ROLI has been a keen advocate of the MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) standard ever since it launched its first Seaboard controller, and with the release of Equator2, its new plugin synth, it says that it’s truly come of age.
This promises the largest library of MPE sounds in any synth. There are more than 1,300 presets, 500 which are specifically designed to be played using MPE-compatible controllers.
What’s more, Equator2 has a new sound engine: as well as a wavetable oscillator (complete with more than 240 waveforms) there’s also a virtual analogue oscillator, a multi-sampler, a granular engine, FM and noise. With six assignable source slots available to you, the promise is that Equator2 enables you to create a massive variety of tones.
The flexible modulation system, meanwhile, is an evolution of the one you’ll find in FXpansion’s Cypher2 and Strobe2 synths, and offers LFOs, key-tracking sources and macros. In comparison to the original Equator, there’s a much-expanded effects section, too.
Thanks to its new sampling capabilities - you can import your own if you wish - Equator2 comes with 42 multisampled instruments, covering everything from vintage synths (the Roland System-100, for example) to acoustic instruments.
“Ever since I invented the Seaboard over 10 years ago, we’ve worked to develop sound engines and sonic approaches that realise the expressive potential of the instrument,” says ROLI CEO Roland Lamb. “Our approach to expressive electronic music - as embodied in the Seaboard - helped support the development of MPE and a whole new range of MPE-optimised hardware and software instruments.
“Now a decade into this trajectory, we’re realising the world’s first true flagship MPE synth engine: Equator2. It can go head to head, feature by feature and preset by preset, with the best sound engines and plugins in the world.
“But it also has unparalleled capabilities for shaping sounds multidimensionally through expressive touch. The release of Equator2 is an important milestone for expressive electronic music.”
Available for PC and Mac in VST/AU formats, Equator2 has a regular price of $249 but will go on sale for $199 for a limited time. Find out more on the ROLI website.