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Adam Szabo JP6K Synth Review

Back in 1999, Trance music was everywhere - on TV (Viva, MTV etc.), on the radio as well as in clubs, discos and huge events. Paul van Dyk was a god, so was Chicane and others. Plenty of tracks released and surprisingly most filled with modern, fresh sounds. Probably that's because released tracks were actually selected ? Ok, nevermind ;)

1999


Here are some classic examples of Trance music produced in 1999

Chicane - Saltwater



Thrillseekers - Synaesthesia



Do you like such trance ? Well, I love it (even if I also like Michael Jackson, Queen, Depeche Mode and my older brother was forcing me to hear Metallica, Slayer, Kreator ;) )

One of the trends was uplifting / epic / anthem / emotional trance focused on building huge trance anthem melodies powered with positive, warm, smooth, non aggressive sounds.

Supersaw


Rank 1 - Airwave



Cygnus X - Superstring



Do you recognise the sound ? Yes, that's the Roland JP-8000/8080 and it's Super Saw oscillator which described trance music for the next few years. Sure, at the end it was boring to the death, but the beginning it was creative, fresh and beautiful.

Adam Szabo JP6K


I remember that I always wanted to recreate that Rank 1 - Airwave pad (or other "supersaw" sounds) but for some reason I couldn't do it. I mean, sure, with tons of processing it was possible to get that smooth, warm, full pad but it was way too complicated. Every software plugin that claimed to have a supersaw oscillator (or something similar) actually failed. It was too thin, or too bright, or too dark, or too much phasing - well, it just wasn't good enough.

So how about now ? It's more than 10 years later - is there any synth which captures the beauty of the supersaw sound ? Yes ! One guy - Adam Szabo (you should know him from his great soundbanks) released his plugin named AS JP6K. It's goal is to remind you that good old, 2000's when trance wasn't such crap as it's now ;) What does it mean ? Yea, you know it - it means that JP6K has two "supersaw-like" oscillators implemented, as well as Filter section (12/24 db, High-, Band-, Low- pass filters), one LFO unit which can modulate pitch or filter or amp, there is an EQ, Delay unit and that's pretty much it :)

Compared to current monster synths such as Synapse Dune, Waldorf Largo, JP6K seems very limitating (for example you can't assign Mod Wheel to the filter env for example, you need to do this "manually" in you DAW; there is only supersaw "waveform", there aren't any sine, square, triangle waveforms :) ) but I'm telling you - it was designed for one thing (supersaw) and it does it perfectly. It lets you create all these lushy, smooth, warm pads, melodies, plucks and, I guess, it's the closest supersaw hmm emulation (?) I have ever heard and it's very easy to use.

Everytime I'm playing with the JP6K I'm surprised how flexible this soft synth is. It's just two, same (extremely flexible) oscillators but it turns out that there are tons of possiblities. The factory soundbank contains 114 presets and it's more than enough to give you that good old trance sound or "anjunabeats" trance feeling (without a piano of course ;) ).

The GUI is designed very well - it's clean, it focuses on main feature "supersaw-like" oscillator and that's a good thing.

So, is it worth ?


Well, if you're looking for pure Roland JP-8000 emulation then you should probably just ... buy the Roland JP-8000. But if you need an amazing supersaw sound (not necessary trance related) then 25 EUR is really a bargain. Why ? because these 2 oscillators are just the best :)

I absolutely love the pads, these machine can produce. If you're not a trance (or similar genres) lover then probably most presets won't fit your musical taste but still you should reconsider buying it. If you need some warm, smooth pads - JP6K is truly great for it (but not only of course - it's great for leads, basses too). Fully deserved "Value for Money" tag :)

Don't forget to check the demo. My reviews are subjective so use your own brain to make a decision :)

Below audio demo with some of the factory patches (credit goes to the authors)




ps. I did create few (factory) presets for JP6K, it was a pure pleasure for me (try my "PAD - Epic Trance" preset ;) ) - some good old trance memories came back :)



PRICE: 25 EUR

More info: AdamSzabo.com - JP6K


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

i hate the supersaw sound the worst thing in synthesizer history

Greeg said...

Well, I don't think it's the worst thing :) Those who designed supersaw and first producers who used it were creative. It's the other who started copying, copying, copying. But the truth is that whole current music industry is about copying...

trance head said...

Nice review. Just downloaded the demo. This super saw is fundamentally a very nice sound. In a way it's too bad that so much memorable music was made with JP-8000 that the sound became cliche.

Greeg said...

thanks :)

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