Rhizomatic Absynth
Absynth's virtual keyboard.

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NEWS OCTOBER 12 , 2000
Rhizomatic Releases Absynth
Mac-only software synthesizer includes 64-voice polyphony

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Rhizomatic Software has released Absynth 1.01 for Macintosh (and only Macintosh). The program is a real-time MIDI-controlled software synthesizer that supports 64-voice polyphony with support for six oscillators per voice. It also supports up to four filter modules per voice with a choice of eight filter types.

It has a new Factory Presets bank. Most of the presets from the old Demo Bank are available, as well as several new ones.

Other features of Absynth include:

  • A patching scheme to combine multiple synthesis techniques, including filtering, fm, am, ring modulation, waveshaping and more.
  • Six oscillators, four filters, three ring modulators, a waveshaper (distortion) and a delay processor.
  • Absynth's waveform editor lets users model their own waveforms, which can be used by oscillators and LFOs and as waveshaping distortion functions. Waves can be drawn directly or using spectrum mode to trim individual harmonics. Waves can be mixed, modulated, filtered or fractalized.
  • Envelopes have four modes, including loop and retrigger for creating cyclic rhythms and non-repeating ambient textures, and each envelope has 68 breakpoints (up from the previous 32). Transformations include: scale amp, time and slope, set duration and generate attack/decay pulse. In the new version, envelopes can control more parameters.
  • Delays can be modulated by the three LFOs and MIDI controller input, and delay times can be as short as one sample and as long as 10 seconds.
  • There are three LFOs, each modulating pitch, amplitude, filter, fm depth, pan and delay time.
  • Stereo AIFF files can be saved either as interleaved stereo or split mono pair
  • Parameters can be modulated by MIDI continuous controllers, aftertouch, velocity and note number. Continuous controller input can be smoothed with a lag control for wider ranges (+-6 octaves for pitch bend).

The Record window includes an overdub mode that lets users layer sound on top of what has already been recorded. It can be played through a MIDI keyboard or the built-in virtual keyboard.

Absynth sells for $150 with more than 100 sample presets. It requires a 100 MHz PowerPC and Mac OS 8.0 or higher. OMS is recommended. For more information or to download the demo, visit http://www.absyn.com.


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