In this review we take a look at a solid collection recreating a classic period in digital, Pinknoise Orange…
Manufacturer Pink Noise Studios
Contact Via website
There’s an inexhaustible thirst not only for the sounds of synths from 40 years ago but also those that are more recent yet hard to find in hardware form. The late 1990s was something of a golden age for hardware synths, as digital technology was getting very advanced but most people hadn’t yet made the leap to software synthesis, purely because it wasn’t good enough. The Waldorf Microwave Xtk was released in 1998 and featured on countless electronic records, and it’s now been meticulously recreated in ReFill form by Pink Noise Studios.
Weighing in at 1.56GB it’s made up of many samples, loops and patches and really evokes a certain period in dance music history, though a fair few of these kinds of sounds have come back into fashion of late. The patches are split into categories by device, so you get 170 Combinator patches, 81 Kong, 898 NN-XT, 364 NN-19, 8 ReDrum kits and 70 REX loops. The Combinator patches in particular are nicely put together, carefully crafted chains of modules, effects, arpeggiators and submixers that take all the hard work out of building your own multi-instruments.
Thanks to Reason’s design the developers have been able to map all sorts of useful parameters to the Combinator’s quick control panels so, although you can dig around inside any module and tweak it, the important parameters are at your fingertips. The arpeggiated sounds are especially cool.
Sound-wise it’s very heavy on the bleeps, squeaks and sweeps and all the better for it. And the sounds, of course, are perfect for recreating the feel of the 90s. They can be pressed into service with much more up to date material and there are some nice drum kits, all electronic. There’s a great selection of patches so you’re not likely to run out of sounds any time soon.