IK Multimedia unleashed its brand new Syntronik software synth to the masses recently. The new AU/VST instrument is certainly one of the more impressive offerings from the company in terms of virtual sound sources, so there was no way we weren’t going to give this one a spin.
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Syntronik is effectively more of a software instrument hub, not unlike Native Instruments’ Kontakt and Reaktor. Syntronik houses a particular, albeit quite large set of instruments provided by IK Multimedia. Those instruments consist of a wide range of virtual emulations based on classic hardware synthesizers from Moog, Sequential Circuits, ARP, Yamaha and more. You can choose to load up to 4 of them at a time to create sonically complex sounds and modulations.
This is essentially the instrument’s strongest selling point. It is a 4 layer synth, meaning you can stack any 4 of the instruments made available to create a single patch. On that note, you can choose to load up any combination of what is available as well, including multiple versions of the same synth. From there, you have a plethora of modulation possibilities along with an interesting on-board effects system (38 total effects) and a long list of available presets.
While the interconnectivity between the 4 layers of the synth isn’t quite what I was hoping for, the possibilities of creating massive hybrid sounds is still extensive. You can use the master effects chain, which includes everything from reverbs and delays to beat slicers and a phonograph distortion, to effectively ‘glue’ the 4 synth layers together and create, in some cases, a single complex patch.
IK is emulating four famous filter types including the Moog transistor ladder, Oberheim’s SEM state variable filter, Roland’s IR3109 chip, and the Curtis CEM3320 chip. Most interesting of all, you can choose to load up any one of these filter types on any of the available instruments. Love this.
On top of layer-discrete arpeggiators, another interesting feature is IK’s Drift technology. Not unheard of in products of this nature, it allows the software synth to emulate some of the imperfections found in old analog gear, mainly oscillator sync drift, and it works/sounds great here.
The $300 price tag includes a 50GB library made up of around 70,000 professional made samples. That’s certainly a good chunk of content no matter how you look at the price tag.
As someone who owns thousands and thousands of dollars worth of software instruments, it is hard to say you’re getting anything with Syntronik that you couldn’t already get elsewhere. However, having all of these vintage-style synth emulations in one place, for basically the price of one expensive, flagship instrument is awesome. Anyone particularly interested in emulations of these instruments should more than likely give it a try. While you will find plenty of Moog software out there, some of the gear included here is much harder to come by, digitally or otherwise.