Since it’s inception the SynthMaster has been winning the allegiance of all who touch it – MusicTech included. Now, with the release of 2.9 Andy Jones looks under the hood to see what’s new…
SynthMaster 2.9 key features:
- Dual-layer semi-modular soft synth
- Multiple synthesis including VA, Additive, Wavetable, PM, PWM, RM, AM, SFZ Sample Playback
- 1,400 presets (Everything bundle has another 1,750)
- VST, AU and AAX
- Analogue, digital, multimode, comb and dual filters
- Huge mod-matrix section
- 2.9 update now supports wavetables synthesis, with up to 256 waveforms
SynthMaster 2.7 won our coveted Synth Of The Year award a couple of years ago and since then, its developers at KV331 Audio have been busy. They released SynthMaster One, an easy-to-use wavetable synth that uses the same engine as SynthMaster. One’s GUI is a lot friendlier, but the synth itself has fewer presets. KV331 has also released SynthMaster Player for iOS and we’ll be looking at both of these additions soon.
A quick word on the prices for the different SynthMasters that you can download. Player gives you 1,250 presets for $29; Factory gets you the full SynthMaster 2.9 and 1,250 presets; Academic lops 40 bucks off that price for students; Standard gives you another 150 presets for $129 and Everything gets you 3,000-plus presets for $279.
So, to v2.9 of the main synth, and the biggest update is enhanced wavetable synthesis, pretty much to the standard that SynthMaster One has – and the synth comes with the factory waveforms and wavetables included in that synth. The number of single-cycle waveforms per wavetable has been increased from 16 to 256 and you can view the table in either 2D or 3D.
This is very cool in operation and helps make it very easy to see what’s going on with your sound as it progresses through the waveforms within a wavetable; dial up and down the Index rotary to see and hear this in full effect. Individual waveforms can easily be edited, or you can load in your own waveforms to create custom wavetables. Samples can also be loaded into the basic oscillator, too, so this is a hugely flexible and very customisable enhancement.
Elsewhere in this update, the number of unison voices per oscillator has been doubled to 16 each so your raw ingredients are richer. The extra presets offer everything from Vangelis-esque beauty to dance attitude. The modulation section has also been improved. That’s what we – and you – love about SynthMaster. It is probably the most powerful synth out there, while still remaining both approachable and fun to use. The best synth keeps getting better!