Yesterday, I had to make a choice between two virtual Synthesizers, both recently released, and both on sale for a limited time …The U-He Repro, or Sonic Academy’s ANA 2. As many of you already know, U-He makes some tremendously realistic superb emulations of classic Synthesizers using virtual circuit technology. DIVA being their breakthrough with this technology. Sonic Academy on the other hand does not, and uses their innovation to create DSP in house. I tested the Demo’s of both, and although U-He’s Repro 1 & 5 are both absolutely amazing, they were both exactly what they intended to be …Emulations of classic instruments. A few new features, but in the end Prophets. OK, A lot of people are thinking, “well yeah a Prophet is awesome, why not grab the software since you don’t have the hardware” …I agree, Prophets ARE awesome!
There are quit a few reasons I chose Sonic Academy’s ANA 2 over Repro. Before I explain, I must say that I am more of a “Futurist”, and less of a “Nostalgic” traveler. It’s already been done, ages gone past, and we consistently attempt to rewind toward a sound we are comfortable with. So it seems. I ventured within Dave Rossum’s Z-Plane Filter Technology and Function Generators while the masses continued toward 2-Pole variables, to no regret. Not that the latter are worse, or the former better, just that “it hadn’t been done before”, thus sat on the horizon of an un-explored journey into sound-design.
From my research, it has been dubbed that ANA 2 is more of a “SynthPop, Acid, Dance” machine. To the likes of such nobles as Serum and Dune. I wondered, with so much functionality, (functionality beyond Repro), could I make the very first “Ambient” soundbank, and break the stereotype? One of the biggest reasons I chose ANA 2 over Repro was functionality …We’re talking about 3 importable Wave Oscillators and 3 importable Sample Oscillators with more parameters and Modulation Routing’s than I have experienced in quite awhile.
The choice was clear “Future” or “Past”. How about both. I have sampled the many Electronic Instruments I have had the honor of playing over the years just waiting to be used. Including the rare Ensoniq Mirage Sound Process Operating System to name a few. What if I were to “import” my rare samples into ANA 2 as sound sources, using ANA’s parameters, and the wave tables with a total of 6 Oscillator Ambience. One could create an Ambient Pad and Drone synchronizing within one single sound indeed (before modulation). After just a few hours, ANA 2’s architecture became natural, although I have barely scratched the surface for sure, I was able to use the rare samples I have, and ANA 2’s wave platform in an attempt to create this theoretical ambient soundbank experiment. Far from perfect, and much learning and mastering to accomplish I give you my first 3 ambient sounds using Sonic Academy’s ANA 2:
Using the Ultraproteus Sample “Rainforest” and 3 Waves: “Digital Rainforest” …Update 1/6/2018: Digital Rainforest has been exponentially improved, sounds even better than this sound example, and has been renamed “Life on Kepler-186f”.
Using an Ensoniq Mirage Sound Process Sample and 3 Waves: “ANA Sweeper” …Update 1/6/2018: ANA Sweeper has been exponentially improved, sounds even better than this sound example, and has been renamed “Interstellar Dust”.
Using the Casio-CT Cathedral Sample and 3 Waves: “Glimmer Pad” …Update 1/6/2018: Glimmer Pad has been exponentially improved, sounds even better than this sound example, and retains the name “Glimmer Pad”.
Much Much more to come, as I master this process …With Much better results in the future, as this was just the first few hours with this beautiful beast