Until recently, Softube had mostly been known for its hardware emulation talents. With a plugin back-catalog made up mostly of classic hardware effects, as well as several projects done in collaboration with other companies – Universal Audio, Propellerhead and more – you’d be forgiven for wondering when exactly the Swedish software developer was going to get around to making a classic synth.
Actually, the company’s roster wasn’t completely devoid of instruments; the Heartbeat drum synth has been knocking out a pulse for a few years, and the recent(ish) launch of Modular – a complete Eurorack setup emulated for use in your DAW – gave a few indications of where things might be heading.
Enter Parallels, Softube’s new release, and the company’s emulation talented are being put to even better use, with a synthesizer that apes a collection of classic and sought-after units alongside a gathering of new inspirational source signals.
Parallels’ Sources are the true heart of the synth – you could think of them as ‘oscillators’ in the classic sense, but rather each is a 15-second sample of sound which evolves over time. Sources included physically modelled entries, environmental samples, chords, and of course those analog and digital synth sounds.
Each Source has its own amplitude envelope, rate of movement through the source recording, and controls for octave, pitch and vibrato, and there’s a large Mix knob to set the balance between the two.
Naturally, the signal progresses through filters (aka ‘Shapers’ in Softube speak), while modulation is on tap. The effects section gives you Distortion, Chorus, Flanger, Delay and Reverb. Given Softube’s effects-modelling history, these should certainly be no slouches either.
Parallels is available now as a VST, VST3, AU and AAX plugin for the introductory discount price of $129. It’s usually $149.
As well as being an Editor At Large for Electronic Musician, James also dispenses software news and views as the co-host of Appetite For Production Podcast, and tweets on Twitter as rusty_jam. You can find his 'collected works' at his website, XoverFreq.