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DCAM: Synth Squad from FXpansion is a collection of 3 distinct virtual synthesizers (Strobe, Amber and Cypher), plus a versatile sound-design environment (Fusor) that can layer and key-split 3 instances of the other synthesizers. Using advanced modeling technology, the collection provides the experience of playing real analog instruments in software.
Oscillators deliver immense sound, amplifier stages can be overloaded for extra grit, and real-world chaos can be dialed into the circuit for delicious instability. These synthesizers don't break up when used with extreme settings, so you can abuse them just like the real thing. Meanwhile, the intuitive TransMod modulation system brings your sounds to life in new and expressive ways.
Designed to be as easy to program and satisfying to play as an analog mono synthesizer, Strobe also adds polyphony, oscillator-stacking, a versatile multi-mode filter and deep modulation. The instrument specializes in analog-style leads, basses and complex pads
The design is motivated by the immediacy and simplicity of classic performance synthesizers such as the Roland SH101 and SH-09, Oberheim OB-1 and Yamaha CS-10. These synthesizers are not overly endowed with complex controls - as a result it's difficult to make a bad sound with them and they beg to be played. Similarly, Strobe features a relatively simple architecture, allowing you to program great sounds quickly
While Strobe has a single oscillator, it's a very flexible and powerful oscillator. Saw, pulse and noise waveforms can be freely mixed alongside sine, triangle, saw and pulse sub-oscillators. You can set each sub-oscillator up to 3 octaves below the main waveforms, and adjust the pulse width of both the main and sub pulse waveforms. You can also sync the oscillator pitch to the lowest sub- oscillator. The oscillator-stacking feature lets you layer up to 5 copies of the oscillator and detune them to achieve thick tones without using entire unison voices
The filter is capable of delivering an extremely wide range of timbres, due to its plethora of filter curves and rich modeled drive circuit for extra-thick tone. As with the other instruments in DCAM: Synth Squad, the amp section can be overloaded, just like in a real analog synthesizer
Contains a built-in arpeggiator and a range of modulators with flexible gating options - you can gate envelopes with the LFO, for example. Direct modulation depth controls exist for varying the pitch, pulse width and filter cutoff from LFO, envelope and key tracking sources, allowing you to dial up classic subtractive sounds quickly and efficiently
Strobe is equipped with the TransMod advanced modulation system, which allows you to modulate almost any parameter with an extensive range of modulation sources. This takes Strobe's potential way beyond that offered by the direct modulation controls on the front panel. Apart from offering a huge range of modulation sources, you can also modulate controls based on active voices and unison voices. Using 2 unison voices and deploying unison modulation instantly turns Strobe into a dual-oscillator synthesizer, with a filter and amp for each oscillator
One of the first attempts to realistically model the divide-down string ensemble synths from the 70s, Amber perfectly captures the lush, psychedelic sound of the string ensemble synthesizers from the 70s. A formant filter, 3 separate chorus models, a variety of playing responses and flexible modulation build upon the legacy to deliver a new take on these vintage classics
The instrument's sound is derived from a bank of oscillators that are frequency-divided to produce a full keyboard range of 96 notes within a single synthesizer voice - this means that you can play 96 notes simultaneously. These notes, referred to as "paraphonic notes", are then mixed down into a single signal to be fed through conventional polyphonic processing blocks (a single instance within each synthesizer voice)
Amber includes two sections which both feature very similar paraphonic sources, with the subsequent polyphonic processing blocks defining their final character. The Synth section is fed through a multimode resonant filter, giving it a synthesizer-like tone, while the Ensemble section goes through a formant filter and chorus, to impart the character of a string ensemble. The 2 sections are mixed together at the final output of the voice, and there are several routing options for the Synth section which allow it to be fed through the Ensemble section's formant filter and/or chorus
Both the Synth and Ensemble sections are capable of several playing responses. They can be set to paraphonic mode (96 notes simultaneously with an envelope and VCA for each note - similar to the Logan String Melody and Korg Lambda, a couple of modes which can emulate synthesizers with a single envelope/VCA for all paraphonic notes (such as the Eminent Solina and ARP Omni), and a fully monophonic mode, which dispenses with paraphonic response altogether. With the latter setting on both sections, you can force Amber to operate as a conventional monophonic/polyphonic synthesizer
Unlike vintage hardware string machines, Amber is capable of running with multiple voices and unison. This, combined with the DCAM TransMod system, offers a potential universe of new, unheard sounds
Cypher takes analog FM into the future, combining the most realistic audio-rate modulation to date with digital luxuries like polyphony and precise tuning. With dual shaper/filter stages to drive and sculpt the raw output of the oscillators, alongside DCAM features like the TransMod modulation system, Cypher is a programmer's utopia for producing timbres ranging from visceral mono and poly sounds, to abstract textures and sound effects
Provides a truly accurate model of a synthesizer capable of analog-style FM, wave modulation, variable-depth sync and other interesting oscillator processes. The oscillator section is a source of vast sonic diversity even before the dual filter section is called into action. Cypher can also be used as a more conventional 3-oscillator subtractive synthesizer, for situations when you require more complexity than Strobe can offer
Cypher's 3 oscillators feature continuously variable waveshapes, ring modulation, white/pink noise sources and beat-detuning, which keep the rate of oscillator-beating the same across the whole keyboard
The real depth of the oscillators lies in the various ways that they can inter-modulate each other at audio rates. Osc3 can perform FM on Osc2, while Osc2 can modulate the waveshape of Osc3 at audio-rate frequencies. The oscillator section features thru-zero FM behavior and the ability to tune in precise harmonics, which allows musical digital-style FM sounds rendered with fat-sounding modeled analog oscillators
The oscillators also feature advanced sync capabilities - Oscs 2 and 3 sync to Osc1 to varying degrees, leading to a range of "hard" and "soft" oscillator-sync sounds. Another innovative feature is the audio-rate sample-and-hold, which quantizes the waveform of one oscillator with the frequency of another. The sound is reminiscent of Lo-Fi digital FM and sampling, but has a unique sound of its own
The oscillator section is fed into 2 paths, each containing a filter and waveshaper, which can be routed in various ways. The waveshapers allow you to twist the oscillator shapes further with several flavors of gritty distortion. The filters are selectable from state-variable and transistor-ladder models, with rich drive and realistic filter FM
Evoking the era of huge wrap-around analogue keyboard rigs, Fusor is a semi-modular layering environment for the DCAM synthesizers with extra LFOs, envelope followers, step-sequencers and a suite of high quality FX. All this, combined with versatile inter-modulation between its internal devices, makes Fusor an inspirational environment for complex effected patches and deep, experimental sound design
Fusor lets you layer and set up keyboard splits for 3 instances of the DCAM synths. You can add high-quality FX as inserts on each synthesizer, as aux sends or on the master output. The built-in FX suite includes a licensed version of Overloud Breverb for high-quality reverb, as well as DCAM circuit-modeled compression, filtering, chorus and overdrive, not to mention an array of other creative processors for sculpting sounds into new shapes
Animator is Fusor's powerful integrated step-sequencer and arpeggiator device. Offering everything from programmable arpeggio patterns to complex real-time performance sequencing, Animator brings your synthesizer sounds to life. Dial up inspiring riffs and hooks in minutes, lay down funky, swung drum machine lines or simply lose yourself in infinite sonic experimentation. Fusor also includes a set of extra LFOs and envelope followers to inject further dynamic aspects to your performances
Fusor's internal modulation system, called FuseMod, opens up semi-modular control possibilities for the various devices in Fusor. Synthesizers can modulate FX parameters, extra LFOs, or Animator engines - for example, you can modulate a phaser or clock Animator from a synthesizer LFO. You can even use the envelopes and LFOs from one Fusor-hosted synthesizer to modulate another polyphonically to create monster semi-modular hybrids