The Ultimate Virtual Analogue Synth?

Zero-G announce Phaedra      03/01/08

The Ultimate Virtual Analogue Synth?

Buying Choices
Zero-G have announced the imminent release of Phaedra which they are describing as the ultimate virtual analogue synth.
Phaedra is Kontakt Player 2 virtual instrument featuring over 4 gigabytes of sounds, 20,000 samples and 720 patches.
Unhappy with the lack of raw sonic power in virtual emulations of VSTi analog synths, producer Sam Spacey set out on a three year journey to make the ultimate synth and ended up creating Phaedra.
Constructed with the same attention to detail as a huge orchestral sample library, each of the 20,000 samples has been edited and looped by hand, with loops being very long so as to extract that lovely random analog magic.
Nearly every single preset has each separate note sampled so as to eliminate aliasing within the instrument's range. With Kontakt 2's engine being fully exploited Zero-G say that they have produced a library that is a full synthesizer in its own right.
We haven’t really got the space here to reprint all of Sam Spacey’s thoughts on the creation of Phaedra but for a full insight check out this page on the Zero-G website.
Below, in Sam Spacey’s own words, are the details of the synths sampled plus some programming notes…
Synths used in the making of Phaedra:
  • Mini Moog D - Was very hard work to sample due to the fact that if you looked at it, it went out of tune.
  • Welsh Moog - A prototype Re-issue Moog made in Wales, but had a unique PWM mod done to it.
  • Yamaha CS5 - Very snappy and fast attack and surprisingly bass-y oscillators.
  • Yamaha CS-15 - This one was delivered in a terrible and broken state, but sounded great for it.
  • Yamaha CS-30 - Sometimes I stacked all 3 Yamahas up over CV voltage for a huge sound.
  • Korg Monopoly - Still getting to grips with this 4-osc howling beast.
  • Korg MS-20 - Very quirky with a great filter.
  • Studio Electronics SE-1 - Modern rack-mounted Moog that could store presets and stay relatively in tune - hurray!!!!
  • Studio Electronics SE-1 - as above but with filter input. I stacked these two a lot, as the sound combinations were awesome.
  • Roland SH-101 - Wet and squelchy, a really good little workhorse.
  • Crumar Multiman - 70's string synth with Arp filters, surprisingly interesting palette of sounds.
  • Akai AX-73 - Cheap and nasty but I love it for that fact; evil filter.
  • Analog Phaser - Home-made, based on the Small Stone that was modded and used by Jarre on everything he did
  • Roland analog chorus pedal - Subtle but lovely.
  • Ensoniq Esq-1 - The only thing digital to ever get used, 8-bit grungy samples going through complete Curtis analog circuitry - I love this synth.
  • Sound Quality
    All the sounds were recorded and processed at 16-Bit resolution and 44.1 KHz sample rate.
  • Organisation
    The Instruments list (which can be viewed by clicking on "Instruments List PDF") groups the sounds into categories. Each category has a different coloured GUI, for example the Synth category has a red interface, Leads are blue, Bass are grey and Pads are green.
  • The categories are as follows:
    • 01 Synth 1
    • 02 Synth 2
    • 03 Bass
    • 04 Leads
    • 05 Pads
    • 06 Sequences
    • 07 FX
    • 08 DnB
    • 09 Synth Builder
    • 10 Multis
  • Memory Size
    All programming has been carried out with the samples loaded into RAM. However, Direct from Disk (DFD) functionality is available thereby enabling the streaming of the samples direct from your hard disk drive.
  • Modulation Wheel Assignments
    Every single instrument has the Modulation Wheel assigned to a function. This gives a lot of dynamic control over the character of the sound. Please try out the modulation wheel when playing each patch. The Mod Wheel may be assigned to one of several different controllers including Tune LFO, Filter Cutoff, Pan and Volume depending on the patch in question.
  • Polyphony
    All instruments have unlimited polyphony except for a selection of patches from synths that were originally monophonic and some bass sounds which have thus been programmed as monophonic. If you wish to increase the polyphony please do so.
  • Multis
    Up to 64 instruments can be combined in a Multi giving a vast array of possible combinations of the supplied single instruments. For example try combining a couple of bass instruments for some really fat and thunderous sounds.
  • CPU Load
    The exact CPU load of any given instrument depends on a myriad of factors - the power of your computer, notes played, complexity of the instrument etc.
  • Supported Interfaces & Standards:
    VST 2.0, DXi, ASIO, Soundmanager, OMS, Audio Units, Core Audio, RTAS.
  • Minimum Requirements:-
    Windows XP/Vista, Pentium III 1 GHz/ Athlon 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM Mac OS 10.4 or higher, G4 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive.
Pricing and Availability:
Available January 2008
$199.95 US Dollars (169 Euros / 114.95 pounds sterling) More information:

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