LinPlug Spectral Offers Unique Audio Engine, ‘Sounds Never Heard Before’


LinPlug has released Spectral, their new top of the line software synthesizer, for Mac & Windows.

Here’s what they have to say about Spectral:

If you are familiar with subtractive synthesis, you will feel right at home with the Spectral, because you can choose an oscillator waveform, choose a filter shape and go on from there. But Spectral delivers far more options than you would expect from the well sorted user interface. Both Oscillator Waveform and Filter Shape can be edited in depth. The unique audio engine is capable of delivering many sounds never heard before.


  • Four Oscillator and Filter modules with powerful yet detailed harmonics and filter band editing and modification functions
  • Extensive Oscillator and Filter audio rate cross-modulations.
  • Versatile Arpeggiator with in depth editing of every step, including length, transpose, voice number and Glide
  • Each Oscillator and Filter with own dedicated envelope to control its volume or frequency respectively
  • Additional 3 freely assignable Modulation Envelopes.
  • Five LFOs with various waveforms, up to 320 Hz, tempo-sync, poly-, mono- and one-shot-mode, unipolar and bipolar options, integrated delay-attack-envelope, phase, symmetry and smoothing adjustable
  • 15 slot Modulation Matrix with 35 sources and more than 100 destinations including all important parameters
  • Fully recognizes Velocity, Aftertouch, Pitch Bend , Modulation-Wheel and various other MIDI controllers
  • Effects section containing 15 Effects including various Delays, Chorus, Phaser, Filter, Reverb, Flanger, Gator, Stereo Enhancer, Parametric EQ and Crusher.
  • Glide / Portamento featuring mono/polyphonic operation, constant Time / Rate operation, Auto-Bend Modes and detailed options on where Glide takes place
  • 32-voice polyphony (CPU and sound program dependent) and adjustable voice limit.
  • Supports AU and VST hosts on Mac OS X and Windows PC.
  • Scaleable user interface on PC
  • Comes with 850 presets

Audio demos:

Spectral is available now, priced at 149 US$ / 119 Euro. It’s discounted to 99 US$ / 79 Euro through 31st December 2013.

12 thoughts on “LinPlug Spectral Offers Unique Audio Engine, ‘Sounds Never Heard Before’

  1. Sounds amazing…but I gotta ask: doesn’t it make more sense to sell 4 units at $50 a piece than wait for one guy to pony up $150? I’m just wondering if the future is in $100+ audio instruments when packages like Komplete deliver so much bang for your buck. Anyone agree with this?

    1. @solovox You can go to the big record store and buy an album for a few bucks but your selection is limited to corporate sponsored acts—or—you can go to an independent record store and potentially pony up a premium for access to local and indie artists and support small businesses. Neither choice is inherently right or wrong but each supports a different type of business and satisfies a different taste. You could draw another analogy to fast food vs. family restaurants; it may not be as obvious and it may cost a little more, but for those willing to explore esoterica there’s a world of flavor out there. Popular choice may be safe… but innovation is inherently fringe.

      1. I agree with your thoughts, but at the same time it seems you are assuming that the $150 plugins are necessarily ‘indie’ and ‘handcrafted’ and the $50 ones are McDonald’s mass-produced. I think this particular synth would make more money if they charged less and sold more overall units. I could be dead-wrong…I don’t know.

        1. I tend to agree, some of the big names dropping their prices over the last year or two has definitely left those in the $100+ category sticking out a little. iOS apps’ low price large volume approach too.
          Development costs, in terms of time if nothing else, are surely huge for complex synths like this but there is logic in the ethos of making it cheap enough that people will buy on a whim whether they really need another synth or not.

          On the subject of the synth, I found I didn’t really get the point until I started fiddling with the empty init patch in the beta copy, at which point the massive possibilities for sonic sculpting became clear and several hours disappeared into a black hole of weird noises. The unusual controls for distorting and modulating the oscillators – on top of the fact that you can create your own waveforms – plus the range of bizarre and very creative filter designs really make this synth different in my opinion. In a sea of same-same virtual analogs it’s nice to see someone still trying to push the creative possibilities of the software platform.

      2. heh, or i can go to bandcamp, skip the middleman, give my cash to the artist, and cop both digital and hardcopies for like a quarter of the price.

    1. I have Massive, this is a different thing, more like Zebra- the arp and the fact that you can draw your own filters give it a unique sound. I think it’s the most interesting and best sounding synth since Diva. I suggest trying the demo before making a judgement.

      1. Agreed. The demos are cool, but do not do justice to the scope of the sounds you can get out of this thing. Just being able to draw your own waveforms and filters gives it tons of flavour and scope you don’t get on some other synths.
        I’ve been trying the beta for the last month and I’m hugely impressed by it.

  2. Just spent 45 minutes with the demo. Not my thing at all. Pretty much 80% of the presets have a grainy, bit-crushed, FM-ish quality to them which doesn’t appeal to me. To be fair, I produce deep / soulful house so smooth analog-y stuff like Diva and impOSCar 2 are more to my liking. Also, smoother subtractive synths like Predator, Synapse DUNE, etc. I guess there’s a reason why I have no other LinPlug synths in my setup.

  3. The meh demo does it no favors, but the design sounds interesting enough. I’d have to, uh, HEAR it more broadly before condemning it. I’ve ditched a couple of softsynths, haven’t you? One was duplicating other things too heavily and another just wasn’t suiting my style as first thought. This might replace one like that with a better approach or a more complimentary sound to some ears. I tried LinPlug Alpha for a while and found it to sit in a nice space, so its not a synth heritage that’s lacking for character. What if someone is looking for a cockeyed subtractive that’s apart from Massive or Sylenth? Face it, synthesis is at a certain stage of maturity where its now about refinement of approach, not defining the idea from the ground up. Don’t dismiss a potentially useful synth based on impossible standards.

  4. I don’t understand why people automatically assume if I don’t like a particular soft synth, it’s because I don’t understand “how deep” it is or I don’t have an understanding of synthesis. I’ve been a session keyboard player since the days of the Juno-106 and have made my living since as a keyboard player / producer / remixer. I just don’t like this synth. To each his own.

  5. For me, sounds never heard before-I create on my Novation Synthesizer, Korg Kaoss pad, and Casio groove box etc. I have joined a local synthesizer group and can’t understand why so many people are still listening to Pandora, LIve 365, cd baby etc., when for a cheap price, hobbyist musicians can make their own wild crazy music and sound effects.

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