U-He has released the freeware alpha version of RePro-1, their forthcoming emulation of the Sequential Circuits Pro One synthesizer in VST/AU plugin format for PC and Mac!
The wait is finally over. The free (or “researchware”, as they prefer to call it) version of U-He’s latest virtual instrument is now ready to download. The first hints about this product’s release appeared in January this year, followed by a steady buildup of hype in the online circles as Urs Heckman shared more and more interesting details about the project, a small piece of which I managed to capture at Superbooth16 last week.
RePro-1 Alpha is a feature-limited version of the product which is expected for release later this year, however it delivers the same level of sound quality that you can expect to get from the final release. Even more so, the current free version of the instrument comes with five different filter models (all based on the Pro One filter), with different sound quality and CPU cost. The users are asked to share their opinion about the different filters (the download page features an actual poll), and thus influence the developer’s decision about which one(s) to include in the final version of RePro-1.
I took RePro-1 Alpha for a quick spin right after downloading it and you can see (and hear) that quick test (definitely not anything scientific or in-depth) below. The filters (all five of them) sound really aggressive at high resonance settings. What really gives away the different models, though, is the extreme OSC B > Filter Cutoff emulation. Filter 1 stands out to me as the most lo-fi one (probably the one which uses the least CPU) although that gives it a certain charm that I’d love to see included as an option in the final version of the product. Filters 3, 4 and 5 sounded a lot more refined to me, but again, this is all after spending less than 15 minutes with the synth.
The current alpha version of the RePro-1 uses around 30% CPU on my Intel Core i5 test machine (in the 64-bit version of MuLab). That’s quite a lot for a monosynth, however the fact is that all five filter models are calculated at the same time in order to make the blind test as viable as possible. On the other hand, the sound is amazing. If you forget about the CPU hit (and don’t mind bouncing your synth parts to WAV), you will definitely get a lot of mileage out of the free RePro-1 Alpha. The Alpha version doesn’t have a time limit. It is completely free to use and will stay that way for good. To share your thoughts about the synthesizer and cast your vote on which filter model sounds the best, visit the KVR Audio thread linked below. I’d also love to hear what you think about this instrument in our comments section.
RePro-1 Alpha is available for free download via KVR Audio (9.62 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).