Audio Damage Profile and Phosphor Review

There the world is replete with companies making “utility” plug-ins, emulating hardware to give digital mixing a more old-school feel. Audio Damage is not one of them. Audio Damage makes effects and instruments unique to the digital environment, helping artists create new and unique sounds that stand out from the pack of producers using Logic and Ableton pre-sets. Their effects catalogue ranges from the beat chopping Replicant and multi-FX Discord 3 (which are pretty crazy in their own rights) to more experimental plug-ins like the Automaton, utilizing buffer effects driven by a cellular automata sequencer. Their instruments are no less creative, including the Phosphor polysynth and the Axon drum synth. “We design plug-ins we’d like to have,” says co-founder Chris Randall. “We get a wacky idea, like driving an FM percussion synth with an artificial neural network sequencer, research to see if it’s been done, and figure out how to do it.” All that, and AD products come with a no-questions-asked money back guarantee. What more could you ask for?

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Audio Damage Phosphor

Phosphor is a polyphonic software synthesizer plug-in modeled on the alphaSyntauri hardware synthesizer. Audio Damage took special care in recreating the original synthesis process, creating their own add-on features, and making it more versatile for modern musicians. When I first opened Phosphor up I was surprised by the relative simplicity of its interface. Many software synths hide most of their features in confusing sub-menus, but Phosphor puts it all on the screen in a nice little green and grey box. Two oscillator/envelope sections modeled on the alphaSyntauri sit on top of two independent delays with built-in filtering and cross-feedback. To the right are the LFOs, which can be used to affect multiple parameters. If all the technical talk scares you, fret not! The Phosphor comes with 80+ pre-sets that I found incredibly usable and inspiring. The pads and leads really stand out, but the bass presets seemed a little limited. The manual, available for free on the AD website, actually turned out to be easy reading and indispensable when I started creating my own sounds. Overall, Phosphor is by far the best digital synth under $100 I’ve ever encountered, and puts many pricier units to shame.

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