The tool engine may not be new, but do not be fooled by this. Sophistry offers great sound for the pads and ambient from Particular Sound (5+ GB, 700+ presets).
The improvements made to the sound and interface of this hybrid synthesizer / sampler certainly deserve praise, but we felt that the outdated presets sound faint. Fortunately, Sophistry comes with an extensive library of brand new presets (actually 700), equivalent to 5 GB of content. Of course, such large numbers do not make sense if the sounds are crap, so let’s look at this monster with a purple face and find out what kind of noise it makes.
Big, bold sounds – Sophistry Presets are divided into 26 categories. Although this is a lot, it is worth noting that most of them are pads, ambient and synthesizers. Four ambient categories (including the rather oddly named set of “Human Dreams”) are awash with whistles, waves, sweeps and sound twists. There is a lot of Global Communication-style content for these atmospheric moments, and the sounds are large, bold, and easily comparable to those you might expect to hear on a hardware workstation. Thanks to the use of long samples, patches have a lot of movement and detail, and they can easily add size and atmosphere to any track.
Pads – divided into ten categories and range from relatively modest synthetic copper to huge, hoarse soundscapes. The breadth and quality are excellent here – this is perhaps the best collection of ready-made pads for virtual instruments that we have ever made. The sound is based on samples, but you can still make a lot of settings and adaptations to suit your specific requirements, and the CronoX 3 engine is a really powerful beast with great filters, effects and modulation options.
Other categories cover various synthesizer styles (bass, brass, dance and digital emotional sounds), strings, arpeggiators, sound effects and leads. The quality is consistently high and if you want to program sounds from scratch using the supplied samples, you need to start with two banks of the main waveforms.
• Free Filter with new, continuously adjustable, modulatable filter-type.
• Loop Sampler Generator with individually modulatable loop-points and start-point.
• Versatile architecture with 4 generator modules that are mixed into two filters.
• Easy-Edit panel allowing preset browsing and quick access to main parameters.
• Powerful, editable arpeggiator with up to 32 steps.
• Stereo and 5.1 support (2 generators, both filters and 3 of the effects units can be mixed in 5.1 format. Settings are stored as part of the preset).
• Analogue-modeled Oscillator Generator for real-time analog-style synthesis.
• Time-Sampler with independent real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting.
• Wavetable (Schrader) Generator that offers wavetable-like operation using any sample.
• Capable of loading up to 64 samples per loop sampler.
• Sampler Generators support audio formats incl. WAV and AIFF up to 24bit / 96kHz.
• 2 analog-style multimode stereo filters with modulatable cutoff frequency and resonance.
• 7 ADSFR-type envelopes for controlling output amplitudes and cutoff frequencies, as well as two freely assignable Modulation Envelopes.
• 4 independent LFOs with various waveforms and MIDI-sync capabilities. LFO Waves have adjustable delay, attack and decay time and waveform-symmetry.
• Modulation Matrix with 10 routings for connecting 30 sources and 56 destinations.
• Fully recognizes Velocity, Aftertouch, Pitchbend, Modwheel and various other MIDI controllers, and includes a MIDI Learn function for easy controller assignment.
• 6 simultaneously available effects units, including various Delays, Chorus, Phaser, Filter, Flanger, Gator, Stereo Enhancer, Parametric EQ and Crusher.
• Mono / Polyphonic Portamento / Glide featuring “Fingered” mode and Auto-Bend Modes.
• Full microtonal capabilities (TUN / Scala support).
• 32-voice polyphony (CPU dependent).