Sanford Sound Design has released an updated version of the Cobalt virtual synthesizer. The instrument is now re-released as freeware (previously priced at $35) and compatible with 64-bit VST plugin host applications on Windows.
Cobalt is the fourth plugin that has been re-released by Sanford Sound Design, following the Sanford Delay, Sanford Reverb and Bass Tightener effects from last year. Much like the previous re-releases by Sanford, Cobalt remains pretty much identical in terms of functionality, apart from being upgraded with 64-bit compatibility on Windows systems. It’s worth noting that the download pack also includes the old version of the plugin, which is still compatible with 32-bit digital audio workstation. The plugin used to be priced at $35, however it is now a completely free download from the developer’s website.
Inspired by the hybrid digital synthesizers such as the Ensoniq ESQ-1 and Korg DW8000, Cobalt mixes a set of 26 digital waveforms (mostly modeled after the waveforms found in actual hardware synthesizers of the era) with an analog modeled filter. The result is an instrument that can sound both mellow and very harsh, with a distinctly digital 80s style sonic flavor which I’m quite a big fan of. I still haven’t tested it enough to decide whether I prefer Cobalt compared to SQ8L by Siegfried Kullmann, but I’ll definitely be spending more time with it in the weeks to come. Cobalt is very easy to program, with a nicely laid out, single panel user interface and an easy to look at color scheme.
The user interface used to be quite small in the old version of Cobalt, however the developer has now included an alternative version of the plugin, featuring a larger GUI which works much better on modern high resolution displays. The download pack also contains a set of five additional sound banks for Cobalt, making a very nice overall package for new users.
Cobalt is available for free download via Sanford Sound Design (8.94 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).