Review: Tone2 Electra2 synthesizer plugin

Related: , , , , Posted in reviews on Oct 13, 2014 - comment 0 comments

Being a fan of the original ElectraX synthesizer, I was really looking forward to see how Tone2 would push forward with the successor, Electra2.

The award winning Electra2 is not only one of the most powerful synthesizers ever – it’s the complete synthesis solution! Explore the vast musical universe of multi-synthesis oscillators, analog modeled filters, chaotic fractals, samples, psychoacoustic processing, flexible modulation and an immense sonic range.

Tone2 Electra2
Electra2’s GUI is reminiscent of ElectraX, but with a more subdued color scheme.

On the surface Electra2 looks pretty much the same as ElectraX, so if you are familiar with ElectraX you’ll find all panels are in the exact same place. In fact, Electra2 is downward compatible so it completely replaces the previous version.

The update includes a new patch browser and over 700 additional patches, 16 new effects, a sample editor, physical modeling synthesis, 5 new filter types, enhanced sound quality, improved user interface and many more improvements.

On the whole the interface is just a little more refined, with a subdued color scheme that to me is easier on the eyes. Subtle coloring is used to indicate which layer is active and you get interactive feedback of modulations. If you are new to this synth, I think you will find the layout to be quite straightforward and easy to program.

One of the main features of this instrument is its layers. With 4 individual multi-timbral synths and a wide range of synthesis modes, Electra2 is great for creating complex sounds. Tone2 has made some improvements like “Multilayer edit”, which allows you to make changes to all layers in one go, which will speed up sound design considerably.

With the addition of physical modeling synthesis, Electra2 now has no less than 14 different synthesis models, including wavetable, PD & FM, subtractive, virtual analog, ultrasaw, and more.

Electra2’s new sample editor features a bunch of tools to make working with samples easier, including autotune and auto loop. I found it a bit surprising to see that Electra2 still only supports mono .wav samples, with up to 10 seconds in length at 44kHz. Stereo samples will be summed to create a mono sample.

Each layer in Electra2 has up to 2 filters with a wide range of filter types and a drive parameter to add pre-filter harmonics to the audio. One insert effect can be assigned from a 30 types, including delay, reverb, chorus, compressor, etc. Furthermore, we have 3 LFO’s and a step LFO, a 10-slot modulation matrix, arpeggiator, 4 envelopes (amp, filter & two free), and a master FX slot.

Electra2’s versatility shows when browsing the astounding amount of factory presets — well over 1,200 in total.

Check the demo track below to hear some of the sounds of Electra2.

So what do I think?

Product: Electra2 by Tone2
Format: VST/AU
Price: $189 USD
Like: Ease of use, multi-layer, versatile
Don’t like: no support for stereo samples
Verdict: 9/10

This new version includes a good amount of new features and improvements. Some can really speed up your workflow, others are under the hood. For instance, Tone2 made an effort to improve its Psychoacoustic processing, resulting in a more transparent sound. I have to admit I haven’t done any extensive A/B testing but Electra2 sounds great to my ears (as does ElectraX). The CPU usage is also quite low, even when using multiple layers.

Electra2 remains a formidable, easy to use synthesizer for both the beginner and the advanced user. With its 4 layers and more than a dozen synthesis methods, this plug-in is a proper workhorse instrument that excels in versatility.

Tone2 is offering a free trial version of Electra2, so check it out and see how you like it.

More information: Tone2 / Electra2

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Tone2 releases Modern Clubhits for Electra2

Tone2 Modern Clubhits for Electra2

Tone2 has announced the release of Modern Clubhits, a soundset for the Electra2 synthesizer instrument for Windows and Mac.

Storm the charts with the Modern Clubhits soundset, 200 exquisite sounds bundled together to enrich your track with dirty basses, warm synths, spacious pads, vivid leads, complex arpeggios and swooping effects.

The Modern Clubhits set utilizes Electra2’s unique feature-set with a clear focus on the new features that Electra2 introduced. With its massive sounds ready to be used in any production and cover the complete range of music styles, Modern Clubhits is a soundset that shows the true power of Electra2’s capabilities.

Modern Clubhits features

  • 200 superb presets created by Markus Krause, E.SoX, Massimo Bosco, Felingen, Rob Fabrie, Ghostwave Audio, Ed Ten Eyck.
  • All sounds are properly programmed – they are ‘not just samples’. This gives you the complete dynamic range, a lot more expression and the highest possible sound quality.
  • Focus on the new features that Electra2 introduced.
  • Supports modwheel, velocity and aftertouch, many patches can be ‘morphed’ with the modwheel.
  • For enhanced usability the volume of all sounds has been carefully normalized.
  • Perfect for many genres, such as, Complextro, Trance, Electronica, EDM, Cinematic, Dubstep, Drum and Bass, Dirty Dutch, Progressive, Dance, Pop, Techno, Ambient, HipHop and a wide variety of other music genres.

The soundset is available for purchase for 39 EUR incl. VAT.

More information: Tone2 / Modern Clubhits

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VST Sound Sets launches with Wireless Bundle + 30% off

Wireless Bundle

VST Sound Sets has announced the launch of its website, releasing a new bundle of the Wireless soundsets for Tone2’s FireBird+, and offering a 30% discount for a limited time.

This is the synth patches and presets outlet store of Jeff Rhodes : Perimeter Sound/Soundspice. All the newest releases will be here first, and at the lowest prices.

I have also released a combo bundle of ‘Wireless 1 & 2′, so you can get all 200 of my Firebird+ patches at a discounted price.

And speaking of discounts, the grand opening sale is on through August 31st. Save 30% off anything in the store, even the bundles, by entering the coupon code SOUNDSETS at checkout.

Hope to see you there, and feel to drop me a line using the *Contact* page.

More information: VST Sound Sets

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Tone2 updates FireBird free synth to v2.1

Related: , , , , Posted in news on Aug 19, 2014 - comment 0 comments

Tone2 Audiosoftware has released version 2.1 of FireBird, a free synthesizer instrument for Windows.

Tone2 FireBird

Since there was a lot of positive feedback on the freeware release of FireBird (previously $79) we decided to release a final update for it.

Firebird itself is already vintage and even though it’s no longer profitable to remain a commercial product, we feel that anyone should get the opportunity to enjoy this sometimes heavily underestimated synthesizer.

Please feel free to download, share and enjoy this freebie, which should provide you with a nice introduction to our products, as well as many more years of musical inspiration.

Changes in FireBird v2.1

  • Contains 70 additional sounds by Xenos. To load them click on ‘setup’ and load the factory bank ‘condemned’.
  • Contains a fix for a rarely appearing crash.
  • Updated installer.
  • Slightly enhanced performance.
  • More responsive GUI.
  • Fixed a rarely appearing glitch.
  • Several other minor enhancements.

FireBird is available to download for Windows (VST).

More information: Tone2 / FireBird

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Tone2 releases NeoFM soundset for Nemesis

Related: , , Posted in news on Aug 04, 2014 - comment 0 comments

Tone2 has announced the release of NeoFM, a soundset for the Nemesis synthesizer instrument for Windows and Mac.

Tone2 NeoFM for Nemesis
The NeoFM sound pack comes with 3 new skins, including the blue one.

The NeoFM expansion has a clear focus on the best that FM synthesis has to offer. Tapping into the depths of Nemesis’ powerful neoFM synthesis, it offers unique sounds that are impossible to get with other synthesizers.

Featuring 200 exclusive neoFM presets, it is the ideal library to expand your Nemesis with. Imagine the sweetest FM keys and semireal sounds, evocative pads, cut-through synths and organic atmospheric sounds, all the way up to the dirtiest basses & warped arpeggios.

The NeoFM expansion also contains an inspiring collection of 152 new waveforms that you can use to create your own sounds, or edit existing presets with. 3 fresh new skins are included to change the way your Nemesis synth looks.

This expansion is packed with rich sounds ready to be used in any production and covers the complete range of styles, whether you’re interested in that classic FM sound or looking for nasty FM vibes, NeoFM is there to provide!

The soundset is available for purchase for 49 EUR.

More information: Tone2 / NeoFM

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