Soundemote has introduced Spiral Generator, a freeware virtual instrument for PC and Mac inspired by Jerobeam Fenderson’s audio/visual project Oscilloscope Music.
Wow, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a freeware synthesizer that is so much different from the usual virtual analog sort. Spiral Generator is inspired by Oscilloscope Music, an amazing project by Jerobeam Fenderson which uses oscillators and oscilloscopes to create stunning visuals. I’ve only learned about it this morning while preparing the article, and I’ve since watched the entire album on YouTube. Needless to say, mind equals blown.
To be honest, I still can’t get my head around how Spiral Generator works under the hood, but I’m having loads of fun using it to create sounds. It’s the kind of instrument you’ll want to pick up and experiment with, focusing on capturing those “happy accidents” where turning a knob or moving a slider results in an awesome sound. Since it’s based on an original algorithm created by Jerobeam Fenderson, some of the controls are completely different to what is usually found in synthesizers, so learning to use Spiral Generator takes some time. Thankfully, it is a very entertaining experience for us synth geeks.
The user interface doesn’t look very inviting if you’re a fan or slick GUIs with modern looking graphics, but I found it to be nicely laid out and easy to use. The GUI is also fully resizable, which is always a nice bonus. The sliders are large enough and the labels are easy to read, making it easy to explore the synth’s engine. The instrument comes with a set of presets to get you started, something that is definitely helpful in such a non-orthodox instrument. In my opinion, any sound designer or music producer in search of fresh and original ways to generate sounds should check this freebie out. I still haven’t used it with PrettyScope, Soundemote’s oscilloscope plugin which is supposed to be the perfect companion for Spiral Generator.
The product can be downloaded completely free of charge from the developer’s website. A valid email address is required in order to complete the checkout process and receive the download link. You will also be asked to enter your physical address, but the developers are reportedly working on removing this step. UPDATE: It appears that the plugin can now be downloaded directly from the product page linked below, even without completing the checkout procedure.
Spiral Generator is available for free download via Soundemote (7.32 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).