Rob Papen Blade Review
So continuing on our path of reviewing the VSTs included in Rob Papen’s (@RobPapen) Explorer 2 Bundle and we’ve come to the powerful Blade synth. Blade is one of Papen’s outstanding designs to create the tone of those classic synthesizers with LFO mods, and envelopes with a human feel to it. Blade comes packed with hundreds of presets, and enough knobs and radio buttons to fill all the voids in a sound designer’s life.
When we first open the instrument, the first and largest thing we will notice is the ridiculously large solar system looking square in the middle. That would be the X/Y Pad. The X/Y pad can be used in many different ways upon playing with it. You can use it to modulate or automate any of the other parameters such as filter or EQ. The X/Y pad is essential for anyone designing their own sounds. Everything from timbre, range and ripple is all there to shape your sounds. One of the most distinct features of Blade is the Harmolator oscillator. The Harmolator is an oscillator that uses 9 controls to really shape your sound. It has its own sub oscillator to really fatten up the sound. In addition to that onboard are over 20 voice distortions and a various array of filters. Add an arpeggiator, sequencer, effects and you’ve got yourself one quality Blade synth.
The presets inside of Blade are very interesting to say the least. Inside you’ll find many chilled out, mellow pads. You’ll make great use of these whether you’re working on some atmospheric post-production work, or you need a pad to really fill in your track. The pad sections in the many libraries included seem to stand out. They aren’t your ordinary stagnant pads. We also find an array of arps also. Some of the sounds in these arps are simply astounding, but the arpeggiation itself is less than desirable. I’d encourage that you take a look at the arpeggiator and switch it up. There is no need to let a sonically awesome sound go to waste. The leads are for the most part very demanding. They have that analog sound that many so long for. We can tell that Papen and his team of designers took their sweet time coming up with this section.
As we continue down the road to VSTi Nirvana, it is safe to assume that Rob Papen’s Blade will be on that road and joining us in our beat making bliss. On a scale of 1-16 pads (1 being late for a session with your favorite artist, 16 landing a beat on your favorite artist’s next project) Blade clocks in at 13! It’s an extremely solid synth with plenty to offer anyone. Oh yeah, the “EASY” button makes it very…. well, easy for guys and gals who aren’t sound designers by trade really develop their own sound. Make sure you all grab this today!
James Jaxin (@jaxin414)
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Product Review Specialist MaschineMasters.com