And apparently, LinPlug has built a lot of extras into Spectral, including the ability to edit the waveforms and filter shapes that make up the core. LinPlug instruments and expansion packs will remain on sale for the Spectral subtractive synthesizer with mod matrix (additional libraries for. Spectral by LinPlug (@KVRAudio Product Listing): Spectral is the result of more than 14 years of synthesizer building experience. Someone being familiar with.
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The fun and accessibility of subtractive synthesis meets the power of additive in this beautiful if rather specialist instrument.
While some would say that spectral and additive synthesis are not quite the same thing, the terms are often used interchangably. Well, it’s not an iZotope Iris-style spectral synth but instead one built on an additive architecture, fronted by a subtractive interface, making it easy to use but capable of potentially linplyg interesting sounds than a virtual analogue.
LinPlug Virtual Instruments
Further modulation is on tap in the shape of three more envelopes and five LFOs, assignable in the modulation matrix. A powerful step Arpeggiator with modulation-only mode, and a chord memory finish off the main furnishings.
Each oscillator hosts two waveforms, morphed into each other using the Mix control in order to create a final waveshape. As well as the waveform Mix knob, each of Spectral’s oscillators also allows adjustment of Detune, Linplkg spread, Symmetry, Phase and up to six-voice unison. They also each feature two cross-modulation slots, with a choice of three types of modulation – Phase PMAmplitude AM and Frequency FM – sourced from any of the four oscillator or filter outputs.
The filter follows the same conceptual path as the oscillator, with cutoff and resonance augmented by two cross-modulation slots, enabling the filter frequency and resonance to be modulated by a signal sourced from any of the oscillators or filters. There are 57 preset filter shapes available, and oinplug, these are fully editable in a graphical display that lets you shape a curve across filter bands.
Linplug Spectral, Soundbytes review
You really can create any filter shape you like with this, which is obviously a very sprctral feature. Spectral’s oscillator and filter are additively linked, rather than simply chained in series, and oscillator cross modulation can result in harmonics that won’t be quelled by the filter.
Spectral comes with a library of over presets divided up into a broad linplgu of categories. The overarching flavour is very crisp and upfront – bouncy bass sounds, bell-like pads and keys, and even a serviceable set of synthetic drums.
However, the synth is most at home producing evolving and textural sounds, thanks to the easy modulation of the oscillator waveform mix and the cross-modulation options. The majority of presets reside in the various pad, drone, ambient and effects banks, and the excellent arpeggiator and sequence patches also boast some lovely tones of a similarly organic nature.
One brilliant inclusion is the Arpeggiator’s ‘modulation only’ mode, under which its Transpose, Length or Velocity output are used as modulation sources. This really pushes the sound designer towards linplub animated textures rather than punchy, “static” sounds – although Libplug can do those too.
Review – Linplug’s Spectral
All of this additive power comes at a price: When editing shapes in the Spectral display, there’s a brief delay as the waveform or shape of the oscillator or filter is analysed and applied. It’s something you quickly get used to and indicative of the number-crunching going on.
Multi-oscillator patches and high polyphony can be pretty taxing on the host system – but we can’t complain about a synth being designed with future CPUs in mind, as long as its sound warrants the DSP expenditure, which, in this case, it does. Other points of note are that there’s no noise generator although the manual shows how to fake oneand that external audio resynthesis isn’t a feature. Also, with no centralised mixer or global filter, balancing oscillators and shaping the overall output is more hassle than it needs to be.
Overall, Spectral probably isn’t a synth to be called on for bread and butter sounds, and its high resource usage could vex owners of older computers. But if the idea of hand-designing unique textures right down to the raw oscillator level appeals, with its friendly interface, easy learning curve and superb, characterful sound, Spectral could well be the synth for you.
Our Verdict The fun and accessibility of subtractive synthesis meets the power of additive in this beautiful if rather specialist instrument. Pros Great core-level oscillator options.
Layout disguises underlying complexity. Not ideal for “standard” sounds.
Image 1 of 3 You can assign up to 15 modulations from a choice of 35 linpluf and over destinations. Image 2 of 3 Spectral’s band filter editing is just one facet of its absolutely massive tweakability.
Image 3 of 3 Surgically edit your oscillators’ frequency content to create powerful, bespoke timbres.