Rob Papen Blade - Sound on Sound - July 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
is like a scalpel: so sharp it's almost painless! Via a dozen knobs and a few menus and buttons, the Harmolator could be the gateway to widespread additive addiction. The spectrum display plays a big part in this, giving real-time insight into what each parameter does. I"d go as far as to say that Blade's synthesiser is easier to understand than FM and almost as fast to program as subtractive synthesis – no mean feat!
Putting the complicated stuff out of reach doesn't automatically mean a lack of details, either; it simply means you're not bogged doen with decisions about the amplitudes of every individual partial. Still, it would have been nice to occasionally dig a little deeper (and, who knows, that might come one day). For now, I think the balance is about right.
Admittedly, the inclusion of an XY pad is not radically new but this version is audibly different, due to the additive parameters and the synchronised pad motion. Other than the lack of a central patch database, there's really only one aspect of operation to complain about: the glowing text.
Blade is quietly innovative, fairly-priced and a real palate-cleansing alternative to other synths. If you're still unconvinced, why not download the demo version and give those partials a spin?
Click here to read the review in full at soundonsound.com