Tesselode has released Cynthia Micro, a freeware virtual analog synthesizer in 32-bit and 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows.
Cynthia Micro is a simple subtractive synthesizer with the addition of rudimentary, but also very intuitive, frequency modulation features. On the product page, the developer explains that his goal was to create a synth that would be as simple as possible while still being “juicy” and fun to use. It seems to me that Tesselode has achieved this goal, creating a lightweight virtual synth that can produce some unusually fat sounds.
The user interface is streamlined and enhanced with a couple of brilliant UX touches, such as the Split knob on both oscillators which instantly adds a detuned copy of the primary OSC to the mix. Pushing the Split value higher will increase the amount of detuning, producing fat tones in no time. Being that the Split feature is available on both oscillators, Cynthia Micro is actually capable of generating four signals simultaneously, two per OSC. Another thing I really liked is the FM section which, despite being a simple three-knob affair (FM amount knob, with additional Fine tuning and Env amount parameters), tremendously expands the synth’s timbral palette. It adds a bit of FM synthesis flavor without the cumbersome programming that is normally associated with FM instruments.
The sound quality is very good and the filter works great for bass sounds and lush analog pads. Don’t expect any screaming high-resonance sounds, though, because the filter model is unusually tame in that regard, which I actually liked. The only part of the synthesis engine that is somewhat disappointing is the ADSR envelope which lacks the speed and snappiness required for programming pluck and pizzicato sounds. That’s why, despite the decent filter and excellent oscillators, I wasn’t able to create any particular punchy bass patches with Cynthia Micro.
All in all, I would highly recommend Cynthia Micro to any synth lover who’s in the mood to take a new instrument for a spin. This is especially true for fans of simple, streamlined synthesizers that don’t offer too many complex features. Also, beginner synthesists can use the Cynthia as an intuitive tool for learning the basics of subtractive synth programming.
Cynthia Micro is available for free download via Tesselode (477 KB download size, DLL file, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).