I love a bit of hype and self-belief and Vengeance have it in spades. Their newly released Avenger is “the only synth you’ll ever need”. Great, well the rest of us can go home them. It is of course the “most versatile and best sounding synth you’ll ever encounter” because there’s nothing it can’t do.
So what is it exactly? Well the overview page on the website is too long I’m not sure we’ll get to the bottom of that any time soon. I’m too afraid to look at the details page. In a nutshell it’s a monster of a synth overflowing with every type of synthesis, multiple times over, with multiple filters, envelopes, modulation sources and sequencers mappable to anything you like.
In every section of this synth you can add more. Up to 8 oscillators, 8 modulation and pitch envelopes, 8 arpeggiators and 8 step sequencers. Only 4 filters though, 4 shapers, 4 amps and 4 LFOs. And finally 4 effects racks with 8 effects slots, a send effect rack and a master effect rack. That adds up to a lot of numbers and a very full synth.
All types of synthesis
The 8 oscillators can be any one of 7 different synthesis types. There’s classic virtual analogue, with sine, saw, square, noise etc. You can import single cycle waveforms into an oscillator shape. Or you can draw your own oscillator shape to create whatever sort of waveform you want. Stack up 128 of these shapes and you form a wavetable. The shapes can then be morphed between within the wavetable. There’s a “Resample” option which is a bit like granular synthesis where you load a longer wave file and scrub through it as a source. Each oscillator can also be a sample player, laying up to 4 multi-samples. And finally you have drum kits, more than 160 of them, each with 12 percussion and drum sampled instruments.
Overflowing with presets
If it all seems a bit mindboggling then don’t worry, Vengeance have tapped that pool of professional sound designers for over 900 presets. Covering all genres of dance and electronic music – which seems a little narrow for the “last synth you’ll ever need”.
Here’s some numbers for you. There are 630 muilti-samples, 218 special samples, 154 resample waves, 168 drumkits, 596 wavetables, 30 effects, 47 filters and up to 1000 playing oscillators with a single note.
Too much to handle?
This is an immense synthesizer. The power it has to create and modify sound is amazing. There’s so much going on that it’s impossible to adequately describe. And therein lies the problem for me. It’s so big, so intense, so versatile that it could be difficult to keep track of what’s going on. I’d get lost in the complexity. I’d lose which filter was being modulated by which LFO routed through with oscillator to which effect rack. There’s an awful lot of sound on offer here but I wonder whether if things were simpler, if the synthesis was more focused then perhaps we’d get more done. Or do we end up just clicking through countless presets.
It’s an extraordinary piece of work and if this mirrors your sound palette then you should definitely have this thing.
Vengeance VPS Avenger is available now for £175 for MacOS and Windows. And there’s more information and a demo version available on the website.