PIGMENTS 2.0 FIRST LOOK
Arturia's flagship synth Pigments gets a massive update
Jan 28th 2020
Wavetable + Virtual Analog + Sampler + Granular = Pigments 2.0
Arturia spent the better half of 20 years recreating classic synths of yesteryear. In 2018 Arturia released their first original synth, Pigments. Flash forward to the end of 2019, and this already powerful synth gets a huge new update making it one of the most flexible software synthesizers in the world.
In version 1, we had wavetable and a analog engines. 2.0 brings two new modes of synthesis and sound creation:
Being able to manipulate and use samples in synth is a sound design dream. Being able to do that in Serum is what in part allowed us to make our award winning Serum banks X Keys and Sphere. But on paper at least, Pigments has a lot more power when it comes to sampler based sounds over Serum.
You can drag and drop your own samples into each engine which is cool. The granular engine isn't as full featured as an entire granular synth, but that can be a good thing if granular synthesis scares you a bit.
Pigments 2.0 is now a do it all type of synth
So we know a lot of you already have Serum (as well as a bunch of other synths) so how does Pigments stack up against the competition?
Pigments 2.0 vs Serum - here's our thoughts on this. In terms of pure wavetable synthesis, Serum has Pigments 2.0 beat. There's just more you can do with wavetables in Serum. But Pigments has Serum beat in the sample department. Serum can load one sample via the noise oscillator, while Pigments 2.0 allows you to use up to 6. Factor in the granular engine, and it's not even close.
Serum has more filter types and the effect page/rack is easier to use than Pigments 2.0. Pigments has a dedicated Sequencer, while Serum does not.
For those reasons, we don't think it's a matter of which one should you have or use over the other, there's room for both of these incredible synths in any producer's lineup.
Pigments 2.0 new features at a glance
- Instead of simply improving the 2 existing engines, they actually added two more; giving Pigments four different Synthesis Engines (VA, Wavetable, Granular, and (Multi-)Sample), which includes a variety of stock-samples… but the real magic happens when you import your very own, so do NOT forget to grab some of our free samples here
- A brand new Low Pass Gate Filter (inspired by West Coast modular synthesis), taken straight from their emulation of Don Buchla’s ‘Easel’.
NOTE: This is super unique filter-type, so don’t forget to experiment! It is also known to create the ultimate pluck. However, make sure to keep in mind that the key is being used more as an Envelope/Gate, as opposed to a standard Filter.
- The new multi-sample engine enables us to Map up to 6 samples across the key-range; helping us to not only get more creative, but produce more realistic sampled-instruments as well.
Keep in mind that all functionalities mentioned (including the ones described below) are also fully functional in Granular mode as well, as the Granulizer is simply an extension of the sampler itself.
Aside from basic mapping, we can opt to trigger a set of samples based on velocity. You can even choose to ‘round robin’ a set of samples, by having those specific samples (continuously) cycle through to the next ones.
Meaning, every time a note/key is being triggered, the following sample (in the set) will automatically be played; even if it’s simply the same note playing over and over again.
This can be used in the traditional sense: to simulate a live instrument and to add some additional variety, or in the more experimental sense: to randomize the following sample being played, add an element of surprise, or even produce a sequence through creative triggering (with the sequencer/arp)... the possibilities are truly endless!
- One especially exciting (and beneficial) feature that most synths oftentimes overlook, is the ability to read sample loop-points. Meaning, any pre-looped material will automatically be read and looped by Pigments 2; just like Serum’s Noise Oscillator would when one shot-mode is not enabled.
- New analog tape-delay.
Instead of being just another ‘standard feature,’ we’re dealing with Arturia here, so it’s not just any analog ‘style’ delay, it’s the real deal! It’s actually modeled after analog, so it gives that super authentic sound.
- The sequencer has a new (non-destructive) ‘randomize’ option.
NOTE: By ‘non-destructive, we mean that after the randomize-sequence is complete, you can opt to visit the original set of parameters; always being able to go back to your previous pattern/sequence, if desired.
- MPE support... and yes, it’s real deal support! Just note, like most MPE-compatible software, you must first enable it.
This can easily be done in Pigments’ (lower) toolbar/header, located on the bottom of the screen.
*For the entire list of minor updates, features, and enhancements, check out Arturia’s site, in the update/release section.