Krakli has introduced Arminator, a freeware (Facebook account required to download) virtual instrument in 32-bit VSTi plugin format for Windows which emulates the Yamaha CS-80 hardware synthesizer.
Arminator was released as a tribute to Armin Kujashi who, in turn, created an excellent Vangelis-inspired sound bank for Krakli’s new freeware synth. You can hear some of the patches from Armin’s sound bank in the SoundCloud player embedded below. Some of the preset sounds heard in the demo come very close to Vangelis’ brilliant work on the Blade Runner soundtrack.
Even without the free patches, though, Arminator is a rather capable freeware synthesizer and a well-made emulation of the legendary CS-80 synthesizer by Yamaha. The raw sound, of course, doesn’t come too close to the original, but most of the functionality is the same, making it possible to simulate some of CS-80’s iconic sounds.
The user interface, even though a hair too small for convenient use on modern hi-res screens, is well laid-out and reminiscent of its hardware counterpart. Arminator features two oscillators per voice, each with its own set of filters (low-pass and high-pass) and ADSR envelopes, glide, echo, and velocity/aftertouch modulation controls. The synth also features an arpeggiator, a ring modulator, along with a bitcrusher and a reverb unit which are interesting additions. The user can set the instrument to mono or poly mode and save presets for later use with the built-in patch manager.
Arminator is the type of synth that will truly shine in the hands of an experienced synthesist. It isn’t exactly the best tool for creating bread and butter leads or bass sounds, but it excelles at synthesizing huge pads, brass, and string sounds.
Unfortunately, Arminator also comes with a couple of drawbacks. The first one is that the instrument was developed with SynthEdit, meaning that it will only work in 32-bit VST plugin hosts on Windows. The second one is that it is hosted only on Krakli’s Facebook group at the moment, meaning that a Facebook account is required to download it.
Arminator is available for free download on Facebook (3.6 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit VSTi plug-in format for Windows, made with SynthEdit).