Rob Papen’s Blade 2 takes ‘cutting edge synthesis’ to a new level

Dual-wield a Harmolator and Additive oscillator and slice through the mix with three multi-effects chains.

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Rob Papen Blade 2

Dutch synth-smithing expert Rob Papen has unveiled Blade 2, a 16-voice soft synth with additive functionality and an advanced XY pad for intuitive morphing. With a sharper GUI than its 2012 predecessor, a killer step sequencer and 32 new filter types, Blade 2 might become a powerful weapon in your productions.

Rob Papen says that Blade 2 is wieldable in a multitude of genres, styles and applications. Create evolving soundscapes, deep pads, grinding leads and huge bass sounds with the help of the Harmolator/Additive oscillator and the recordable XY pad, which now sports the graphic of an actual blade – nice touch.

Harmful blade

Harmolator allows you to control the waveform harmonics with a plethora of parameters that can be morphed and automated with ease. The Additive mode is new to Blade, which lets you blend between four additive waveforms, with the ability to create and edit your own waveforms. Morphing between the plethora of parameters is achieved using the XY pad, of course.

A Unison mode lets the Harmolator and Additive oscillator play up to four unison voices for each note played. This still means you can play up to 16 polyphonic voices as this functions at an oscillator and filter level. Thicken up the voicing with a detune dial, too.

An analogue-style oscillator is now built into Blade 2, along with a noise oscillator which can play tuned noise and has its own envelope. You can run these oscillators through the 36 available filters with tons of parameters to manipulate.

Rob Papen Blade 2

Effects armoury

Three multi-effects processors are included in Rob Papen Blade 2, with over 30 effects to choose from in each slot. This should be enough firepower to create seriously deep and intricate patches. You can also control all effect parameters using MIDI or Blade 2’s modulation matrix.

Blade 2’s arpeggiator has been updated, with a new Ratcheting mode which repeats a desired step in a sequence. Arpeggiator A and Arpeggiator B have 16 steps each and can be joined to play a longer pattern.

All these features might sound a bit much, particularly if you’re starting out in synthesis. Therefore, Blade 2 features an Easy page, that strips back the synth to a few major controls.

Blade 2 is available now at a price of £80/€99/$99. Existing Blade users can upgrade for £35/€39/$39, and a free demo is available, too. If you’re in need of a few more swords in your weaponry, Blade 2 is now included in the eXplorer 6 Bundle and the Limited Edition Sound Design Bundle.

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