Wavetable synthesis was something of a backwater architecture until the 2000s for music producers and audio engineers. It was first developed by Wolfgang Palm and published in the early 1980s as part of the PPG Wave series. Wavetable synthesizer ability to play sampled waveforms helped electronic musicians to lend an element of’reality’ to their songs. However, it wasn’t just a proto-ROMpler. Users could sweep through the waveforms like a drone flying across mountainous terrain, with the machine seamlessly interpolating between samples, thanks to its wavetables (clusters of samples). While Waldorf continued to release hardware wavetable synths after Palm left business to build DSP for Steinberg, it had always played second digital fiddle to samplers and eventually analogue modeling for analog synthesizers.
A wavetable is a collection of sound waves that have been sampled. To put it another way, it’s a collection of single-cycle waveforms. Sine, saw, square, and triangle are the most basic waveforms. Wavetable synthesis is one of many methods of synthesis in which a single cycle waveform is chosen at random from a set of wave shapes. The sound of wavetable synthesis is created by interpolating between distinct wave forms. This fascinating technology is heavily utilized in today’s music creation process. There are a lot of software wavetable synthesizers out there, and after narrowing down a lot of them, we’ve compiled a list of the top wavetable synth plugins for music makers in 2022.
Arturia Pigments 3
This adaptable and versatile plugin combines vintage analog synthesis and wavetable synths to give you the power of every shade of sound synthesis. Audio producers are familiar with Arturia’s incredible-sounding plugins, such as the V Collection. The quality of their goods is undeniable like arturia pigments, and we can see why. Colorful sound engines, easy modulation, and studio-grade FXs characterize this outstanding polychrome synthesizer.
Pigments combines the power of superior hardware and software to let you create, animate, alter, and refine complex patches in your own style. You can use two of the four sound engines at once, and an extra oscillator and up to two layers of sampled noise are required for your bespoke timbres to come to life.
On this software, there are a plethora of methods to customize a waveform to your desire as a audio producer. The wide range of FXs combined with the engines provided provide a basis for creating and shaping practically any wavetable to your exact specifications. As previously said, the best of both worlds of synthesis – analog and digital – are present, ensuring that your productions receive the highest-quality samples imaginable.
There are 18 amazing FX algorithms to choose from in order to make your sound source genuinely one-of-a-kind. Three FX algorithms are present at the same time, thanks to Bus A, Bus B, and Send Bus. From a Jun-6 Chorus to a tape echo, there’s plenty for your sound design projects, whether you’re looking for a more vintage approach or cutting-edge sounds.
Simply drag and drop any samples or wavetables to change them. It’s now a standard function on most synths, but that’s exactly the kind of ease that’s required to deconstruct such wonderful creations. It also demonstrates how well this software handles sound synthesis processing.
A strong sequencer that can handle arpeggios, extensive randomization, scale quantization, and polyrhythms in a way that no other sequencer can. This tool is required to get the most out of a simple cycle wave, as well as the unlimited modification options for automation. This is a new feature that is a fantastic addition. It enables you to generate flexible frequency modulation behavior between two active engines, allowing you to broaden your sonic powers to modify sounds in the way that genres like dubstep, drum & bass, and others need.
With a built-in filtering option, a combination of 16 distortion styles can provide the perfect level of roughness for your production. On a sample file, this is ideal for dialing in that smooth dynamic range on select frequencies without sacrificing the others.
Three new modes have been added to the classic comb filter: LP6, BP6, and HP6. Each can use the feedback loop to filter models out specific frequencies and expand control over the comb filter, simulating the natural audio behavior of acoustic instruments. On this software, there are a plethora of methods to customize a waveform to your desire. The wide range of FXs combined with the engines provided provide a basis for creating and shaping practically any wavetable to your exact specifications. As previously said, the best of both worlds of synthesis – analog and digital – are present, ensuring that your productions receive the highest-quality samples imaginable. This is the Best Wavetable Synth Plugin in 2022.
u-he Hive 2
Hive’s simple style and workflow allow you to make gorgeous patches in no time. Hive is a CPU-friendly program that doesn’t sacrifice versatility or audio quality. Version 2 adds more controls than ever before, allowing you new levels of expression… and pure pleasure! Wavetables are included in Hive 2! These are regulated in the middle hexagon and appear as several waveforms.
Here’s a quick rundown of Hive’s features: It’s a synth with two oscillators and two sub-oscillators. There are three distinct synth engines to pick from, and the two primary oscillators give a choice of normal waveforms or wavetables, with up to sixteen times unison. The controls are mirrored on the left and right for the most part, with a huge hexagon in the middle housing extra options for an arpeggiator/sequencer, XY settings, effects, and a scope. Drag-and-drop modulation is also included, as is easy-to-learn MIDI, and the shape sequencer and function generators are located near the bottom of the screen. Hive is also an efficient synth plugin, so it won’t put too much strain on your CPU. Let’s take a closer look at it now that you’ve learned more about its main characteristics. I won’t go through every single feature in Hive because it has so many, but I’ll try to cover the most of them.
You can choose wavetables manually, modulate wave position using the matrix, or scan between them automatically with the envelope and loop options (which let you animate wavetables without the need for an extra modulation source). This panel also includes Reverse, which flips the wavetable back to front, Cyclic mode, which allows for continuous wavetable cycling, and several real-time interpolation algorithms.
A compressor, distortion, chorus, phaser, equalizer, delay, and reverb are among the Hive 2 effects. They can be arranged in whatever sequence you like, and the configurations you make can be saved for future patch design. They’ve included some effect presets to get you started, so if you only want a delay and reverb, for example, pick the Outer Space preset. U-effects he’s sound fantastic, as they always do.
It can be difficult to cover all of the capabilities of a synth plugin of this magnitude in a single post. Despite the fact that it has a lot of functions, it never makes you feel overwhelmed when using the controls. The user interface is quite well-designed. In addition, the manual is well-made and includes a Tips and Tricks section that may assist you come up with new patch design/tweaking ideas.
It will be interesting to see whether u-he incorporates some of the new features in Hive into future versions of their other plugins. Overall, I think this is a fantastic synth plugin, and u-he done a fantastic job enhancing its modulation capabilities. This is the Best Wavetable Synth VST Plugin in 2022.
You may be familiar with Roli as the makers of the Seaboard, a MIDI controller keyboard that can do vibrato and pitch bends using sensitive touch keys, eliminating the need for a second hand on a mod wheel.
Equator2 is a synth made by the same people that made their famous keyboards, and it’s just as intuitive and expressive as their famous keyboards. It flexes on existing synths by allowing users to employ wavetables, noise generators, multi-samplers, and, most notably, granular synthesis engines as oscillators. Granular synthesis can appear to be a time-consuming process, but picture taking a short sample and wanting it to be longer. The synth will create “grains,” or little bits of sound, and play multiple of them at the same time, giving it a moving and flowing feel.
There are a slew of other options to tweak it as well! This synth also has a very user-friendly routing system that is both aesthetically appealing and functional, making it simple to shape sounds to your taste. In addition, it comes with 1400 presets, a wavetable bank, and a library of sampled sounds to get you started.
Kilohearts Phase Plant
An award-winning semi-modular soft synth with a plethora of setups and unlimited possibilities for the most discerning sound designer.
When you first open Phase Plant, you’ll see a blank page with little else. Despite the fact that it can be frightening, KiloHearts makes it a welcoming invitation to try it out and find what works best for you. Of course, if you want to get started right away, there’s a list of presets. The possibilities are nearly endless, allowing you to generate a firm tone on that bass line or re-create the sound of a sword ripping through ice for your film. In any case, Phase Plant provides you with all of the necessary options and flexibility in a single box.
Analog, Wavetable, Sample, and Noise are the four signal generators available. It’s possible to add as many of them as you like while moving between them at the same time. Utility modules, like as groups, mix, and aux choices, give you even more control over your waveform design.
Snapins between the three unique effect lanes on the main screen are available in the KiloHearts Ecosystem. Mixing and customizing regular effect plugins that also act as modules in hosts is as simple as it gets. They can be purchased singly or in packages, however kilohearts.com offers a free option. In a per-voice processing mode, all of the effects in that lane are applied to each voice separately.
You may quickly increase your collection with banks, which are also available for purchase at kilohearts.com, in addition to the wavetables and presets that come with the plugin. It’s a good choice if you need more LFOs or sources to work with, and they’re all designed to fit Phase Plant’s architecture.
The menus are simply adjustable if you wish to re-route the Generators or modify the sound targets for the modulation to work with. In a heartbeat, they’ll alter every configuration that’s required. When it comes to producing new sounds, having less complex windows or parameters allows you to be more creative. Synths aren’t usually friendly at first glance, but it’s all about how you use the controls. Even with effect lanes that resemble tracks in a project, you can see your signal route, effects controls, and many other parameters almost as if you were in a DAW. KiloHearts is aware of this, which is why they produced an instrument capable of delivering the most intriguing and specific sounds in a clear format.