Vital is a wavetable synthesizer plugin for everyone: it’s free and packs a warping harmonics & waveforms engine into a fully-responsive interface.
Wavetable synthesizers are popular and trendy. In the last few months/years, many manufacturers brought their interpretation of wavetable synthesis, initially developed by Wolfgang Palm (PPG…) on the market. Many with great success, many with less. Features, price,… there are many reasons why a plugin can fail. I think the wavetable market is oversaturated and it’s time to come up with new synthesis ideas.
Matt Tytel, the developer of the free HELM Synthesizer, shows us Vital, a new free synth that offers a wavetable engine with a twist. Instead of traveling through classic wavetables, Vital relies on a warping concept. This means you can mangle the harmonic content of each wavetable in different ways.
Vital is a free plugin but only in the basic version. This is fully functional, has the same features, and has no limits. I’ll go into the differences later. It features three high-quality wavetable oscillators each with frequency warpers and waveshapers. The built-in wavetable editor let you dive deep into the depth of the tables. Right-clicking on the wavetable opens up two exciting functions. For one, text can turn into wavetables. This algorithm is smart, it even recognizes different languages. On the other hand, you can transform presets into wavetables, which can also lead to interesting ideas.
If that’s not enough flexibility, as already mentioned, two shaping sections with different algorithms are available. Harmonic/inharmonic stretch, Shepard tone, spectral time, screw, in the spectral domain, and FM, RM, Sync in the wave morphing to name only a few. For example, Serum doesn’t offer mangling options that go to the core of the harmonics, just for the waveforms. Point for Vital. In addition to the three over-flexible wavetable oscillators, you can also activate a sample slot, for example for noise.
All 4 signals (3 Osc + sample) can then be routed individually or together in one or two filters, each of which has 32 different filter types and drive control. From analog, digital up to filter types with continuous blending, there is a filter for every sound taste. Vital is a true stereo modulation powerhorse. 3 envelopes, 4 audio-rate LFOs, two randomizers, and more can easily be assigned to parameters using drag & drop. In Matt Tytel’s new free synth, the randomizer isn’t classic either. It comes with a wide range of different random mod sources including Perlin, Lorenz Attractor, S&H, and sine interpolation. Each with stereo options.
In the dedicated mod matrix, you have not only a perfect overview of all assigned modulation but also further shaping opinions. All this is rounded up by nice animated graphical displays.
It features 8 versatile effects ranging from a multiband compressor, delay, phaser, reverb, and more to finalize the sounds. You can play the plugin inside your DAW with a classic keyboard including microtonal file support or with an MPE controller.
Basic, Plus, Pro & Subscription, The Differences
Vital is free for everyone, has the same features, no limitation, and is the perfect Black Friday deal. Even for musicians who are not in the mood for a new soft synth. However, if you like more sounds, wavetables, and personal support, you get opt for one of the commercial licenses.
- Basic (free): 75 presets and 25 wavetables
- Plus ($25): 250 presets and 70 wavetables
- Pro: ($80): 400+ presets, 150 wavetables, unlimited text-to wavetables (a web service which is limited to 5 requests/day), exclusive Discord perk & prioritized support.
- Subscription ($5 per month): $5/month credit in-store, (use your entire subscription payment to build up your preset bank or use toward buying the Plus and Pro bundles), subscriber-only packs, unlimited text-to-wavetable, exclusive discord perk, prioritized support, first access to new features and plugins.
In summary, I can only congratulate Matt Tytel for his fantastic Synthesizer plugin. A real beast and real competition for Serum and co, I’m sure of that. Especially a no-brainer deal for those who love Serum but don’t want to spend the money on it. Vital is a great alternative, it offers a lot that Serum can but also a lot of new ideas.
This is probably the best Black Friday deal of this year. And please support Matt. Developing costs time and money. What he’s done here is great and that should be supported.
More information here: Vital Audio