Klevgrand Tomofon is a novel Synthesizer plugin that lets you turn audio files into a large set of fully-customizable audio model wavetables.
A synthesizer plugin consists of one or more sound generators. The core consists here of sample-based content or is based on pure synthesis. Most consists of pure synthesis, which makes the instrument much more versatile. The most widespread are virtual analog, wavetable, or FM synthesis. One notices that the novel synthesis concept are difficult to find on the market.
Often they are very experimental and require going beyond basic synthesis knowledge. A great example that it’s also possible very hands-on shows the releases by the Swedish developers of Klevgrand. They pack very fascinating ideas into very feature-reduced but hands-on instruments. I just think of the wonderful Jussie synth. With Tomofon, Klevgrand released a new synthesizer today, which has an innovative concept.
Unlike the previous Klevgrand synthesizers, Tomofon is a flagship plugin that goes into all detail for the first time. It’s a novel instrument because it introduces an all-new “audio-model” technology that allows you to process very large volumes of waves, extracted from real audio.
It’s particularly interesting how it all works. Synthesizers typically use two or three oscillators per voice. Every note you play usually uses the same oscillators. It’s different here. Here you can use different wave sets per note. For this task, there is a built-in editor/mapping tool with which you can map waves on different note regions. Plus you can set them to different velocity levels. Once mapped, these waves are stored as a kind of wavetable known as an audio model. A bit like a sampler plugin that only works with large quantities of waves.
You can use the built-in audio models found in the “audio model starter pack” or create your own files. This is certainly more exciting. Very intriguing is the ability to morph between them in both layers and zones. This makes all transitions between zones and layers continuous and seamless.
Thanks to the possibility of having different waves per note, you can create very expressive sounds that are constantly evolving and sound very organic.
Modulation and Effects
In addition to the audio models engine, Tomofon also has classic functions that round the instrument. You get a filter with cutoff, resonance, and drive controls as well as modulation possibilities.
There are four envelopes that are routed to distinct functions: gain, depth, pitch, and filter. Each has a drawing function for its own shapes and deeper functions like looping. It also hosts several multi-wave LFOs including a sample and hold generator with randomization.
A very simple patch matrix takes over the routing of the modulators. On the effects side, you get post-reverb, delay, and EQ.
Klevgrand was kind enough to send me a version a few days before release. At first glance a very unusual Synthesizer with a very distinct sound. It’s fun to turn samples into waves and watch what Tomofon generates from them. Don’t expect the fat sounds of a virtual analog synth here. They are very smooth, soft, and gentle side. A little bit like an acoustic instrument. It reminds me strongly of the peculiarity of the Jussie Synthesizer.
I hope Klevgrand will further develop this unique concept because there is still room for improvement in some areas. For example, GUI resizing is missing.
Klevgrand Tomofon is available now for an introductory price of $99,99 USD instead of $129,99 USD. It runs as a 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX plugin on macOS (Intel + native Apple Silicon) and Windows.
More information here: Klevgrand
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