Minimal Audio presents Current, one of the most exciting multi-engine Synthesizer plugins of the year (wavetable, granular…), but has a hack that will cause discussions.
And the change is complete. Current, Minimal Audio’s new multi-engine Synthesizer plugin is now available with new, more welcome pricing.
The perceptual license is now available for $199 and includes the full synth plugin + effects rack, and a curated factory library. The latter features 340+ presets, 180+ wavetables, and 160+ sounds.
Alternatively, you can get it with two new rent-to-own all-access subscriptions. For $15 per month, you get full access to all Minimal Audio synth and effects plugins. Plus, all expansions. For each month, you get a $15 loyalty credit ($180/year) that you redeem on any Minimal Audio product.
There is also an annual offer for $120 ($10 per month). This includes the same features as the monthly system, but you get a $180 credit. So a 33% discount. The pricing model looks significantly better. Thanks, Minimal Audio team.
Article Update From October 14, 2023
The outcry from the community helped. Minimal Audio has realized its mistake in the pricing of its new Current multi-engine synth and will change it to a new hybrid system in the following weeks. This is not yet live on their website, but they promise to make it before the 30-day trial has ended.
In the coming weeks, MA will offer two ways to become a user of Current. First, in the form of a one-time perpetual license purchase for $200, giving you full access to the synth. Preset and wavetable add-ons will be available as a separate purchase.
Option 2 will be an “All Access” Rent-To-Own. So you rent everything Minimal Audio has in its portfolio monthly for $15 or yearly for $120.
This gives you every synth and FX plugin and full access to Stream with unlimited downloads. Plus, customers will receive credit equal to their subscription spending after a year of payment, allowing you to purchase perpetual licenses.
This is a much better and more user-friendly system than subscription only. Thanks for the change. It would have been a real shame if nothing had been changed.
Article From October 11. 2023
Synthesizer plugins usually focus on one or two forms of synthesis. One does pristine analog-modeling, and another does PPG-style wavetable synthesis. There are exceptions. They are called multi-engine synths and bundle multiple concepts in a single plugin. I like to call them synthesis workstations.
Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, UVI Falcon 2, and Pigments 2 are the most famous “synthesis workstations.” With Current, Minimal Audio follows the same concept and packs an impressive set of synthesis power and effects into a new flagship-style synth.
Minimal Audio Current
Current is a true multi-engine flagship Synthesizer plugin. The core bundles five synthesis engines: virtual analog, 2-oscillator wavetable, stereo granular, sampler, and additive sub-oscillator. These are in a fixed signal path consisting of three blocks: wavetables, granular, and sub + sampler.
Each of the engines has a wide range of different parameters. The wavetables, for example, can be shaped using various pitch- and spectral-based modifiers, while the granular engine has classic controls like grain position, shape, etc. The sub also has features that can deeply modify the additively generated waveforms.
From here, it goes into two powerful morphing filter modules with more than 50 filter modes. These contain many filter models from its Rift FX plugin, including classic types, vowel, comb, and more. The user has the freedom to choose which oscillators are routed into the filters and whether they work in serial or parallel. That’s a good amount of flexibility.
Modulation is not a weakness in Current either. Minimal Audio has embedded 9 mod slots, each carrying a modulator type.
Curve generator allows you to create any modulation signal you can imagine. Besides this, it has an advanced ADSR envelope, souped-up multi-wave LFO, envelope follower, and MIDI + MPE data. Mapping of these is super straightforward via drag and drop.
Minimal Audio has made a name for itself with its creative effect plugins, all completely convincing. You can now use this to its full extent in Current. The synth has a modular FX engine with nine slots and a fully customizable signal path.
There are well-known FXs available, such as Cluster Delay, Hybrid Filter, Morph EQ, Rift Distortion, and new ones. Swarm Reverb is a feature-rich, lush-sounding reverb effect. These effects are some of the deepest and most extensive I have ever experimented with in a Synthesizer plugin. A lot of sound shaping and refining is possible here.
Stream Sound Content
Current synth ships with a large amount of presets in its factory library. This number is not fixed and can be expanded with the built-in cloud-based Stream. This is a sound boutique that users can access right in the plugin, where you can download new presets, samples, and wavetables with a click.
Minimal Audio gave me access to their new synth plugin a few weeks before the release. Current is a very impressive, well-designed, and great-sounding Synthesizer. The multiple engines enable almost infinite sound design. There is something for everyone. A highlight for me is the built-in multi-FX processor that uses ports of their excellent standalone effect plugins. These have a range of features that I rarely find in soft synths.
The user interface is also great. It’s beautifully designed with nice animations and offers a quick and easy workflow. Mapping modulations, for example, is a matter of seconds with drag and drop. A lot of input flowed in from experience with other synths. The synth has the potential to be one of the best soft synths if it weren’t for the big but.
Current is only available in an endless subscription, and as a confessed subscription non-lover, I don’t like this decision of the developers. The plugin for $129 or $149 would be a different story. They would convince significantly more users than with a subscription. Nevertheless, Current is one of the hottest soft synths of this year.
Update: Minimal Audio Current is available now for $199. Alternatively, you can join a rent-to-own all-access system for $15 monthly or $120 per year ($10 month). This gives you full access to all Minimal Audio plugins, and you get the money back in credits redeemable for perceptual licenses.
It runs as a VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin on macOS (Intel + native Apple Silicon) and Windows.
More information here: Minimal Audio