Earth to producers: A beta version of the iconic wavetable synth by Reason Studios has landed in Soundation’s online studio.
Years ago, the possibility of an online studio having the same instruments as the world’s top digital audio workstation seemed like a fantasy. With a beta version of Reason Studios’ flagship Europa synth now up and running on Soundation, one thing is certain – we’re entering a new frontier of music production.
Wave New World
Today marks not only the first time a wavetable synth is available in a browser-based studio, but also the first time Soundation users can make use of the synth’s shape-shifting capabilities. These include creating intricate, evolving sounds impossible in a traditional synth. It’ll be your first taste of a completely new approach to sound synthesis.
From intergalactic drones to Skrillex-style growl bass, Europa’s range of sounds makes it an essential addition to the family of synths offered by Soundation.
Instead of adding, subtracting or modulating a single classic waveform using traditional oscillators to create harmonically rich sounds (see the notoriously complicated FM synth for reference), Europa makes use of an audio sample. It turns bite-sized pieces of an audio sample into a collection of waveforms, or “tables”, which you can morph back and forth over time.
These sampled waveforms generate a universe of sounds unmatched by anything else out there. For those unfamiliar with the instrument, let’s look back at some of the synth’s major milestones – with the arrival of Europa serving as one of them.
Wavetable Synth: An Unofficial History
A wavetable synth was revolutionary when it was invented in the 1970s. In the days where the bright, sunny tones of FM synths dominated more than half of songs on the Billboard chart (think the iconic sounds of the forthcoming 1980s), the intricate, evolving textures of wavetable synths were a novelty.
In fact, the PPG Wave – the first blockbuster analog synth that made use of wavetable synthesis – was hailed as one of the most influential synths ever built.
Fast forward a few decades, then Europa came along.
Reason Studios released Europa to its hugely popular digital audio workstation, making it one of the first advanced wavetable synths available for the music production world.
Responding to demands from synth heads, Europa was launched as a standalone VST plug-in for use in other DAWs, cementing its position as the wavetable synth of choice. It was also available on the web browser as a player for those who wanted to get a taste of its powerful, modern sounds.
Breaking more new ground, a beta version of Europa has landed in Soundation’s online studio as a new addition to the instruments. Combined with Soundation’s easy-to-use studio, this first-of-its-kind partnership is a match made in sound design heaven.
Welcome to the other side, Europa.
As Heard On
A wavetable synth has inspired countless genre-spanning artists to incorporate its smooth, floating textures in their work. Here are just a couple of artists known for using a wavetable synth in their signature sounds.
7 Key Features to Try
A beta version of Europa is now available to explore in the studio. Take it for a ride and make sure to try out:
- 3 spectral waveform engines
- 30+ wavetables
- 24 filter types
- 500+ presets
- 4 envelopes
- 2 LFOs
- 6 effects
Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming how-to article that will help you master all these knobs and buttons to make your best wavy sounds. 👀
But First, Beta
Since this is a beta, not everything will be perfect quite yet. But with your help, we can make the final version of Europa as robust and stable as possible! Keep in mind that these features are currently not available in the beta version:
- Export or publish tracks with Europa.
- Upload wave files to make your own wavetables.
- Change note velocity.
- Change the order of effects.
Let us know about any bugs or send us feedback by dropping a message on the #🦖problems-and-bugs channel at Soundation’s official Discord, by submitting a contact form, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.