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Introducing Pro II - The analogue hybrid synthesizer for Kontakt 4 by Wave Alchemy…
A limitless source of screaming bass lines, lush synth tones and powerful analogue sequences, Pro II is powered by over 6500 carefully recorded multi-sampled sounds, driven by a custom scripted Kontakt 4 engine and intuitive graphical interface.
Inspired by one of the most popular synths of its time, Pro II combines classic sounds with modern sound shaping tools to achieve a versatile and fully programmable hybrid synthesizer!
Pro II ships with a 3.9GB core sound library and includes 195 expertly programmed presets, all of which are editable via our extensively scripted instrument panel and stunning GUI controls.
A full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 4 or 5 is required to use our Pro II instrument. A slimmed down version including 3.8GB of multi-sampled presets is available and optimized for users of Ableton Live and Reason. See purchase options below.
The Pro II (Kontakt Version Only) features 5 main editing pages:
The preset page is able to load 138 extensively multi-sampled patches designed and recorded from a vintage Sequential Circuits Pro One synthesizer. Sounds from this page can be further edited and mixed with the Pro II's 'raw oscillators' (see below) to create interesting 'hybrid' patches. Screenshot
Raw Oscillator (Synthesizer) Page
Synthesize your own sounds using the Pro II's oscillators… Raw mode boasts 2 analogue oscillators, 2 sub oscillators and 2 noise sources, all of which are individually powered by an extensive set of carefully looped waveforms recorded from a Pro One analogue synthesizer. Screenshot
A comprehensive, tempo sync-able analogue style step sequencer. Each step boasts independent settings for both filter cut-off and resonance which when combined with the instruments "shuffle" function can produce everything from subtle S+H type effects to completely insane sequences. Screenshot
The effects page boasts a number of fully editable effects as well as specially created reverb IR's (Impulse Responses) recorded from our Eventide DSP-7000 Harmonizer. Screenshot
The controls page gives you full control over mono/polyphonic modes, portamento, pitch bend range, 8 voice unison and keyboard velocity/curve response. Screenshot
What’s included in the instrument?
Please Note: This instrument does NOT work with Free Kontakt Player. A full version of Kontakt 4 or 5 is required
3.9GB core sound library for Kontakt 4+ including 6587 multi-sampled 24-bit WAV Files, Heavily scripted instrument and intuitive graphical interface, 195 preset patches
BEFORE YOU BUY! please note the Ableton Live version does not have a GUI or built in arpegiator like the full Kontakt version. The Live version contains raw Pro One multi-samples (3.8GB) which are mapped to create 152 Sampler presets / instrument racks with assigned macros for easy editing. Please contact us if you need more info
BEFORE YOU BUY! please note the Reason Refill version does not have a GUI or built in arpegiator like the full Kontakt version. The Refill contains raw Pro One multi-samples (3.8GB) which are mapped to create 152 NNXT sampler patches. Please contact us if you need more info
Yet another classic synthesizer recreated in software? Not exactly…The Pro II uses thousands of samples of the venerable Sequential Circuits Pro One and presents them through NI’s Kontakt sampler. But that’s just the beginning.
The Pro II has two different approaches to making sounds – you wither play samples of patches from a Pro One through the synthesizer, much like a typical Kontakt instrument, or you use what Wave Alchemy call ‘Raw Oscillators’. It’s these Raw Oscillators that really define the Pro II’s ‘hybrid’ sound and take it way beyond a simple sample player.
Every note in a five octave range has been sampled for each waveform and each oscillator, which generates studio shaking sounds. The bass end of this synthesizer is solid, strong and truly deserves that over-used term ‘warm’. There’s none of the loss of focus found when samples are slowed down for lower pitches. And at the other end of the frequency spectrum there’s no aliasing or tell-tale ‘glassiness’ that betrays so many virtual synthesizers.
The included sounds are superb too – ‘Trancy Strings’ is a haunting analogue string patch with profound depth and atmosphere. ‘Boc Synth’ will delight Boards Of Canada fans and the various ‘PWM Bass’ settings add that Sequential Circuits grit to the bottom end.
My favourite of the Pro One presets is ‘Short Saw Decay’, a sound so simple it could easily be overlooked but has a punch that can cut through any Tech-House mix. The sequencer will sync to your current song’s tempo but doesn’t export MIDI information for you to edit which is a shame.
So Solid Sound
Despite being a fantastic-sounding synth, there are instances where the limitations of Kontakt spoils the fun – if you change the waveform of an oscillator with a key depressed, the wave does not actually change until you play your next note. Although not a deal breaker this will be a nuisance for those who prefer to audition waveforms while holding down a note.
And while the Pro II features dozens of samples of the Pro One with cross-modulation, pitch sweeps and esoteric routings which were staple sounds of the original instrument, you can’t actually create these sounds yourself from scratch – there are no cross modulation facilities.
The Pro II does not pretend to be a virtual Pro One, and on balance is all the better for it. Instead Wave Alchemy have designed a bold update of the analogue sound for the 21st century
Creating your own sounds from scratch is about as easy as can be. But what sets this instrument apart is the sound – it feels as solid as a rock with a weight and power normally reserved for true analogue synthesizers. The Pro II is an excellent instrument and at this amazing price could be an impulse purchase you won’t regret.
The Pro II takes the Pro One as a sonic starting point and updates it solidly for the 21st century
Saintjoe over at Sounds and Gear reviews our Pro II synthesizer for Kontakt.
Although best known for exquisite electronic drum sounds, the Wave Alchemy team has been locked away capturing the sound of the classic Pro One synth to create the company's first sample instrument, Pro II.
The main version of Pro II comes with a 3.9GB ore library and 195 presets for Kontakt 4 (and above) that make extensive use of the built-in effects and scripting.
Also available are slightly cut-down versions for Ableton Live (which features controls laid out using the instrument racks) and Reason's NN-XT sampler.
WA has gone to great lengths to deliver a dashing Kontakt GUI, with simple controls and a retro look spread across five pages, including synth controls, an effects page and a sequencer page.
In order to offer the most flexible experience, you'll find raw sine, saw, square, pulse and triangle oscillator waveforms at your disposal, with the ability to mix and match two, plus two sub-oscillators from a vintage Moog Source synth.
These sounds can be played using the keyboard of the nifty built-in 16-step sequencer, with lanes for pitch, cut-off and resonance meaning acid bass lines are a breeze to input.
To give things a more contemporary edge there's an effects section with phaser, bitcrush, distortion, flanger, chorus, delay and reverb, plus some lush sounding custom IRs giving the sounds a sense of life and space.
You'll find 38 patches programmed with this setup, plus 138 superb multi-sampled Pro One patches and 19 more complex, multi-layered Kontakt instruments. You can even load one of the programmed Pro One sounds and layer in the raw waveforms on top to create rich multi-oscillator patches. Our only gripe is that there's no way to sync the LFO and delays to host, although if you know your way around Kontakt, it's not too tricky to turn this on.
Wave Alchemy has really pulled out all the stops here and created a synth instrument that both captures the analogue heart of the original while offering enough editing options to make it a serious sound design tool.
Combines excellent original Pro One synth sounds with a flexible interface and the ability to make your own patches using raw waveforms. The built-in sequencer makes this an absolute dream for techno producers.
After releasing a number of high quality loop and one-shot drum samples, developers Wave Alchemy are back with something a bit different this time. Pro-II is the company's first instrument built for Native Instruments Kontakt (minimum 4.2 required, and no, this won't work with the free Kontakt Player). This is exciting news in itself, but as the font on the packaging may have tipped you off, the source of these sounds is the revered Sequential Circuits Pro One. Got your attention now?
What is it?
Pro-II is a virtual instrument built in Kontakt that makes extensive use of that program's scripting and GUI capabilities. Although it includes over 150 multi-sampled presets, Wave Alchemy also provided samples of the Pro One's raw oscillators allowing you to sculpt your own. This is done via five pages of controls that mimic the look of the old Sequential synths. These pages are divided by Preset (with a basic "easy" selection of parameters to tweak on the multi-sampled presets), Raw Oscillator (with controls for the 2 oscillators, 2 sub oscillators, white and pink noise generators, and more available in the 'synth' mode), a Sequencer (to sequence Cutoff, Resonance, and Note Values), an effects section with reverb, chorus, delay, bit crushing, flanging, phasing, and distortion, and a Control page allowing you to select whether the sound is mono or poly, unison settings, etc. So clearly, while the Pro One provides the inspiration for this instrument, the Wave Alchemy team decided to bring it into the 21st Century with features you won't find on the original.
Anyone who has played or owned a Pro One will instantly recognize its tone here... buzzy, warm, and tight as a duck's behind. The sampling is of the quality we've come to expect from Wave Alchemy - damn near perfect. Split points among the multi-samples are undetectable, and looping is smooth as can be. There's a good selection of "bread and butter" sounds including analog strings, funky basses, and leads, as well as more unusual FM and cross-mod type sounds that blur the line between digital and analog.
If you're a fan of the Pro One and don't have access to one, I don't know why you're still reading this. For the price, this is an outstanding value and the additional programmability will extend its shelf life as far as you care to take it. I've often said that where a lot of softsynths fall down is in the oscillators, not the filters, as many people say (it's probably a bit of column a, a little of column b). If that's the case, there's something to be said for using samples of the real deal versus trying to emulate it in software. Honestly, some of the most convincingly "analog" sounding patches I've made are for the sample-based Omnisphere. So while you won't have the same instability of tone you might from the real deal, this gets you close and without the headaches the real thing can provide. And while this relies on Kontakt's filters instead of modeled ones (in the Raw mode), for most purposes, it sounds fairly close. Of course the multi-sampled sounds have plenty of actual Pro One filter sound, so there's a bit of that available to you as well. Overall, I'm not quite ready to sell my Pro One yet, but I can tell already this is an instrument I'll get a lot out of!
if Sequential Circuits ever would have released a follow-up to the monophonic Pro One analog synthesizer, it might well have looked like this. Wave Alchemy does a truly remarkable job with its first synthesizer.
If the Minimoog is the dream synthesizer for performers who want to spend as little time as possible designing new sounds, the Sequential Circuits Pro One (and of course its older brother the Prophet 5) are definitely aimed for people who have a deeper interest in designing their own sounds.
As John Bowen once told me in an interview - they didn't add a third ocillator to the Prophet 5 in order to keep costs down, which led them to invent the Poly Mod section - the forerunner to the modulation matrixes we see in most synthesizers today.
The Pro One is basically a monophonic version of the Prophet 5 and has all of the Prophet's features - two oscillators, a resonant filter, an lfo and envelopes.
When the sampling maestros at Wave Alchemy started to sample the Pro One they did what the people at Native Instruments, Creamware and Arturia have already done - create a faithful clone of a legendary instrument.
But Wave Alchemy didn't limit themselves as hard as the other developers did. The spirit of the Prophet is there - but they allowed themselves to expand the concept and take the Pro One into the modern age.
What is it?
Pro II is built upon the Kontakt 4-engine from Native Instruments and NN-XT in Reason, which means this whole affair is constructed on samples - more than 6500 individual samples spanning over 3.9 gigabyte. The version tested here is the version for Kontakt.
To summarize the differences between the Pro II and the original Pro One
The Pro One has all its controls in one hardware panel. The Pro II has the controls spread over five tabs - Pro One, Pro II, Sequencer, Effects and Control.
The original has two oscillators. Pro II has two oscillators plus two sub-oscillators.
Pro II has effects.
Pro II has a built-in analog step sequencer.
Pro II allows stacking of many units (in Kontakt multi mode).
Pro One has oscillator sync and has pulse-wave modulation. Pro II has neither of those two functions (thanks to Ingo at Kvr for pointing that out).
There are three groups of presets in Pro II. First a group of 138 typical Pro One sounds. These sounds include everything from basses, leads to effects. The second group consists of 38 presets utilizing the extra features of Pro II. The last group is multis - in other words several Pro IIs layered. This category is made up by 19 presets, and is by far the most breathtaking.
The reason why there are presets for Pro One and Pro II is that this whole synthesizer is actually two. Sounds confusing? Yes, I admit it does - but it's quite easily explained. The Pro One presets are 100 percent Pro One, including the analog filters. Nothing else.
The Pro II part on the other hand utilizes the parts of the Kontakt 4 engine - among them the filters. Wave Alchemy told me they will release a version for Kontakt 5 with switchable filters. Although I never hesitate one moment to tell the world how annoyed I am with Kontakt 4, I think the filters works very well together with the Pro II oscillators.
As you probably can imagine. The Pro One presets sounds like typical analog sounds. The presets from Pro II sounds much more modern and the multis are... huge. Most readers of this blog knows I'm a fetishist when it comes to bass sounds and am not too fond of synth pads - but with the pads in Pro II I'd actually like to create music with pads. Huge, massive pads.
But the Pro II doesn't only excel when it comes to pads - happily I can inform you that it's almost as good with bass sounds.
The architecture is what you expect from an analog subtractive synthesizer. Oscillators - filter - modulators. The additions here is that the two oscillators aren't analog but a huge number of sampled waveforms. The two sub-oscillators can be set to either sine or square. At the very end there is an effect section, which I'll go into further on.
The built-in step sequencer is a very cool addition. It looks great and is very easy to program. There is a randomization function built-in and you can control the sequencer via your keyboard. You can even trigger different patterns by pressing certain keys in the seventh octave. Very practical.
The available effects are phaser, distortion, bitcrush, flanger, reverb, chorus and delay - and are all (apart from the reverb) based on the built-in effects in Kontakt 4. Again - I am no fan of the effects of Kontakt - but here I have no complaints. I don't know what Wave Alchemy have done with the effects but they work very well with the sounds. The reverb is another cool addition that is entirely unexpected. By using the impulse-engine of Kontakt Wave Alchemy have provided 20 very nice reverbs from one of those ultra-expensive Eventide DSP-7000 Harmonizers.
Everybody who reads this blog knows I'm far from a friend of Native Instruments Kontakt. With that said, the amount of ultra-high quality instruments released based on Kontakt is staggering and Pro II is one of them. Creating sounds with the Pro II is easy. Sonically it doesn't feel like there is samples behind it. Apart from that you sometimes need to switch to another page - Pro II feels like your working with an analog synth - or rather an analog-digital-hybrid. Pro II is impressive in almost every aspect and for 40 pounds it's also a bargain. Two big thumbs up!