Yellow Tools Synth-Werk

Style: Synth tones, synthesis, and rhythms

Synth lovers, rejoice: Synth-Werk from Yellow Tools is loaded with a huge variety of synth sounds.

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Style: Synth tones, synthesis, and rhythms

Product type: Virtual instrument with built-in minidrum machine

Loop formats: Proprietary, within instrument

Stats: 1,500 sounds total

Documentation: Printed manual

This virtual instrument is a worthy addition to this roundup for those who like to fashion their own loops. Synth-Werk is a synth lover’s dream, particularly if your taste runs to the more Euro strain. Sounds include chords, dissonant chords, synth patches, computertype sounds; choirs and vocoders; melodies, pads, basses, effects, drum machine, and rhythm sounds; and an engine with lots of editing options (multimode filter, lo-fi, flanger, reverb, delay, sample start, randomization, and a lot more).

You add or remove layers, then choose the sound for that layer. I was initially put off by the naming convention (for example, with Chord Sounds, you have Chord Sound 001 to Chord Sound 195—not very descriptive), but pretty much everything I pulled up was cool. Fortunately, you can create favorites when you find ones you like.

This is a somewhat impractical instrument because there are so many variables; but that’s also its charm, as the ratio of hits to misses is very high. In a way, Synth-Werk feels like the software equivalent of a modular synthesizer: “Hmm, what happens if I plug in this patch cord and turn this knob. . . .”

I don’t know how this one flew under my radar, but it’s great. Put some of these sounds on top of the K-Size Electro Edition loops, and you’ll get the dance floor moving.

Great concept. Sort of like an encyclopedia of robot-friendly synth sounds.

Not particularly predictable.

$299 MSRP, dist. by

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