The first virtual instrument from Krotos gives us Concept which uses a powerful modulation engine to mess with sound in all sorts of directions from all sorts of sources.
Basically it’s a virtual analogue subtractive synthesizer but with this massive modulation thing going on. The colour and the movement translates across the synth so that everything is animated and you can see exactly what’s going on.
The layout is pretty simple. You have a pair of oscillators on the left with blending between waveforms, detuning and both FM Ratio and Depth. Under that, there’s an ADSR envelope. On the right, we have a multimode filter with overdrive and beneath that an effects section which includes a convolution reverb into which you can import your own impulses.
But it’s the section in the middle that draws out attention. Everything can be modulated. If you can see a parameter you can drag it onto the modulator of your choice and it changes colour and animates to reflect that. Even the modulators can be modulated. For modulation types you get your regular LFO and envelope types but there’s also “XY Capture” where you can draw in your own automation curves and waveforms. And the other interesting option is the “Audio Input” where you can use any external input as a modulator. So that’s audio rate modulation, or you can pull out the rhythm or you the pitch follower to use a melody to modulate something else. Then there’s the dice – I always appreciate a good randomisation function, although they call it a “Variation System” because it’s more advanced than randomisation in that you can specify what is being affected and by how much.
I’m always looking for soft-synths that have a slightly different angle and this has an interesting vibe.
Concept is out now and is £76.