Back in April we asked our customers to give their verdict on Rob Papen’s newest virtual synth – Blade – and the positive response we received showed just how quickly the synth had found a firm place in producers’ sonic toolboxes.
Now we’ve received the verdicts of the main UK music production press and it turns out they’ve been just as blown away by Rob Papen’s unique foray into additive synthesis.
With high scores and awards aplenty, here’s a roundup of the reviews…
“It all adds up to an instrument that excels at evocative, evolving soundscapes. If you like deep, moving pads or wild wobbulating effects, this is the place to find them, and Blade will be of particular appeal to those who are growing weary of the same old virtual analogues and sample-playback instruments.
If, however, you’re after the absolute control offered by a full-on additive synth, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Blade is about cutting through the academic minutiae and getting the job done – and that it does very well indeed.”
“In the short time since its initial release, the software has already seen updates in the form of new presets, and additional menu options to the XY Controller that allow you to latch either axis to MIDI. Papen also recently revealed that Blade may soon see some GUI changes designed to offer other interface options that are a touch less busy.
All this is just the tip of the, er, sword, however. With a solid arpeggiator, plus an array of pitch, modulation and effects parameters to explore, Bade offers a rich palette of possibilities for both sound design and performance.”
“Blade is like a scalpel: so sharp it’s almost painless! Via a dozen knobs and a few menus and buttons, the Harmolator could be the gateway to widespread additive addiction. The spectrum display plays a big part in this, giving real-time insight into what each parameter does. I”d go as far as to say that Blade’s synthesiser is easier to understand than FM and almost as fast to program as subtractive synthesis – no mean feat!
It’s fair to say that additive synthesis has yet to take the world by storm, being typically viewed as lifeless and static or complex and difficult. Blade cuts through all the guff and establishes itself as an approachable synthesizer with that all-too-rare quality; a distinct identity.”
“Although there’s a lot of sonic range from the Harmolator alone, we love the distortion and effect stages of Blade. They sound really good and we managed to sculpt a lot of mix-ready synth sounds using them alone. This not only means that Blade is good value for money in this respect, but it also makes the modulate-any-parameter functionality a very creative prospect.”
Now tempted to try Blade for yourself? Download the free demo from the Blade product page