Surge 1.9 free Synth plugin is official with many new features & improvements including new oscillator & effect algorithms from Mutable Instruments, Jatin Chowdhury & more
Every musician starts small. Very few buy a Moog One to start with. Often the journey into music production begins with a package full of free plugins. The year 2020 also had a good one. The market for high-quality free plugins has never grown so fast. I think we are living in the best days to start producing music.
Surge is a beautiful example. It is a Synthesizer plugin (macOS/Windows/Linux) that was discontinued by the developer and became open-source before it was discovered in oblivion. The result of this move is impressive so far. Since the takeover in 2018, Surge has been constantly updated with new features by the open-source community. Today there is another major update (Surge 1.9) that includes many new features new oscillators, effects (MI Clouds) & more.
Surge 1.9 is another update with lots of new features to discover. It adds 4 new oscillator types including a modern low aliasing waveshape oscillator, an alias, a string waveguide-based feedback oscillator as well Twist. The latter is based on the famous multi-oscillator module Plaits from Mutable Instruments.
There are no new filters in this update, there were numerous new ones in version 1.8. Instead of filters, you can benefit in Surge 1.9 from 14 new effects including a granular + reverb processor taken from the MI Clouds module.
- Effects by Jatin Chowdhury including Neuron, a distortion effect (Gated Reccurent Unit), CHOW, a truculent distortion effect , Exciter, an aural exciter unit, and Tape, a compact implementation of Chow Tape Model.
- 11-band graphical EQ
- resonator takes inspiration from a very well-known vintage hybrid poly synth that rhymes with “vogue”. Plus expanded with a few Surge-inspired additions.
- combulator, a novel bank of 3 comb filters with feedback, additional noise exciter, separate output volumes for each comb, and individual panning for two out of three combs
- ensemble effect with several BBD modes and a clean delay mode, uses a very famous tri-phase dual LFO modulation setup
- nimbus, a live input granular processor with built-in reverb based on the Mutable Instruments Clouds module.
- treemonster, a really wild pitch-tracking ring modulator from Shortcircuit 2, proper Vember Audio classic!
- five new Airwindows effects including Galactic, Infinity, Verbity, MatrixVerb, and TripleSpread
Other DSP Changes, Microtuning Enhancement, Content & More
In addition to these new features, there are many improvements to almost every point in the engine. The oscillator drift now works properly for all oscillator types, Surge now supports single-cycle wavetables, 4 new waveshapes in the sine oscillator, Sine, FM2 and FM3 oscillator types now have extended range for feedback parameter by default & more.
Surge 1.9 now provides two tuning application modes, on the MIDI input or after modulation. Further, the developers added ODDSound MTS-ESP as a tuning source. According to them, Surge is one of the first synths that integrates this functionality.
The interface also got a good amount of improvements making it more straightforward. It also ships with new patches & FX presets from Vospi, Arti, Databroth, and more.
These updates are also being used for a new generation Surge that the developers are currently working on. Surge XT will hopefully be released in this Summer and will be based on the framework JUCE.
Surge 1.9 is a huge update and you just have to congratulate the developer on how much time and effort they have put into further development. I’m always thrilled with the number of new features being added to every new version of this synth. From abandonware to one of the best synthesizer plugins out there. And it’s free and open-source.
Surge is available now and runs as a VST3/AU plugin on macOS, Windows, and Linux.
More information here: Surge