For artists: Dune 2 is the name of Synapse-Audio’s new flagship synth. In this review I will look at this synth’s potential for New Age music and other “pad-heavy” genres.
It’s always nice to check out a brand new synth, knowing that that these soundbanks and effects for sure will have an impact on music in the years to come. Dune 2 is the follow-up to Synapse-Audio‘s synth Dune, but it is rewritten from cratch.
A true multi purpose synth
When it comes to New Age music, the synths Omnisphere and Alchemy seems to have divided the market in two; If the synth you are hearing on a particular song is not Omnisphere, chances are good that it is Alchemy – although there are thousands of great soft (and not so soft) synths out there. What has Dune 2 to offer to compete against these industry standard synths?
Here’s a summary of what’s “inside the box”:
- Two oscillator stacks with 32 oscillators each
- Third oscillator and noise generator
- 8x Unison = up to 520 oscillators per note!
- 16 voices of polyphony = up to 8320 oscillators total
- Zero-delay feedback filters
- Four graphical envelopes (MSEG)
- Modulation matrix for synth and FX parameters
- Two Master FX busses with 9 high-quality effects each
- Innovative Arpeggiator with MIDI file import
That this is a great synth is easy to see. When working with new synths these days though, you get the feeling that everyone is going use them to make techno or trance – and Dune 2 is no exception (listen to the below sample). You have to work quite a bit to get past the ARPs and ready-made effect, to locate its sound, its uniqueness, as heard on this demo:
These are the main sound banks and pads and from the full version:
To me, Dune 2 is quite different from its predecessor. Dune has more of a box feel, which might be nice in some genres and songs (techno again). Dune 2, on the other hand, is a much more versatile synth. It doesn’t have the wow factor of a synth like Syleth1, but it truly is a multi purpose synth. Its blue, grey and red colors, and overall design, is refreshingly no nonsense; this is all about what’s under the hood. Dune 2 is efficient, stable and fun to work with.
For New Age music artists Synapse-Audio’s new synth is a great tool. Especially the keys and leads may come handy. When it comes to pads, other synth are just as good – if not better. But these days we rarely use only one synth when building the layers in our music, and Dune 2 will contribute greatly to almost any mix – both center stage and in the background.
In conclusion: Dune 2 is an excellent and user friendly synth. It sounds fresh and sharp, and is a great addition to any studio set-up – for today’s and tomorrow’s releases. It might seem a bit grey and techno-ish at first, but once you start turning the knobs and trying the instruments, you’ll most likely find the sound you are looking for. For me though, it does not fully replace Omnisphere or Alchemy. Still it has an unique warmth that will fit any piece of music. At 169 $ it makes itself into a great investment.
A demo version of Dune 2 can be downloaded here. You will need a VST-host like Cubase or Premiere Pro, in order to to use the soft synth.