Finally, the power to choose: some of the best bundled synths are getting unbundled so you can use them with whatever host you want (cough, Ableton Live). Days after Cakewalk launched their own Dimension Pro synth (a Pro version of a synth that’s included in Project5), the folks at Image Line (better known as the creators of FL Studio, aka Fruity Loops) are launching an unbundled instrument. The one difference: Cakewalk released Dimension Pro after Project5, whereas Image Line is releasing Sytrus 2 as a Windows DXi/VST before it’s released as part of FL Studio 6.

Onto the synth: US$179 buys you a unique additive synth, with 6-operator FM, RM, plucked, and subtractive synthesis. It’s completely sample-free: synthesis freaks alone need apply. Before you skip this one over, there are plenty of reasons this instrument should be on your radar screen . . .

Usually I dread the “yet another soft synth” phenomenon, but Image Line has packed some real power into this one: tons of filters, multipoint envelopes with “arpeggiator” envelopes, the ability to generate envelopes from audio files, and a harmonics editor. It’s got the XY modulation controller from FL Studio, too, which can be assigned to gamepads and joysticks (as well as X/Y controllers on keyboards like the Novation line).

Let me say that again, in case your eyes are glazing over: you can build multipoint envelopes from audio files. (Can’t think of another synth that does that, off hand.) You’ve got tons of operators and operator types. You can build wild, grooving arpeggiator envelopes and then control tons of modulation with a simple X/Y controller. Sounds great to me.

I’ve always admired FL Studio from afar, but didn’t need another host. But let me plug Sytrus into Project5 or Ableton Live? Now you’re talking. If only Image Line would go cross-platform so I could run it on my Macs, too . . . (highly unlikely)

  • atomic_afro

    It's even part of their FAQ in Looptalk. Kinda ironic that Cakewalk will be releasing Mac software (and these are the dudes that base their software on proprietary Windoze technology), way the hell before Gol & JMC do it with any of their products if ever.
    So until hell freezes over, or someone creates a patch that allows XP programs to run on Intel Macs, don't expect FL, Sytrus, et al. to be available to Mac users.

    Oh, did I mention that Zebra is being ported to the PC?

    A PC user doing a little jig :p


  • admin

    I know there ain't no way they're going to port because of their compiler, etc.

    There's really not all that much these days that's a platform exclusive, and I'd say it balances out on Mac and PC. I'm glad there are some great PC exclusives (Project5, FL Studio, now Styrus standalone, etc.) because it gives my PC laptop something to do that my two Macs can't. 😉

  • Guest

    honestly,… ive been a regged user of FLstudio since fruityloops three… and it gets progressively better with each free update… theres some stuff in there just below the surface that is just inspiring. granted the rendering isnt the greatest and the midi support isnt as stellar as cubase but as a primary host, it goes as deep as you can make it especially once you get into mucking with the mapping formulas and the formula controller. the whole thing needs a graphic update perhaps with 6 we'll get lucky

  • WarpedEye

    Cytrus is the main thing I miss after switching from FL Studio to Cubase, a very unique synth indeed.

  • Guest

    granted the rendering isnt the greatest

    Hmm, actually its a 1-1 summing of your audio, dunno how it could be any better ;p

  • I've recently learned to make pc music using FL Studio and when I tried the demo version of Sytrus I was lovestruck. I had no problems creating tight beats by just adding some new instruments to a track I was working on. I plan to purchase the Sytrus soon!!!!!

  • Fl studio has came a long way today .I use it in professional situations now where as years ago it was just monophonic simsynth…Awesome,what an music program .They had really done a great job with this software.

  • Sumfuccindude

    Sytrus is worth the entire FL Studio alone, in fact I bought Sytrus and use it in Cubase. Probably the best FM synth available, especially in terms of being creative.

  • Sumfuccindude

    Sytrus is worth the entire FL Studio alone, in fact I bought Sytrus and use it in Cubase. Probably the best FM synth available, especially in terms of being creative.