Sampleson’s latest software instrument combines three layers of analogue-modelled synthesis with a wavetable layer, as well as boasting a trio of built-in effects modules. SkyWaves also features comprehensive macro controls that promise to make light work of creating immersive, evolving soundscapes.
The instrument’s main interface is largely empty, see above example, with a small horizontal bar providing just the level controls for each of the four layers, along with a main output level. There is a good reason for the sparse design, though: SkyWaves employs a feature used in a number of the company’s other instruments — such as the rather spooky-looking Alienize, reviewed here in SOS January 2023 — which allows assignable macro controls to be manipulated by clicking and dragging the mouse cursor over the GUI. This offers a quick way to modulate multiple parameters at once and vary sounds over time, and the action can also be recorded as DAW automation.
In-depth parameters for each layer can be accessed by clicking its Edit button. The analogue-modelled synth layers are equipped with oscillators that offer sawtooth and square waves along with a noise source, each with its own level controls. A VCA section houses the usual ADSR controls, followed by a resonant filter. An LFO is on hand for modulation duties, and unexpectedly there is a built-in arpeggiator. The wavetable layer then offers a continuously variable Waveform control, followed by the same set of VCA and VCF controls. All four synth layers are equipped with sends to the instrument’s built-in Reverb, Shimmer, and Delay effects.
Take a listen to the demos below to hear it in action.
SkyWaves is supported on PCs running Windows 7 and above, and Macs running macOS 10.7 and later. It is available in VST3 and AU plug-in formats, as well as a standalone application. There is no AAX version, so Pro Tools is not supported.
Pricing & Availability
SkyWaves is available now and is currently (28 August 2023) being offered for an introductory price of $39, reduced from its full cost of $59.