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Arturia’s Pigments 3 offers additive synthesis and a new Utility Engine

Arturia’s debut ‘original’ synth plugin Pigments impressed us immediately when it was released back in 2019, and it’s only continued to get better since then.

Built on the shoulders of decades of V Collection development, Pigments combines elements of the French brand’s impressive virtual analogue technology with modern tools including wavetable, sample and granular synthesis, a sleek modulation system and a flexible multi-lane sequencer.

• REVIEW: Arturia Pigments 3

Pigments’ real highlight, though, is its ability to house all these features in a neatly designed and user-friendly interface, all of which makes it a strong contender for being our favourite synth plugin on the market right now.

Now version 3 is here, adding yet more functionality to the toolset.

Arturia Pigments 3

(Image credit: Arturia)

The headline addition here is the new Harmonic engine type, which adds additive synthesis alongside the existing wavetable, sample and virtual analogue generators. The look and feel of this new section is fairly reminiscent of NI’s excellent Razor, but Arturia’s take has a few unique tricks up its sleeve.

Here we get controls to adjust the number of partials created (up to 512), their ratio, as well as the option to apply audio rate modulation from a separate oscillator.

Below the main display is a Spectrum section, where filtering can be applied to the additive sound, ranging from simple low- or high-pass processors to a variety of complex filter and comb types.

Possibly most interesting is the Imaging tool, which lets users pan individual partials across the stereo field in a variety of different ways.

Arturia Pigments 3

(Image credit: Arturia)

Beyond the Harmonic generator, Pigments 3 also adds a new Utility Engine that contains two noise sources and a virtual analogue sub-oscillator. This exists in addition to the synth’s two existing engine slots, making it a handy tool for adding extra weight to a synth sound without having to sacrifice a slot that could have been used for wavetables or samples, etc.

Pigments also gains a few analogue emulation tricks lifted from elsewhere in Arturia’s range of software synths and effects. These include a new Jupiter-8 filter model, the classic Juno-6 chorus for the effects section, and a Bel BF-20 analogue flanger recreation.

There are new non-emulated effects here, too, including a pitched delay and multi-band compressor.

Looking beyond this, there are further refinements across the board, including additional filter routing options, an added ramp waveform for the virtual analogue engine, and a clutch of new wavetables and presets.

Pigments 3 is a free update for existing users, and new users can grab the synth for the intro price of $99, rising to $199 after 13 May. It runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats. Find out more on the Arturia website.

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