Steinberg Retrologue review

The Cubase 6.5 synth standard goes it alone

  • £40
  • $49.99
Clever touches make Retrologue deep and functionally comprehensive

MusicRadar Verdict

An extremely capable analogue synth with an attainable price tag.


  • +

    Sounds incredible. Comprehensive. Great price.


  • -

    No sequencer or apeggiator.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

Included with Cubase 6.5 and now available on its own, Retrologue is a virtual analogue synth that holds no major surprises but sounds superb.

Two oscillators (with up to eight unison voices each, PWM, hard sync and cross-modulation options), plus noise and a sub, feed into a 12-mode resonant filter with onboard distortion, while two envelopes and a pair of LFOs shake the basic sound up, and delay and chorus/flanger effects bring some polish.

"The Retrologue sounds incredible - every bit as good as many synths costing three times as much"

It's nothing particularly fancy, but clever touches like the fractional unison voice implementation, 'via' modifiers in the mod matrix and VST3 Note Expression make Retrologue deep and functionally comprehensive.

As we said, it sounds incredible - every bit as good as many synths costing three times as much. Basses bounce, leads scream and pads scintillate.

It's equally at home with modern urban/dance styles and more delicate electronic/hybrid material. A bit of onboard sequencing or arpeggiation wouldn't hurt, but you can't have everything for 40 quid.

Computer Music

Computer Music magazine is the world’s best selling publication dedicated solely to making great music with your Mac or PC computer. Each issue it brings its lucky readers the best in cutting-edge tutorials, need-to-know, expert software reviews and even all the tools you actually need to make great music today, courtesy of our legendary CM Plugin Suite.