SPC Plugins ArcSyn Review (With Audio Examples)

SPC Plugins ArcSyn (Quicker Review)

Whipped Cream Sounds

Sound Quality
Features
Presets
Ease of Use
Value for Money

Verdict

SPC Plugins’ ArcSyn is one of the best digital synths you can get under $100. Featuring Oberheim Matrix 12 style filters, internally generated Waveforms and incredible Modulation, ArcSyn is an extremely unique synthesizer plugin.

4.7

SPC Plugins’ ArcSyn is a virtual analog synthesizer with a subtractive workflow. Designed with a ground-up approach, ArcSyn’s waveforms are all generated from scratch, within the plugin. Add to that incredible LFO’s with wave sequencing, as well as Oberheim Matrix style self-oscillating filters, and you have one of the most exciting VST synths of recent years

Pros

✅ Incredible Modulation capabilities

✅ Great sound quality

✅ Internally Generated Waveforms

✅ Oberheim Matrix 12 style filters

✅ Low-CPU usage

✅ Cheaper than most other comparable synths

What Is SPC Plugins ArcSyn?

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit, (no M1 compatibility)

SPC Plugins ArcSyn is a virtual analog subtractive synth plugin with an experimental edge. ArcSyn doesn’t use any samples or wavetables, rather, generating all of the waveforms internally, from scratch.

Unlike a lot of other VST synthesizers out there recently, Arc Syn is entirely original and isn’t trying to emulate any specific synthesizer. This leads to an incredible sound quality, that can be then put through modulators, to create experimental and unique patches of your own.

With incredible modulation capabilities, hundreds of presets and 71 built-in waveforms, ArcSyn is one of the most interesting synthesizers released in the last few years.

With features like wave sequencing, as well as tons of unusual waveforms the Unique LFO design has been described as “modulation heaven”, and we have to agree.

ArcSyn also features self-oscillating Oberheim Matrix 12 style filters with unusual filter types such as Frequency-Shift, Scramble and Multi-Alias.

Lastly, one of our favourites: the random function can help you in moments of creative slumps, and is awesome to inspire new synth patches and ideas.

How Does It Sound?

The Sound Quality of ArcSyn is awesome, it manages to sound almost analog, while at the same time, having a very distinct experimental, digital, sound quality.

The intense amount of modulation further accentuates the experimental qualities of this synthesizer, allowing for incredibly intricate synthesis and presets.

And, since ArcSyn uses no samples, rather generating the waveforms internally, the resulting presets can be complex, unusual, as well as conventional and familiar.

ArcSyn also comes with over 450 presets to play with, so let’s take a listen to a demo of some of our favorites!

FuzzBuzz Unison
Jazz Chords
ARP Chord
Songwriter

Features of Arc Syn

Now that you know what ArcSyn is, and how it sounds, it’s time to look into the features and control a bit further. From oscillators and filters, to LFOs and Envelopes, the features of ArcSyn are kind of amazing

Keep in mind however, that ArcSyn is quite a complex synth, and we won’t possibly be able to talk about every feature it comes with, so you’ll just have to experiment with it.

Oscillators

The SPC Plugins ArcSyn comes with 3 oscillators, and 71 available waveforms to use for each.

Remember, these aren’t wavetables, the oscillator waveforms are generated internally!

While you have most of what you expect from oscillators, the sine, triangle, saw waves, you also get some more exotic waveforms, such as 1-Bit Noise, Quad Xor, Super Triangle and more.

Every oscillator ahs their own separate Shape and Level controls, the former lets you adjust the characteristics of your selected waveform. These adjustments are waveform dependent, so for example, Shape for SuperSaw will control the detune of the waveforms.

In addition to the shape and level, each oscillator has the usual Octave and Semitone Transposition controls. Underneath these, you’ll find the detune controls.

With ArcSyn you get both an Exponential and Linear detune. Exponential detunes will gradually increase in speed, when played at higher pitches, while linear will have a constant rate across the spectrum.

Lastly, in addition to a Phase Reset switch, you also have a mix slider which adjusts the output to your two filters. These can be mixed, to go through one or the other, or both at the same time in different amounts.

Filters

The two filters you get with ArcSyn are self-oscillating filters.

Modeled after the Oberheim Matrix 12 filter, both filters can be configured in parallel, or in series, through the Routing button.

Each filter has 37 filter types to choose from, with Low pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Notch, SVF as well as Frequency-Shift, Scramble and Multi-Alias filters, with different variations of filter-pole amounts.

In addition to the usual Cutoff and Resonance knobs, you have eight types of distortion and drive available. From soft and hard clip, to tube and quantization, you’ll never run out of distortion possibilities with these incredible filters.

The ENV1 and NOTE controls also let you adjust the envelope amount and cutoff tracking, which makes ArcSyn even more musical than before.

And lastly, filters have controls for panning as well as a mix control, that let’s you set the balance of both your filters as well as your output level.

LFO Section

The LFO Section you get with the SPC Plugins ArcSyn is nothing short of incredible. You have 8 separate LFO’s to use, with the standard Rate, Offset and Delay controls.

Each LFO has a lot of waveforms to choose from, currently at 50+ different shapes. In addition to this, each LFO can be constructed by using up to 16 different waveform segments.

Each step of your LFO can be adjusted with offset and modulation amounts, to create long and ellaborate modulations, whether you want it smooth, or jagged and choppy.

And now imagine that amount of modulation, then multiply it by eight, and you can start to realise just how much capability you have with ArcSyn.

Additionally, each LFO has a Wave control (adjusts in semitones), which can basically turn your LFO into an arpeggiator, for an unimaginable amount of modulation.

Each LFO can be assigned to any part of the synth, through the modulation matrix.

Lastly, while it may not be a drawback to some, these LFO’s only go up to 100Hz and are not audio-level, so you won’t be able to set up any FM modulations using these.

Modulation Matrix, Envelopes & Effects

ArcSyn comes with four awesome AHDSR Envelopes.

You get two free envelopes, while the first one is tied to the filter cutoff and the fourth, to the amplitude. That being said, all four envelopes can be routed to additional modulation targets.

The Attack, Decay and Release stages also have their own slope sliders, which work in an exponential manner when not in the center, and linear, when in the middle position.

The center of all of your modulation, is the modulation matrix, which has 16 modulation slots you can set up. Each slot can have up to two modulation sources, and can be combined in interesting ways, using the Modifiers.

There are quite a lot of these modifiers, some musical, some not. The best way to understand them, like with most parts of this synth, is through the manual.

Lastly, the Effects section…

Each patch can have up to 3 effects on it, that can be put in any order you might need.

There are a total of 32 Effects to choose from and contain the usual suspects, EQ, Delay, Reverb, Limiting, Autopan, Flangers, Phasers etc.

The effects can be set up in both Series and Parallel. If in Series, Effect One goes into Effect Two, and then Effect Three. In Parallel mode, the left side of your signal will for through Effect slot one, and the right side, to effect slot three, with Effect Two controlling the sum of the two signals.

Verdict

SPC Plugins’ ArcSyn Review

$94

Sound Quality
Features
Presets
Ease of Use
Value for Money

Verdict

SPC Plugins’ ArcSyn is one of the best digital synths you can get under $100. Featuring Oberheim Matrix 12 style filters, internally generated Waveforms and incredible Modulation, ArcSyn is an extremely unique synthesizer plugin.

4.7

SPC Plugins’ ArcSyn is a virtual analog synthesizer with a subtractive workflow. Designed with a ground-up approach, ArcSyn’s waveforms are all generated from scratch, within the plugin. Add to that incredible LFO’s with wave sequencing, as well as Oberheim Matrix style self-oscillating filters, and you have one of the most exciting VST synths of recent years