Syntheway Alphatron Oscillion, new poly subtractive synth plugin with striking GUI

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Syntheway Alphatron Oscillion, new poly subtractive Synthesizer plugin for macOS and Windows quipped with four oscillators. and striking GUI

A good graphical user interface is an important element for any plugin. Whether synthesizer, drum machine, effect… It helps enormously to have an interface that is clean, sharp, and intuitive. Companies like Arturia and U-he are good examples.

GUIs have taken a big step forward in recent years and have become significantly more beautiful. Very welcome. But there are also developers in 2022 who are going a completely different route. Syntheway is a developer who has their own designs for their plugins. The newest release, Alphatron oscillation has a striking one too.

Syntheway Alphatron Oscillion

Syntheway Alphatron Oscillion

Alphatron Oscillion is a new polyphonic subtractive Synthesizer plugin aka virtual analog synth. The plug-in’s very old-fashioned GUI immediately catches the eye. Compared to other recent plugins, this one looks like it’s from 2000. I definitely prefer the newer ones with better graphics.

The plugin core consists of four oscillators with a shape parameter that morphs between sawtooth and square non-sinusoidal waveforms. There also have fine-tune, octave, speed, and gain control. Then, you get a classic lowpass filter with cutoff and resonance controls, and various effects to refine your sounds. You get customizable chorus, delay, and reverb effects.

Modulation side, you have three ADSR envelopes with level controls: VCO, VCF, and VCA. Interesting is here the dedicated VCO envelope that allows you to modulate the frequency. Perfect for modifying the attack phase or creating unique special effects. However, there is no LFO in the new Syntheway Synthesizer.

Some hardware developers have shown us synths with only one LFO in the recent past. This is software and not having an LFO at all is a bit weird, to be honest. Since you can’t loop the envelopes, you can’t use them as LFOs. So you have to use the 3 envelope generators for adding movements.

Further, Alphatron Oscillion comes with a preset manager with 50 internal sounds and full MIDI implementation.

The name Alphatron Oscillion promises a lot. However, we get a very basic subtractive Synthesizer plugin that cannot really stand out from the plugin crowd. Even from free plugins. Many free plugins offer significantly more and nicer GUIs.

I’m always excited when new synth plugins come out, especially from small Boutique software developers. But I think this one will have a hard time. Not just because of the GUI.

Syntheway Alphatron Oscillion is available now for $43,90 USD. It runs as a VST, VST3, and AU plugin on macOS (Intel-only) and Windows. A native Apple Silicon version is not available.

More information here: Syntheway 

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  1. What an odd and inexplicable explanation of this horrid user-interface, this looks like something out of the 1980’s in the worst manner possible and yet you give it glowing reviews? The sound engine cannot save this interface.

  2. Perhaps read the article before criticizing the author? Even if you skimmed it you may have caught line like “I’m always excited when new synth plugins come out, especially from small Boutique software developers. But I think this one will have a hard time. Not just because of the GUI.”

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