Dreamsynth DS-1 is a synth to be reckoned with. It takes its inspiration from the digital and analogue hybrid synthesizers of the mid-to-late 1980s.
We’re talking about synths such as the Ensoniq ESQ-1, the Kawai K series and the Sequential Prophet VS (a lot of interest in that synth at the moment); hybrid synthesizers that bridged the gap between the analogue of the past and the digital of the future.
Dreamsynth combines these classic hybrid sounds of digital tones and analogue filters with the magic of modern software to give us something a bit special. There are three oscillators; each one takes a pair of waveforms from a selection of virtual analogue tones or a library of PCM samples for polyphony of up to 16 notes. Morphing and modulating between waveforms is definitely something that I would expect and encourage. The filters have multiple modes and operate in stereo. They sound great which may have something to do with them being inspired by Oberheim.
Cherry Audio decided it wouldn’t be complete with a String Synthesizer built into the side. It’s fully polyphonic, independent of the other 3 oscillators, and perfect for layering.
There’s a large effects bank with multiple distortions, a 12-stage phaser, chorus, flanger, and rotary speaker effects. The Delay and reverb effects include Cherry Audio’s new “Galactic” algorithm. They help give Dreamsynth a huge sound.
Modulation is abundant with 20 sources and over 40 destinations to route movement and experimentation about the place. You have 3 tempo-synced LFOs and an arpeggiator that’ll keep things interesting, and you can have a lot of fun with MPE mapping. Or you can spend your time soaking up the 1,100 presets forged by a gang of synth luminaries.
Do we like it?
So to sum it up it feels very analogue. It offers a surprising amount of tonal scope wrapped up in a familiar interface and is just dense enough to be challenging. Ultimately, Dreamsynth is a fun machine and is very of the moment I think. For $39 is going to find itself in everyone’s DAW. It’s available now in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats for macOS and Windows.
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