Martin Lüders has released the latest beta version of PG8X, a fantastic freeware emulation of the legendary Roland JX-8P analogue synthesizer which is now available as a 32-bit and 64-bit VST/AU plugin for Windows and Mac OS based host applications.
I’ve been waiting for a native C++ version of PG8X for so long that it’s not even funny (it was announced back in 2011 I believe), but the day has finally come! Well, that’s not completely true because the plugin is still in beta, but the latest beta version is so awesome that I just couldn’t hold it anymore and had to announce it in the news section. I’m so excited for this one! If you’re a fan of the old SynthEdit version of PG8X, or if you’re simply someone who enjoys a really good sounding and well polished freeware VA synthesizer, prepare to have your mind blown.
PG8X now comes with an all-new and awesome looking GUI (pictured below) made by KVR Audio member ENV1 and the plugin is now compatible with all major platforms. The new beta worked without any issues on my test machine (64-bit version of MuLab Free running on Windows 7), however ML-VST is still working on making this plugin an even better instrument. The final version will include some additional minor fixes and improvements (a slightly different ADSR envelope and some minor GUI changes), as well as a detailed user manual. Compared to the old SynthEdit version of the plugin, the new hand-coded PG8X comes with improved compatibility, optimized CPU usage and, of course, a completely reworked sound engine which in my opinion sounds better than ever before.
This awesome instrument is now officially in my Top 3 freeware virtual analogue synthesizers of all time, along with Charlatan by BlauKraut Engineering and Tyrell N6 by U-He. It blows me away when a virtual instrument has a certain character and sound which is different from all the other ones out there and PG8X is definitely that kind of instrument. You can make some amazing analogue style sounds with it, including (but not limited to) string ensembles (the chorus module included in PG8X sounds just brilliant), wonderful lush pads, huge bass sounds and lots of other stuff.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to the developer ML-VST for his work on this amazing freeware instrument. I remember when Martin first announced that he is going to develop a fully hand-coded version of PG8X all those years ago and it sounded like something that is simply too good to become true one day. But here it is and Martin Lüders (with the help of ENV1 who made an amazing GUI, as well as the support from the KVR Audio community who made some great suggestions on how to further improve PG8X) actually made this wonderful instrument a reality.
I’ve included the link to the latest beta post on KVR Audio in the downloads section below. It will take you to the developer’s public Dropbox account where you’ll find the latest beta versions for each supported platform. You should also check out the linked KVR Audio thread for more info about the plugin and links to free user-made sound banks for PG8X. Enjoy!
PG8X is available for free download via KVR Audio (1.36 MB download size, DLL file, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).