BlauKraut Engineering has released version 2.0 of Charlatan, a free polyphonic, subtractive virtual analog (VA) synthesizer plugin with focus on sound quality and easy usability.

It comes with a flexible, yet not overwhelming feature set which encourages artists to start tweaking instead of just relying on presets. Inspite of it’s simplicity, Charlatan’s architecture is flexible enough to create both classic sounds and rather experimental noises.

While making no compromise about sound quality, the sound engine has been highly optimized for efficient CPU usage making Charlatan well suited as a “bread and butter” synth even in projects with a large number of plugin instances.

Changes in Charlatan v2.0

  • Completely rewritten DSP engine resulting in roughly 50% (!) CPU savings in polyphonic mode.
  • Unison mode with upto 7 voices and stereo spread. Even with 7-voice unison, CPU usage is very bearable.
  • Major GUI overhaul.
  • Additional LFO waveforms.
  • Stereo noise.
  • Amp envelope sustain parameter is now logarithmic.
  • Some more presets.
  • Mostly compatible with presets for Charlatan 1.x. Due to some tweaks to the sound engine, there may be subtle audible differences when loading some of the old patches.

Charlatan is a free download for Windows (VST).

More information: BlauKraut Engineering