by Robin Vincent | 3,2 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Phil Speiser THE_INSTRUMENT

Phil Speiser THE_INSTRUMENT  ·  Source: Phil Speiser

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THE_INSTRUMENT reports to herald in a new era of music making with a revolutionary workflow and impossibly awesome sounds. Can it live up to its own hype?

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Phil Speiser

Phil is a successful Austrian music producer and composer living in Vienna who is always on the search for great tools to aid his creative endeavours and make his life easier. He’s frustrated by things that get in the way of his vision and so started creating his own templates, sample libraries and tools to remove those barriers. THE_INSTRUMENT is the result of one such pursuit.

He’s pretty confident that the sweat and tears he’s poured into this synth, that reimagines the very concept of virtual instruments, won’t be wasted on you. And in Phil’s typically reserved manner, he considers it “my masterpiece!”.

THE_INSTRUMENT

THE_INSTRUMENT is a rompler containing a sampled instrument set of over 100 sounds. The sounds cover multiple genres and common categories such as Bass, Keys, Pads, Plucks and Synth. From there you have a little bit of tweaking you can do. Priority appears to be given to an ADSR envelope that takes up a chunk of the interface. Then you have a Cutoff control and two filter rhythm effects called Drown and Stab. Below that you have a Reverb and Delay effect.

The interface is really clean and easy on the eye, with everything clearly labelled and nicely animated. There’s not a whole lot on offer in terms of sound design. Which means you lean into the presets rather than worrying about creating your own.

Phil Speiser THE_INSTRUMENT

Phil Speiser THE_INSTRUMENT

But then the essence of THE_INSTRUMENT is in the Chord, Melody and Rhythm engines. There’s a comprehensive chord and scale system in here that will let you play one-finger chords in a variety of styles and moods. It has a variable strum feature, which is nice, and leads us to the Rhythm option. Rhythm is essentially an arpeggiator that also has single-note rhythm modes. What’s great about that whole section is that you can record the generation as MIDI, export it and use it on other instruments.

Life changing?

There are some good sounds in here, and the chord/scale engine is certainly a useful way to come up with chord progressions. I’m struggling to find any of it particularly groundbreaking as many of these features exist in many synths and many DAWs. The implementation seems decent enough, but the overblown marketing makes me roll my eyes at the idea that this is revolutionary. If there were a demo version you could download, it would make it much easier to navigate the hype. As it is, there are a few underwhelming demo videos which make it hard to put down the £99 necessary to purchase this era-defining virtual instrument.

THE_INSTRUMENT is available now for macOS and Windows in VST and AU format.

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Phil Speiser THE_INSTRUMENT

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