Arturia Pigments 4: What is it?
Mac OS 10.13+. 4GB RAM. 4 cores CPU, 3.4 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo-boost) or M1 CPU. 3GB free hard disk space. OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU. Windows 10+ (64-bit). 4GB RAM. 4 cores CPU, 3.4 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo-boost). 3GB free hard disk space. OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU. Buy from Plugin Boutique
Arturia needs no introduction when it comes to recreations of vintage synthesizers for your desktop delight. It was one of the first companies to ride the classic synth wave in software form, but if you crave a softsynth with contemporary tendencies, the company’s Pigments may well be the answer.
Pigments is a highly programmable software synthesizer, which employs a stylish interface to allow quick and easy editing and creation of new patches. It’s very, very powerful. At its core are two assignable sound engines, which allow flexible sound generation from four different synthesis quarters; Analog, Wavetable, Sample and Harmonic.
Arturia Pigments 4: Performance and verdict
While the Analog oscillator is at the simpler end of complexity, there’s plenty to use. Apart from five classic wave types, there are actually three oscillators on offer, as part of each single engine.
Wavetable provides a superb source, with plenty of scope for modulation across several aspects of wavetable operation, from wave travel to morphing, and all with helpful graphics to guide your editing. The Sample engine allows basic sample playback, alongside a plethora of granular controls, while Harmonics operates as a highly adaptable additive oscillator, also with plenty of control. You’ll also find a Utility engine, to add further colour, such as White noise.
Some of the enhancements of Pigments v4 exist through a number of improvements within the sound engine department. Wavetable now sports Ring Mod, while there have been significant improvements to the Unison operation across all sound engines. Pigments already sounded pretty fruity to us, but these enhancements provide added value to an already classy core.
The Pigments filter section remains substantial, with two assignable filters, which include offerings from other Arturia favourites, such as the Jupiter 8, Minimoog and Oberheim SEM. A new addition is the MS20 filter, which is very welcome, thanks to its aggressive tendencies and ability to squeal on demand. Arturia has also made a number of enhancements to the existing filters and effects, such as considerable additions to the Bitcrusher section, and a new FM control within the Jupiter filter.
Old and new mod cons
Without doubt, one of the exceptional strengths of Pigments is its ability to easily modulate just about any aspect of a sound that you wish.
The process of applying modulation remains blissfully simple. The modulation grid, which runs across the middle of the plugin, provides a beautiful drag-and-drop function, which seamlessly puts a modulation in place. This remains unchanged and as usable as ever. With three LFOs, Envelopes, assignable shapes within the Function section, and Randomisation, you are unlikely to be left requiring further modulation options, particularly when you consider that these modulation sources may also be shared across destinations.
Arturia has included plenty of new content within version 4. There is a host of new factory presets which includes three new sound banks, all of which are curated into menus. These are accompanied by 63 new sound engine wavetables, 67 new included samples, and 36 new noise types.
Pigments has always been a powerful product, and while you may be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t a vast amount of change within version 4, it remains one of the most inviting and versatile synthesisers in software, with a sound engine which will impress across most areas. While the preset content will show off the package nicely, it is the ability to get down and deep with the programming which excites us the most. Whether you are jumping on for the first time or simply upgrading, it is worthwhile in all circumstances.
MusicRadar verdict: Pigments continues to be a desirable, great-sounding product and an enticing entrée to patch creation.
Arturia Pigments 4: The web says
"All of the new features serve to enhance and streamline Pigments’ awesome sound-design capabilities."
Arturia Pigments 4: Hands-on demos
Arturia Pigments 4: Specifications
- Mac OS 10.13+. 4GB RAM. 4 cores CPU, 3.4 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo-boost) or M1 CPU. 3GB free hard disk space. OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU.
- Windows 10+ (64-bit). 4GB RAM. 4 cores CPU, 3.4 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo-boost). 3GB free hard disk space. OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU.
- Works in Standalone, VST, AAX, Audio Unit, NKS (64-bit DAWs only).
- CONTACT: Arturia