Rob Papen Blade 2 is an exciting additive synthesis virtual instrument that provides a rich palette of infinite audio possibilities for both sound design and performance with a ton of new features and stellar presets that will captivate synth fans.
Generate beautifully original sounds with superb depth and range. Tweak your tones with countless modulators, filters and onboard effects. Add energy and excitement with the advanced XY pad. Achieve more motion with the killer step sequencer and so much more...
Blade 2 excels at evocative, evolving soundscapes, ambient effects, deep, sweeping pads and wild wobbulating effects, as well as crazy leads, and mega basses. In fact, the sound bank is so huge there are patches for all types of music styles. If you're growing weary of the same old virtual analogues and sample-playback instruments, Blade 2 will certainly bring your creativity back to life!
We highly recommend watching the videos for a detailed overview of Blade 2.
The original Blade synthesizer released in 2012 had a unique concept in controlling the waveform harmonics (Harmolator) by using an XY pad. In addition, the XY pad movement could also be recorded, edited, and played back tempo-based.
This concept of Blade meant that you could generate some very different sounds, compared to regular subtractive and even additive synthesizers.
With Blade 2, Rob Papen has expanded the features of Blade even further making it a dream synthesizer for synth lovers who like to think out of the box and love to experiment!
Next to the Harmolator mode, Rob Papen has now included an Additive mode which allows you to morph or mix between 4 additive waveforms using the XY pad. Of course, in addition to using these additive waves, you can also create and edit your own!
Another new addition is a dedicated wave-analyse section which analyses the sample data into a waveform, which again can then be used in the Harmolator or Additive section.
To expand the sound options furthermore, Blade 2 also includes an additional analog-type oscillator plus a noise oscillator. However, it doesn’t stop there, because it now has 32 different Filter types to help shape your sound further!
The Arpeggiator section inside Blade 2 has also received a huge update with some very cool new features (see 'More Info' tab for full details).
There are now two additional rows for controlling the X and Y position of the XY pad. Also new is the ‘ratcheting’ feature including different ratcheting modes.
Last but not least, Blade 2 has 3 Multi-FX processors with the renowned high-quality Rob Papen FX.
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Blade 2 Features - Detailed Overview
- 16 Voice virtual synthesizer
- GUI size 100%, 125%, 150%, and 200%
- Different tunings possible using .tun files
- Responds to MIDI Program change and MIDI Bank Select
Top GUI Section:
Blade-2 uses a Preset/Bank menu to select and manage Presets.
You may store up to 256 Presets, but the amount of factory Presets do not exceed 128 because of MIDI program change.
The menu features: Quick Browser / Recently Browsed / Favourites / Default Preset/ Convert Blade 1 Bank or Preset / 100/125/150/200 Screen Size
Blade-2 uses a Bank menu to select and manage bank Folders. The menu features: Create New Bank Folder
- Edit / Orig
As soon as you start editing a Preset the Edit button will light up. If you click on the Orig button it will return the Preset to its original settings.
- ECS (External MIDI Control)
The ECS button allows you to load and save the entire external MIDI controller setup. Once set, it is shared by all Presets and all instances of Blade-2 that are loaded into your DAW.
The menu options are: Load ECS / Save ECS / Clear MIDI
Opens up Blade-2’s PDF Manual.
Opens Blade-2’s Easy Page.
- Bank Manager
Opens Blade-2’s Bank Manager screen.
- Blade-2 Logo
Clicking on the Blade-2 logo takes you to the Back Panel. The Back Panel shows global settings and infrequently accessed controls.
- Control Menu (3 lines ICON at the right-hand side)
Clicking on the Control Menu icon will pop up the Control Menu, where you can set the screen size, set how Blade-2 reacts to MIDI, where it shows Graphic envelopes or dial controls and other options.
Spectral Display Section
- This shows the spectrum or wave of the Harmolator / Additive oscillator.
- You can select between: Harmonic, Dynamic, or Waveform display
Play Mode / Chord / Global Section
- Play modes
Poly, Mono, Legato, Arp
The portamento menu controls the portamento modes, which are: Off, Constant Rate, Constant Time, Held Rate, and Held Time.
- Chord/ Strum
The Chord Note menu allows you to set up to 8 note chords, these are triggered when you press a note and are saved within the Preset.
Please note that you still have a limit of 16 notes, so playing chords will reduce the number of different chords which can be played at the same time, for instance, a 4-note chord means only 4 of these chords can be played at once.
The strum speed controls the timing of the chord's note, so they are strummed. Strum Sync allows you to sync this strum speed to the tempo.
Chord Display you can set semi-tuning (-36 to +36 semitones) for note 2-8, velocity, and panning of each chord note.
- Global Settings
Tuning (default 440hz)
Warmth (analog drifting)
Keyboard Velocity shape response
Filter Envelope Attack / Decay / Release Curve
Amplifier Envelope Attack / Decay / Release Curve
Harmolator / Additive Oscillator Section (shared controls)
- Harmolator / Additive
The main oscillator in Blade-2 is the Harmolator / Additive oscillator. This can work in either Harmolator or Additive mode, you can select between these by clicking on the Harmolator or Additive radio buttons, and it can be turned on/off by clicking on the Harmolator / Additive label.
In the top part of this oscillator, the controls from Unison to Output are the same for both the Harmolator and the Additive oscillator.
In Unison mode, the Harmolator / Additive oscillator plays up-to 4 unison voices, for each note played. This works at an Oscillator / Filter level, so you can still play up to 16 voices in poly mode.
The Unison detune parameter changes the pitch slightly for all these voices. This gives you an extremely rich-sounding stack of voices. The Unison spread pans the different unison voices to the left / right channels.
The sub-oscillator knob allows you to use two different types of waveforms. If you turn it to the left, it produces a sinus waveform. If you turn it to the right, it produces a square waveform. The center position turns the sub-oscillator off.
- Sub-Shift menu. For instance, if it's set to -1 Oct, the sub-oscillator tuning is set to be one octave below the Harmolator / Additive Oscillator.
For the square wave sub-oscillator, you can use the sub-oscillator symmetry position modulation destination to alter the square wave's width, so you can create pulse width modulation (PWM) sounds by using an LFO to alter this width.
Where the Harmolator / Additive oscillator's output is sent to, you can send it to either the Pre-Filter Distortion, the Filter itself, FX 1 to 3, or to the Dry Output.
Harmolator Oscillator Section
- The original heart of Blade-2 is the Harmolator, this is an additive oscillator with 96 partials.
Additive synthesis uses sine waves of different frequencies to create more complex waves.
Blade-2 works differently by using global controls to alter the general additive spectrum, so making it easier to create interesting sounds. This encapsulating of this additive spectrum, we have called a Harmolator and has the following controls.
- The controls: Base, Range, Symmetry, Timbre, Timbre Type (16 Timbre Types), Timbre Waves, Even / Odd, Ripple, Ripple Width, Harmonic, Harmonic Volume, Harmonic Shift.
Additive Oscillator Section
- In the Additive mode you can use up to 4 sets of 16 partials (known as a Wave-set) to generate sound. These partials are more complicated than the 96 partials used in the Harmolator because you can set the pitch, volume, wave & phase of each partial separately.
The reason why we picked 16 editable partials, is because above the 16th partial it becomes hard to control them all, so we decided to have 16 partials but with more properties.
Also, there are many additional features, like being able to load the Timbre waves which also appear in the Harmolator or the option to save waves and using them inside the Harmolator.
- Modes: You can select between the 4 Wave-sets (Set A, Set B, Set C and Set D) using the “Edit Set” menu.
- How the Wave-sets work in practice depends on the Wave-sets combination mode, and also the position of the XY indicator in the XY screen.
Set A - Only Wave-set A is used.
Set A+B Mix X-Axis
Set A-D Mix X-Axis
Set A-D Mix XY-Axis
Set A+B Morph X-Axis
Set A-D Morph X-Axis
Set A+B Morph X-Axis
Set A-D Morph XY-Axis.
- Edit Modes for each wave set
Each of the 16 partials in the 4 Wave-sets have 5 different properties. These can be edited in the big Additive screen, which property is shown is selected by the “Edit Screen” menu.
Properties: Amp, Phase, Tune, Fine, Wave (Sine, Saw, Square or Triangle).
- Wave Preset
This menu, allowing you to quickly load in an additive factory or user wave Preset.
Here you can alter the partials in the current or all the sets.
Analog Oscillator Section
Sine, Saw, Square or Triangle.
- Output menu
In Unison mode, the Analogue oscillator plays up-to 4 unison voices, for each note played.
The control parameters are: detune and stereo amount
- Sym (symmetry)
- SMA amount (symmetry modulation amount)
- SMP Speed (symmetry modulation speed)
- High-pass Filter
- Low-pass Filter
The Analog oscillator envelope controls the volume.
The parameters are Attack Decay Sustain Sustain Fade Release and Tempo Sync option.
Noise Oscillator Section
Mixes between having 100% Pink Noise (at 0%) to having 100% White Noise (at 100%).
Where the Noise oscillator's output is sent to, you can send it to either the Pre-Filter Distortion, the Filter itself, FX 1 to 3, or to the Dry Output.
- Tuned (Tuned Noise)
- Bandwidth (Tuned Noise)
- Frequency (Tuned Noise)
- Frequency Envelope amount (Tuned Noise by )
- Stereo amount
- High-pass Filter
- Low-pass Filter
- Noise Envelope
With Attack Decay Sustain Sustain Fade Release and Tempo Sync option.
Pre-Filter Distortion Section
- The 20 distortion types are: Bits, Clipper, Cos, Cross 1, Cross 2, Foldover, Fuzz, Gapper, Hard Limiter, OverDrive, Octave, Octave 2, Power, Rectify, Ring Mod, S&H, Saturate, SoftLimit, Square, Transient
- 36 Filter Types
Low Pass Filter (LP) --. 6dB, 12dB, 18dB, 24dB or 36dB per octave.
High Pass Filter (HP) – 6dB, 12dB, 18dB, 24dB or 36dB per octave.
Band Pass Filter (BP) – 12dB / 24dB
Notch Filter - 12dB & 24dB
For the 12dB & 24dB Filters, there are 3 types of Filters, which have different tonal characters. The Z Filters are zero-delay
Vowel Filter - Vocal Filter with Vowel controls.
Formant 1 - Vocal Filter, which creates a vocal character based on 2 bands. Here The Vowel knob changes the difference in frequency between these 2 bands.
Formant 2 - Vocal Filter, which creates a vocal character based on 4 bands. Here the Vowel knob changes the difference in frequency between these 4 bands.
Comb Filter - A comb Filter is a very short delay that either enhances or reduces frequency depending on the comb Filter frequency. In the + comb-Filter the feed-back of the Comb Filter is positive, and in the – comb Filter, the feed-back of the Comb Filter is negative.
Ring Modulation - The ring modulation Filter multiplies the incoming signal with a sine oscillator whose frequency is the Filter frequency. The Q dial controls the amount of ring modulation.
- Cutoff Frequency control
- Separation control
Generates a difference between the left and right channel Cutoff Frequency.
When this is on the Filter tracks the input volume into the Filter and tries to ensure the output volume of the Filter is at the same level.
- Q (Resonance)
Controls the vowel used in the Vowel Filter or the spread of the Filters in the Formant Filters.
- Cutoff Frequency Modulation: Velocity (Vel). Key Track, Modulation Wheel, and Envelope
- Filter Envelope
Graphic Envelope controls. By default, the graphic Filter Envelope appears. If you prefer dials, you can select these in the ‘Control Menu’ which appears as a 3 lines icon in the upper right corner of the Blade-2 user interface.
- Envelope Curve control (Attack and Decay/Release)
Envelope Controls: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Sustain-Fade, Release, and Key-Track.
The Amplifier incorporates a Distortion section. In practice, it increases the volume of the signal and adds distortion (additional overtones) to the signal. The Amount of control sets the level of distortion.
The special feature of having the distortion at this stage is that it gives each voice of Blade-2 its own distortion!
- Velocity (Vel > Vol)
- AMP Volume Envelope
Graphic Envelope controls .by default, the graphic Amplifier Envelope appears. If you prefer dials, you can select these in the ‘Control Menu’ which appears as a 3 lines icon in the upper right corner of the Blade-2 user interface.
- Envelope Curve control (Attack and Decay/Release)
Envelope Controls: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Sustain-Fade, Release, and Key-Track.
The XY pad is a combination of a live, interactive control, and an automated programmable modulation source. Use the mouse to control the 24 Free parameters simultaneously, by moving the XY dot around the XY Pad. It is also possible to record these movements as paths and use the XY pad as a programmable two-dimensional LFO.
The position of the XY dot is the modulation source for the 24 destinations shown around the XY Pad.
It is possible to record the moving dot on the XY pad as a path. Switch the XY pad status to Rec and drag the dot around. Blade-2 will capture all movements as a path in its memory. After recording, the path is ready for playback. Hit the Play button, and play a note. You will see the XY indicator move across the screen following the previously recorded path.
The XY path is saved as part of the Blade-2 Preset and is ready to be used when you next use this Preset.
- Modulation Controls
Surround the XY screen are the modulation controls. The ones at the top & bottom are those controlled by the Y position, those at the sides are the ones controlled by the X position.
The dial controls the amount of modulation, the menu shows which control is modulated by the X or Y position (i.e. it's the destination), and the on / off buttons control whether the modulation is on or off (clicking on the XY label will bypass the XY totally).
The XY pad operates in Poly, Free or Mono mode. The mode setting determines how the XY responds when you play one or more keys simultaneously.
When Loop is On, the XY dot will jump from the end of the path, back to the start of the path and keep moving. In the < > mode, the XY path loops but travels back and forth along the path. When Loop is Off it travels the XY path one-way only once.
- Sync To
By default, when the XY path is replayed, it plays back at the speed with which it was recorded. However, if you want to alter this, the Sync To menu enables you to set the time period the XY path takes to playback. This is set in quarter-beats and is synced to the host's tempo.
Paths are stored as 128 points and the in-between connections. You can change the number of points stored, using the Points menu. The minimum number of points is 2 points, suitable for very straightforward paths. If you return the resolution back to 128 points (Off), the original points will be restored.
- Space Quantize
- Space Quantize restricts the points in the current path to a set of grid lines. The default setting is off, but when you select a grid of 32, 16, 8 or 4 grid lines, Blade-2 will snap all the points to their nearest grid point. The Quantize setting is non-destructive. Disabling Space Quantize will return the points back to their original position.
- Time Quantize
Time Quantize sets the update frequency of the XY position. Use this in conjunction with the Sync function to find the optimized balance between update frequency and the number of points in the path.
- Play Speed
The Play Speed control alters the playback speed of the recorded XY Path. It ranges from 1/16 of the set time to 16 times the set time.
The smooth control will soften any edges and corners in a path. Use this control if you want to avoid sudden changes (which may sound harsh) in modulation signals.
- Speed Control
This allows you to set a modulation source (via the menu), and how much this source changes the speed.
The Edit button located near the XY pad puts the XY path in edit mode. While in edit mode, you can move the path's points around and thus edit the XY Path manually.
A right-click on the XY display or the command button opens the XY Menu with the following options: Load XY Preset, Save XY Preset.
In the XY commands menu it also shows all the previously saved XY Presets. Clicking on one Preset loads it in.
Harm Mod Section: Harmonic / Additive / Filter Velocity
These knobs allow you to modulate the Harmolator / Additive / Filter controls using the current key's velocity.
Clicking on the “Velocity” label bypasses the Velocity modulation, and clicking on of the Harmolator / Additive / Filter labels here, bypasses that specific modulation.
Harm Mod Section: Harmonic / Additive / Filter Envelope
These knobs allow you to modulate the Harmolator / Additive / Filter controls using an Envelope.
Envelope parameters: Pre-Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Sustain-Fade, Release, Key-Track, Curve Control
Harm Mod Section: Harmonic / Additive / Filter LFO
These knobs allow you to modulate the Harmolator / Additive / Filter controls using an LFO.
- Sine, Triangle, Saw Up, Saw Down, Square, and S&H This is where you can set the type of wave that modulates the Harmolator / Filter controls.
Poly, Free, and Mono.
- Speed control
- Speed control & source
Harm Mod Section:Harmonic / Additive / Filter Modulation Source
Here, these two sets of controls allow you to modulate the Harmolator / Additive / Filter controls using Blade-2's modulation sources, set via the “Source” menu.
Clicking on the “Source 1/2” label bypasses that modulation, and clicking on of the Harmolator or Filter labels here, bypasses that specific modulation.
In this screen, you alter Blade-2's free modulation sources & matrix. Also, Blade-2 has an envelope & LFO which are hard-wired to Blade-2's pitch.
You can select the Modulation Screen by clicking on the “Mod” button.
Pitch / Free 1 & 2 Envelope
The Pitch Envelope which is hard-wired to Blade-2's pitch. Clicking on the “Env” label bypasses it. Free Envelope 1 & 2 are envelopes that can be used to modulate anything via the modulation matrix. You can select between the different ones by clicking on the “Pitch Env”, “Free Env 1” or “Free Env 2” radio buttons.
- Graphic Envelope controls.
By default, the graphic Pitch / Free Envelope appears. If you prefer dials, you can select these in the ‘Control Menu’ which appears as a 3 lines icon in the upper right corner of the Blade-2 user interface.
- Curve control
By pressing the control key and the mouse, it is possible to change the Attack cure and the Decay/Release curve of the Harmolator Envelope. These curve controls also appear in the dials inside the Pitch / Free Envelope section.
The default settings of Blade-2 are linear for the Attack parameter and -20 exponential for the Decay/Release parameter.
- Envelope Parameters
Pre-Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Sustain-Fade, and Release
Tempo sync option for the Envelope.
- Amount (Pitch Envelope)
Amount the Pitch Envelope alters Blade-2's pitch, up-to 3 octaves up or down.
- Amount control & source (Pitch Envelope)
Allows you to modulate the Pitch envelope using Blade-2 s normal modulation sources. Control is the amount of modulation and source of the modulation source.
Pitch / Free 1 & 2 LFO
Pitch LFO which is hard-wired to Blade-2's pitch. Clicking on the “LFO” label bypasses this. Free LFO 1 & 2 are LFOs that can be used to modulate anything via the modulation matrix.
You can select between the different ones by clicking on the “Pitch LFO”, “Free LFO 1” or “Free LFO 2” radio buttons.
Sine, Triangle, Saw Up, Saw Down, Square and S&H
Poly, Free and Mono. This controls how the Pitch LFO responds when you hit one or more keys.
- Sync (Tempo based LFO)
- Speed control & source
Allows you to modulate the Pitch LFO's speed using Blade-2's normal modulation sources. Control is the amount of modulation and source the modulation source.
- Amount (Pitch LFO)
- Amount control & source (Pitch LFO)
Allows you to modulate the Pitch LFO's amount using Blade-2's normal modulation sources. Control is the amount of modulation and source the modulation source.
Blade-2 has 16 free modulation slots, which can be used to modulate any of the controls.
Only 8 are shown in the modulation matrix screen, but you can use the scroll bar at the right-hand side to show the other ones.
- Bypass 1 – 16
- Source 1 – 16
This is where you can select one of Blade-2's modulation sources.
- Destination 1 – 16
Here you select one of Blade-2's modulation destinations.
- Destination amount 1 – 16
This is where you select the amount of modulation. This can be a positive or a negative modulation depending on the selected parameter.
- Amount control 1 - 16 & source
This is where you select the controller for controlling the destination amount parameter. With the amount of control, you can set how much this control alters this destination amount value.
This can be either a positive or negative amount. So, you can increase the modulation or decrease the modulation.
- Lower / Upper threshold 1 – 16
Sets levels at which the ranges in the modulation work. Below the lower threshold, the modulation is turned off. Between the lower & upper thresholds, the modulation amount goes from the minimum to maximum amounts.
Above the upper threshold, the modulation amount is set to the maximum value.
- Offset / Amount 1 – 16
This is where you select the offset & amounts for the modulation. Offset controls the minimum amount & the amount controls the maximum amount. This can be a positive or a negative modulation depending on the selected parameter.
Double click on a value with set it to its default value, pressing shift will allow you to fine-tune a value, and Right-clicking on the modulation matrix brings up the menu, which allows you to clear, copy, paste & bypass the modulation matrix, saved it to disk and reload it in, and also to clear, copy, move & bypass individual modulation slots plus allowing you to enter values numerically.
Blade-2 offers a classic style Arpeggiator and if you select the ‘Sequencer’ mode, it also offers a classic analog-style sequencer.
The Velocity, Free & X/Y row can be used in the Modulation Matrix to control the other available Blade-2 parameters.
And you can find more features inside of Blade-2's ARP! If you are in Poly / Mono or Legato mode, you can still use the Arpeggiator as a modulation source.
Arpeggiator A / B Play-mode.
- The Play Modes
Arpeggiator A – plays Arpeggiator A only.
Arpeggiator B – plays Arpeggiator B only.
Join – play Arpeggiator A, then Arpeggiator B, then Arpeggiator A and so on.
Top - the top MIDI keys sets which sequence is played, MIDI notes 93 sets the Arpeggiator to A, and MIDI note 94 sets the Arpeggiator to B.
Set the number of steps in the Arpeggiator pattern, from 1 to 16 steps.
Arpeggiator A & B have their own Step & Speed menus, all the other settings are shared between the two, in general.
The Speed control sets the speed of the Arpeggiator relative to the Host's tempo, for example, 2 x tempo or ¼ x tempo.
Arpeggiator A & B have their own Step & Speed menus, all the other settings are shared between the two, in general.
- Up to 16 steps for Arp A and B
- Mute / Unmute (per step)
- Tie (per step)
Tie links the step to the previous steps and as such extends the note lengths.
- Slide (per step)
Slides the pitch from one step to the next. The sliding rate is set by the Slide control.
- Tune (per step)
Each step has a range of -3 octaves to +3 octaves in semitones.
- Vel (per step)
Vel defines the Velocity value of the step.
- Free (per step)
The Free rows value can be used in the Modulation Matrix as a modulation source.
- X/Y (per step)
The X & Y rows values can be used to directly change the X & Y positions (when these rows are turned on).
- Ratcheting (per step)
This allows the step to be ratcheted (i.e. repeated). When it's off the note plays as normal, when set to '2' it's repeated twice, '3' repeated 3 times and '4' repeated 4 times. When ratcheting occurs depends on the “Ratcheting Menu” / “Vel > Ratcheting” knob (see below).
- Arpeggiator Modes
This menu controls the order in which the Arpeggiator plays its notes
Up - The notes are played from low to high.
Down - The notes are played from high to low.
Up/Down - The notes are played from low to high followed by from high to low.
Down/Up - The notes are played from high to low followed by from low to high.
Random - The notes are played in random order.
Ordered - The notes are played in the order in which they were triggered, i.e. first note played first and last note played last.
Reverse Order - The notes are played in the reverse order in which they were triggered, i.e. last note played first and first note played last.
Ordered Up/Down - The notes are played from first to last followed by last to first.
Ordered Down/Up - The notes are played from last to first followed by first to last.
Chord - The Arpeggiator plays all notes as a chord in a rhythmic pattern. In Chord mode, you cannot set the unison mode.
Sequencer - In this mode, the Arpeggiator acts as a sequencer and plays the programmed pitches relative to the played note and continues playing in sequence with every new note played.
Sequencer Reset - In this mode, the Arpeggiator acts as a sequencer and plays the programmed pitches relative to the played note. The Sequencer Resets to step 1 with every new note played.
The Octave setting gives you the option to play the arpeggiated notes in multiple octaves, relative to the original notes. For example, an octave setting of 2 means that the original notes will play first followed by the same notes one octave higher. NOTE: the [Octave] setting remains active also if the [Sequencer] or the [Sequencer Reset] mode is active.
- Tie Mode
Tied mode lets you select whether tied steps use their own programmed values for Tuning, Velocity etc or use the values of the step they are tied to. The following options are:
Normal - Tied steps do not have an individual slide, tune, velocity, and free settings.
Special - Tied steps do still have an individual slide, tune, velocity, and free settings.
Toggle 1 - The Arpeggiator alternates between Special Mode and Normal Mode (Special Mode on the first cycle).
Toggle 2 - The Arpeggiator alternates between Normal Mode and Special Mode (Normal Mode on the first cycle).
- Arpeggiator Command Menu
The Arpeggiator command menu allows you to Edit, Copy, Paste, Clear, Save, and Load Arpeggiator settings. A right-click in the Arpeggiator or the Command menu button activates this menu.
- Step Len
This controls how long each Arpeggiator note/step is. Note that a 100% setting is needed if you use a tied step!
Swing is a control that allows you to change the rhythmic feel of the Arpeggiator. It does this by slightly moving every other note relative to a fixed timing grid. Whether it suits your work depends very much on the musical piece you are working on, so we encourage you to experiment with different values here.
Slide works as an intra-sequence portamento. It sets the time it takes for the pitch to change from the selected step to the next.
- Vel / Key
The velocity of the steps in the Arpeggiator sequence can be controlled by their programmed values, by the velocity of the key played that is used to trigger the Arpeggiator or a combination of both. The Vel / Key control sets the balance between these.
- Ratchet Mode
Ratchet mode controls how the ratcheting works, the ratcheting can be set to change every time the Arpeggiator cycles (depending on the mode).
Off - The ratcheting is always off.
On - The ratcheting is always on.
Off / On Cycle - The ratcheting alternates per cycle, starting with off and then on, and then off, and so on.
On / Off Cycle - The ratcheting alternates per cycle, starting with on and then on, and then on, and so on.
2 Off / 1 On Cycle - The ratcheting alternates per cycle, starting with off then off and then on, and so on.
3 Off / 1 On Cycle - The ratcheting alternates per cycle, starting with off then off then off and then on, and so on.
1 On / 2 Off Cycle - The ratcheting alternates per cycle, starting with on, then off and then off, and so on.
1 On / 3 Off Cycle - The ratcheting alternates per cycle, starting with on, then off, then off and then off, and so on.
Velocity - the ratcheting is on if the note velocity is below the value set in the Vel > ratcheting knob.
- Host Sync
Host Sync synchronizes the Arpeggiator to the DAW host so that it will start on a quarter-beat. This is enabled by default.
- Lock Mode
Lock Mode locks the current Arpeggiator sequence. It keeps it going even when you change Presets. There are 3 modes:
Off - Lock is turned Off.
On - Lock is turned On. The Arpeggiator sequence carries over between a change of Presets, but it can’t be modified. It will not change the new Preset.
Set - The current (locked) Arpeggiator sequence is saved with the new Preset. Locking is turned off in the new Preset.
Latch frees your hands. When Latch is turned ‘On’ you don’t need to keep holding notes for the Arpeggiator to continue playing. Tip: you can use a Sustain Pedal to latch and unlatch the Arpeggiator. Please see the MIDI section on how to set this up.
- Key Entry
This switch enables keyboard entry of the notes in the Arpeggiator sequencer. A value of 0 is used as a middle C.
User Wave Analysis Section
In Blade-2, you can load in your own small waves (typically single cycle ones), whose partials can be determined and used as a timbre (User Wave as it is called). You can select the User Wave Analysis Screen by clicking on the “Wave” button.
- Zoom In / Out / Reset
Zooms in or out of the sample (or resets the zoom). Moving the scroll bar in the bottom of the sample screen allows you to move around this zoomed sample.
- Wave Start position
Allows to move the start position left or right either in large steps (< or >) or smaller steps (<< or >>).
Allows you to change the selected length either increasing or decreasing it in large steps (< or >) or smaller steps (<< or >>).
Locks the selected length, so moving the start position will move the end position so the length is preserved.
- Select All
Selects all of the sample.
Allow you to set the select length via MIDI note (i.e. at 44.1kHz an A note at 110hz will select 44100 / 110 = 400 samples). You can either use the “MIDI Note” menu or pressing “Key Entry” allows you to set it via pressing a note, “Set to Note” then sets the selected length for that note.
The bottom display shows the current User Wave, either extracted from a sample or the one saved in the Preset / loaded from disk.
- Save User Wave
Saves the current user wave to disk.
- Load User Wave
Loads in a User Wave from disk.
- Clear User Wave
Clears the User Wave.
The easy screen allows you to alter all the major controls in one place. To access the Easy screen, click on the “Easy” button. To return to the normal screen, click on the “Easy” screen again.
All the controls are the same as in the normal screen except for the following.
- Harmolator Group 1 to 3
3 knobs which allow you to global control the Harmolator controls.
- Harmolator / Additive Oscillator Controls
They control both the Harmolator / Additive oscillators, these are Unison Detune / Spread, Sub-Oscillator & Additive Volumes.
- Analogue Oscillator Controls
This allows you to control the Analogue oscillator's Waveform, the Tuning, the Volume and the speed of the envelope.
- Noise Oscillator Controls
This allows you to control the Noise oscillator's Volume, Tuning (both turning it on & off and its frequency), and the amount & speed of the envelope.
- Global X/Y, Velocity, LFO & Envelope Amount
Globally alters the amount the modulators change the Harmolator / Additive / Filter controls. These controls only alter those Harmolator / Additive / Filter controls which are not zero.
- Global Free LFO & Envelope Speed
Globally alters the speed of the Free LFO & envelope.
- Play Mode
Play Mode control
- Pre-Distort / Filter
The Pre-distort / Filter & Filter Envelope controls.
The Amp / Amp Envelope controls.
- Effect 1 to 3
Effect 1 to 3 Mix / Bypass / FX Type controls.
Bank Manager Section
In the Manager Section, you find and organize your Presets and Banks. Clicking on the Manager button displays the Preset Manager page, clicking on it again returns you to the Main page.
There are four main sections: Presets, Find, Search Category and Set Category. For each section, the Banks are visible on the right-hand side.
- Preset Manager
Clicking on the Preset button shows the Preset screen. Here are shown the Presets in the current Folder (bank). Presets in Blade-2 are single .fxp files stored in Folders (Banks), you can have up-to 256 Presets in a single Folder.
In the Preset screen, the current Preset is shown in red, and clicking on a Preset will load it. Shift + clicking allows you to select a range of Presets and Ctrl + clicking allows you to select non-consecutive Presets.
- Right-Clicking on a Preset does audio preview it.
- Star Presets
While in the Preset screen in the Bank Manager you can mark any Preset with a Star if you like the Preset. The Star appears after each Preset name and can be checked and unchecked by a mouse click. With so many Presets available in Blade-2, the Star system helps you to recall favourite Presets that you encountered in previous Blade-2 sessions.
To Filter on Star-marked Presets, click on the Star symbol adjacent to the Preset button. Blade-2 will only display Star Presets.
Behind the scenes, Blade-2 builds a file that contains all the Star Presets. This can be found in your documents Folder (see below). Use this file to back up your Star settings or to use your Preset selection on a 2nd computer system.
The file that holds the Star info is called Star.txt. It can be found here in the following locations:
• PC: Documents\Rob Papen\Blade-2\Bank Folder\Star.txt
• Mac: Applications\Rob Papen\Blade-2\Bank Folder\Star.txt
- Preset Commands:
Select All / Unselect All / Load / Save / Save As / Copy / Cut / Paste / New / Delete / Rename
- Find Allows searching the banks on a name or partial name.
- Search Category
Clicking on the Search Category button will display the category search screen. In Blade-2, Presets can have tags in the categories Type, Tempo/Feel and Timbre. Clicking on a tag in a category will toggle that tag The Preset part will show all Presets with the same tag.
- Set Category
Clicking on the Set Category button displays the Set Category screen. Here you can set the tags for the Presets in the current bank, clicking on a tag will toggle it on / off. You can select Presets and set their tags. These tags will be saved with this Preset when you click on Apply and Save.
- Bank Manager
The Banks are always visible on the right side of the Manager screen. In Blade-2 banks are really Folders on your hard drive in which Presets are stored. In the Bank Screen, the current bank is displayed in red. A click on a bank loads it and moving the scroll bar on the right will scroll through available banks.
Commands: Copy, New, Delete, Rename, Refresh,
- In this section, you select one of the 3 effects for Blade-2. A special feature of Blade-2 is that you can control all effect parameters by MIDI or use Blade-2 its modulation matrix.
Click on FX 1 / 2 / 3 selects that effect, which is shown below. Clicking on the FX label which bypasses all the effects.
Controls how the 3 effects are connected, they are Serial – the effects are connected in serials, so the output of FX 1 goes into FX 2, and the output of FX 2 goes into FX 3.
Parallel – the effects are connected in parallel. (1 + 2) > 3 – FX 1 and FX 2 are in parallel, and the output of these goes into FX 3.
Effect commands, these allow you to bypass, copy, paste, clear, load & save the effect's settings.
Here you can select one of the 30 effects for each of the effect units of Blade-2.
Availble FX: Mono Delay, Stereo Delay, Tape Delay, Comb, Reverb, Chorus, Tape Chorus, Chorus/Delay, Ensemble, Flanger, Tape Flanger, Tape Flanger, Phaser, Analogue Phaser, Wah/Delay, Auto Wah, Distort, Multi Distort, Clipper, Low-Fi, Amp Sim, Cabinet, WaveShaper, Stereo Widener, AutoPan, Tremolo, Vibrato, Gator, Compressor, FX Filter and Equalizer
This is where you control how much the effect output is mixed with the original signal. Fully left only the original signal is heard and as you turn the knob to the right, more of the effects signal is added to the mix.
Controls the Panning of the selected effects.
Bypasses the currently selected effects.
Back Panel Screen
- A click on the Blade-2 logo will display the back panel. The back panel contains several global controls that affect all instances of Blade-2.
Typically, the settings you make here are of the type Set-and-Forget; i.e. you only need to do it once right after the installation of the plug-in. Think of these as a collection of preferences.
- MIDI Channel setting
- MIDI Program / Bank Change
- External MIDI Control Capture Mode
- Computer Keyboard Up / Down
- Preset Command Warning
- Screen size options: 100%, 150% and 200% size.
- A4 tuning
Sets the base pitch for Blade-2, normally it is set by default at 440Hz..
- Tuning scales option.
Blade 2 Live Stream
Blade 2 Introduction
Blade 2 - The Sounds
"I love the way Blade allows you to create modern and old skool sounds by reinventing the way a synth can be programmed. The modulation abilities are fantastic and the sound quality goes well beyond the usual soft synths. Very easy to create synced bass lines and rich phasing pads. The XY pad allows amazing morphability. Blade really does provide you with infinite possibilities." - Davide Carbone, DnB Pioneer
Please click on the link below to view the download and install guide for this product.