Roland's ZEN-Core synths are undoubtedly popular; the combination of PCM samples with VA waveforms, FM and filtering makes for a large range of sounds. However, the UI experience varies from instrument to instrument within the range, and sometimes a computer editor can come in handy, especially with a deep and unwieldy synthesis playground like ZEN-Core.
Whilst Roland's own Zenology PRO offers full and deep editing of Zen-Core tones, right down to partial level (that's Roland-speak for single waveforms; enveloped and combined with options like ring modulation, FM, multi mode-filtering, etc) that option is quite pricey to purchase outright, else requiring a subscription plan to Roland Cloud.
Benedetto "Benny" Schiavone has therefore decided to release a 3rd-party editor for Windows and MacOS, available with or without a new collection of 222 tones. Editors are available for the Fantom 06/07/08, Fantom 6/7/8, AX-Edge & Jupiter-X/Xm. The, admittedly dense-looking, user interface packs in a lot of features.
Some unique features of the editor include:
Of the soundbank, Benny stated that he has given ample space to the ZEN-core tones, which allow 4-voice melodic and rhythmic sequences (there is a template in the software to facilitate programming, also described in the manual) and to the 4-operator + shape FM sounds (Zen-Core incorporates an excellent linear FM mode). The bank obviously also contains more "classic" sounds including pads, choirs, synth basses, and sequences inspired by Jarre and Vangelis.
The author also showcased his editor and sounds in a Star Trek-themed video. Benny's Zen-Core creations are accompanied by isolated vocal tracks from the series.
I had fun creating a video that imagines an unlikely flight from my home to the Enterprise where some of the occupants..., including Spock, started singing to the tune of my synths and sounds. A way, I hope fun, to "tell" the characteristics of the software and sounds in music.
The current promotional price for the editor is €24,99 and will be available at this price until 30/10/23, just in time to make some spooky sounds for Halloween!
Posted by MagicalSynthAdventure an expert in synthesis technology from last Century and Amiga enthusiast.
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