Synplant is back, and version 2 uses AI to grow sounds based on any audio file you feed it

When the original Synplant arrived, back in 2008, it emboldened a whole generation of green-fingered synthesists to create new sounds by ‘growing’ rather than programming them.

Having spent a considerable amount of time in the development polytunnel, we can now finally get our hands on version 2. And it looks, frankly, blooming marvellous.

The big news is the arrival of the so-called Genopatch technology, which uses AI to create synth patches based on audio source samples. Import a file and Synplant 2 will gradually start to synthesize a sound (there’s no sampling involved) that gets ever closer to resembling your original file, though you won’t always get a perfect match.

It’s this element of unpredictability that could be Synplant 2’s biggest strength. This is an instrument that puts the emphasis on “exploration and discovery”.

However, if you want to grab your sonic shovel and dig deeper into a sound - whether it be derived from a random ‘seed’, a preset or a Genopatch - you can do so via the new DNA Editor, which offers more familiar features such as envelopes, oscillator types and filters. The settings for these are represented graphically.

What’s more, Synplant’s familiar main interface remains intact. This enables you to grow sounds from seeds and play variations on them via different MIDI notes and velocities, and you can also layer them up. You can switch between polyphonic and monophonic play modes and apply portamento, tempo sync and more.

There are hundreds of presets, too, but, by the looks of it, you’ll have far more fun getting your hands dirty and growing your own.

Synplant 2 is available now priced at €149, while users of version 1 can upgrade for €50. It runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU formats.

Find out more and grab a three-week trial version on the Sonic Charge 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. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine