Propellerhead Releases Parsec ‘Spectral’ Synthesizer

Propellerhead today announced its new Parsec spectral synth, calling it “the futuristic sound of additive synthesis for the Reason rack.”

Propellerhead describes its Parsec user interface and synthesis engine as having been designed to suit both the novice and the “PhD of sound synthesis” alike.

Parsec has two sound engines, and each generator boasts up to 512 oscillators, or partials, per voice. The generators produce their sound according to any of 12 built-in algorithms. Each sound engine also has two modifiers, each of which can be set to any of 22 algorithms.

In addition, Parsec has three envelopes, one of which can be set to loop mode. It’s got a comprehensive modulation bus for connecting modulation sources and targets. Parsec allows the user to employ up to 1024 oscillators in their sounds, and do all manner of additive synthesis, “without killing your computer.”

Parsec Key Features Include:

  • Powerful and easy to use additive synthesis.
  • Sound bank with sounds for electro house, bass music, minimal techno, electronic indie and pop, “far-out experimental”(?), and more.
  • Two sound engines that make up a single sound.
  • Up to 1024 oscillators per voice.
  • Vocoder with modulation from Parsec’s audio input.
  • Built-in high quality reverb and delay.

Propellerhead_ParsecYou can hear samples from Parsec’s sound library on Soundcloud.

Pricing and Availability. Propellerhead Parsec is available now, and retails for $119 US from the Propellerhead website.

19 thoughts on “Propellerhead Releases Parsec ‘Spectral’ Synthesizer

  1. Just tried the 30 day trial.

    It’s a little weird to get your head around at first, but it’s a very capable synth. It’s surprising how organic it can sound – like “real world” instruments. Definitely worth €99 to add additive synthesis to my Reason arsenal.

  2. I wonder if there’s ever discussions at Propellerhead as to whether they should create VST versions of their synths. I’d buy a plugin of this and Thor in a second.

  3. That’s almost as much as past reason upgrades. I wonder what is going to happen with future updates. It seems like this business model is going to work very well for propeller head but end being more expensive for users.

    1. On the other hand you know any decent additive synth plugins less than a $100? Even the old image-line one goes for $150…sure, it would have been nice if they gave introductory pricing but whatever.

      1. Does another synth, no matter the method of sound generation, warrant a $119 price tag?

        You can get pure analog hardware units for a few more bucks.

        You can get Razor and sales from NI on Reaktor from $49 to $99 bucks…

        These companies charging over a hundred dollars for code is a thing of the past…

        Prices have been slashed everywhere… and Christmas sales will begin…

        You can get a lot for $99 these days… but for $119 I’m not impressed…

        1. Why would anybody want to spend $150 for a stripped-down bare-bones synth with a noisy signal path, when you can get a full-featured synth that integrates perfectly with your DAW for less?

        2. I guess Rob Papen and Urs Heckman didn’t get that memo since they’re still charging over 100 bucks for their synths and oh what about all those plugin guys who want 300 bucks for an EQ? You do realize writing an actually good digital synth takes a huge amount of math and DSP education? If the people with that kind of background can’t make money working on synths they’ll pack up their skills and go work on something else then you can go enjoy a bunch of $5 ipad synths made by college kids over spring break.

  4. Impressive tones in that trailer.

    Additive synthesis is quite powerful and versatile. Adding vocoding is clever.

    I would like to see it as an iPad app (and hopefully under $10).

  5. On one hand I like the new “rack extension” plug-ins for Reason. On the other hand I kind of miss the thrill of getting a new flagship synth like Malström or Thor (or even a lesser upgrade like the NN-XT or Combinator) in a new version of Reason proper.

    I wonder if Propellerheads will eventually release a Freemium version that just includes Subtractor and a mixing panel…. ;-p

    1. Agree. Props and taken away the excitement of new releases. Their business model has backed them into a corner. Releases like these breathe life back into the Rack Extension Shop, and they need that. The addition of new fx, synths, etc. as part of a major update does not seem as promising any longer. If they can charge nearly the same amount for a Rack Extension as they do with an upgrade to a major release, can we expect what we did, say from Reason 4 to 5?

      1. What are you talking about? Are you one of those pirates who hasn’t used Reason since 4.0 or something? The update from 6.5 to 7 was huge. The new channel EQ was much needed, midi in/out and built in Recycle? That’s not enough for you? Oh yeah, they also threw in that Retromatic effect or whatever it was called….

        I’d rather the Reason upgrades actually upgrade Reason itself rather than just force everyone to buy some RE they may or may not need. I mean sure THIS synth would be cool if it was a part of an upgrade but suppose the next upgrade just includes Radical Piano? Then you’d be bitching that they’re forcing you to buy some instrument you don’t need…

  6. Its not a Razor rip-off, just a different angle on it. Additive (and its cousin, resynthesis) are real bears to wrestle down at the single-wave level, but wave groupings bring it within useful reach. Additive can obviously do the usual FM tricks, like ultra-precise, unreal e-pianos, but its those huge harmonic clusters and sweeps that really show it off, IMO. Additive pads can make everything else in a piece pop out better. There are other ways to get a similar effect, but the real deal is best. Its a unique form of synthesis and I’m glad to see it available in such accessible forms. F**k ME if I was going to labor over the partials in a Kawai K5’s teeny LCD, but this thing or Razor, which come with real handles? You bet.

  7. I’m sure this is a great synth, but man, another $100? Unless it does something that can’t be achieved using other methods (KONG for example), then these things need to come down in price. Not too mention the fact that the UI on the Spectral looks pretty flat and unrealistic, unlike most of the other Reason gear.

    I was disappointed when I saw the price. Sorry P-Heads, you’re losing me bit by bit by continuing with the new RE scheme.

    Personally, since I got back into using hardware, I haven’t even opened Reason (three months or more now). It is just soooo much more inspiring and fun to be hands on and not chained to a computer and using the most un natural device for use by human hands ever (the mouse). Makes it VERY hard to spend more money on soft synths. Very hard.

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