Arturia Pigments 3 brings additive synthesis to its polychrome palette

The latest iteration of the Frankenstein soft synth exhibits “the boundless power of additive synthesis”

Arturia Pigments 3
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Arturia has updated its flagship software synthesizer to Pigments 3, introducing a bundle of new features and engines, a revamped audio routing system, new effects and more.

Pigments 2 was voted as MusicTech’s Best software synth of 2020 in the Gear Of The Year Awards – can Arturia’s update elevate this revered synth to even higher levels? The French brand seems to think so, claiming that the polychrome synthesizer has evolved into a “state-of-the-art instrument that spans every shade of synthesis”. This might sound like hyperbole, but Arturia certainly hasn’t shied away from incorporating some big features.

The new Harmonic engine takes care of additive synthesis duties with a maximum of 512 partials for rich sound design Plus, Pigments 3 lets you customise odd and even harmonics. Elsewhere in the Harmonic engine, dual formant filters can be morphed from A to B, and a host of colourful modulators can change the characteristics of partials.

Arturia Pigments 3

A third Utility engine has been added to Pigments 3, giving you an extra sub-oscillator layer for enhanced depth in your patch. Up to two noise sample layers can be applied to the sound for colour, too.

Pigments’ Wavetable engine gets an upgrade of 64 new wavetables, bringing the total to 164, while the Virtual Analog engine gets a new Ramp waveform.

With Pigments 2, users were treated to a filter that was based on the Buchla Easel low-pass gate. In Pigments 3, you’ll find a Jup-8 V4 low-pass filter taken from Arturia’s soft synth of the same name, based on the Roland Jupiter-8. Despite the contemporary architecture of Pigments, it seems Arturia knows that vintage elements are still desirable in a modern workflow.

This trend continues into the effects section, with the BL-20 Flanger, based on the classic Bel BF-20 effect, and the Chorus Jun-6, based on the analogue stereo chorus of the Roland Juno-6.

Along with these effects comes a new pitch delay, sporting a clean, modern feel, and a multi-band compressor for achieving a mix-ready sound within Pigments 3. Filter routing within the synth has also been improved, with the ability to route either filter to either effects bus.

Arturia says that a team of world-class sound designers has contributed to the new preset bank. Plus, the limited-edition Spectrum Sound Pack comprises five sound banks with 100 presets each, designed to showcase the power of Pigments 3. Newcomers can now sink their teeth into some in-app tutorials, delivered by the product designers.

Arturia Pigments 3
Until 13 May 2021, new buyers can get Pigments 3 for €/$99, saving 50 per cent of the original price of €/$199. The Spectrum Sound Pack comes bundled in for free, too, and is usually worth €/$99.

Existing Pigments users will be able to update free of charge. The Spectrum Sound Pack is available at a discounted price of €/$20, but will soon move up to the original price. Registered Arturia customers may be eligible for a personal introductory offer, which can be redeemed by logging in.

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