We all know Nektar for their smart keyboard controllers but there’s a new product coming out today that is worth your attention, and this time it’s a software!
BOLT is Nektar’s first foray into the world of virtual instruments and employs a new form of synthesis with unique sonic character and intuitive user interface. Let’s see what Nektar has to say about it…
Organic and Fast
BOLT enables a different and fast approach to sound design with an unusually organic and warm sonic character. Harmonics Synthesis generates and shapes the sound directly in the oscillator: It doesn’t require the dedicated filter section typically found on subtractive synthesizers. By turning just one knob, a wave’s shape can be changed from dark and subtle to bright and overtone-rich.
Harmonics Synthesis is based on the MSO (multi sine oscillator) concept by Professor Dr. Udo Zoelzer of Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany. Mr Zoelzer is a scientist with decades of experience in digital signal processing and a passion for audio and synthesis. Over the last two years, the university and Nektar have collaborated on developing MSO into a full-blown synthesis engine.
“The unique sound of this oscillator intrigued us right away – it really is something else”, comments Nektar’s Marketing Manager Ralf Schluenzen. “What’s more, you don’t need hundreds of controls to tweak a sound. This makes the technology very accessible, almost like a classic analog synthesizer concept: On those synths you can practically turn any knob – even if you don’t know what it does – and it almost always sounds great. Transporting this ease of use into a digital synth concept has been our design goal. Tweaking should be inspiring and not a chore!”
BOLT is up to 16 voice polyphonic and offers 2 oscillators per voice, each equipped with suboscillator, noise generator, distortion and a dedicated ADSR envelope. Three syncable LFOs and a Modulation Envelope provide extensive modulation features. The number of overtones is set with BOLT’s Harmonics parameter, Rolloff additionally adjusts the steepness of the Harmonics “cutoff”.
Apart from standard waveforms such as sine, saw or square, Harmonics Synthesis is also capable of generating pulse chains and alternating shapes. Cross modulation between BOLT’s two oscillators opens the door to FM-like sounds and all sorts of modulation mayhem. A Voice Double mode provides unison features and 4 integrated effects processors simplify the creation of production-ready patches.
Over 500 factory sounds, including many artist patches, demonstrate the flexibility of this new synth engine: Lush pads, deep basses, screaming leads or percussion sounds that almost sound sampled are just some of its strengths. The triple LFO section allows the creation of interesting rhythmical soundscapes and drones.
The BOLT plugin is compatible with VST, VST3 and AU and runs on all current 64bit Mac OS and Windows systems.
Pricing and Availability
99 USD // 69 GBP // 99 EUR – Introductory offer on nektartech.com until January 31th, 2019: $69 USD*
(Available from nektartech.com and other online dealers starting in December 2018)
*= Euro and Pound prices calculated based on current exchange rate.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.