Freeware VST soft-synth for leads and pads
Sonata is a VST soft-synth for strong single-shot leads and pads. The distinctive character of Sonata makes it adept at strings and lots of simple subtractive sounds, while also specializing in sparkly and glassy mallet sounds, deep basses, and warm and rich mid-range chromatic inventions.
Sonata features two separate but similarly controlled generators, one for the sound's immediate attack and another for the fundamental tone. Both consist of rich harmonic spectra which are filtered to provide desired overtones. Each possesses its own exponential decay envelopes for amplitude and filter, and its own ADSR envelope.
The output from these is then fed into a little black box—a complex setup of delay devices set relatively for each note that creates a complex comb-filtering effect. This stage shapes the sound, emphasizing desired frequencies and providing richer post-filter overtones, similar to the way an instrument's body will influence its sound.
There are three global effects: a cross delay, distortion, and a reverb.
Sonata produces sounds with consistent timbres in both high and low registers, allowing for better two-handed keyboard performance and ranged melodies. As a result, sometimes each note can get a little CPU-hungry.
Since Sonata's polyphony relies solely on processor power, a 2.5 GHz PC should handle about 20+ note polyphony without much else going on. 1.6GHz computers running other VST instruments should realistically expect only about 8.
Sonata is free and is currently available for Windows NT/2000/XP, and expected to run on Vista.
“I really like Sonata because it has so many varied tones and also has an unusual synthesis method. This is refreshing in the world of so many analog simulators. Keep up the good work.”— Tim Conrardy, computer musician
“I love it.... It has a surprisingly wide variety of timbres.”— John Malvey, computer musician
“This is a novel synth. Much of it was new and a bit foreign, despite the familiar categories on the GUI, but in time I found that there is a very large variety of sounds available from it!”— Ouroboros, computer musician
“Highly inspiring sounds”— Ronny Pries, computer musician
Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista, VST Host, 1.0 GHz Pentium or better (at least 2.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM.