There are tons of software synthesizers out there, but its usually the well-known products made by large companies, which get all the attention. However, there are some smaller developers who have created outstanding products, and one of them happens to be the Cableguys from Germany.
Curve 2 (now in it’s version 2.5) by Cableguys is a subtractive/analog soft synth plugin which power lies in the ability to draw your very own waveforms using a large editor display.
You can draw all kinds of shapes and curves and bend them by adding ‘points’ and dragging them in the editor. This means that it’s possible to create almost any waveform available as well as harmonically rich tones.
In the editor tool bar, you can also quickly select all the basic waveforms such as sine, saw, square, pulse, triangle (and flat of course) and proceed to edit them further.
There are 3 oscillator slots in Curve 2, and you can assign two waveforms per oscillator, where you control the volume balance with a crossfade knob. Each oscillator slot offers a set of knobs to control the pitch, detuning pan and volume. You can also define how the oscillators are routed to filters: serial routing through both filter units, just filter 1 or 2, or you can also choose to bypass the whole filter section.
*Click images for full view
What’s really cool is that you can also use the drawn waveforms to drive the LFO’s (there’s 4 LFO’s in total) with all kinds of syncing and triggering possibilities. You can set the tempo in musical units, to a rate of hertz synced to your host sequencer, or retriggered when playing a note. Lot’s of possibilities for all kinds of rhythmical movements.
When using the Modulations section, you can then route the LFO further to modulate other synth parameters such as the cutoff, resonance, and pitch; perfect to create rhythmically diverse patches only limited by your imagination. In the Modulations section, you can also choose to use frequency modulation. This opens a ton of possibilities for shaping the tone of your patch even further.
You’ll also find the Unisono parameters to make your patches sound PHATT. There are up to 16 different voices to choose from with the ability to set their amount of detuning, spread across the stereo image and damping.
There’s also a standard ADSR volume envelope (well, actually three of them) which you can use to control the amplitude and other properties of Curve 2. You can also edit and fine-tune the envelope curves in the editor display. What’s new in 2.5 is that the envelopes (sustain-loop) can now be beat synced.
*Click images for full view
The filter section has two independent filter units offering various filter types such as low pass, high pass, band pass, peak and notch with various slope types to choose from. And the filters do sound great!
Version 2.5 also adds a Sallen-Key filter type with a possibility to choose from two different algorithms for resonance distortion and a Drive -knob to control the distortion amount. It’s an excellent addition to expanding the filtering possibilities.
There are also four macro knobs, and you can assign multiple parameters per knob making it possible to change several settings quickly. For each new patch, “Fatness” is set as the default for one of the macro knobs. This controls the amount of unisono detuning, spread and damping for quick fatness.
Curve 2 also comes with a massive preset library to get you started! By the time of writing this review, there’s 4459 presets available and it keeps growing as the users can submit their patches to the online preset library.
To get all the latest presets all you need to do is to sync your current library via a download from the Cableguys server. You can also filter your preset collection for easier browsing and add ratings if you like. There are TONS of excellent sounding patches and for a preset junkie like me… well, what can I say? I’m thrilled!
In my opinion, Curve 2 is a GEM! It sounds awesome, and there are many modulation possibilities. The interface is logical and easy to use, and the large editor display is perfect for waveform editing. Curve 2 is an excellent companion for an electronic music producer as it’s capable of producing anything from really fat leads and basses to wobbles to beautiful pads and all kinds of rhythmic sequences.
And the immense and ever-growing preset library will keep you busy for a very long time. My only “complaint” is that Curve 2 doesn’t have any internal effects such as reverb and delay, but it’s not that big of an issue. And who knows, maybe we’ll see those in future updates. I warmly recommend this synth!
- Curve 2 by Cableguys
- Subtractive synth
- Available for WIN and MAC (VST, AU)
- Price: €119/$159
Awesome subtractive/analogue soft synth with a big sound, great set of features and *HUGE* preset library!
- SOUND QUALITY10
- VALUE FOR MONEY9