sonicLAB & Hainbach Intro Fundamental, A VST Inspired By Vintage Test Equipment

sonicLAB and Hainbach have introduced a new VST instrument, Fundamental, that’s inspired by vintage test equipment.

Fundamental is a collaboration between Sinan Bökesoy of SonicLab & synthesist Hainbach. They say that the virtual instrument is “like something Stockhausen, Xenakis and HAL 9000 might have dreamed up after a bender”.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“Fundamental wave engine is a faithful sonic recreation of a vintage Rohde&Schwartz vacuum tube oscillator ( having been widely used at WDR by Stockhausen )

Fundamental leaves behind the limitations of the original device by proposing complex modulation possibilities, stochastic distributions addressing the sonic parameters like frequency , gain, stereo panning etc. in continuum, which has not been applicable until now.

Fundamental feels like something Stockhausen, Xenakis and HAL 9000 might have dreamed up after a bender: recalling the past of electronic music through a dynamic modern reinterpretation of a massive german vacuum oscillator,
a collaboration of Sinan Bökesoy and Hainbach

A test equipment sound is not pure technically. The gain stage has a vacuum tube and also the frequencies below 60hz do sound anything but a sine wave. All these are the signature of a vintage sonic richness.

The grounds of this project have been founded during a visit to Hainbach’s studio in Berlin, who is well known for deeply incorporating these vintage tools of the past in his modern electronic music since a while. The core idea was basically recreating a test tone equipment sound in software form but with the approach which sonicLAB has followed on its previous products.

The Fundamental software presents you 8 instances of this vintage sine wave generator with all the artifacts and richness of a vintage equipment. That combination is we believe something you should experience.”

Features:

  • Unique polymorphing wavetable synthesis
  • 4 dynamic wavetables being rendered for each voice to represent infinitesimal steps of frequency and gain combinations between 1HZ – 3800Hz of the original vacuum tube oscillator.
  • 8 simultaneous voices each with custom freq, gain, boost, panning and modulation settings.
  • Custom or harmonic frequency distribution of voices with variable spread ratio and tuning table.
  • 4 independent stochastic modulations for each voice (32 in total) addressing all parameters with various continuous, discrete distributions and also standard waveforms.
  • Full MPE support with various configuration possibilities.
  • Independent Attack / Release envelopes for each voice with various modes, AR times can be set to degrees of randomness.
  • Vintage oscillator or pure sine wave mode.

Pricing and Availability

Fundamental is available now with an intro price of $55 USD (normally $78). iLok required.

13 thoughts on “sonicLAB & Hainbach Intro Fundamental, A VST Inspired By Vintage Test Equipment

    1. Not that big of a downer though. Costs 40 bucks, you buy it once, plug it in and never think about it again. I like it better than installing an extra companion app for every single plugin manufacturer.

      1. I’d prefer no DRM at all let alone a dongle based one. It’s been proven enough at this point that it’s more of a hindrance to the legitimate customer than it is a deterrent to pirates.

    2. I totally agree. After losing product I paid for from Izotope based on an Ilok bug, I now check any VST for Ilok and if it has it – no buy. The 1990’s want their dongle back….

  1. I don’t understand this fixation on the test gear, I’ve yet to hear a single sound that would be worth all that hassle and would be hard or impossible to make on hardware or software.

    1. Hainbach has only explained “why test equipment” five or six times in videos that I’ve watched, which isn’t all of them. But basically:

      – it’s an important part of electronic music history
      – the hardware can be cheap, since it’s obsolete gear that nobody wants for anything else
      – the challenge/fun/creative inspiration that comes from making music with gear not designed for music
      – tube saturation, all kinds of cool filters etc.

      As for this particular plugin: it’s 8 oscillators that sound tasty when driven hard, plus some clever stuff to set their relative frequencies and stochastically pan them and modulate their frequencies and amplitude. Good for playing with (relatively simple) additive synthesis, chords and clusters etc. I’ve build similar, but more basic stuff in Bitwig Grid, but this is a few steps up.

      And of course since the software isn’t test equipment but a plugin, you can modulate/sequence it from a host, assign hardware controllers etc. If you’re at all into drones or working with a modular sort of mindset, this is gold.

  2. very interesting : I think it works well “pure” with added effects or “layers” with other instruments, it ads a magic spark. Im sold.

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