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Blade is Rob Papen’s Additive synth instrument - originally a more obscure and arcane synthesis method, with the innovations in interface design of recent years, it's become more accessible and been used in the infamous metallic basses and Wub sounds of dubstep.
So, if you are familiar with Rob Papen’s unique way of doing things and have a grasp of additive synthesis, you should be able to get to grips with Blade with ease. If on the other hand: the shear amount of options and terms like "Shifted Harmonic Spectrum" make your brain go mush, the godsend that is EASY mode gives you the ability to make a universe of sounds without parameter option meltdown. Plus there are loads of presets to start you off and get you inspired.
It's All In The Pad
Blade’s XY pad is a modulation masterpiece: being able to input your own movements [via MIDI or mouse], record them and play them back in various ways and at speeds in sync with your DAW, is genius. I really hope this becomes a feature in future Rob Papen products. The Harmolator is a clever way of creating your own waveforms with getting too bogged down in the nitty-gritty of additive synthesis. The FX are of a really high quality, and there's plenty to choose from, giving Blade an awesome spatial dimension.
Blade is a very digital, other-worldly, metallic, Si-Fi beast! These kind of sounds aren't for everyone, as with everything it comes down to taste. So listen to the sound examples on Rob's site and on my review.. there's a demo version downloadable too. It is not an expensive thing, so it offers good value.
What I personally like so much about Rob's instruments is the way that they are made by a Sound Designer, who understands not only the needs of the modern market, but also what inspires sonically. He does this by not only giving us oceans of modulation options, but also by inventing inspiring and intuitive features. Having discovered Rob's products through the course of doing this review, I know that they will have a massive impact on my Sound Design and compositional work. Blade is not my favourite of his instruments Punch is, but it is one hell of mad modulation metallic machine for the money! I know it will be pulled straight out of the bag and utilised in the next Sci-Fi soundscape I create.
Available in RTAS, VST (PC) and AU (OS X) formats - no stand alone version.
Priced: €119/ $139