Cherry Audio take on the mighty Moog Polymoog in their latest classic reinterpretation of a synthesizer – the Polymode.
Cherry Audio has been knocking it out of the park with their software recreations of classic synthesizers. With the Polymode they take on the enormous, legendary and slightly odd Polymoog synthesizer from Moog.
The Polymoog was a weird looking thing that had more of an organ vibe than a synthesizer one and was designed so that you could stick your other synthesizers on top. Aha! That’s where the Korg miniKORG 700 comes in, but I imagine they were thinking about their own synths like the Minimoog.
The original Polymoog 203a had 8 preset sounds which included Strings, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Funk, Clavi, Vibes and Brass. The later 280a model added Vox Humana (famously used by Gary Numan), Strings 2, Electric and Honky Tonk pianos, Chorus Brass and a Rock Organ. But someone took the mad decision to remove the majority of the editing functions and so the 280a was more of a preset machine. On the 203a there was a “Variation” mode where you could go to town on all the sliders and synthesizer parameters making it more like a proper synthesizer.
Cherry Audio has based their emulation on the 203a with all the editing possibilities intact. They’ve pushed to 8 presets into a bundle of more than 150. They’ve opted for 32-voice polyphony as opposed to the “true polyphony” of the Polymoog which used the Divide-Down method of dividing the frequency of a master oscillator down for each key allowing all keys to sound simultaneously. However, they do say that they have ” precisely recreated the unusual paraphonic architecture of the original instrument.”
Everything is editable and modulatable with numerous sources and destinations including velocity, pressure, white and pink noise. They’ve added a couple of LFOs to keep things moving. They’ve recreated the “mode” filters and expanded it with some additional slopes and a notch mode. They’ve also stuck in some classic ensemble, phaser, echo and reverb effects.
To be honest the initial preset sounds – they’ve put in the original 8 plus the Vox Humana – are underwhelming but true to the sound of the original. And if that’s what you’re after then you’ll be very happy. However, delving into the additional presets reveals that there’s a lot of interesting scope in this odd, organ-like synthesizer.
It’s only $29 dollars.