“Power and simplicity in harmony” is what the tagline says. To the rest of us it’s a quirky, fun and dazzlingly 80’s retro FM virtual instrument that’s as easy to use as FM rarely is. If the trashy looks put you off then stop taking life so seriously and check out the sounds blindfolded.
It’s a 4 operator FM synthesizer with superpowers. Each operator can morph from sine to square to triangle to saw and then be thickened up with 8 voices of unison. These voices can be mixed in different ways to generate a lot of flexibility. There’s a lot of envelope control to allow operators to push into and through each other. The Shape control over the voice blending can be modulated by LFO or envelope. The voices are also detunable, either into a single interval, or a more standard spread. You can even switch the unison detune on and off to save you from retuning if you want to pull everything back together.
Unusually they’ve included a multimode filter which can be counter-intuitive in FM synthesis. FM is all about the creation of harmonics through cross oscillator modulation whereas a filters job is to remove harmonics. But there’s no reason why you can use both. The operator waveforms have controls to introduce harmonics which can be modulated by envelope or LFO.
An “Octave Lock” mode keeps the patch to a single octave regardless of where you play on the keyboard which can be handy for preventing FM patches from sounding reedy or flabby.
WaslioFM certainly sounds authentic enough. Every FM synth these days claims to offer easy-peasy programming but it’s always difficult to know what’s been lost in order to achieve that without spending a lot of time with it. It is perhaps the unison modes and detuning that set this one apart from similar plugins. If FM is your thing then this is well worth checking out.
- WaslioFM webpage.