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All good things come to those who wait.. the Synth Squad 2 thread
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Post All good things come to those who wait.. the Synth Squad 2 thread 
Hi all,

I'd like to offer everyone a chance to take an early look at, and, more importantly, listen to, Strobe v2.0.

https://soundcloud.com/fxpansion/strobe-2-early-demos

http://www.fxpansion.com/forum/files/strobe2_bwsl_early_648.png

We've been working on this for quite some time, and there's still a little way to go, but we think it's ready enough that it's time to get some feedback from a wider audience.

So what are the big changes?

- Glitch-free, 100% vector scalable UI, available in (at least) two flavours. Currently we have a dark look for people who like to work in the dark (roughly equivalent to the Logic Pro X or Bitwig stock colour schemes) and a bright one for people working in a more daylit environment. It will scale to suit any screen size / pixel density / resolution with no bitmap artifacting (because it's no longer based on bitmaps). (NB: Click the link above rather than the attachment below - our forum likes to rescale images to spite its owners).

- Integrated effects, including some brand new algorithms as well as some thing that owners of Etch, Bloom and Maul may recognise, with full TransMod capability on (almost) everything.

- 16 Transmod slots. Because all our sound designers ask for this, and because customers complained that the sound designers filled all 8, leaving no more to add. We will ask the sound designers very nicely not to fill all 16.

- Instant patch switching between 8 active sounds. This is really useful for both keyboard players (extremely fast switching mid-way through a song, mappable to program change or a.n.other MIDI message) and for electronic / EDM people producing complex basses, leads etc. where you want to be able to switch the aspects of a sound, instantly and glitch-free, midway through a sequence or even per-note. It gives you some of the capabilities you'd get from Rounds or Symptohm:Melohman (though we were working on it long before that announcement, I should point out) but on a modern VA subtractive synth.

- Huge CPU optimizations. Synth Squad 2 runs at 2x oversampled and above, only. The audio engine has been completely rebuilt to take full advantage of AVX (on all CPUs since "Sandy Bridge") & next year's AVX-3.2 instruction sets where available. It runs 30-40% more efficiently if you have an AVX capable CPU - I can comfortably play 32 voices at 8x oversampled (352.8KHz) in realtime on a Sandy Bridge machine, requiring as little as a third of one core to do so. (although the merits of going beyond 4x oversampling are questionable). Next year's "Skylake" CPUs (AVX 3.2) will give it a further performance boost.

- Rebuilt arpeggiator, stepsequencer and modulation processor. Effectively this is the Fusor arpeggiator but rendered comprehensible to mortals. Dedicated fixed-function units replace the sometimes hard-to-understand, Eurorack-inspired powerhouse that is the Fusor arp. Plus it gets the same TransMod sources as the rest of the synth, some dedicated modulation processor units, and the ability to keep your arp/sequence in memory while changing presets.

- Ability to unlink the Sub from the Stack/Detune/Sync parameters. This small change makes Strobe's oscillator section massively more powerful, use the sub to create stable bass alongside sweepy stacked harmonics from the main osc, or to underpin a cutting Sync tone with a nice solid low-end foundation. The Sub also gets an extra octave of range, and a modeled drive stage to help make growly monster basses.

- Phase reset on the main oscillator. The single most requested feature!

- Frequency-linked tone controls on each oscillator section. Really useful single-knob control for altering the character of the sound without changing what the VCF is doing. You can use them as a high-cut or low-cut to change how the oscillator sections interact with one another and the filter. Have a sound whose personality is pure VCF, but gets brighter and darker (via velocity, modulation, whatever) without changing the VCF character.

- Gain compensation and leakage control on the filter. We looked at adding different filters (we have an arsenal of great filters to choose from) and decided against, because we feel that the VCF is such an important part of the synth's personality. So we fine tuned the existing model with a gain compensator on the drive stage, and a leakage control because it sounds lovely.

- Adjusted envelope and fader ranges, much better consistency in the internal smoothing algorithms, choice of detuning modes, dozens of other little refinements. Strobe 2 will be available individually, ahead of v2 of Amber / Cypher / Fusor, from FXpansion and selected dealers. We'll of course ensure that existing Synth Squad owners get the best deal, and that people who buy the synths individually before the release of any bundle pay no more to complete the set than a new customer would.

The other synths are being updated to the new engine as well, of course - all three will share the most of the above, with Amber in particular getting some improvements to its audio engine - improved CPU efficiency means we're able to model some elements that got left out in the original (particularly glad we've been able to get Logan-style "diode VCA"s in there - they're absolute junk in fidelity terms but sound amazing). More on that later.

Regards,
Angus.


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-- Angus F. Hewlett - CEO - FXpansion --
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Synth Squad | BFD Eco
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Intriguing! Especially liking the noise at 5:00.


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Looks very nice. Glad you're keeping the VCF. How about an option to hide the keyboard altogether - kinda like on D16's LuSH101? Keyboards on VST synths seem like such a waste of space to me.

So glad you haven't ditched ssquad. Very Happy

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@ vespesian Possibly - if we can do so without losing the other controls that occupy the same vertical real estate.

Here's another demo from Drew_fx...

https://soundcloud.com/fxpansion/strobe-2-more-early-demos


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Synth Squad | BFD Eco
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please get rid of the keyboard
demos sound good

dave

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Will you release it until summer 2015 ?
Will the existing owners of DCAM Synth Squad 1 get free upgrade to Synth Squad 2 ?

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You really would expect all of that as a free update?
Seriously?
rsp


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This is great. Cant wait to set it through its paces and having the fusor elements in the synth is great!

Hopefully Geist is next Smile

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fantastic news, great to hear updates are coming for synth squad. can't wait to get my hands on the new strobe Very Happy

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Sounds excellent guys, reverb especially! Looks nice, though I like the old look too.

I will agree, the keyboard is rather unnecessary.

Overall, great work guys! Still my favorite synth VSTs!

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Actually, that reminds me - when using the synths as audio plugins, is it possible to let the audio pass straight through, without needing to send the synth a MIDI note? Was tricky using the synths as effects in Logic because of this!


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@Kickflip which features do you typically want to use as effects? Wouldn't Etch be better suited to that, by and large?

Upgrade won't be free, but there will be a generous price break for those who already own v1.

I'll see if it's possible to hide the keyboard without hiding other essential controls.


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Synth Squad | BFD Eco
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It was for the filters really. By and large, yeah Etch is better suited, but would be good for the people who don't have that option, and may even spur them on to buy Etch for the extra features!

Although that said, the Amber formant filters aren't in Etch - someone just posted that as a feature request in the Etch forum.


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Feature Request: would it be possible for SS2 in standalone mode to send MIDI note messages by means of a computer (laptop) keyboard. It is quite a hassle right now to use the mouse everytime you wish to hear some parameter changes. Or did I overlook some configuration?

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Looks great! Looking forward to this. Very Happy

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