Parallels is a software synthesizer based upon two sound sources captured from a synth emporium in Stockholm Sweden. It delves into the sounds of every dream synthesizer you could ever desire to own and lets you sculpt them with Softube filters modulators and effects. That could be interesting.
Softube says that the first focus of Parallels is that “it should always sound fantastic with the minimum of fuss” which is a very worthy and pleasing ideal that I fully support. Secondly that it should be inspirational, have an elegant workflow, look marvellous and have a sense of endless possibility. With just a press release to hand, it’s difficult to know how well Parallels fulfils these aspirations, but it certainly looks quite exciting. I am really enjoying the colours and three big knobs. Video now available below!
How does it work?
Parallels gives you two mulit-wave sound sources based on samples taken from all these fabulous synths that they don’t want to distract us with. There are almost 100 multi-waveforms taken from a range of synthesis generating machines capturing digital, analog, modular, FM, physical modelling as well as environmental and combined sources. Apparently, there’s some rare and previously unheard of stuff in there. Each waveform has a good length of 15 seconds and contains some sort of progression – filter sweep, modulation, that kind of thing. Using the big knobs in the GUI you can select a start and end point and scan through the waveform to find the source you’re looking for. This can be modulated and can have up to 14 voices.
Each source has its own shaper section with three analog modelled filter types, a low-pass gate or a triad of resonant peaks. You then blend your chosen sounds together and set to work crafting and sculpting using a suite of Softube effects and modulation. The modulators can be LFO, random, Euclidian sequencer, step sequencer or envelope based and you can route them to any parameter. For effects you get distortion, chorus, flanger, delay and reverb all on three knob control panels.
“It always sounds amazing!”
Softube says that Parallels is “inspirational, creative and beautiful” and don’t forget that “crucially, it always sounds amazing”. That’s pretty exciting and I’m very keen to get my hands on some demos of what, on paper, looks like a very interesting source of sounds. They’ve also got a bunch of cool people like BT and Richard Devine to come up with some presets, so that’s going to help with the whole “sounding amazing” thing.
Parallels is available now for $129 on a special introductory price.
- Softube website.