for the LFO’s depth
If you haven’t seen Blade Runner 2049 (or Blade Runner for that matter), don’t worry, no spoilers [Bless you! – Ed] ahead. Replikator is the latest plug-in from LoopLords and, like Modalities that we reviewed a few issues back, it serves a very specific purpose.
That one was an out-and-out Depeche Mode-inspired plug-in, whereas Replikator is one inspired by the sci-fi classic. We don’t know the guys behind LoopLords, but we do know they probably listen to the same sort of music as we do…
So, Blade Runner, then.
The original film had a legendary soundtrack by Vangelis that simmered supremely behind the breathtaking visuals and added a sweet counter to the bleak future portrayed onscreen. The follow up, Blade Runner 2049, released earlier this year, borrowed elements from that music, but added mighty industrial dynamics to it (it literally broke a speaker in the cinema where we saw it).
Replikator takes its score more from the first film rather than second, with more melodic pads, sweeps, CS-80 type leads and throbbing basses. Easily the best are the long atmospheres and some of the drones, which take time to develop, but conjure up the feel of the film. There’s a gorgeous piano and only the sax sound doesn’t really work; but then sax sounds and synths never really do mix.
You do get some useful, if basic synth controls: an envelope, a filter frequency dial (make sure you have a filter switched in, though), plus an LFO with basic and selectable sources and destinations, plus five wave types. You also get reverb, the only effect really needed for Blade Runner sounds.
LFO Depth and Rate controls complete the cool-looking GUI, so not masses of options, but nor do you really require them. The preset sounds are pretty good and you can make quite dramatic changes. Obviously, if you’re a massive Blade Runner fan then this is going to be up your street, but synth-heads in general will love it too. Wake up. Time to buy.