Beatskillz RetroVOLT “Samplesizer” synth and sample engine smash-up
RetroVOLT is a virtual instrument that combines a rompler sound engine with a synthesizer architecture for some magnificently 80’s synth-pop sounds.
Apparently this comes from Beatskillz love of 80s synth-pop and industrial synth sounds. They sampled their whole synth collection pulling sounds from Roland, Sequential, Oberheim, Yamaha and Waldorf amongst others and assembled a dynamic and multi-sampled rompler instrument. But instead of stopping there, they built a traditional synthesizer architecture around it and used the samples as oscillators in a synthesizer voice. So, rather than starting with waveforms you start with deeply sampled synthesizer sounds.
Each oscillator can load up its own “Sample Map” which consists of a multi-sampled multi-velocity complex sound. You can tune these and detune them, pan them and add vibrato right in the oscillator section. Following on there are individual ADSR envelopes for each oscillator with a tremolo function. There are two filter sections each with 10 filter types to choose from including a lowpass ladder. Each filter has it’s own ADSR envelope and velocity modulation curve.
The arpeggiator is pretty neat with 3 lanes of action affecting velocity, note length and pitch offset. And at the end of the chain there are 10 effects which can all be used at once if you wish.
It sounds like a lot of fun and I like that it brings together a bunch of great sampled sounds that are then pumped through a synthesizer engine. There’s something tantalisingly impure and almost naughty about it like it’s messing with people who like sampled instruments and people who like synthesis and coming up with something different. And if you get bored of the sounds you’re creating then there’s an inviting dice button that will come up with a randomly generated sound just for you.
RetroVOLT is available now for a special price of $59 for AU/VST/AAX on Windows or MacOS.