Saturday, July 15, 2006
ZynAddSubFX is a free instrument under the GNU liscence made by Nasca O. Paul from Romania. It is available natively compiled for Linux, but also for Windows, OSX and as a VSTi.
A Brief Look
Upon booting up ZynAddSubFX and patching it through JACK, I was greeted with a slightly boring gray interface. Being spoiled with today's flashy GUI's, ZynAddSubFX was initially a little disappointing. However, clicking on Instrument -> Instrument Bank made me more excited as a large list of instrument banks pulls up.
The presets are surprisingly diverse, with many of the standards used in making music. From Arpeggios, to Organs, to fat analog leads, to harsh digital FM and Rhodes, there's a lot here. The surpring thing was that it does a good job with nearly every kind of preset making ZynAddSubFX a very versatile program. Of particular interest are the "Choir and Voice" section with some very useful OHH's EEH's and AHH's. Choir and Voice patches seem less present in most synths and there are plenty here. Also nice are the strings section, Blade Runner, you say?
Some extra features include a virtual keyboard, a direct to WAV recording feature and several different types of effects (Reverb, Wah, etc.), also, a beginner and expert mode for the interface.
The sounds are amazingly convincing and sound like the real thing (at least what I've heard of the real thing from albums). My biggest disappointment was the GUI and programming interface, which I found confusing. I couldn't find, for example the resonance and cutoff for a synth bass patch.
The author does not ask for any donations on his homepage and states you are under no obligation to pay but encourages you to think about Jesus. With the amount of useful sounds this program has, this program could easily find a home in any musician's studio.