Updates to favorite keyboard soft synths — always a good thing. In addition to looking forward to Native Instruments’ sequel to their B4 organ synth, another modeled-instrument fave is getting a big upgrade soon:

Lounge Lizard EP-3

The current Lounge Lizard is already a joy to play: Applied Acoustics nails the feel and sound of the classic Wurlitzer and Rhodes keyboards. EP-3 upgrades the already-generous preset selection, adds improved and expanded models of different pickups, forks, and dampers, (in addition to those already in EP-2), and adds support for Scala microtuning files. (For those of you wanting to play your Rhodes in Javanese pelog tuning, your day has come!) Also nifty: an integrated audio recorder lets you capture ideas easily.

More realistic sounds are always welcome, but the biggest news here is that Lounge Lizard finally has additional built-in effects. Tremolo, wah, chorus, phaser, delay, reverb, and EQ are all included, as visible in the screen grab. That addresses the major shortfall of the previous version: effects have been expanded from the meager offerings of the previous outing.

The EP-3 should be out any day now. Check out Applied Acoustics’ site above for plenty of details on the meticulous modeling, and watch CDM for a review in December. Looks like this could be a major keyboard favorite.

Cost: US$49 upgrade; US$249 list
Compatibility: Windows VSTi, DX; Mac VST, AU, RTAS