D16 – Syntorus 2 | HONEST Review (2020)

Syntorus 2 review: cover image

Syntorus 2 brings the rich warmth and character of analog chorus hardware into the modern era of music production. This beautifully designed, triple path chorus plugin is capable of almost any chorus effect under the sun, from subtle, vintage detailing to spacious, modulating, truly unique effects. In terms of versatility and sound quality, Syntorus 2 has to be one of the best chorus plugins out there.

Sound Quality

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Features

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Ease of Use

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Specs: Compatibility: Windows or macOS | 3 delay lines, each featuring Multimode filter, Tremolo effect, Panning | High-quality analog BBD delay line emulation | 3 LFO generators, each featuring 6 waveforms, Timeline-locked tempo sync, Independent phase shift controls for left and right channels with link option, Amplitude control with invert option | 3 LFO-to-delay-line routing configurations | Over 100 presets


If you’re a beginner to the world of music production, you may be familiar with audio effects such as reverb, compression and EQ. These are the main weapons of choice in almost any producers arsenal, and have been for many years. However, at some point in your music production journey, you’ll want to venture out and experiment with some more specialized effects, such as chorus.

Effects such as chorus, flangers and phasers played a crucial part in the development of 60s and 70s rock music, creating the weird, spacey, modulating guitar sounds that are heavily associated with this era. 80’s pop and disco music also utilized these effects, with layered, pitch-y vocals and fat, polyphonic synthesizers. In modern music however, some producers tend to look past chorus, flangers and phasers, deeming it too “vintage” or “dated”. However, in my opinion, if you’re aren’t taking advantage of these highly versatile effects, you are missing out on an enormous amount of creative potential.

D16’s Syntorus 2 looks to bridge this gap, delivering highly authentic analog chorus sounds, while still managing to find it’s place in the world of modern production. Let’s take a closer look at this chorus plugin’s engine, and find out what Syntorus 2 actually has to offer.


Syntorus 2: The Engine

Upon opening Syntorus 2, you’re met with a robust, vintage design, which acts as a stunning homage to classic analog hardware. The gorgeous metallic interface is divided into 4 main sections:

The LINE section allows you to select the base delay time for each of the delay channels. One of the major upgrades for Syntorus 2 when compared to it’s predecessor was the addition of a third independent delay line, which gives this revamped version a huge amount of extra sonic versatility. Tremolo, filter options and modulation parameters are also included in this section. You are also given the options for low, high, or band-pass filter curves for each delay line, so with a little tinkering, Syntorus 2 can become a multiband chorus plugin.

The next section along the interface is the LFO module. There’s nothing too outrageous going on it this section, but it does provide 3 fully-independent LFO’s, with 6 waveform options and a host-sync option for each LFO.

The mixer section is extremely straight forward, allowing you to change the mix volume and pan for each of the 3 chorus channels. For such a simple feature, this is highly effective for creating spacious, vast-sounding chorus effects, or separating contrasting chorus lines to avoid muddy-ing the mix.

The final section contains volume and wet/dry mix controls and a Bucket Brigade Delay option, which emulates the unique character of analog BBD circuits, plus 3 routing schemes for each chorus channel.

Overall, the simplicity of Syntorus 2 results in a no-nonsense, intuitive experience that is perfect for beginners, while still giving advanced producers more than enough to sink their teeth into. A couple more modulation options may have been nice here, but it’s hard to complain given the stripped-back, vintage concept of the plugin. But all this begs the questions, how does this sleek, powerful plugin actually sound?


Syntorus 2: The Sound

Usually the first thing I do when trying out a plugin for the first time is to explore the preset options, before I begin to manipulate the sound manually. Within a few minutes of browsing the keyword-indexed presets of Syntorus 2, I was astounding by not only the quality of the sound output, but the diversity of possible effects.

From classy, understated chorus effects to abstract, heavily modulated sounds, the sonic scope of this plugin is insane. Especially given the simplicity of its design. Another highlight of this plugin is the lush, vintage, analog authenticity that could only really be achieved through pain-staking attention to detail when it came to the emulation process. This results in a warm, deep tone soaked in analog nostalgia.

As you might expect, this chorus plugin works particularly well on electric guitars, pianos, keys and long, evolving pads. Embedded above are a few audio clips from D16 showcasing the quality and character of the basic chorus sounds. However, it definitely should be noted these are only the tip of the iceberg. They don’t show the variety of weird and wonderful modulated sounds this plugin can create that fall outside of what one would even class as a “chorus effect”.


The Verdict

When all is said and done, Syntorus 2 is an absolute joy to use. The engine is extremely fast, easy to understand and allows for a huge amount of creative possibilities.

One of the major criticisms of the original version was GUI sizing issues. With Syntorus 2, D16 have clearly listened to their audience and have provided 3 GUI scaling options. In addition to this, the added delay line, new LFO generators and several other upgrades make Syntorus 2 a giant improvement on the original. As a producer who loves vintage modulation and trying out new sonic ideas, I’m tempted to use this plugin where normally I wouldn’t even consider a chorus.


Compatibility: Mac or Windows

Format: AU / VST / AAX / Windows: 32-bit and 64-bit versions, Mac: 64-bit only.

Syntorus 2 is currently priced at €59.

For more information, testimonials, or to purchase Syntorus 2, visit this product on d16.pl.



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