Sequencing, sampling and synthesis workstation Strokes updated with performance mode and new effects

(Image credit: Cong Burn)

Last year, we told you about Strokes, a MIDI sequencing plugin from Cong Burn that's capable of producing complex and generative rhythms, melodies and modulation signals using seven interconnected modules.

Since then, Strokes has evolved dramatically to become what developer John Howes calls an "all-in-one, cross-platform workstation for sequencing, sampling and synthesis". Far more than just a sequencer, Strokes latest update has reimagined the plugin as an advanced software instrument that's geared towards both idea generation and live performance.

Strokes still features the seven sequencing modules that made it such a powerful tool for sequencing and modulation. Now, though, rather than only generating patterns and signals to send out to a DAW or another plugin, Strokes is equipped with sixteen synth voices (derived from Mutable Instruments' Plaits module) and eight samplers that can be sequenced from within the workstation. 

Strokes' latest update has added a performance mode to the plugin which enables the user to transition between sounds, sequences, patterns and even different projects. Rather than simply jumping from one pattern (and one set of sounds, samples and parameters) to the next, Strokes lets us interpolate two patterns using a kind of meta-crossfader that smoothly blends a number of different parameters together simultaneously, rather than blending two audio signals. It's a neat function that we haven't seen in many other tools of this kind. 

The plugin's samplers have also been re-engineered to offer five sub-samplers, meaning different samples can now be used within each pattern that's sequenced. Strokes' effects capabilities have been bolstered too, with the addition of a bus saturator and glue compressor joining the onboard reverb and delay. 

Strokes is available now as a VST3/AU plugin for Mac and PC and costs £35. It's also available for iOS as a standalone app or AUv3 plugin for £19.99. 

Find out more about Strokes or watch a demo video below.

Matt Mullen
Tech Features Editor

I'm the Tech Features Editor for MusicRadar, working on everything from artist interviews to tech tutorials. I've been writing about (and making) electronic music for over a decade, and when I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. 

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