Canadian Musician - January / February - Page 22

ROAD TEST IK Multimedia Syntronik Virtual Synthesizer By Paul Lau S yntronik from IK Multimedia is the holy grail of virtual synth plug-ins, and the company has recently updated its breakthrough offering with some great new features and expanded compati- bility. I should say now that I may be slightly biased as at one time or another, I’ve owned a PPG Wave 2.3 as well as Roland, Yamaha, Prophet, and Moog synths like the 38 classic instruments sampled for this package. Let me tell you, this virtual instru- ment definitely brings back fond memories from over three decades of musical instrument history. Introduction Now, since the age of software emulations of hardware instruments, there have always been the comparisons and arguments of how realistic the virtual sound or sample playback is com- pared to the original; however, with advance- ments in the technology behind programming and sampling, I feel that, to a certain degree, the immortalization of these synthesizers via virtual playback has been accomplished and will con- tinue to progress to an even higher sonic quality in the future. With that, I am tremendously impressed with the work and time invested to capture over 70,000 accurate and high-quality samples to the tune of 50 GB of sounds. Call it something of a history lesson in some of the most popular, note- worthy, and unique synths ever created – and one that will bring a host of creative possibilities to your work. Syntronik is made up of a compilation of over 2,000 preset sounds that have been derived from 38 classic synths. These synths have then been divided up into 17 instrument categories. For ex- ample, there’s the aforementioned PPG wave 2.3 with iconic models from Yamaha, Roland, Moog, Prophet, Sequential Circuits, and Oberheim, just to name a few. In Use In regards to the advancements in technology that have made way for the current crop of detailed and realistic virtual instruments, Syn- tronik showcases IK Multimedia’s new DRIFT technology that emulates the realistic response and sound of analog oscillators by randomly changing the characteristics of the multisamples (similar to the characteristics of the original). This results in very real, natural, and smooth sounds 22 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N that, in my experience, are remarkably authen- tic in relation to the physical keyboards being recreated. The individual interfaces for each of the key- board models being recreated in the software will look familiar if you’ve ever owned any of these beauties. What’s more, the controls are actually all the same as found on the original hardware versions, yet laid out differently in knob or slider formats. There is a filter section that has the circuit-level filter models of four amazing keyboards, which are the modeled emulations of the Moog Ladder, Oberheim State Variable, Curtis CEM3320, and Ro- land IR3109 resonant filters. Here, we can combine and mix oscillators with different filters to come up with some extraordinary sounds. So when is too much, too much? Or is that ever the case? For me, Syntronik finds the perfect balance with true four-part edit-ability plus multi- stacking and multi-splitting capabilities. Syntronik allows you to stack up to four keyboard parts si- multaneously for a really thick combo or a series of different sounds that are split on each keyboard using between one to four keyboards. The combi- nations are so open-ended that you’re really only limited by yo \RQH[[[ܙX]]]KHH[ܙ\YX]܈[ž[HܙX]H[ ܈\HH[\\]\][\[ܛݙ\\Yۈ\X[B[H[Hو]\XˈH\^]Y\وܙX][œ\]Y[\]\[x&\H^Z[H\܂][[H[XZ\]\[X\HYB\]YH\[Y[Y\[\[\][Y[[[[H[][ž[x&\Hܚ[ۈBR][[YYXH\[[ Zۛۈ܈ TX]Y\X[ۈوZ^[[X\\[œ\ܜ[][\UXHZ]\[\ۙHY[[][YH[Y[Y B][ۘ[YX܈[ۚZH\[H\š[YY Y\[YXHH TX˜[[\UXHܛˈHYX[ YZ[وYX\\ YX]K[\\X\H\K]\]HYX][H\Y]B[YH[YH[[\Yۈ]\H[[Y[ H[X[ۈو[[][ۋ[[ZXTK[\\ܝ[ۋ[\ ]\[[^HYX\\[[ܝHXHوYZ\[ۋ]X[H[ۜ܈ܙX]]]H[\BZ^][ۋHܘ[Hٙ\H\]X\\\[^Hܙ܈]YܚY\[[H[XYXX]\\܈YXˈH\\[\BXH\[\^XKX\]Z]H۝[Y[ [Y[H\H[Z[X\]R&\[\U[ܚ][ۋ][\[ۚZ[[[Y[Y^[ BXH[[Y[YZ[]ۜو[X[ [ۚZ[[X^[[[X\XHYB]\HX]\X[ ][H\\]][Xœ[H\X[[H[ݚY[™Y]XH]\H\\X\H[[\[\K]\[H\HHX\ۙY܈\[[ž[\Y][]KX\][ۈ[BX[ۋ[ۚZ[HYH[]HوۚX˜\^ܙH[H[X[YH\]]\XYܙKZX\[ˈ\\H[XXB][X[H[\[\ܙX]]]K][]H˂]\XX[X\њ[H\\X[Y[\X܈و\]\XTXܙ˔\]\XKBY[X\وH\X[[]\M˔]\M˘