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Synthesizer (software, standalone)

2/1/2001

Applied Acoustics Systems Tassman 1.2 (Win)An impressive number of software synths appeared in the past year, but one stands out from the rest: AAS's Tassman, which offers one of the most unusual ways to generate sounds that you're likely to find. Tassman uses physical modeling to create the sounds of both acoustic and electronic instruments and offers a large library of models for your sonic designs.

You'll find bows, beams, bells, strings, membranes, and more, all of which you can combine and configure into any type of virtual instrument. You can change an instrument's characteristics as it plays: for example, you can alter a mallet's strength as it hits a string or change a mouthpiece's shape as you "blow" into a recorder. Tassman offers numerous effects and has plenty of VCOs, VCAs, and envelope generators to build traditional analog-synth models.

Like other modular-synth builders, Tassman has a Construction window in which you wire together the software's various modules. To build a synth, select a module in the Library window, click in the Construction window where you want the module to appear, then patch the various inputs and outputs of the modules you're using. Once you've created an instrument in Builder, you listen to it in Player.

With the forthcoming release of a VST plug-in version, you'll have even more ways to use this excellent program. We think Tassman is among the most distinctive sound-design resources around today.

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