Synthcore 2 is one of the most powerful analog emulation synthesizers ever made, based on features from the OSCAR and Waldorf Q (both of which, as you may know, were discontinued because they were too expensive to build in hardware). The monophonic version is now available for free download in Windows 32/64, Mac OS X, and open-source Cycling'74 Max 7 code.
Main Features and Architecture
- 3 oscillators, with feedback, FM, four kinds of sync, phase control, ring modulation, and dual output mixing; 61 morphing waveforms, including: pulse, saw, and triangle oscillators with newest EPTR anti-aliasing technology; Karplus physical modeling; multiple filtered noise options; 48 cross-sampled waveset oscillators; and sub oscillator.
- 2 comb filters, both with pitch tracking.
- 2 5-d serial/parallel, 2/4-pole, 3x-oversampled SVF filters, with continuous control of: filter type; number of filter poles; drive + saturation: cutoff; resonance; serial/parallel output; and output pan.
- 3 envelopes. Predelay and 7-stage breakpoint included. Multi, single, loop, and clock triggers.
- 3 LFOs, all with morphing waveforms, gate sync, and freq. control.
- Modulation matrix with 15 nodes, each scalable from any of 60 sources to 135 destinations. Sample and hold, gated, and MIDI sources available. Many compound sources and destinations for rapid patching. Fixed- and variable-source modulations may shape and scale each other within the matrix.
- Multi-mode glide and glissando, with unique glissando pattern generator.
- Stereo effects chain with 2 tempo delays, 8-band chorus, realistic reverb, and advanced limiting.
- Toggle-mode monophonic keyboard. Notes may optionally be stored in programs.
- Flexible multi-channel architecture functions like a modular synth without needing rewiring. Monitor outputs at all mix points. LFOs, envelopes, and other modulation sources may modulate effects parameters.
|Synthcore Architecture(click for lightbox, click anywhere to close lightbox)|
- MIDI I/O for all controls across two MIDI channels. Wheel, extended-range bend, and pedal controllers. Pgm#s and notes sent/received. 'All notes off' and standard MIDI cc#s implemented on main MIDI channel.
- Fully instrumented panel with >200 controls and dynamic state display of oscillators, filters, envelopes, LFOs, and effects (in full versions). Lite version without dynamic state display for those with lower-powered computers.
- Hover tips and help tabs. >3,000 words of context-sensitive interactive documentation.
- 64-bit floating point audio processing at sample rate throughout, including envelopes and LFOs. All mix functions, pans, and switches are declicked and debounced.
- Large, open, portable compiled function library available separately (seeSynthcore Library). Patches documented copiously, code documented expediently.
Unused functions in a preset are bypassed in code, to reduce CPU load, and all can be turned on and off without introducing clicks on the output. Typical load of the full version at 48kHz, on a Win64 4-GHz i7 and 2.5-GHz Mac Mini, is ~5.5% and ~25%, respectively. Those seeking more quality will find performance at 96kHz to be very decent.
Some MacOS users report performance issues with the full version, and as it is also intended as a demonstration of the Synthcore source-code library, So I am also providingSynthcore Lite for MacOS. This version has the same audio quality, with 64-bit audio processing throughout, and complete declicking of all audio gain paths (a professional feature which is ~15% of the total audio processing load). However even so, on my old Mac Mini, by removing the dynamic graphics entirely, the app's CPU usage drops to