Reveal Sound‘s Spire is a synthesizer that has entered the collective memory of musicians – both amateur and professionals. Along with other production tools of modern music expression, it still writes history and defining styles.
Spire was launched in 2009 with the purpose to prove that soft-synths can sound amazing. Since then, Reveal Sound made major improvements, their synth becoming one of the most popular virtual instruments for the creation of EDM and not only. And its warm and well defined sound tone just brought it to this level, another proof being the tons of free and commercial soundbanks for it available around.
The great sound springs from a great architecture with an array of filter types, onboard effects, and tons of settings. All packed in a simple and refined form.
At its base are four identical oscillators, named OSC1-4. You can adjust the volume of each of these, while turning the knob all the way to the left will disable the selected oscillator and the red LED light will shut off. Moving on to the left, we enter the core of each OSC: 4 tabs with each taken separately, where you can set the pitch of each oscillator, as well as to control the position of the phase.
The sound of an oscillator is the result of the chosen synthesis mode (Classic, Noise, FM, AMSync and SawPWM), plus one of the 49 sample-based waveforms, starting from the usual analogue-types, to various bass, piano, organ, synthetic, robotic and other uncommon types. In between, the selected waveform can be modulated with ‘ctrlA’ and ‘ctrlB’ knobs, at degrees varying by the selected oscillator mode.
For correct sounding of Spire in FL Studio, please follow these settings:
1. Enable “Use fixed size buffers”
2. For FL Studio 11 in “Options” menu:
- Uncheck “Use block size as buffer size”
- Check “Use host block size”
2. For FL Studio 12 in “More” menu:
- Uncheck “Process maximum size buffers”
- Check “Use maximum buffer size from host”
Sound is further processed through a powerful unison. Every oscillator can have its own unison with up to 9 voices, and several voice modes, from regular spread throughout an octave, to intervals such as minor/major chords etc. Next, there is a dual resonant filters section, with filters which can be set to work in series or parallel. Spire offers 5 filters for use: ‘Perfecto’, combining the best of analog and digital filter types, with LP4, BP4, HP4 and Peak modes, ‘Acido’, good at simulating TB-303 sounds, with LP1, LP2, LP3, LP4 modes, ‘Infecto’ which simulates the filter sound of a Virus TI synthesizer (LP2, BP2, HP2 and Notch modes), ‘Scorpio’ with RedLP2, RedLP4, BlackLP2, BlackLP4, BlackHP and BlackBP modes, and finally ‘Combo’ with Mono +, Mono -, Stereo + and Stereo modes.
The modulation section consists of 4 envelopes, 4 LFO’s, 2 steppers, macro control, matrix, pitch wheel and mod wheel. The advanced step sequencer comes with a flexible waveform editor, and for each step, you can assign an unique waveform, which lets you achieve patterns that range from simple to intricate. An easy-to-use arpeggiator with swing and gate is also integrated.
Moving on to the FX section, Spire offers a wave shaper, phaser/vowel, chorus/flanger, delay and reverb. Let’s not forget about multiband compression and a handy 3-band equalizer, which make Spire one of the most complete softsynth on the market.
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Believe me, it is not a cliché when I say that what I have presented here is only a small part of what Spire has to offer. In everyday use, you will discover new things, and the ease with which it operates, will encourage you to create your own presets, finally reaching your own sound.
To begin with, you have access to a large collection of factory presets, including everything from basses to pads, leads to plucks, stabs to FX, arps to sequences and much more.
Spire’s sound is very good and crisp, fat, clear and full of power, exactly what you should expect from any high-end softsynth. It is one of those tools that should not miss from any producer’s arsenal. Especially if you’re in modern music production, Spire is a must!
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