Monday, January 24, 2022

VST REVIEW: IK Multimedia Syntronik 2 CS


IK Multimedia Syntronik 2 CS Review

Syntronik 2 adds a raft of new synthesizer samples to the Syntronik family, and the great news is there's a free version so you can check out a taster before taking the leap into the bigger versions. 

I must admit I really like IK Multimedia's Sampletank and Syntronik concepts. I use them all the time, especially the 'Syntauri' synth bass sounds, and Sampletank CS is worth it for the Overdriven Hammond alone.

So I was really looking looking forward to checking out the latest additions to the library. 

Sampletank/Syntronik are sample based rather than modelled, so they are rather memory intensive. You'll need a few gig of hard drive space even for the free (CS - Custom Shop) version. 

But just because we're dealing with samples doesn't mean this is just a simple sample playback instrument, far from it. You get Sampletank's fully editable synthesizer engine (pictured below), so you can turn many of these presets into something completely different. 

I was able to turn the Osc-V patch 'Great British Machine' LFO/FX patch into a great sounding solo/synth lead, in almost no time at all. 

The synth editing follows a single oscillator, multimode filter with amp and filter envelope generator model. A single LFO is available for modulation and keyboard modes include poly and mono/legato modes with glide. But, of course the samples themselves are often taken from multiple oscillators so the patches can still sound fat and thick. 

The effects section follows a rack model with a selection of EQ, compressor, reverb, delay, and chorus/ensemble modules. So lots of scope for effects editing for each patch. 

The final 'trick' up Sampletank/Syntronik 2's sleeve is a fully programmable arpeggiator which fits perfectly with a collection of vintage synths.  

So the new synthesizer sample groups for Syntronik 2 are:

Obie One

It's clear IK don't want to simply use the names of the instruments, but the new names, alongside IK's nice little graphic representation of the synth in question leave you in no doubt what has been sampled and what the instrument is based upon.

So as we're dealing with the free (CS) version here you only get a few presets per instruments but they do give a good idea of what each instrument is capable of. 

Syntronik 2 Patch Highlights. 

Some of the sounds I enjoyed in Syntronik 2 include the bell pad Across Time from Cato's (Octave Cat) 4 patches (remember in ;virtual land mono synths can become polyphonic), the Horns Down In Africa brass/horn pad from M-12s (Matrix 12) 5 patches, Greenhouse in Berlin is a lovely digital pad from the Megawave (Waldorf Microwave), the Isosceles Triangle Lead from Obie One's (Oberheim OB-1) 3 patches is a wonderfully warm synth lead, as is the synth lead I mentioned I was able to develop from the OSC-V's (OSCar) Great British Machine patch.

So lots of great sounds and potential for zero outlay, and plenty to tempt users into purchasing one of the commercial collections.

Downloading and Installing Syntronik 2   

As mentioned, Syntronik 2 CS installs within their Sampletank 4 CS product and you'll need the latest version of ST4 to access these new collections. (I'll explain a little later). 

As a sample based collection, as opposed to 'modeled' recreations, you will need a fair amount of hard drive space to accommodate the sound library. 

Across the internet you will find lots of commentary regarding IK Multimedia's system of downloading and installing their products. Often in a negative light. You need to use IK's software installer to download, install and authorise your product. As a user of a number of IK's products I was expecting a little bit of drama accessing these sounds and so it proved. 

Initially, the sounds seemed to be available, but no audio was forthcoming from the new Syntronik patches. All the older patches were working fine, so there was no issue with audio or midi setup. After re-attempting the download and installation process at least twice, am 'update' option appeared at the Sampletank 4 CS download slot. After downloading the updated version of Sampletank CS all was well. So you will need the latest version of ST4 CS. 


I didn't really think I'd like the whole Sampletank/Syntronik concept. I've always tended to use more modern wavetable style software synths such as Synapse Audio's DUNE series rather than what seems to be an endless stream of vintage recreation releases. But at the end of the day, it's the sounds that pull you in. It just sounds great. The analog emulations are really fat and authentic and the digital ones (Megawave, GS-V) also have something to offer and still sound different to more modern wavetable types. 

And the thing is, the synth editing and the effects still offer plenty of scope for your own creations. As a soundware developer and synth programmer this really is a must for me and Syntronik still delivers in that department even with just the few patches in the free (CS) version. 

I think it's one of the best free vintage synth VSTs around. 


Find out more and download Syntronik 2 CS at the IK Multimedia website via the link below. 


The information contained within this blog post is offered on an informal basis and is correct to the best of my knowledge. I accept no responsibility for outcomes arising from the mis/interpretation or use of this information and/or associated download files. Always download files via security/scanning software.

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