German audio software developer Eisenberg Audio has released VIER. It emulates the Doepfer MS-404, a monophonic analogue synthesizer from the 1990s. VIER combines four independent rack modules into one interface with each module color-coded and named: Eins, Zwei, Drei and Vier—1,2,3,4. VIER uses anti-aliasing oscillators capable of audio range modulation. It has zero-delay feedback filters best known from synthesizers of the day like LuSH, Monark or Diva.
VIER features parameter linking, cross modulation and intelligent voice management for assigning notes of chord to four different modules for unlimited polyphony. When played, the keyboard keys in the GUI also light up to match the particular voice(s) color used at any moment.
I liked the variety of factory presets useable as starting settings that can be loaded, adjusted, saved or marked as a favorite.
VIER runs stand-alone on Windows and Mac OS X or as plug-in virtual instrument in VST, AU, RTAS and AAX hosts. VIER responds naturally to keyboard input and parameter changes just as a good hardware synthesizers should—except it is on my computer screen. It sells for $99 as a download. eisenberg-audio.de/vier
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com