Ronan Fed offers PNEUMA, a FREE subtractive polyphonic synth for Windows.
As far as freebies go, this one looks pretty stacked with features, and I can appreciate the work that goes into putting something like PNEUMA together.
The well-presented GUI doesn’t look too dissimilar from many paid poly synth plugins; it’s probably even better than some.
Getting into the features starts with four multi-voice oscillators offering eight voices, with Detune and Stereo. The oscillators are grouped as oscillators one and three, then oscillators two and four at the top of the interface.
Below the first oscillators is another Noise oscillator along with two Sample oscillators. The Noise oscillator offers Stereo with Filter and Amp envelopes, and the Sample oscillators offer four voices with Detune and Stereo.
Next is the Filter section with two filter types: State Variable and Moog, and it has an ADSR filter envelope with curve controls.
Completing the top half of the GUI is the Effects section, featuring an Arpeggiator, Parametric EQ, Phaser, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, and Compressor. What I’ve heard of PNEUMA so far sounds like it would be a great synth for a wide range of EDM and Techno music. It seems like it has the chops for everything from Minimal Techno grooves to euphoric Trance and old-school Rave. The built-in Arpeggiator could be an excellent tool when making any of those styles of music.
A demo video showcases some Trance arpeggios, and some of them made me wish I was at a festival, so I guess that means they are pretty good.
The lower half of the GUI starts with an Amp envelope, followed by two LFOs, two ADSR Modulation envelopes, and a Modulation Matrix with two sources and four destinations.
It even has a Chords Generator, which can be very useful when creating repetitive patterns for the abovementioned genres.
Once you get to the Output section, you’ll find another couple of effects to play with, including Distortion, Saturation, Stereo Imaging, and Bass Boost.
So, yeah, it’s pretty stacked for a freebie without going into great detail.
It also has a bunch of presets, and one that I liked was BS Verba: it seems like it could be a versatile starting point.
While on the topic of free synths, check out Wave Manuel from new developer Pauli Pölkki.
PNEUMA is available in VST2/VST3 formats for Windows 8/10/11.