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Native Instruments drops Absynth from its product line: “I’m very disappointed - that’s a big understatement,” says creator

Released in 2000 by independent software developer Rhizomatic, Absynth quickly caught the attention of not only in-the-know Mac music makers but also Native Instruments, which snapped it up a year later and brought it to the masses.

Absynth went on to become one of the soft synth success stories of the next decade, and was frequently hailed as one of the best instruments around. Now, though, NI has pulled the plug, removing Absynth from its product line as it launches Komplete 14, its latest bundle. 

Existing links to Absynth 5, the latest version of the synth, now redirect to the main catalogue page on NI’s website.

Speaking in a YouTube video, Rhizomatic’s Brian Clevinger has been reflecting on Absynth’s journey and discussing its demise. “I know Absynth meant a lot to a lot of musicians, and many people are going to be disappointed by this,” he says. “I’m very disappointed - that’s a big understatement.”

On a more conciliatory note, he goes on to say: “Regarding NI, I’m grateful that they’ve kept Absynth in their product line for so long.” Clevinger goes on to recognise that, without the German software giant, Absynth would never have reached the wider audience it deserved.

Absynth was one of the first real ‘power synths’, and one of the few plugin instruments from the early 2000s to still be around today. 

Clevinger says that, even if this is the end for Absynth - and, who knows, it might not be - he hopes to keep some of its unique features and ideas alive in future Rhizomatic plugins. 

In fact, the company already has one instrument - Plasmonic - available right now. It’s available for $149/€149 on the Rhizomatic (opens in new tab) website.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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