Rob Papen unveils Predator 3, the next chapter of its flagship subtractive Synthesizer plugin with a brand-new user interface, new waves, filters, multi-envelopes, and more.
Predator, opinions are divided. Many love it, others don’t. I’m not nerding about the last Predator movie, I’m talking, of course, about the Predator, Rob Papen’s flagship subtractive Synthesizer plugin. It has been on the market for many years. It all started with the Albino in collaboration with Linplug. This project then resulted in Predator, a product by Rob Papen and his developer Jon Ayres. And this virtual instrument has lasted.
Predator 2 has been around for many years. Certainly not a hit like Serum or Massive but a synth that should not be missing in any arsenal. With Predator 3 there is now a major further development with many new features and a brand new interface.
Rob Papen Predator 3
Predator 3 remains Predator even if the user interface has got a massive makeover. I, personally, like it better than the previous one. You can see the functions and parameters more clearly, and you get a better overview of the order of the synth blocks (oscillators, filters..). According to Rob, the user interface has been re-designed so that all essential main controls are visible on the screen, making it interactive and easy to use. That’s correct. For me at least, it’s the cleanest Rob Papen synth so far.
Predator 3 remains a sophisticated subtractive Synthesizer that does much more than just the classic stuff. It has three oscillators + sub with classic, additive, hybrids, spectrum… waveforms. Alternatively, you can also draw your own shapes in the waveform editor. This got a lot easier with a new section to let you view, analyze, edit, and draw new shapes. You can even edit individual partials in detail. Definitely, an upgrade compared to its predecessor.
Then it goes in a pair of analog-modeled filters with 38 filter types, additional high-pass filter, pre-filter distortion, and more. From here it goes in a fully-featured amp section and in a multi-effects section with 3 FX slots. 34 different effects are waiting for you to be tried out here. These can also be modulated for additional sound shaping fun.
The main signal chain got a major upgrade in version 3. Besides many new waveforms, filters… Rob and his team implemented the analog-modeled sound code of the B.I.T Synthesizer plugin that brings uncompromised audio quality for analog types of sound or hybrid wavetable sounds. That makes me very curious to check out the new version.
More Modulation Options
The modulation engine of Predator 3 also got a big boost forward. It now hosts two new multi-envelopes with up to 15 stages with curve control, loop function, and different envelope speed controls. This allows you to create easily your own envelope shape. Also new is an audio follower input for the side chain control with 11 inputs and four destinations with amount/amount control.
The built-in arpeggiator also has several new features on offer. It now has double in size with 4 layers, offers new modes, ratcheting, and different unique ways to combine the 4 ARPs. I’m really happy about the ratcheting function that makes more complex melodies possible. The next Tangerine Dream-inspired arp lines are already waiting.
Another new function is hidden under the “special” tab where you can find the “intelligent preset variation”. It’s basically a smart sound design helper that gives you useful deviances from where you are. Plus, it has a built-in preset morpher that lets you find new sounds by morphing two existing sounds together.
Predator 3 remains a true preset paradise. It ships with a crazy amount of presets (6500+ in various styles) from P1, P2 but also completely new ones that were specially crafted for the P3 release. The bank manager has been improved as well with new clever features and a better structure. This is super important with 6500+ onboard sounds.
Predator looks much better and tidier in version 3. The new features are also nice addons. I really like the new multi envelopes that give more modern modulation options. As a Predator user from the very beginning, I’m very looking forward to checking out the new version.
Rob Papen Predator 3 is available now for $149 USD and runs as a VST, AU, and AAX plugin on macOS and Windows. P3 also supports NKS and is not yet M1 ready. Existing Predator 2 customers can upgrade for $49 USD. P3 is also part of the new eXplorer 7 bundle.
More information here: Rob Papen