Polyend soups up its Play groovebox with four synth engines—three virtual analogue and FM/wavetable—and stereo samples plus DAW integration.
There’s something tantalizing about a groovebox. Combining the best of drum machines and chromatic instruments, they let you flesh out song ideas with ease, all on the go. And, if you’re lucky, they prioritize fun. Polyend’s Play turned heads last year with its sample-based engine and step sequencer grid-packed front panel. Now the company is ready to turn up the fun to 11 with the Polyend Play+.
Four New Synthesizer Engines
Although at first blush the Play+ looks much like the original Play, the plus symbol in the name should give away that something is new. That something is an upgraded processor under the hood, superpowering the groovebox with new synth engines and other enticing improvements.
There are four synth engines to accompany the sample packs now. ACD is “a recreation of iconic single-oscillator monophonic analogue synths,” according to Polyend. Next is FAT, which emulates vintage synthesizers. VAP is not a Cardi B reference but a two-oscillator Virtual Analog Polysynth with a modulation matrix. Lastly, there’s WTFM, which is “a unique two-operator FM synth engine that utilizes WaveTable-based oscillators driven by a 3x feedback system.”
Play+ will give you eight voices of synth polyphony to add to the eight sample voices, with three synth slots total. The audio examples provided with the digital press kit sound very nice indeed, with plenty of character and sonic depth.
Stereo Sample Playback
One criticism of the original Play is that it only offered mono sample playback. Play+ thankfully now has stereo sample functionality. It comes pre-loaded with stereo sample packs to add to the library of over 5000 samples. There’s no mention of a sampling function, however, which is a shame. There’s also sample transfer via USB, with that presumably still happening via SD card.
Multi-Track USB Audio
Don’t write off that USB-C port just yet, however, as Play+ allows for multi-track audio over USB. Open it in your DAW and you’ll have access to up to 14 separate stereo audio tracks. This is very nice to see. USB MIDI is also presumably still supported.
Even + Fun
Along with all I’ve mentioned, Polyend Play+ also adds new fill modes, a piano roll for sequencing all those synth engines, and scale filtering to make sure you don’t hit any bum notes.
This along with all the functions of the original Play, such as effects, a fun sequencer with 64 steps and 128 patterns, each with 16 tracks (eight sample/eight synth) and each track with 16 variations. Overall, Polyend Play+ looks like tons of double-plus fun.
Pricing and availability:
The Play+ will be available soon from Thomann, priced at $799 MSRP, and Polyend with even upgrade your old Play for $399.
More about the Polyend Play+
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- Polyend Play+: Polyend
- Polyend Play+: Polyend