February 1, 2011
by GForce Software
ImpOSCar2 is the successor to our multi-award winning impOSCar software synthesizer. If you’re not familiar with the impOSCar then you’re in for a real treat. However, if you fell in love with it first time around, be prepared to fall in love all over again.
That’s because, while the original impOSCar was a component emulation of the rare and classic OSCar synthesizer with a few added bells and whistles, such as polyphony and on-board effects, impOSCar2 soars to new sonic heights via steroid injections of innovative features and enhancements, each designed around the wishes of those musicians, programmers and producers who loved the original.
Since the original impOSCar release we’ve carefully compiled user feedback and over the course of eighteen months, in another true labour of love, we’ve incorporated the best of these within impOSCar2 creating a synth that positively oozes more character, more playability, more expression and more detailed sound sculpting opportunities than could have been imagined a few years ago.
However, given the sonic excellence and character of the impOSCar’s legendary multimode filters, it’s unsurprising that the single biggest request was for an Effect version. Along with the instrument version, we’re delighted to say that’s exactly what you get with the impOSCar2.
Processing drums, vocals, or any other audio source through the filters, envelopes, ring modulator and along with the multiple modulation choices the impOSCar2 affords, is guaranteed to unlock its serious sonic potential. For certain hosts, including Logic, there’s also a side-chained MIDI Controlled Effect available enabling you to even route audio through the arpeggiator.
And on the subject of the Arpeggiator, impOSCar2 now contains a vastly improved Arpeggiator which includes a Pitch/Play mode for pitch or note orders, together with -1, +1 & +2 Octave Shift selection as well as the usual Up, Down, Up & Down and Random note and Octave modes.
Multiple Unision Modes
However, one of the biggest sonic enhancements on impOSCar2, and one we could not have envisaged even a few short years ago, is Unison control. Simply put, the entire Unison Section helps take the classic OSCar sound to awe inspiring new heights!
Utilising the various Mono and Poly Unison modes allows the creation of anything from screaming-bastard Unison Leads right up to mammoth 8 Voice Poly Unison stacks with 16 note polyphony. Additionally enhancing the sonic possibilities the unison detune knob takes unison voice tuning from subtle to insane for the phatest sound ever to come out of a virtual synth. We didn’t stop there either. A Unison Spread knob enables each unison voice to be spread across the stereo spectrum for bombastically spacious chords or leads. This, in conjunction with five Pan Modes and individual Note Spread, means impOSCar2 can be tailored to fit within a mix regardless of whether the remit is a tightly focussed patch or a super-spacious texture across a vast stereo spectrum. Finally in the Unison Section there’s the ability to apply different glide times to each unison voice when using Portamento or Glissando – a wonderful feature borrowed from the classic OB-8.
Another classic OB-8 feature rears its head by way of the Chord Memory button. Play a chord, memorise it and then transpose that chord across the keys. An additional feature of this mode is the ability to play extra individual notes to supplement the notes within the triggered chord. And if you’re fortunate enough to have a keyboard that transmits polyphonic aftertouch you can inject expression into these notes while the chord retains its unique character.
Polyphonic and channel aftertouch
Of course impOSCar2 receives both polyphonic and channel aftertouch and this, combined with the existing Velocity Response Controls, means that impOSCar2 is a vastly more expressive instrument than before.
ImpOSCar2 is also supplied with a huge Patch Library that will make you want to play and experiment to the hilt. And while we’re on the subject of Patch Libraries, impOSCar2 contains a small mountain of patches created by OSCar & impOSCar luminaries including; Darren Price & Rick Smith (Underworld), I Monster, Paul Hartnol (Orbital), Billy Currie (Ultravox) and many more.
The original impOSCar patch library is also included together with the Billy Currie Signature Sounds. Both libraries have been enhanced to take advantage of the additional features such as aftertouch and extra LFO routing.
Another of the more popular user requests, the new impOSCar2 Patch Management system is a huge improvement over its predecessor. Now, via a highly intuitive interface you can load banks and patches, import and convert original impOSCar aupresets, fxbs and fxps before outputting them to impOSCar2 specific aupresets, fxbs and fxps. Similarly, if you want to change your impOSCar2 patch formats for use within a specific host such as Logic you can easily convert all fxbs and fxps to aupresets and vice versa. The enhanced Patch Browser also recognizes tfx, aupreset, fxb and fxp files and allows instant loading without the need for conversion.
There is also a dedicated Program Change window within the new Patch Management browser, which makes setting up live performances quick and easy. Finally, in this section, there are four Macro Memory buttons to which you can assign your favourite patches for speedy recall.
Three User Interface Sizes
Again, this is another area where we listened to user-feedback and put our expertise to work. impOSCar2 now comes with 840, 1024 & 1600 pixel width versions.
With regards synthesis features, impOSCar already afforded both additive and subtractive synthesis types but as you would expect we’ve made a plethora of additions that should keep even the most ardent synth programmer happy.
In the Oscillator section both oscillators now have independent pulse width control, for more control over the PWM and Rectangle Waveforms.
Residing in the Mix Section, is a two-mode ring modulator which now helps you create a vast array of new textures from musical to subtle and to abstract and beyond.
Additional LFO modes
A completely new Aux Mod section has been grafted onto the instrument and offers destinations including Oscillator 2 Pitch, Osc1 Pulse Width, Osc2 Pulse Width, Osc1&2 Pulse Width, Filter Separation, Filter Resonance (Q), Oscillator Mix and Noise Mix. And when combined with LFO1 and/or the freshly added LFO2 and LFO Balance Controls, again, the net result is anything from complex modulated timbres to ever shifting organic sounding textures.
Finally, with regards the LFOs, in accordance with many user requests, new Sync options have been added so that slower synched modulations can be achieved with ease.
The screaming bastard just became a corpulent teenager with an attitude to-boot.