HY-Plugins has announced the release of HY-Mono, a freeware monophonic virtual synthesizer in VSTi plugin format for 32-bit and 64-bit host applications on Windows.
HY-Mono is the first virtual instrument released by HY-Plugins, following a series of extremely well made and useful virtual effects in VST plugin format. HY-Plugins is one of the most active indie plugin developers at the moment and I’ve constantly been pleasantly surprised (as much as everyone else, judging by the comments here on BPB and elsewhere) by the quality of his releases.
So, what does HY-Mono bring to the table? It is a virtual analog monophonic synthesizer featuring two oscillators and a sub/noise generator, two ADS envelopes (no release parameter), a single LFO, portamento, a 2-slot modulation matrix, and a built-in delay effect. The user interface is fully resizable and also features a built-in patch browser with a rather well implemented patch randomization future. It is possible to prevent certain sections of the synth engine from changing their value when randomizing the patch, which is a neat touch.
Being a monophonic synth, HY-Mono certainly won’t become your next go-to weapon for pads and strings, but it is more than capable of creating some great sounding bass and lead sounds, as well as all sorts of noisy and blippy sound effects. The instrument sounds very nice overall (both the oscillators and the filters are quite decent) and it’s easy to program thanks to the well designed user interface. I’d love to see a few more sources in the modulation matrix (at least the envelopes and the LFO), so here’s hoping that these will be added in a future version of HY-Mono. Also, seeing HY-Poly sometime in the future would be a blast.
Back on topic, the initial version (v1.0) had a patch browser issue that caused certain hosts to crash when loading a preset. The new v1.01 version was released shortly after, fixing the patch browser bug. I’ve also noticed a minor GUI bug in the VCO section (the scale of the pitch knob is slightly off) and reported it to the developer, so hopefully this will be fixed in a future release as well.
Otherwise, the plugin performs flawlessly and I haven’t run into any stability issues while testing it (the new v1.01 release). The CPU hit is almost unbelievably low. I was unable to make the CPU meter in my DAW (MuLab 6 on 64-bit Windows 7 with a 3rd generation i5 processor) go past 2% no matter which settings I used in HY-Mono. The fact that it’s a monophonic synthesizer definitely helps a lot, but a 2% CPU hit for a nice sounding virtual synthesizer is a sign of good optimization nevertheless. Interestingly enough, I made a quick multi-plugin patch in MuLab’s modular editor, patching four instances of HY-Mono into a single modular instrument, and the CPU meter was still a showing a surprisingly low value of 3% when playing a 4-note chord (one note per plugin instance).
HY-Mono is available for free download via HY-Plugins (2.53 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VSTi plugin format for Windows).