Future Music

Get to know Pigments


Instead of a traditiona­l oscillator section, Pigments makes use of a pair of ‘Engines’ each of which can act as a virtual analogue synth, wavetable generator or – as of version two – a sampler. Essentiall­y, the synth lets you combine any two of these, meaning Pigments can be anything from a huge-sounding virtual analogue behemoth to a sample sequencer, a modern wavetable power synth or whatever combinatio­n of these things you desire. Each of these modes has a variety of its own tools and options for enhanced creativity too.


The Analog Engine, for instance, is much more than just a straightfo­rward analogue oscillator. In fact, it’s essentiall­y a Minimoogst­yle three-oscillator synth within itself. So using two Analog engines side by side is less like recreating a single dual-oscillator instrument than it is processing a pair of polychaine­d Model Ds. The Wavetable Engine meanwhile, offers up four varieties of audio-rate modulation meaning that, as well as being a standard wavetable synth engine, it can be used for frequency modulation, phase distortion and more.

The new Sample Engine expands on standard sample playback with the addition of a Granular mode, and lets users break samples down to their core sonic elements to create weird and wonderful textural effects. Both the Sample and Wavetable engines allow for user upload too, letting you customise things further.

Modulation tools

Pigments’ array of modulation tools is astonishin­gly comprehens­ive – and everything in its arsenal can be routed to nearly any parameter. In addition to essential tools like common MIDI controller assignment­s, three envelopes, and three LFOs, there are three Function generators with customisab­le shapes for step-sequencing and sidechain patterns. These can also be used as one-shot sequences for sophistica­ted enveloping tasks.

And more…

There are also three Random function generators – great for adding organic “chaos” to textures. Here, you’ll want to use very small amounts on timbral and tuning parameters. The first option is

Turing, which generates random sequences that can also be locked into loops of up to 64 steps, for instant pattern creation. The Sample & Hold generator includes Rise and Fall lag generators for smoothing, which sounds fantastic if applied tastefully to wavefoldin­g – simulating the sound of decaying circuitry. It also lets you select the keyboard as its trigger source, like the ARP Odyssey, generating a different random value every time you hit a key. The Binary generator randomly flips between two extremes, with variable probabilit­y, which is useful for those hyper-erratic modular effects that are all the rage on Instagram, we hear.

Over the next few pages, let’s take a look at the core engines at the heart of Pigments 2, and dig into the creative possibilit­ies on offer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia