Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Finally!!! Arturia Synclavier V is a VSTi Plugin Now

I'm one of the original Synclavier II Digital Guitar owners, having bought my first Synclavier in 1983. Back about the time I started this weblog, in 2005, I parted out my original system, figuring the Synclavier would end up a virtual instrument, but that never happened. Until now. So, starting in 2012, I began to collect and configure original hardware, and now I have 2x32 voice additive/FM systems, and a 64 voice additive/FM system nearing completion (Yes, 64 voices of FM in one enclosure, due to the dynamic voice allocation, and the compression effect of the stereo outputs). Just after I had paid for the hardware for the third system, I found out that Arturia had released Synclavier V, using the original code and supervised by Cameron Jones, who was the original programmer of the Synclavier! It has been an epic wait, but well worth it.

I have three screenshots of it in stand-alone mode.

It opens with just the keyboard and basic controls for playing presets, of which there are tons, including some very famous timbres like the stab on Michael Jackson's Thriller.

But, if you hit the expansion icon, you get more detailed controls, which are the handy basics of editing presets, as well as the initial phases of programming timbres from scratch.

But the real details are in the SCR (screen) mode, where you can graphically adjust the envelopes and phases &c. This is way beyond what you could do with the original Synclavier, as are the number of partial timbres: four in the original system, twelve (!!!) here. But that's not all. You can also change the bit resolution! The original Synclavier additive/FM systems were, of course, 8-bit. And frankly, the aliasing is sometimes a distraction (My ears have become much more critical over the years). As soon as I dialed Synclavier V up to 16-bit, I was a convert. It sounds so glassy and smooth!

This will require a great D/A converter, of course, and I'm looking at this one: the Chord Electronics Dave.

This couldn't have come at a better time for me, as I have four albums composed, and only one realized (An album of my old Synclavier compositions, which I recorded with one of my current systems).

Here's a preview of that album, which will be out before the end of the year: Present Time.

This dates from 1986, and was recorded in 2016 from one of my current systems. Everything except the ostinato, FX, and bass line is justified Synclavier Guitar. I used to perform this live, and it took a lot of work with the Morley pedals to get all the right sounds at the right time.

Now I have to figure out how to use this with Logic Pro X.