Soft synth overload: it’s a debilitating syndrome where people wander around, unable to recognize loved ones, glazed eyes, muttering incoherently “VST . . . Native Kontraktimpakgutoek. . . polyphony . . . sampledgigabee…..” etc. So, let’s cut to the chase: big sample-playback synth, user skinnable and customizable, and (B3 organ aside) lots of great 80s-digital synth content, ready to play. It’s Wusikstation 2.0 (VSTi), one of the best soft synths for Windows.

I love this line from the creators: “Sounds from keys like: ARP, Chroma Polaris, Elka, EML, Juno, Roland Modular, Matrix 12, Oscar, Waldorf, Roland 202, Hammond B3, Casio CZ, Alesis D4, JP6, Mellotron, Micro XT, MiniKorg, Moog Basses, Moog Source, Oberheim, Odyssey, Arp Omni (3 sounds), 3 Piano sounds, Polaris Ominous, Pro 52 Saws, 2 Rhodes and many more… Very 80’s Digital.”

You had me at Casio CZ. And with a lovely, compact interface and high-end features like flexible effects sends and support for Scala microtuning files, it’s no wonder this independent synth has been a sleeper hit. You can add on more digital sounds — even a massive Alesis QuadraSynth library.

This also means the rumors of Wusikstation’s death were greatly exaagerated. A major controversy on KVR broke out this spring over this same synth; we reported that users might be planning a buyout. I never understood what happened in the first place, so maybe someone knows what’s happened now? In the meantime, it looks like Wusik’s future is safe — so go hit your Polaris sample and have fun.