Plugin Boutique Carbon Electra 1.5 Review

The latest version of Carbon Electra combines classic features with more modern twists.

Plugin Boutique Carbon Electra 1.5


Price £39
Contact Plugin Boutique |

Carbon Electra 1.5 key features:

  • Analogue-style soft synth
  • 800 presets
  • 6 Filter Types (with different modes)
  • 4 sync-able oscillators with adjustable pulse width, FM, oscillator unison and multiple wave types
  • Note sequencer and Step editor
  • Simple but effective effects!
  • Ability to run the amp section too hot

We reviewed v1 of Carbon Electra three years ago and the only real criticism that we could aim at it was that it wasn’t quite as exciting looking as its name implied (we were thinking blue neon and lightning flashes could be in order). Since our review (because of it, even) the synth has become something of a classic so we’re pleased to receive a well-earned upgrade to v1.5 and a lower price tag of just £39.

Carbon Electra is an analogue-style synth with extra bells and whistles – we loved its Step Editor, for example, which is where it’s easy to adjust the pitch, filter cutoff and volume of the notes on the fly using various waveshapes if you wish. Its presets also pointed very much to a wide range of dance genres but also, when combined with the ease of which you could do everything, also gave the synth a much wider remit. Ambient soundscapes, lush pads, odd-ball percussion, general weirdness? You got it.

The new features for v1.5 include new filter modes, an analogue-style sequencer, filter bypass; a new Distortion mode (which promises less overdrive muddiness); Oscillator 1 FM modulation switch (which allows you to create FM sounds easier); plus 200 new presets.

These all give Carbon Electra a much more analogue feel, according to Plugin Boutique, and we’re not arguing. The new filter modes do offer a lot more Roland-style acid squeal plus Korg and Moog character, but we’re not just staying in the past. Other new features like the Distortion Mode can quickly take you into much harder and bigger territories. The Step Editor and all-new sequencer is where you’ll soon find yourself quickly taking classic sounds and evolving them into modulating beasts that cut through any mix, and the good news is that it’s still pretty quick and easy to use when you get stuck in.

The new presets? Well lots of harsh trap squeals, huge EDM leads and big trance saws but also more of the soundscapes that took the original off the dance beaten track too. With nearly 20 big-name producers behind many, you know you’re getting a good variation too. Overall, we think that it’s even more in-your-face, bold and brassy. But cool, laid back and chilled when you want too.