Superwave P8There are a great many fantastic subtractive synthesizers available for purchase, the most commonly-cited of which is Native Instruments’ aptly-named “Massive”, but in addition there are also many freeware ones, although a lot of them are much of a muchness, offering similar features and similar sounds. One which really stands out from the crowd is the Superwave P8. This is quite a beast for a free synth, and it offers a great many tools for the synthesist. If you’ve cut your teeth on something functional like the CM101 then the P8 will offer you the next step in your synthesis journey at a price that can’t be beaten – it’s completely free, and offers a huge amount of functions.
One of the great features is the “Super Wave Detune” where you can effectively have 7 oscillators for the price of one, and detune each one for thick-sounding analogue simulations, where each voice can be individually detuned slightly.
Another great feature is the great selection of modulation options offered by the two LFOs – they have destinations which go far beyond the usual subtractive options of merely oscillator, filter or amplifier, and in addition offer useful settings such as having the LFO triggered by a note on event.
The P8 is a great synth to use, and comes with a good range of presets showing off its abilities, as well as giving you a chance to learn from the programmers by analysing how they have created the sounds, and then modifying them to make your own.