Experimental, “chaos”-driven, West Coast synthesis is now delightfully popular. And the creative folks at Newfangled Audio have developed a monosynth – free, and they’re quick to add, without iLok.

Okay, wait, before we all pile on iLok – I have a bunch of software now authorized with iLok on Windows and Mac, and it’s (mostly) running fine. This no longer means using a dongle, either; it’s all in software. I once had an issue with some corrupted licenses, but it seems iLok updates have resolved that – your mileage may vary.

But yeah, if that’s stopped you from enjoying freebies in the past – this is for you. You’ve earned it. Enjoy.

Now let’s talk about the synth.

Pendulate has some Don Buchla-inspired ideas, but it’s also new. It’s essentially a monosynth derived from some of the cleverer, weirder ideas in patching and synthesis these days.

The oscillator is a chaotic source derived from double pendulums – hence the name. That’s a concept we dove into a bit with the recent story on orbital patterns as oscillation and modulation sources. (Vult’s Caudal also uses pendulum models, though as an LFO.)

The Buchla-ish bit is that that complex oscillator gets combined with a wavefolder and low pass gate.

Honestly, you don’t even need to know what any of that means. It’s the synthesis equivalent of saying “do you like chocolate combined with peanut butter or chocolate combined with mint,” only at some point people weren’t ready for something that radical until suddenly they worked out it was awesome.

All of this is great. And all of it is free.

And it works with MPE, so you can use a Seaboard or Linnstrument or ROLI Seaboard or what have you.

Honestly, this is as CDM-ish as a synth could get at this point. From the devs:

  • Novel chaotic oscillator based on the double pendulum makes sounds you’ve never heard before, but will want to hear again
  • Wavefolder based on the one in the Buchla 259 Complex Waveform Generator, adding MIX and CUTOFF
  • Low Pass Gate based on the Buchla 292 adds controls for POLES and RESONANCE
  • Innovative modulation UI allows modulation over every control from the main page, allowing up to 169 simultaneous modulation routings
  • MPE support allows amazing control from innovative new controllers
  • Envelope and LFO each have multiple outputs generated at once, like a modular synth should
  • Modulation! Every mod output to every control means up to 221 modulation points in an intuitive single pane
  • Animations! The Double Pendulum, Wavefolder, and Low Pass Gate modules each have animations to show how each module responds to your input, and to modulation
  • Three unique color schemes to customize your look
  • 136 Presets including artist presets from Matt Lange and Matthew Wang

Newfangled Audio have made some amazing plug-ins. (Eventide distributes their stuff.) Their mastering tools are almost freakishly, embarrassingly good at juicing up sound – and they have a saturation that does some things no other tool I have can do. So I’m very, very excited to mess around with this monosynth.


The synth is for Mac and Windows – give them your email, but that’s it:


macOS 10.9+ AAX 64-bit, AU 64-bit, VST3 64-bit
Windows 8.1+ AAX 64-bit, VST3 64-bit

Thanks for the reminder, Patrick DSP!

Breaking – Tom from Synth Anatomy writes to share his free “Chaos Theory” sound library with 40 more presets!

Download it here: https://gum.co/kHiT