Sonic Charge’s Synplant soft synth plugin is remarkably versatile in the number of sounds it can create as well as the unusual way they can be created. Sounds are grown like plants right on the screen and if that is not weird enough, you can go in and modify the DNA of the plants as well!
It comes as a vst file type of plugin that works in your DAW (digital audio workstation). I use it in FL Studio.
It is extremely addicting to “grow” different sounds right in front of your eyes and I’ve spent hours noodling around with it.
At last, though, I have come up with some unique sounds from it that I’ve bundled into a set of presets. I call them “Artificial” because they have an industrial (although organic) type of sound to them. Machine noises to Star Wars blaster sounds are contained in this set. They are available here: https://gum.co/synplantartificials
Below is a preview video on YouTube or audio preview on Soundcloud of all of the sounds included in my sound bank “Artificials”:
You must own Synplant in order for my presets to work for you. You can get Synplant at Sonic Charge’s web site: https://soniccharge.com/synplant
Here is a selection of synth plugins that I have found have that nostalgic, lo-fi, vintage sound epitomized by Boards of Canada and others.
- Sonic Charge Synplant – This synth has a unique interface and a unique way of creating and “growing” sounds. Once able to navigate the DNA of the plants, it is possible and quite easy to get a nice vintage sound out of this synth. “Organic” almost describes the sounds this synth plugin puts out and it is definitely reminiscent of vintage synthesis.
- U-He Diva – This is an analog synth in a plugin. It hogs memory for sure but produces some of the sweetest analog sounds possible. It is nearly indistinguishable from real vintage synthesizers. One can easily experiment and get that “BoC sound.”
- Psychic Modulation Phonec2 – A low-cost synth plugin that really packs a big punch. It lacks a bit in depth of sound and won’t give that richness that a Diva or Synplant will, but wow does it capture that lo-fi sound. It replicates the Boards of Canada sound almost exactly in some cases. At such a low cost and with a big impact, it is worth experimenting with.
- Xfer Serum – It may seem strange to see Serum on a list purporting to replicate Boards of Canada sounds, but this versatile synth plugin can really replicate it. While not typically thought of as a vintage synth, with a wave table input section and a noise generator that can load up any sound file, this synth can sound vintage along with the best of them. It is possible to add LFOs to many parameters and to add effects as well to get that “VHS-like” sound. It replicates the vintage sounds to a tee and works better on duplicating some Boards of Canada lead parts such as “Roygbiv” that any other synth out there in my opinion.
- Lennar Digital Synlenth1 – This synth has a warm analog soul to it that gives it a convincing “old sound” perfectly suited for sounding like vintage equipment. Unlike Serum, it is not a stretch to call this synth analog. In fact, it reproduces analog sounds very well and sounds remarkably crisp in its delivery. Depth and warmth are strong points in this synth plugin and it does not disappoint in its versatility as well. It can be used not only for vintage sounds but for modern ones as well and although not a wavetable input type of synth, with some fiddling the controls can replicate that Boards of Canada sound.
I am sure there are other synths out there that give that Boards of Canada type of sound, but I haven’t found them just yet.
Psychic Modulation has made a synthesizer that combines that “lo-fi” sound with vintage tape and synth type of processing, for a synth that sounds remarkably similar to artists such as Boards of Canada and others of that type.
It comes as a low-cost vst file type of plugin that works in your DAW (digital audio workstation). I use it in FL Studio.
Simple to use and fun to adjust, Phonec2 shatters the learning curve usually associated with many soft synths out there today. I like it in my music because it gives me the sounds I need that fit my genre.
I have made my sound bank of presets for Phonec version 2 available to everyone that owns Phonec2. They are available here: https://gum.co/phonec2boards.
Below is a preview video on YouTube or audio preview on Soundcloud of all of the sounds included in my sound bank “Boards”:
You must own Phonec2 in order for my sound bank to work for you. You can get Phonec at Psychic Modulation’s website: http://www.psychicmodulation.com/
Boards of Canada are a personal favorite band of mine and I have studied their music with the aim of learning how they achieved their distinctive sound.
Here are what I have learned so far (I will continue to add to this page as I learn more).
It is incomplete as of now but wanted to get it out there before finishing.
Using these techniques shown below, I created this track:
Want to capture the sounds of nature and then make a great-sounding soundscape recording?
Here is how I do it using Audacity:
I like recording the sounds of nature, and when I play my recordings back, I want them to sound exactly like when I was there. Here is my technique, equipment, and settings I use.