Synths like Bitwig's Phase 4

Installed demo of Bitwig today just to check what’s going on and learn what’s the fuzz about it.

Decided that I don’t really need it since I already use and love Ableton, but I really liked Phase 4 phase distortion / phase modulation synth plugin.

Is there something around with the “same” sound and basic but effective functionality? Preferably in M4L format, perfectly not too evil for the CPU, but VSTs/AUs are also ok.

Found Fors Chiral which isn’t the same, but a bit close and has a very nice interface:

And free Eventide Pendulate, which absolutely not the same but has super distinct sound and nice minimalistic interface as well:

Any other clues???!!!

The new additive synth in arturia pigments maybe if you concentrate on a init patch and distort that and dont get lost in the many other things. Haven‘t tried it much yet.
Maybe ni razor goes in that direction, don‘t know it.
I agree phase 4 has a nice and simple ui


Heee … thanks!
you nailed perfectly what I wanted out of it.

Not necessary Phase modulation but this type of “modern plastic 3D sound”. I don know how to describe it better …

Haven’t tried Pigments yet but heard a lot of good things about it …
Will try to get demo if available …

Razor sounds also quite perfect, even better than Phase 4! Want it :slight_smile:

Thanks for your clues!

And please more thoughts from others :slight_smile:

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…well…not even 400 bux for a full fledged bitwig license…

and u can built ALL ur own sonic devices of ANY KIND u can possibly think of…
forever and ever…

Some say it sounds sterile, others said thats good to sculpt precise. I said its a bit difficult to find sweet spots. Nice for granular experiments, with many small adjustments possible, altough my favourite for that was good old audiomulch, but maybe its just the memories…
One mentioned he got pigments for 70 euros now because he had a free arturia reverb. Otherwise its 90 e now i think.

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yup… but I already have Live11 suite and Max/MSP and can do probably the same if I need, but I’d preferer to concentrate on what I already have and know better… just liked that sound and ui a lot.

still believe that bitwig is nice daw and kooler in some ways than live.

yeah sterile and precise… that’s what I like about it!

same feelings out of Serum which I like and use a lot, but it’s a bit on a nasty side and not as simple and fun to play with… with Phase 4 I immediately fell in love with interface started to create patches, ideas… very inspiring. It’s important to have something which really turn you on and left no questions and doubts.

Also Ableton’s Wavetable is kinda nice for same type of sound, a bit different feeling, less “technoid” more classical Waldorf / WT sounds oriented imho…

Audiomulch is still great. Very special one…

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BTW would be nice if Elektron create something of this nature - modern 3D sounding complex wavetable/additive/pshasedistortion synth with basic interface : )

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To continue with my halfway ( or completely) wrong answer with mentioning additive synths for phase modulation:
I saw on loopops video about additive synths: polyphylla is a m4live additive synth.
He showed also loom ( great vocder -like sounds)

I saw now that the additive synth in pigments has not much phase distortion i think. But i can relate to or imagine what you said about plastic sound. I was with a lot of tweaking away the harsh able to make nice plastic sounding chord techno ( not with additive )
The additive thing sure looks and sounds interesting. It has an imaging section for yor 3d, but maybe razor still wins for modern 3d as you said.

As they called it ( or it was ) phase modulation in the dx7 of course there is dexed (open source) and arturia dx7v (cz v for phase distortion) with more modulation.
Probably you know and you look for something more complex or modern

Also not so plastic is madrona aalto ( i had or have the free mono version)
Probably i was just positively surprised and cant listen precise but when i tried the instruo cs-l in vcv rack i thought it sounds better/warmer than o-coast ( but of course tries to emulate the not plastic original)

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Yeah, despite additive and phase mod / dist = fm are different technologies, there’s definitely this “modern” character some synths of this kind provide easily and some just can’t do that.

For example I have Yamaha FS1R which is a monstrous phase mod / fm synth with tons of cross mod options and osc algorithms, but no matter what I do with it ( and I can say I know it well, sure it’s still a bit mystery and results are super unpredictable with it, but… ). So, it just can’t provide this type of sound we are discussing here. However it sounds really organic and 3D in its own way, very cool for deep atmospheres, pads of all kinds and experimental sound design. Same thing with all old Yamaha, Casio CZ / VZ etc - they are just different and not “that” modern digital…

I’m not sure why… Being not too technical, I think it’s a matter of exact osc algorithms and limitations of the “range” or “ratios” of the modulation, maybe on modern synths they are more wild, and also more cross mod involved. Also automation of as many parameters as possible at the same time brings this digital hell (or heaven : ).

The only hardware synth I can think of which is capable to step into this sonic territory is Hydrasynth with its modifiers / mutators and rich modulation. Wavetable… As well as Serum and Ableton’s Wavetable, they both provide this “plastic hell” very well… At the same time Waldorf - I have Microwave since decades and played with Quantum a lot - they’re beautiful synths but lack this aggressive digital precision.

So this all forwards to the idea that maybe those modern computer synth algos are somehow different and maybe use more CPU, that’s why they are so precise and sterile… Don’t know… Would be very interesting to hear opinions of the synth designers like Ess and others.

Anyway, I don’t want to find out what is “better” or “win for the price”. I even don’t want to own all them really, enough for me to play with the demo and see if it fits to my subjective vision of “nice tool” or not. Pigments definitely does! Installed it today and will use it a lot I think.

Finally this additive thing… well, despite it’s different technology, it sounds somehow really fresh and interesting in its own way ( I also discovered Audio Damage Phosphor 3 - interesting one ).

Maybe I should rename the thread - “Modern digital synths with unique and fresh sound - Phase Distortion VS Additive VS ???”
: )

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