Phonec was inspired by the mystique of those video logos heard at the beginning of 80s films on VHS. Phonec aims to recreate the obscure character and ghostly qualities of these types of sounds. Aside from it's quirky nature, Phonec is a unique and powerful synthesizer, capable of producing a wide range of sounds such as vintage analogue tones, lo-fi synthscapes, ethereal ambiance, minimal techno sequences, retro leads and hard hitting synth basses. Phonec's intuitive GUI attempts to strike a balance between form and function. This makes it a very practical tool that can be a real inspiration to work with. Apart from this, Phonec2 has several interesting features that set it apart from the crowd.
- Dual Oscillators with various combinations: Mix, Sync, Ring, X-wave, logic
- Sub Oscillator for beefing up the low end
- Analog-style oscillator drifting
- 2-stage lowpass filter with 8 modes + Acid Filter
- Post Highpass Filter
- Filter Saturation Driver
- 3-Stage Filter Separation
- 3-Band Parametric EQ
- Melt: A unique feature that adds instant character to any patch
- Arpeggiator that works in conjunction with a Modulation Sequencer
- 3 LFOs (2 monophonic, 1 polyphonic)
- HFO (High Frequency Oscillator)
- Various modulation types: AM, PM, FM, Filter FM
- 2 Modulation Envelopes
- Aftertouch control of several parameters that can also be linked to the Modwheel
- EchoShifter: A Pitchshifting, Dub Delay Unit
- Chorus effect with Melt integration
- External Audio Processing
- MIDI Learn and automation of most parameters
- Patch Randomization of Sub-sections
- Sub-presets: load/save settings for sections such as osc, filter, etc.
- Double Click Parameter Reset
- Intuitive patch management system
- Default bank of 128 presets
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(The demo version has the limitation of occasional sound dropouts and patch save functionality is disabled.)
Windows: Windows XP or higher 32/64 bit
Mac: OSX 10.5 or higher 32/64 bit
Here is a brief overview of some of Phonec's key features:
Phonec2 has an Oscillator system that uses various combinations to create interesting new sounds. Oscillators can be mixed, synced and even combined using Logic gates with adjustable switching points for creating sounds not normally heard coming from a set of waveforms.
The Filter section is extremely versatile, with Lowpass and Highpass systems that can be routed in different ways. Several Filter variations are available including a special Acid Filter with extra smooth resonance. Filter Separation, Saturation Driver and pre/post gain distortion are some of the features that make up Phonec's filter system. There's even a 3-band Parametric EQ for further frequency manipulation.
Phonec's unique sound is based in large part on it's Melt system, which produces a warped, drifting, and slightly spooky quality to give your sounds vibe and character.
Sequences and Patterns
Phonec2 has an Arpeggiator and Sequencer that work together and compliment each other. While they can both be used on their own, wonderful things can happen while they are both in operation. The Sequencer acts as an accompaniment to the Arpeggiator, for implementing subtle note variations, Filter offsets and volume accents or dropouts. The two units can even have different timings, allowing for some unexpected melodic patterns.
Phonec's Modulation system is designed for serious experimentation. Three LFOs and two Envelopes that can modulate most parameters, let you shape your sound in surprising ways. The HFO, which is a High Frequency Oscillator, can achieve FM, AM and PM synthesis. The HFO can be assigned to various targets using uncommon formulas that result in strange and beautiful sounds.
Phonec2 lets you assign Aftertouch to several parameters at once, each at various increments. The Modwheel can also be routed to the Aftertouch parameters, which allow you to modify several parameters at once, dramatically altering the sound of a patch with the movement of a single control.
Sound Design Workflow
Patch creation and management is one of Phonec's strong points. The Patch Management system makes it easy to design and catalog your sounds, but the ability to save and load Sub-presets is where it gets interesting. Sub-presets are like mini patches for various sections of the synth, such as the Oscillator, Filter, Sequencer, etc. Phonec2 comes loaded with several Sub-presets to get you started. And when you're feeling lazy, or just want something different, Patch Randomization for specific groups of controls can give surprising results. Lastly, Copy/Paste controls have been added to key sections for quickly copying something to paste elsewhere when needed.
Finally, worth mentioning is the MIDI Learn capabilities, which give you full control of almost every parameter from the Filter Cutoff down to the Randomize buttons.