Music-Society has introduced Polyakov, a freeware (forum registration required) virtual instrument in VST plugin format (32-bit Windows only) based on the Polivoks hardware analog synthesizer.
Polyakov is a unique little softsynth based off a hardware synthesizer called the “Polivoks”, manufactured in the Soviet Union between 1982 and 1990. The original unit was capable of generating a wide range of sounds to work in many different genres and was also able to generate interesting sound effects for scoring.
The release of the Polyakov for Windows captures much of the sound and control of the original. It definitely has the sound of a very primitive synthesizer having only two oscillators and five basic waveforms (with the addition of white noise). The synthesizer also features standard BP/LP filters with an ASDR envelope and LFO for modulation, adjustable by the mod wheel. Also worth mentioning is the “AD repeat” feature (this one is new to me) which repeats the attack and decay cycle over and over, resulting in something similar to a customizable LFO waveform. The amount of filtering and overall volume can also be controlled via velocity.
The original unit had an external input for an additional guitar or synth that could be run through the mixer and processed with the synthesizer’s sound engine. In Polyakov, they’ve kept the EXT control in the mixer but it only adds a subtle saturation effect. The Polyakov can run up to eight voices of polyphony and comes with eight basic presets as a starting point for programming your own sounds. The description released with the download was a bit vague on some of the features, but if you work in musical styles that incorporate retro synth sounds, you probably won’t have any issues with grabbing this free download and experimenting for yourself.
Please note that you’ll need to sign up for a free Music-Society forum account in order to download the plugin. The registration process, although completely free, is somewhat lengthy. You’ll be required to input information about your music making equipment such as your computer, your favorite instrument, etc.
Polyakov is available for free download via Music-Society (1.7 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit VSTi plugin format for Windows, made with SynthEdit).