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Westwood Instruments Lost Synth

Westwood Instruments Lost Synth

Westwood re‑imagine some classic instruments to take familiar sounds to new places.

Virtual instruments come in many forms. Some might be classified as predominantly sample‑based (for example, many acoustic drum or orchestral libraries). In contrast, others are synthesis‑based (many software recreations of classic hardware synths fall into this type). Others, however, fall somewhere in between and Westwood InstrumentsLost Synth is an interesting example of that.

As a Kontakt‑based instrument, it does have an underlying sample base, drawn from a collection of vintage synths including the Juno‑60, Polysix and ARP Odyssey. However, while these samples undoubtedly shape the sound, it’s the sound manipulation engine Westwood have built within Kontakt that defines what Lost Synth is really about. And, as that engine does — in parts at least — contain some rather unconventional elements, the sonic end result is also unconventional. If you like your synth sounds to be atmospheric, quirky, textural and possible with an added rhythmic element, Lost Synth might be right up your street.

Lost Synths Found

Designed for Kontakt 6.6.1 or later (free or paid version), Lost Synth features 80 underlying sample‑based sounds. This comes in at a fairly compact 3.7GB in total, can be downloaded via Pulse and is authorised through NI’s Native Access. The UI is nicely styled and the default Sounds page, as well as providing access to all of the 200+ Kontakt Snapshot presets, also hints at the twin layer nature of the sound design. As we will see in a minute, that’s not quite the whole story, but the Sounds page is where you select sounds for the A and B slots from the underlying sample sources. It also provides a set of fairly conventional controls for activating each slot, setting level, pan, attack, release and two different tuning options. The large Blend knob adjusts the balance between the two sound slots and, if you activate the Motion option, this lets you automate the Blend based upon different LFO shapes, with sync to host or time‑based speed control. MIDI Learn can also be used for hands‑on control of any of Lost Synth’s parameters.

If all you do is load one of the presets and tweak using the controls described so far, there is still plenty of sonic character to be explored. The presets category and sub‑category labels hint at the somewhat leftfield sonics — Dirt, Dusk, Glow, Shrt (short for ‘short and using shorter sounds) and Warp, for example — and while there are some conventional(ish) sounds within the collection (for example, within the ‘4ths, 5ths’ category), that’s not really what Lost Synth is about....

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