Friday, August 28, 2009

DCAM synth squad

fxpansion a london based developer has finally released their long awaited DCAM Synth Squad, a collection of 3 softsynths- amber modelled on classic analogue string synths, Cypher an analog-style FM synth and Strobe a monophonic bass/lead synth- think SH101, pro one etc but capable of being much fatter and more aggressive, and Fusor, which allows you to combine up to 3 instances in layers, apply splits, and effects both globally and individually as well as arpeggiators, animators and step sequencers
all the tech stuff can be discovered here and a good comprehensive review at waveformless strobe is a single oscillator synth, but with multiple waveforms available (including noise) the oscillator can be 'stacked' and detuned for fatter dual oscillator or 'supersaw' patches. a sub can be blended in as well as drive and an analogue knob that is supposed to re-create the instability of the old gear. our sh09 never sounded anywhere near as brutal as strobe- forget all the hype these synths sound superb, the demos on the website do not do them any justice- why can't they include some techno industrial/dubstep examples!!- they have loads of bottom end and when programming any control with movement can be synced to tempo. the modulation possibilities are complex but absolutely ideal for darker grimy electronics. They can be driven hard and respond authentically needing little additional processing. fusor is worth mentioning it houses a wrapper to stack instances and add some superb effects -similar to the ones in guru - fusor can also arpeggiate and note sequence 808/909 style plus it can be used to step modulate virtually any knob or setting- also worth mentioning is each plug in can be used standalone so a evening or 2 sound designing is coming up... it's also got a very well written manual and is certainly priced competitively forget the crap red and black silhouettes.

it would have been good to have access to the fx from each synth rather than via fusor and the high cpu use needs watching, not a great problem to us as we freeze/render parts as we go... these small critiscms aside the suite represents another step forward in the quality of soft synthesis - skullkid on the next cd is our first track bristling with DCAM sound pressure duties...