By Jewe | January 1, 2000
These are some plug-ins for the VST format I made some years ago.
Note that they all are based on the VST 2.3 SDK, which is outdated by a long shot. So there is no guarantee they still work properly in your host application. I have recompiled all of them in May 2013 to make them benefit from the numerous improvements I made to the Jewel GUI Framework in the meantime. So they should actually work better than the old versions I released long ago. If you notice some problems, feel free to drop me a line.
Ganymed’s most characteristic features are it’s unique quirky FM sound, it’s rich modulation capabilities and it’s built-in pattern sequencer. This gained the synth quite some popularity with musicians worldwide. It got even mentioned and included with magazines like Sound on Sound, KEYS and KEYBOARDS. Even to this day, people contact me about Ganymed, which made me re-upload the synths and edit this page in the first place. Thank you to all loyal users who still use the synth.
If you are not sure how to use Ganymed, maybe this post can help.
After Ganymed, I returned to my first FM intrument, Vivaldi, and decided to make some improvements and additions to it. Vivaldi MX was the result. It features 64 voice polyphony, support for 16 MIDI-channels, six output busses and a bunch of other features on top of the original Vivaldi engine. Although it has some additonal synthesis parameters, like support for vector synthesis, it can still load all of the Vivaldi classic sounds.
To see what MIDI messages Vivaldi MX responds to, see this post.
This was actually the very first instrument I programmed for the VST format. When I was younger, back in the nineties, I had one of those cheap Yamaha Portasound Keyboards (Two operator FM synthesis). It was actually designed for children. The built-in presets, which tried to emulate analogue sounds like guitars and clarinettes were all junk, of course. But it was actually capable of generating these synthetic, spacey sounds I loved so much from Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk or Alan Parson’s Project. You have no idea how many hours I spent programming this synth! I drew so much fun and inspiration from toying around with FM synthesis that years later, I just wanted to make my own two-operator FM synth. That’s how Vivaldi came to be.
After Ganymed I felt that programming a GUI using the VST-GUI library was too difficult and time-consuming. So I wanted to come up with my own GUI library. I wanted it to be technologically superior to VST-GUI and also to allow for much quicker design of user interfaces. That’s how I ended up with a ten-year project at my hands: The Jewel GUI Framework. Eventually, other things got more important and I spent less and less time on making synthesizers and working on the framework.
One of the more interesting things I came up with while toying around with the GUI framework was this synth, called “TestSynth 002”. Don’t ask me what happened to “001”. It never got anywhere and soon I rewrote most of it to become “002”. The synth has a semi-modular design, allowing you to freely route audio and modulation signals between the various building blocks of the synth. The oscillators can do amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, plain mixing and a fourth, “weird” synthesis mode I came up with. There are multi-mode filters and a bunch of modulation processors, allowing you to add, subtract, multiply and invert modulation signals. The LFOs are also multi-mode and can produce sine, square, sawtooth, ramps and random. They also can be synced to the host’s tempo. All in all, the synth is capable of producing some nice sounds. I never toyed around with it enough to explore its full potential. Maybe someone else will?
With this instrument, I wanted to leave FM synthesis behind and explore ways of sample playback. This synthesizer is my first attempt at a sample player with cubic-spline interpolation. It reads WAV samples and combines them into multi-samples by XML file definitions. This could have been the basis of a nice wave-table synth, but it never got finished. In it’s current state, the available samples are edited statically into the GUI layout. You could extract the “.jpac” file with 7-ZIP in order to edit the XML to add more / different samples, but that’s a bit tedious, I guess.
This was actually a fun project I did together with Multree from Betabugs Audio. I wanted to do a bit of advertising for my GUI framework, so I made this. It’s a simple two-operator FM synth again, but with a nice and colourful GUI. It contains four skin themes. All the artwork was done by Multree.
This was an experimental synth I made to explore possible uses of amplitude modulation and frequency modulation. It’s very basic and probably not very useful, unless you need something to make basic “computer sounds”.
Not an instrument at all, but an effect, and the only one I ever made. This is a three band overdrive / distortion effect I made together with Multree from Betabugs Audio. It’s quite simple and easy to use, but can produce quite nice overdrive effects if adjusted well to the respective sound source.
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