The latest Chipsynth from Plogue takes on the classic 6-operator FM synthesis as found in the Yamaha DX7 and aims for complete accuracy.
There are several emulations of the good old Yamaha DX7 out there and each one claims to be accurate, authentic and realistic software versions of the hardware synthesizer. However, Plogue is known for its attention to detail and almost fanatical approach to modelling circuits, sound and behaviour. What they didn’t do is try to emulate the user experience of buttons, a data entry slider and a very small screen. Instead, they’ve brought all the functionality, depth and detail out onto the front panel of the interface smoothing that legendary learning curve down to easily accessible levels. Nice job!
Plogue calls it the dynamic patch editing system that removes the need for algorithm diagrams, although these still exist in the manual and seem to be important. There are also pages of detail about the nature of the synthesis which reads as complex and deep as ever so I’m not exactly sure where all the simplicity comes in. There are a load of presets to explore and they do start to reveal how the interface works and because you can see the operators take shape in the interface in front of you I imagine that’s what they’re talking about.
The interface is set up in pages where you first have layer A and layer B which can be completely independent programs. Then you have the SYX page which is your patch library where you can load 32 SYX patches per layer and these can come from the original DX7 or any other source of compatible patches. MATRIX is for modulation and FX is for effects.
It all gets deep really fast but the layout and easy access to knobs and parameters make exploring and experimenting an enjoyable experience. There’s no doubt that this is the software version of the DX7 that devotees have been waiting for. Check out the feature overview video below for everything you need to know.
Chipsynth OPS7 is available now for VST and AAX on macOS and Windows for £46.80.