Designed for electronic musicians, producers, and sound designers, Rob Papen’s Blade is a downloadable soft-synth designed around a feature Mr. Papen has dubbed the Harmolator. The Harmolator is your oscillator section foregoing classic waveforms like saw and square-waves for a more ground-up approach based around nine variable controls and several global setting options. The nine controls each impart their own characteristic on the sound and can be set to a static level with your mouse. Prominently featured in the soft-synth is an X/Y pad, which can control all the parameters in any way you see fit. Indeed, you’ll find nearly every Harmolator control listed twice—once along the vertical axis and again along the horizontal axis so you can fully manipulate how the X/Y pad interacts with your given set of parameters.
The X/Y pad can also be recorded so you can apply modulation to every note that you play. Once recorded, X/Y-pad movements can be synced to tempo, polarized in both directions, looped, sped up, and otherwise manipulated, allowing interesting possibilities in the creation and in the sound design of timbres, parts, and whole songs. You can assign X/Y pad controls to your MIDI controller.
In addition to the Harmolator section, Blade gives you a sub-oscillator, a multimode filter, a distortion module, a modulation matrix, an LFO, an envelope section and more. Blade provides a plethora of presets which you can access using a search function or by using a temporary browser that automatically lists your last ten accessed presets. You can also save your own presets.
Blade is compatible with Mac and Windows systems, and operates in AU, VST, and AAX formats.
Key Features at a Glance
- Full MIDI control over all parameters including the X/Y pad
- 16 voices, operating in poly, mono 1/2, legato 1/2, and arp modes
- Harmolator oscillator with 9 controls including wave settings, two types of spread functions, and extended sub-oscillator
- 21 distortion units operating before the filter
- 14 filter types including 6/12/18/24 low/high pass, 12/24 bandpass/notch, vocal, and comb filter
- Filter-separation function
- Sound/amp section with volume, velocity, and envelope control
- X/Y pad with 12 controls for each X and Y, which can modulate the 9 Harmolator parameters, as well as filter cutoff, filter Q, and volume
- X/Y pad which can operate directly or with recorded paths, in poly, mono or free modes
- X/Y pad playback can be tempo-synced, with different tempo settings, and with loop & bi-directional loop options.
- X/Y-pad movement speed control
- X/Y editing options triggered with right mouse click
- Dedicated Harmolator velocity, LFO and envelope controls
- Pitch LFO and pitch envelope, 2 Harmolator control sources, 2 envelopes, 2 LFOs and 4 modulation sources
- All of Blade's controls can be used as modulation destinations with a full range of modulation sources including MIDI and internal controls
- 2 FX units with 27 effects including distortion, reverb, tape delay, and more
- 16-step arpeggiator with separately-definable pitch, velocity, and free amount; sequencer can also be used for modulation purposes
- Easy page allows control of the main parameters in a flexible, simplified way
- Preset handling with copy, paste, clear and compare function
- Quick browser, recently browsed, and favorite functions
- Preset manager screen allows you to find and organize presets and banks easily and quickly