Plugin Boutique releases VirtualCZ synthesizer plugin

Plugin Boutique has announced the release of VirtualCZ, a new plug-in inspired by an iconic series of digital synthesizers made in the 1980’s.

Plugin Boutique VirtualCZ

VirtualCZ uses Phase Distortion – which is similar to FM Synthesis but easier to program. It can make great pads, leads, bass, percussion and RAVE ORGAN sounds that will fit into a wide variety of genres.

Many people fondly remember the CZ synths and they have become retro-classics that are highly sought after, having been used on countless techno, house, rave and synth-pop records in the late 80s and early 90s. Lots of artists still use them today for their unique sounds.

The synthesis engine of the original hardware is modeled in the plug-in which can load and transmit CZ SYSEX patches, but the plug-in goes beyond the hardware to offer new sound possibilities and usability features. It’s much more fun to edit, since all the important synthesis parameters have their own control. It includes things not found on the originals such as switchable envelope generators (ADSR or 8-Stage MSEG) and Unison modes.

Developed by Oli Larkin ( with graphics by Philippe Decuyper (, VirtualCZ ships with a library of great presets offering both retro and modern sounds by Plugin Boutique’s sound designers and artists.

VirtualCZ features

  • Recreates the unique synthesis engine of the CZ synths (it models the flagship CZ-1 but does all the other ones too!).
  • Works as a SYSEX editor/librarian for all CZ hardware as well as an emulation.
  • 2 CZ Phase Distortion oscillators per voice (each has 8 wave shapes, which can be different for alternate cycles).
  • 6 loop-able envelope generators per voice (switchable between easy-to-use ADSR and powerful CZ-style 8-Stage MSEG modes).
  • Tempo sync-able LFO for vibrato, with 7 shapes.
  • Ring Modulation and Noise Modulation.
  • 32 voice polyphonic/mono/legato modes.
  • Unison and detuning effects.
  • Stereo panning effects.
  • Microtonal tuning support.
  • Vintage stereo chorus/ensemble effect.
  • Randomization of parameters.
  • Easy to use interface (all key synthesis functions accessible on the front panel).
  • Includes over 200 high quality presets plus ability to load thousands of CZ patches online.
  • Presets come in multiple formats: fxp/aupreset/vstpreset/tfx.
  • Import/export presets for all plugin formats.
  • Optional cross-format preset browser.

VirtualCZ for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/AAX) is available for purchase for $99 USD / £59 GBP.

More information: Plugin Boutique / VirtualCZ

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