Rob Papen Soundware has announced availability of BLUE-II, an all-new reworking of its BLUE soft synth for Mac OS X (10.6 or higher) and Windows (Vista, 7, and 8).
First released in 2005, after namesake company founder and sound designer Rob Papen formed the RPCX (Rob Papen ConcreteFX) partnership with music software developer Jon Ayers, BLUE reflected Rob Papen’s cutting-edge, creative, and musical approach towards developing virtual instruments by first delivering FM and subtractive synthesis, then duly adding Phase Distortion and wave shaping synthesis into the highly creative mix. Rob Papen called it ‘Cross-fusion synthesis’ since it covered so much musical ground so effectively.
Today BLUE-II remains true to that ethos with even more sound dimensions and features to its extended name, starting with six oscillators. These can be connected in various ways, together with two analogue-style modelled stereo filters with 27 different filter types, a large range of processing and modulation options, sequencer, and a powerful arpeggiator. A new range of specially selected waveforms based on samples have been meticulously fashioned for creating new and fresh-sounding synth sounds, so don’t go expecting acoustic pianos galore here. However, since choirs and strings are an excellent basis for so many synth sounds BLUE-II has them in abundance — with much more besides.
BLUE-II takes the useful XY pad features from its virtual instrument sibling Blade and transplants them into its own workflow… perfect for time-based sound movements and vector pad-type sounds. Complemented by four top-quality FX processors, each offering 35 FX types, BLUE-II is a powerful virtual instrument.
But BLUE-II is also easy to use, thanks to its user-friendly user interface and an Easy Edit page for speedy sound changes, while the Bank Manager allows whistle-stop navigation through thousands of Rob Papen presets and artist sound banks covering a wide range of musical styles
- Six Oscillators modules which include Analogue, Additive and Spectral type waveforms. Osc. A and B offer PWM modulation and symmetry control. Oscillators can be combined in several ways using 32 different modulation routings in the Algorithm screen. Oscillators can have FM modulation or Ring modulation and can be oscillator hard synced. Each oscillator can be output to the filters, the effects or output as dry. Dedicated screens available in the LCD screen section for Algorithm selection, Phase distortion / Wave shaping settings and Oscillator Envelopes.
- Two analogue modelled stereo Multimode filters, offering 6dB LowPass/HighPass, 12dB and 24dB LowPass/HighPass/BandPass/Notch, Ring, Comb and Vox (formant). Filters with panning, panning modulation options and pre-filtering distortion. Easy filter control by pre-defined modulation controllers like Envelope, Velocity, Keytrack and Modulation Wheel.
- Nine Envelopes, AHDSFR type. Direct connection to the Oscillators volume, Filters frequency and main Volume amp to make sound editing fast and easy. Graphic and fader-control of Envelopes in one go. Dynamic curves and MIDI tempo based features like delay and envelope retrigger.
- Four Multi-Envelopes, These free highly sophisticated envelopes can be built up using up to 32 sections. Full graphic control and additional menus with presets, load and save functions. Dynamic curves and MIDI tempo based functions.
- Ten LFOs with various waveforms and are MIDI-syncable. Directly connected to main targets to make sound editing easy and fast. Directly connected LFOs for PWM A/B, Filter Frequency A/B, Tremolo (amp), Vibrato (main pitch) and Three Free LFOs. LFO have adjustable, free/poly/mono modes, keytracking, symmetry, smoothing, attack, decay and humanize functions.
- Three modulation Step-sequencers with sequence loop start/end, poly/mono/free play modes, speed controls and step smooth function. Copy/paste/clear functions.
- Modulation Matrix with 2 pages of 10 slots. 12 synth sources & 23 MIDI sources and 103 synth destinations.
- 32 step mono sequencer, with sequencer length, speed adjust, slide amount, swing amount, volume smoothing. Each step has On/off, Reset, -32/+32 Semitune, Volume, Slide on/off, Filter A, Filter B and Free modulation settings. Clear, load and save functions to exchange sequences in between presets.
- Poly/Mono/Legato/Seq synthesizer play modes. Portamento featuring legato, switch-able constant time/constant rate. Mono unison mode.
- Adjustable Precision setting per oscillator to simulate the instability of vintage analogue synthesizers.
- 16-voice polyphony. Voice amount control.
- Global settings save with each individual preset like: keyboard velocity response curve, over-sampling settings and filter control smoothing.
- Easy Edit page for fast new sound results or for easy access tempo changes.
- External controller hardware (fader-box or synth) settings can be saved and restored.
- Two effects-blocks with serial and parallel mode. Nine stereo effects available including Mono Delay, Stereo Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Distortion, Low Fi, Stereo Widener and Reverb. MIDI tempo based settings in Delays, Phaser and Flanger.
- Equalizer for total overall sound.
- Sound banks of 32 presets inside built in browser. Preset handling with copy, paste, clear and compare function. Preset banks are sorted into style-maps for easy search.
- All settings included the global settings are stored inside each individual preset.
- Presets in clear categories by Rob Papen.
- Arpeggiator: 32 step arpeggiator, with sequencer, seq length, speed adjust, slide amount, swing amount and step length control. Each step has On/off, Slide on/off, Reset, -32/+32 Semitone, Step length, Velocity, and Free modulation. Clear, load and save functions to exchange arpeggiators in between presets.