Vasily Makarov has announced the release of PolyGAS, a freeware granular synthesizer in 32-bit and 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows-based digital audio workstations.
Our frequent readers are probably familiar with Vasily Makarov’s previous work which includes the Marazmator virtual synthesizer and the Brandulator arpeggiator, both of which are completely free to download and use. After all, Brandulator was featured as one of the top ranked effects in our list of the best free VST plugins of 2016. With these two excellent releases in mind, we’d be quite excited to test any other VST plugin from Vasily, let alone a freeware granular synthesizer!
And PolyGAS (Polyphonic Granular Advanced Synthesizer) is exactly that, a polyphonic granular synthesizer for Windows with an advanced feature set that is hard to come by elsewhere in the freeware world. This 32-note polyphonic synthesizer loads external WAV/AIFF files and passes them through its granular synthesis engine with 18 envelopes, 11 filter types, 11 distortion types, built-in reverb and delay effects, microtuning, and parameter randomization. The 40-point envelopes can modulate a variety of parameters, including filter cutoff and resonance, oscillator tuning, amplitude, etc. The plugin also comes with a standalone bank editor for storing and organizing presets.
All of this looks amazing on paper, especially for a freeware plugin, but I wasn’t able to test PolyGAS thoroughly before publishing this article because the current version (v2.0) crashes MuLab. I tested it briefly in Studio One, though, and it worked fine. Several users on KVR have reported compatibility issues and a potentially harmful uninstallation process which deletes the entire VST plugin folder (if the PolyGAS DLL file is located in it). Thankfully, the developer has since released a new version of the plugin, fixing the performance issues in certain digital audio workstations and providing a manual installer package to prevent any uninstaller problems. Hopefully, another version of PolyGAS will be released soon, fixing the compatibility issue in MuLab.
Have you tested PolyGAS in your DAW? Did it work for you? I’m eager to read your opinion of this potentially amazing granular synthesizer in the comments section below!
PolyGAS is available for free download via Stone Voices (15.5 MB download size, RAR archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).