Cherry Audio offers the Synthesizer Expander Module plugin for free download!
Who doesn’t love a free synth? Well, luckily, the folks at Cherry Audio have no doubt heard the resounding affirmative answers, and they have a suitably meaty holiday freebie for everyone around.
At first glance, the Synthesizer Expander Module is just another limited analog hardware emulation of some bygone era. However, as a free synth, there is plenty to enjoy for this little monophonic instrument.
The Synthesizer Expander Module is based on the Oberheim SEM, which seems like a retro analog synth everyone and their uncle have taken a stab at emulating at this point.
You’ll find a pair of oscillators with saw and pulse waveforms, along with some fun controls like modulation on the pulse width and tuning.
The real star of the show is the filter, which is coded by DSP wizard Mark Barton. The SVF or state variable filter can go between high-pass, low-pass, and bandpass configurations and sounds fantastic.
There is the option of modulating it either through the filter envelope or through the single LFO. Now, looking at the slew of paid emulations out there, I do miss the inclusion of oscillator FM and another LFO.
That said, this is a beefy little instrument that is sure to conjure up hours of fun.
It isn’t polyphonic, so you’ll have to pony up and purchase Cherry Audio’s own Eight Voice to play chords. In addition to the control sets, you’ve got a bespoke phaser based on early Oberheim stomp boxes and a delay.
The only thing missing from the package is a solid arpeggiator or step sequencer. Still, nothing is stopping you from rigging up Stochas or one of the many sequencers in Cardinal to get your Berlin School dream going.
Sound-wise, I have no experience with the hardware, but it sounds like a nice subtractive synth with plenty of bite to it. I’ve always been fond of the Oberheim sound and it certainly has a similar character to it.
Synthesizer Expander Module joins Realistic MG-1 as the free offering from Cherry Audio and makes for an excellent taste of the current synth ecosystem they have on offer.
If you like vintage analog synthesizers, check out our recommended free retro synthesizer plugins list.
Download: Synthesizer Expander Module (FREE)