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HBF Tech Round-up: Roland SH-101, Dave-Smith Pro-2 And Sugar Bytes’ Egoist

For this month’s HBF Tech round-up our resident production wizard James Trigo runs you through this month’s movers and shakers in the production world with new plugins from Roland, Dave-Smith and Sugar Bytes.

Since the release of the Aira System-1, and the option of plug-outs, we knew it wouldn’t be long before we start seeing classic synths available for download. Well this month saw the first of these with the classic 80s monophonic synthesizer, the SH-101. As well as effects that weren’t part of the original unit such as reverb, chorus, delay and crusher effect, they’ve really gone to town to replicate the sound of the original, even reproducing odd fluctuations that were the result of idiosyncrasies in the SH-101’s circuitry. As a plug-out the software can be loaded onto your Aira System-1 and taken on the road, allowing both studio and live use. With only the controls lit up for that particular synth, playing live shouldn’t be a task, and as more and more emulations come out we can see this becoming a staple for the mobile musician. Available for Mac and Windows now for free, so if you’ve got a system-1 what are you waiting for?

Synth pioneer Dave Smith has just announced the latest addition to his hardware line-up, the Pro-2. A hybrid monosynth with the ability to play 4 voices simultaneously, making it paraphonic. It hosts 4 digital oscillators, low and variable state filters and superwaves. Although similar in looks to the Prophet 12, with solid chassis and wooden-end panels, Dave has said it’s ‘distinctly different to their other instruments’. With bags of features on-board like arpegiator, step sequencer, digital bucket brigade delay and dual-analogue filters, there’s enough to keep you busy right there. They’re also encouraging hooking up the Pro-2 with a modular setup, with 4 rear-panel CV inputs and outputs, for plenty of connectivity options. To be released later this month, price is yet to be confirmed.

Sugar Bytes goes for the groove with their new plugin, Egoist. Feed in any audio file and the software has various tools at your disposal to mangle and manipulate your files for rhythmic effect. Some of the tools include, Slicer, with up to 16 available slices to create different patterns, which also have tweakable parameters like reverse, attack, delay and pitch. There’s a baseline synth with low pass filters and overdrive; a sequencer, to build and combine your patterns; Slice Keys, letting you play sequencer steps on your keyboard; and an effect unit that’s based on their Effectrix plugin with effects like delay, reverb, lo-fi and chorus. Available now on Mac and PC for $99/€99, check out the video below.

James Trigo

James Trigo is an advocate for the craft of making a good tune. Whiling away the small hours with his head in a sequencer, if he's not making music he's listening to it, and then writing about it. Come say hello. Free free to contact James here: onetwotrigo@gmail.com