Audio synthesis is part art, part science. With Thermo, developer sonicLab homes in on the science part. Thermo is a very unusual sound generator based on stochastic calculations. Four oscillators interact through the principles of thermodynamics to create the audio engine. That sounds complex on both mathematical and physical grounds. Thankfully, that stuff happens behind the scenes. You get to enjoy the unique sounds.
sonicLab Thermo plug-in
The new Thermo synthesizer from developer sonicLab is not easy to explain, but we’ll try. There are four oscillators which produce the sound (using common waveforms) and send it through a filter section The individual sources are set in motion by various modulators. The algorithms which calculate the sound in the background are very interesting as thermodynamic laws govern the sound generation.
There are three selectable “Injection” models that change the sound in different ways. They generate AM, FM, and various “errors” of an artificial system which temporarily influence the audio signal. Additionally, a feedback routing matrix can be used to let the sound interact with itself.
Furthermore, Thermo integrates stochastic modulation generators (GEN) which bring additional movement into the system. It all becomes a complex structure for generating experimental sounds. However, the synthesizer seems to be really easy to use. The graphical user interface is very clear and invites exploration.
Price and availability
sonicLab Thermo is available from the manufacturer’s website at an introductory price of EUR 59, down from EUR 79. The offer is valid until June 7, 2021. Rent-to-own and subscription options are possible as well. The plug-in works under macOS and Windows in 64-bit standalone, AU, and VST3 formats. You need a free iLok account (or a paid USB dongle) for authorization. A demo version is also available for download. As usual, several presets are included in the package.