AAS Chromaphone 3, Most Powerful Percussive Synthesizer Plugin To Date Has Received An Upgrade

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AAS raises the bar of its physical-modeling-based percussive Synthesizer plugin Chromaphone in version 3 with a new bi-timbral engine and makes room for more comfortable sound manipulation.

When it comes to versatile percussive sounds that cannot be found in a sample library, Chromaphone is my choice. It is a percussive Synthesizer based on physical modeling synthesis. It generates sounds with the help of triggers that hit various resonator models. The results range from organic, crystal clear to bizarre sounds that cannot be reproduced with any other Synthesizer. Ok, there are alternatives on the market (Resonans for Reason, Giorgio Sancristoforo Substantia…) but in my opinion, they don’t sound as classy as Chromaphone. Sorry, I’m a fanboy of this plugin for years. I’ve played entire concerts just as an example.

I think it’s a bit of shame that the market for good percussive synthesizers is still very small, especially in the field of physical modeling. Are the developers afraid of it or is it using too much CPU? One thing is certain: it is a beautiful synthesis form that needs more exploration. So I was all the more pleased when I received an email from AAS, in which they announced a major upgrade for it. Chromaphone 3 is here and it’s sure, AAS has increased the level of complexity in the third version again without making it more complicated.

AAS Chromaphone 3

AAS Chromaphone 3, What’s New?

AAS has put a lot of development into its Chromaphone Synthesizer over the past few years. Improvements of the resonators, the triggers, effects, etc. In Chromaphone 3, the focus is more to make the whole package more attractive to play. C3 should not only be a tool for hardcore sound designers but also for musicians. It starts with a completely redesigned GUI. From gray/ white in C2 to light gray and light green in Chromaphone 3. As a long-term user, the GUI is a bit unusual but nice to look at. It will take some time to get used to it, but I guess it won’t be long.

The next step is towards making sounds easier to find and manipulate. On the one hand, the developers have equipped the plug-in with a new, easier-to-use preset browser in which all sounds are now properly categorized. Definitely easier and cleaner implemented than in the second version. On the other hand, it received a home view interface with a hands-on design. Here you can mix sounds individually and edit them with 4 previously set macros.

You can play with the macros modulation, timbre, envelope, and effect morphing. These are available per layer and respond to user-defined MIDI controls. A macro can accommodate several parameters and thus cause major sonic changes to a preset. If you just want to play around with the factory sounds, this interface is a lot of fun and adds a new expressive level to your sounds.

AAS Chromaphone 3 bi-timbral

Two Chromaphones In One

For all those who are less interested in these features, but are more enthusiastic about the percussive synthesis, there is also good news. The synthesis engine is now bi-timbral, so you now have two complete Chromaphone instances in one plugin. That means combining and merging two different sounds without any detours. A pad sound with a soft arpeggio, two different percussive elements …is now possible with stacked and split modes. The pure synthesis core has not changed. Most of the parts remain the same except the multi-fx section per layer. It now houses more effects and can be changed like a hardware effect rack with a click on the mouse. Furthermore, the micro-scale function received an upgrade and now supports all possible scales.

A bit of shame that the synthesis engine was not upgraded. Many have wanted an upgrade here, e.g. with other resonator models, etc. There is also a brand-new factory library that contains 421 new sounds plus refined versions of the 670+ Chromaphone 2 presets. The upgrade price just to get the new sounds is worth the money. A lot of extremely beautiful and organic sounds, many also very unusual ones that are less known from C. especially pads sounds.

Chromaphone 3 Sound Demo

I had the opportunity to check out Chromaphone 3 a few days before the release. Here are an overview and sound demo video for the new version.

AAS Chromaphone 3 is available now for an introductory price of $99 USD (regular $199 USD). Registered users of Chromaphone 1 or 2 can benefit from an upgrade price of $39 USD (regular $79 USD). Chromaphone 3 runs as a VST, VST3, AU, AAX plugin on PC & Mac systems.

More information here: Applied Acoustics Systems 

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1 Comment

  1. I really like the assortment of sounds from ultra realistic to out there experiments. It’s a very versatile and lush sounding plugin, but at the cost of sometimes very high CPU load. If I had some extra cash at the moment, It would still be a no-brainer purchase at 99 euros.

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