Zone.sk offers Asper, a FREE experimental synth plugin for digital audio workstations on Windows.
This experimental synth combines wavetable/subtractive synthesis with phase distortion and physical modeling.
Before even hearing Asper, a quick look at the interface tells me that a lot of work went into putting it together, which is a credit to the developer. Fortunately, after listening to some demos, I found it that it has some great sounds, too!
Asper comes with one wavetable oscillator and 118 wavetables. The wavetable oscillator is split into two layers, each of which has independent controls, including a Comb Filter and Detune.
You can blend each layer in various ways and apply phase distortion to each with five different shapes.
There’s also a noise oscillator below the two wavetable layers.
With the concept of humanizing the sound at the oscillator level, Asper looks to mimic the behavior of real-world instruments. It does so via Round Robin simulation on both the wavetable and noise oscillators. I like when digital synths try to find some level of imperfection or inconsistency to create a more organic feel, as long as it doesn’t start to sound too uniform.
Other notable features include a two-mode Shaper, Vibrato module, Portamento with adjustable velocity for triggering, an Ensemble module, Mod section, and a Filter with Parallel and Serial modes.
Sometimes we come across freebies that you can sum up in a few short paragraphs; Asper isn’t one of them. There is too much going on to cover every element here, but one thing I like is that all of its many features/functions seem easy to understand, access, and adjust.
As interesting as Asper appears to be for sound design, it never hurts to have some good presets, and this synth has a bunch of them with a simple preset manager.
The GUI is resizable from 80% to 150%.
The developer put together a nice demo using only Asper sounds, which gives a good indication of what to expect – it’s pretty cool!
If you’re looking for some new (old) synth sounds, don’t forget that FM8 is available for just £12 at Plugin Boutique.
Asper is available in VST and VST3 formats for Windows. I noticed some Ableton users had issues, so if you have any problems with other DAWs, feel free to share; thanks!
Download: Asper (free download via KVR Audio)