Rob Papen has developed with Go2, a Synthesizer plugin that is interesting for everyone. As simple as it can be, it can be that complex at the same time.
If one observes the last Synthesizer releases by Rob Papen, then these were always packed with many features (several oscillators, filters, big modulation options…) With his latest plugin release, Rob Papen surprised his customers. Go2 is a plugin that features a synthesis engine with a single oscillator in an easy-to-use interface.
In this review you can find out if Rob papen succeeded with the Go2 Synthesizer plugin or not!
Only One Oscillator But Plenty Of Shaping Possibilities
The synthesis architecture is very simple but strong: 1 morph oscillator, 1 filter, 1 HP filter, 1 amp, 3 envelopes (filter, amp, free), 1 LFO and 4 different effects. Even if a Synthesizer with one oscillator sounds limited, in Go2 that’s the most exciting and versatile feature. The oscillator is based here on a morphing architecture that enables blending between two waveforms. This can be achieved with the help of 6 different modes: mix, morph, ring, FM, inter and range.
Rob Papen has solved the morphing function very easily with an XY pad which allows you to quickly reach new and different waveforms. Additionally, it’s possible to change the symmetry of the waveform using different parameters and a sub oscillator makes the sound bigger. An oscillator is not much here but what you can do with the morph oscillator is very interesting and versatile. Many have three oscillator onboard but offer less options for new timbres.
So the oscillator number does not always say whether a Synthesizer is versatile or not. Even only an oscillator can have its positive points and charms.
Filters, Envelopes And Other Classic Features?
Yes, the rest of the synth is more traditional and what Go2’s goal is: make synthesis easy. Go2 is powered by an analog modeled filter that comes with various filter types (lowpass, bandpass, notch, comb) but also with a additional high pass filter behind the main filter. The first filter also has a dedicated filter envelope with a ADSR characteristic that offers also a reverse mode. Further, the signal goes further in a classic amplifier section with an additional distortion processor.
Sounds simple? Yes it is! On the modulation side, Go2 comes with an free mappable mono/poly LFO with 6 waveforms including sine and S&H. Even if everything should be easy, one or two other LFO’s would be a cool additional. With one you are rather limited in more unusual sounds. Unlike the LFO, it comes with in total three envelope generators: filter, amp and free assignable envelope.
In addition to the envelopes, further modulation possibilities are hidden in the 8-slot modulation matrix. For example, modwheel, velocity, aftertouch, note random but also modern technologies like polyphonic aftertouch or breath. At first glance the modulation of Go2 looks relatively simple but in depth the options are much wider.
The Problem With The Effects
To refine the sound, there are 5 effects (chorus, flanger, phaser, stereo delay, reverb) at the end, which only have the essential parameters you need. Against the sound character there’s is nothing to critize only in the usage. Unfortunately, Rob Papen has limited the worfklow of the effects in Go2. So you can only use the flanger or phaser and delay or reverb. All together is not possible. Whether this is due to the CPU or other reason, there is no information. A bit pity because it would be good if you can use all effects at ones. Again, I like that you can modulate the parameters of the effects what gives a lot of sound design possibilities.
Arpeggiator – The Rhythmic Section Of Go2
Beside a mono, poly (16 voices), legato, Go2 also includes a classic style arpeggiator mode with some creative features. From classic arp directions (up, down..), a chord mode for chord sequences to a classic 16 step sequencer. Good here: it can be used in a very easy way but also programmed in detail with tie note, slide, unison & more. Hidden in the modulation matrix is also the option to use the arpeggiator as modulation source for advanced parameter changes.
XY Section – One Of The Central Points
As already seen, the morph oscillator is the heart of the Go2 Synthesizer. This can be easily used with the Rob Papen typical XY pad. Here you can quickly find new timbres without big synthesis knowledges. This is not just for waveforms but also for all other parameters as well. Here you can select almost all parameters of the synth and operate it very intuitively. But that is not all. The individual movements of the XY pad can be recorded and played back, or even looped in sync. This opens up the options in Go2 massively and gives the user a lot of new ways to design sounds.
Sound Quality & Presets
One thing first: Go2 does not sound like a classic virtual analog Synthesizer and does not try to reproduce the sound of an instrument from the past. The new Rob Papen plugin sounds fresh, modern and very versatile. It can range from classic to very digital sounding synth sounds, especially using the various amount of sound shapers (FM…) With the help of the XY pads you can generate very complex sounds that do not sound like analog synths. Especially in the field of EDM Go2 makes a very good figure, but also fits in ambient music.
In over 750 included sounds, the user get a nice overview of what is possible with Go2. These range from classic bread and butter to experimental and strange sounds. The presets show well how deep you can go. From the audio quality I’m very pleased. It sounds great and is at a very high level. Even though Go2 is the “everyone” Synthesizer among the plugins, it has to be said that it can do more than you initially think.
In summary, it can confirm that Rob Papen has developed a nice beginner friendly Synthesizer plugin with Go2. One should not be deterred by the beginner friendly term since it has more under the hood as expected at the first look. Go2 is a harmonious Synthesizer that is easy-to-use, easy to understand but also powerful and versatile.
Although there are some weakness points, such as the lack of multiple LFO’s or a second oscillator, Go2 is a great plugin. For a price of 49€/, music producers get here a lot of features that you actually can not find in such affordable synths.
- sound quality
- versatile morphing engine
- simple but powerful
- intuitive & easy-to-use interface
- perfect for beginners & advanced users
- factory library
- CPU friendly
- effect processor limitation
- 1 LFO
Rob Papen Go2 is available now for 49€/$49 USD and a free demo is available on the developer website.
More information here: Rob Papen
Available here: Rob Papen Go2