Vanguard is back with a major overhaul for version 2. Pulled from the ashes to once again walk among us with those floor-filling sounds and straightforward workflow.
reFX is at pains to say it’s not just an upgrade but a complete remake of their much-missed Vanguard synthesizer. Originally released in 2004, it featured 3 oscillators with a choice of 32 analogue-modelled waveforms. I always thought the filters were great and that it had cool effects. And who can forget the fabulous Trancegate feature, which made it the liveliest synth in your DAW? Development stopped in 2016, although it was always available for licensed users to download.
Vanguard never quite made it to the 64-bit plugin club, which has hampered its use in recent years. Users have been crying out for an update, and here it is.
Vanguard 2 ploughs straight into wavetable territory with 10 new oscillator options. The filters have been reworked with two new filter types. reFX has completely replaced all the effects with new versions of the delay, reverb and distortion, along with synced LFOs. Along with the existingly huge library, you’ll find another 136 new presets, so it sounds pretty fabulous right out of the installer. All the previously available Vanguard sounds and expansions are included for free.
How does it sound? Smilingly good!
The preset librarian is much more comprehensive with three columns, colour-coded tags and easy navigation back and forth. There are 2,440 sounds to trawl through and 63 one-shot drum samples. I like the fact that the GUI is vector based, and while it’s not stunning, it does keep the straightforward approach of the original.
Vanguard 2 is available for VST, VST3 and AAX, is 64-bit only and will cost you £80 for a limited time.