Roland’s Zenology Pro plugin hits version 2.0: more sounds and a refined user interface

Zenology Pro is the plugin home for Roland’s flagship Zen-Core synthesis engine, which is used to power its finest software and hardware synths. It’s now been updated to version 2.0, which adds a variety of new features.

For a start, there are now 500 additional presets, while the refined user interface promises a new structure view, click-and-drag resizing, visual feedback and more. Zenology Pro’s rather dated-looking and inflexible GUI was one of the things we criticised in our review, so here’s hoping that this redesign will help to improve the software’s workflow.

Other enhancements include a fully integrated browser view and a new reverb section with eight distinct algorithms.

Elsewhere, the fundamentals of Zenology Pro remain in place. You start with 4,000 tones and 200 drum kits, expandable to a total of more than 10,000 via sound packs and Wave Expansions on the Roland Cloud. Each tone can be made up of up to four partials, each of which has an oscillator, filter, amplifier, dual LFOs and equaliser.

The synth explores a variety of synthesis types, including PCM, virtual analogue, PCM Sync - a choice of PCM waves that allow for oscillator sync between Partials - Supersaw and Noise. There are 10 filter types, eleven LFO shapes (including tempo-synced Step LFOs with 37 curves per step) and more than 90 effects, some of which are inspired by classic hardware from the Roland archive.

If you own Zen-Core hardware, meanwhile, the good news is that sounds are exchangeable between that and Zenology Pro. Current Zen-Core offerings include the Fantom and Jupiter-X ranges, Juno-X, RD-88, MC-101, MC-707 and more.

Zenology Pro 2.0 is available as part of a Roland Cloud Pro ($10/month) or Ultimate ($20/month) subscription. Find out more and sign up for a free trial on the Roland website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. 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, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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