Phonec was inspired by the mystique of video logo music. These were the spooky little intros at the beginning of public information films and educational material from the 70s and 80s. Phonec aims to recreate the obscure character and ghostly qualities of these sounds. Aside from its quirky nature, Phonec is a unique and powerful synthesizer, capable of producing a wide range of sounds such as vintage analogue tones, lo-fi synthscapes, ethereal ambiance, minimal techno sequences, retro leads and hard-hitting synth basses. Phonec's intuitive GUI attempts to strike a balance between form and function. This makes it a very practical tool that can be a real inspiration to work with. Apart from this, Phonec2 has several interesting features that set it apart from the crowd.
Phonec2 has an Oscillator system that uses various combinations to create interesting new sounds. Oscillators can be mixed, synced and even combined using Logic gates with adjustable switching points for creating sounds not normally heard coming from a set of waveforms.
The Filter section is extremely versatile, with Lowpass and Highpass systems that can be routed in different ways. Several Filter variations are available including a special Acid Filter with extra smooth resonance. Filter Separation, Saturation Driver and pre/post gain distortion are some of the features that make up Phonec's filter system. There's even a 3-band Parametric EQ for further frequency manipulation.
Phonec's unique sound is based in large part on it's Melt system, which produces a warped, drifting, and slightly spooky quality that gives you instant VHS vibe and character.
Sequences and Patterns
Phonec2 has an Arpeggiator and Sequencer that work together and compliment each other. While they can both be used on their own, wonderful things can happen while they are both in operation. The Sequencer acts as an accompaniment to the Arpeggiator, for implementing subtle note variations, Filter offsets and volume accents or dropouts. The two units can even have different timings, allowing for some unexpected melodic patterns.
Phonec's Modulation system is designed for serious experimentation. Three LFOs and two Envelopes that can modulate most parameters, let you shape your sound in surprising ways. The HFO, which is a High Frequency Oscillator, can achieve FM, AM and PM synthesis. The HFO can be assigned to various targets using uncommon formulas that result in strange and beautiful sounds.
Phonec2 lets you assign Aftertouch to several parameters at once, each at various increments. The Modwheel can also be routed to the Aftertouch parameters, which allow you to modify several parameters at once, dramatically altering the sound of a patch with the movement of a single control.
Sound Design Workflow
Patch creation and management is one of Phonec's strong points. The Patch Management system makes it easy to design and catalog your sounds, but the ability to save and load Sub-presets is where it gets interesting. Sub-presets are like mini patches for various sections of the synth, such as the Oscillator, Filter, Sequencer, etc. Phonec2 comes loaded with several Sub-presets to get you started. And when you're feeling lazy, or just want something different, Patch Randomization for specific groups of controls can give surprising results. Lastly, Copy/Paste controls have been added to key sections for quickly copying something to paste elsewhere when needed.
Finally, worth mentioning is the MIDI Learn capabilities, which give you full control of almost every parameter from the Filter Cutoff down to the Randomize buttons.
Dual Oscillators with various combinations: Mix, Sync, Ring, X-wave, logic
Sub Oscillator for beefing up the low end
Analog-style oscillator drifting
2-stage lowpass filter with 8 modes + Acid Filter
Post Highpass Filter
Filter Saturation Driver
3-Stage Filter Separation
3-Band Parametric EQ
Melt: A unique feature that adds instant character to any patch
Arpeggiator that works in conjunction with a Modulation Sequencer
3 LFOs (2 monophonic, 1 polyphonic)
HFO (High Frequency Oscillator)
Various modulation types: AM, PM, FM, Filter FM
2 Modulation Envelopes
Aftertouch control of several parameters that can also be linked to the Modwheel
EchoShifter: A Pitchshifting, Dub Delay Unit
Chorus effect with Melt integration
External Audio Processing
MIDI Learn and automation of most parameters
Patch Randomization of Sub-sections
Sub-presets: load/save settings for sections such as osc, filter, etc.
Double Click Parameter Reset
Intuitive patch management system
Default bank of 128 presets