Glad to be back!!
Figured I’d start off with a review of a new synth from Tone2, one of my favorite synth makers.
I really enjoyed their Firebird+ synth, and Gladiator 2 was dope as well, but neither of them were 64 bit, so I wasn’t able to use them as much once I moved over to a 64 bit host. Sure I can use jbridge and such, but I prefer to go native 64 bit if I can.
Anyway, this new synth is not an update to either Firebird+ or Gladiator 2, it’s doing it’s own thing, and doing it in full 64 bit glory!
let’s check it out!
So what is ElectraX?
This is basically a monster, 4 synth engine, multi fx, multi arpeggiator, multi everything synth with the great sound Tone2 is known for.
You get 4 synths in this baby, you can either use it as a 4 part multitimbral synth, or you can stack them all.
Just so you know, each synth/layer has 3 oscillators! Yeah….plus 2 filters, and arp, lfos, envelops, 10 point mod matrix, I think you see where I’m going with this right?
You can build some pretty deep sounds with it, but the great thing about it, it’s not complicated to understand or program.
- format: 32/64 bit VSTi, standalone (PC), VSTi, AU, Universal Binary (MAC)
- price: $199
How does it sound?
Pretty much however you want it to sound. It can sound fat, harsh, smooth, metallic, airy, whatever.
The included presets show of quite a bit of the power of the synth but I think the fun comes when you start creating your own sounds.
The fact that you have 3 oscillators per layer is nice. You can choose from Virtual Analog engine, Ultrasaw engine, Noise/Fractal engine, sample playback, and wavetable synthesis.
That’s a lot of different engines, each with their own character and settings.
The FX are actually usable without hogging up a bunch of CPU, which is always good.
There’s also other ways you can alter the sound, including adding some “analog” character to it, from a nicely operating analog synth, to one that is all out of wack and has a mind of it’s own.
There’s even a fat tune mode that let’s you create some fat chord style sounds, etc.
It’s also very easy to program, you can even load a “template” preset of various types of sounds from FM to Phase Distortion or Wavetable and Subtractive Pads. Overall I like this sound, which is no surprise as I like Tone2 in general, but I was really impressed with the ease with which you can program your own sounds, or load your own samples to resynthesize and create new sounds.
So what’s the bottom line?
This is a great synth, very easy to program, but it’s very deep and able to create some complex patches. Having 4 arps going at once can get crazy. Having one following the host tempo, the next at half tempo, and another at 1/4 tempo was pretty interesting, that’s only 3 arps!
The mod matrix is very easy to understand, I find some synths do this better than others, and some take a while to grasp, this one was very easy to understand and assign. The various waveforms in the va engine are nice and being able to load in my own samples to synthesize is a huge plus, this is also easy.
I wish we could use more than one insert effect on each layer, but that’s a small thing. The fact that you have an insert on each synth plus a global master effect is very useful.
File management is also very easy, you can just go into your explorer and rename folders, presets, etc if you wish. You can also change the skin very easily with the text file located in the plugin directory, all you have to do is change the number at the top, it also tells you what each number will do.
I give this synth 4 out of 5 subs, really useful, easy to program, and sounds great.
I personally wasn’t a fan of the 3d knobs, they looked kinda weird at times for me, but it’s all good, I can overlook that when the synth is easy to use and sounds good 🙂
This one is definitely worth downloading the demo, check it out and see if you like how it’s laid out. It’s one of the easier synths to program, even though it’s also one of the more complex synths around in terms of the synthesis types and modulation options.
Check out the demos and other info on the tone2 site: tone2 electraX
leave a comment below, let me know what you think