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Home / Producer Tips / Arturia Pigments Synth: This is Every thing You Have to Know (2023)

Arturia Pigments Synth: This is Every thing You Have to Know (2023)


The Arturia Pigments synth is a monster on this planet of sound design.

To be frank, it has options that I’ve by no means seen in every other synth.

Nevertheless, it flies a bit below the radar in comparison with different choices like Serum or Part Plant. This is perhaps as a result of the truth that Arturia is usually recognized for its {hardware} synths and MIDI keyboards.

So, what makes Arturia Pigments so particular? What can it try this no different synth can? And most significantly, is it value your cash?

We discover all that and way more on this information 👇

So… What’s the Arturia Pigments Synth? 🤔

Arturia is an organization most recognized for its {hardware} synths and {hardware} emulations.

Nevertheless, in 2018, they launched Pigments, their first software program synth that was not an emulation of basic {hardware}:

The Arturia Pigments synth

Virtually, the Pigments synth combines each analog-inspired and next-generation sound design strategies. You’ve bought basic analog oscillators but additionally futuristic wavetables. Results embody each fashionable multiband compression, but additionally choruses and delays impressed by timeless gear just like the Juno 6.

Pigments describes itself as an intuitive synth that fits each hobbyists and professionals.

So, how does Arturia Pigments maintain up towards opponents like Serum, Important, or Large X? Let’s discover 👇

The Arturia Pigments Synth Format 🖥️

Earlier than diving into how the Pigments synth works below the hood, let’s cowl its interface:

The Arturia Pigments synth layout
The Arturia Pigments synth structure

So as, we have now:

  1. Preset Browser. That is the place you’ll be able to load up a preset, put it aside as a favourite, or shortly browse between totally different patches.
  2. The View selector. Right here you determine what to show in the primary viewing window. Your 4 selections are Play, Synth, FX and Seq (we’ll discover each intimately very quickly 😉).
  3. Macros. 4 assignable knobs allow you to management a number of parameters directly.
  4. Predominant viewing window. That is the place all of the magic occurs. The show adjustments primarily based on what View you choose.

The PLAY View 🎮

Let’s begin with some of the distinctive options of Arturia Pigments, the Play view:

Arturia Pigments Play view
Arturia Pigments Play view

The PLAY view is among the promoting factors of this synth for novices. Most synths like Serum or Important supply a single (and infrequently advanced) window to design your sounds. Pigments adjustments the sport by providing a fully-featured view (the SYNTH view) and a simplified view: the PLAY view.

The PLAY view presents the fundamentals you want to begin enjoying instantly, with out getting distracted.

You’ve bought 5 most important sections which have been simplified:

The 5 sections of the Play view
The 5 sections of the Play view

Simplified Engines

Firstly are the two most important engines the place you generate your sound. You possibly can swap each engines to totally different synthesis sorts:

  • Wavetable
  • Analog
  • Pattern
  • Harmonic

For every synthesis sort, you’ll be able to shortly swap between waveforms by clicking on the identify or the arrows:

Changing wavetable in Engine 1
Altering wavetable in Engine 1

You’ve additionally bought some fundamental controls on the backside reminiscent of:

  • Quantity
  • Wavetable place
  • Advantageous-tuning

The controls will change relying on the synthesis sort you’ve chosen.

Don’t fear, we’ll dig into all of the sound design potentialities of those engines quickly 😉

Subsequent is the Utility engine, which helps you to add totally different noise and ambiance layers. You can too add a sub-oscillator. Nevertheless, within the Play view, the one management you recover from these layers is the quantity. What’s extra, if no noise layers are loaded within the Synth view, you gained’t be capable to flip this part on.

Simplified Filters and FX Quantity

To the suitable of the Utility engine are the 2 filters:

Arturia Pigments Filter section
Arturia Pigments Filter part

Right here, you’ll be able to simply flip filters on and off, change filter sort, and alter the cutoff frequency and resonance. Cool tip: you’ll be able to alter the cutoff and resonance by clicking and dragging immediately on the graphic!

Lastly, the FX part enables you to alter the Dry/Moist quantity of assorted results.

You additionally get fundamental ADSR envelope controls on the backside of the view, in addition to a digital keyboard.

The Play view is designed to shortly check out totally different sounds. It isn’t meant for intricate sound design and due to this fact has fairly just a few limitations. For instance, you can not assign new LFO modulations. You can’t swap between results and cargo new ones. You can’t change the filter routing or the FX routing.

If you wish to entry these controls and extra, you’ll have to change to the Synth view 👇

The SYNTH View 🎹

The Synth view is the place all of the intricate sound design occurs. The final structure is similar as with the Play view, however with much more customization choices:

The Synth view in Arturia Pigments
The Synth view in Arturia Pigments

We gained’t cowl each single knob, or we’d nonetheless be right here tomorrow 😅. However we’ll go over what you want to know to begin designing your individual sounds.

The Sound Engines

Let’s first cowl the sound engines. In spite of everything, that is the place the premise of your sound is created.

Within the Pigments synth, you’ve bought 2 most important engines + 1 utility engine.

Every most important engine can swap between totally different synthesis “modes”:

  • Analog
  • Wavetable
  • Pattern
  • Harmonic
Engine types
Engine sorts

The utility engine works as a noise layer, the place various kinds of atmospheres could be added.

Every synthesis technique presents utterly totally different parameters you’ll be able to tweak, and vastly totally different sounds. So let’s go over them 👇

Analog Synthesis

When you choose the analog engine sort, you’ll be greeted with 3 oscillators:

3 analog oscillators
3 analog oscillators

Every oscillator can swap between 5 totally different waveforms: Sine, Triangle, Noticed, Ramp, or Sq.. You possibly can alter the quantity of every particular person oscillator on the suitable.

The analog engine works nice for wealthy, heat sounds.

If you wish to add some further width, activate the unison part. In normal unison mode, improve the variety of Voices, and de-tune them barely. You’ve additionally bought 2 FM switches and a dial. These management how a lot FM modulation OSC 3 will apply to OSC 1 and OSC 2. Should you’re new to FM synthesis, be certain that to take a look at our information over right here 😉

Wavetable Synthesis

Wavetable synthesis is a subject we’ve lined intimately on this information right here. So we gained’t go over all its intricacies on this information.

Briefly, you’ll be able to think about a wavetable as a third-dimensional waveform, the place you’ll be able to morph between totally different positions.

Wavetable engine in Arturia Pigments
Wavetable engine in Arturia Pigments

Within the Pigments synth, you’ll be able to select from lots of of accessible wavetables, or import your individual. You possibly can then “morph” or slide between frames by utilizing the “Place” knob.

On the backside of the engine window are a bunch of modulations and transformations you’ll be able to convey to your sound (FM, Ring Modulation, Wavefolding…). The perfect right here is to experiment with each to see how they have an effect on your sound 👍

Pattern Synthesis

The sampler part of Pigments is one other space the place this synth actually stands out. Whereas in most synths, you get one single pattern oscillator, Arturia Pigments presents 6:

Sample engine of Pigments
Pattern engine of Pigments

The Pigments synth presents an enormous assortment of samples, starting from Piano, Guitar, percussion, and Foley.

Because of the 6 totally different slots, you’ll be able to set off totally different samples in actually inventive methods.

For instance, load up two samples in slots A and B. Then, go to Map, and choose “Random”. Now whenever you play, Pigments will randomly set off between your two samples. Different pattern mapping choices embody:

  • Round Robin: Pigments will cycle by means of samples on every notice
  • Key Map: Every pattern is assigned to a selected octave in your keyboard

What’s extra, Arturia Pigments has even built-in granular synthesis! Simply hit the “Granular” button to open up all of the granular controls:

Enabling granular synthesis in the Pigments synth
Enabling granular synthesis within the Pigments synth

Should you’ve by no means performed with granular synthesis, it’s a extremely cool method to create pads from any samples.

9 methods to flip samples in new inventive methods

Harmonic Synthesis

Lastly, harmonic synthesis is the final engine sort accessible in Pigments:

Harmonic engine
Harmonic engine

Harmonic synthesis is predicated on the idea of “additive synthesis”. The thought is that you simply begin with a pure sine wave, after which add harmonics on prime. You possibly can then form the relative quantity of every harmonic to create the sound you need.

In that side, it’s the reverse of subtractive synthesis, the place you begin with a sign wealthy in harmonics and attenuate it with a filter.

This synthesis technique is by far essentially the most advanced and takes some studying to get the sounds you need.

The Utility Engine

Lastly, the utility engine is the final sort of sound era you need to use:

Utility engine
Utility Engine

Right here, you’ll be able to add two separate noise layers in addition to a sub-oscillator. Every layer could be first filtered independently earlier than being routed to the Pigments filter part.

This engine is nice for including a little bit of grit to a sound that’s “too clear”. You can too add it as an “assault layer” by routing an envelope to the quantity (for kicks and snares for instance).

The Filter Part

Subsequent, let’s transfer on to the filter part. The Pigments synth presents 2 filter home windows:

Filters in the Pigments synth
Filters within the Pigments synth

Every filter could be set to 11 totally different filter sorts, many modeled after basic analog gear. Every filter comes with a special set of controls. These are actually value exploring as a result of they provide utterly totally different sonic capabilities.

Filter routing can be essential to how the filters form your sound.

You’ve bought 2 filter routing modes:

  • SUM: each filter indicators are summed and despatched to the FX part
  • SPLIT: the output of Filter 1 and Filter 2 could be despatched independently to FX Bus A or FX Bus B.

In SUM mode, the filters could be set both in collection (dial at 0%) or in parallel (dial at 100%):

  • In collection, the output of Filter 1 is distributed to Filter 2
  • In parallel, every filter is utilized individually.

Every engine output has a Filter Combine knob, which helps you to management the place you ship your sign:

Sending to Filter 2
Sending to Filter 2

Including Results and Sequences within the Pigments Synth 🎛️

Nice, you now have a strong understanding of how sound is generated inside Arturia Pigments!

Let’s now go over the results and sequences modules.

Results within the Pigments Synth

The FX view options 2 “lanes” of results, FX A and FX B:

The FX view in the Pigments synth
The FX view within the Pigments synth

Every lane can maintain as much as 3 results. The order wherein your results affect your sound depends upon the Insert settings on the left:

  • A > B: the sign will move into FX A, then into FX B
  • B > A: the alternative 😅
  • A // B: a dry sign is distributed individually to each FX A and FX B earlier than being summed.

However your sign move additionally depends upon the filter routing you select! Let’s take a look at a fast instance:

Filter and FX routing
Filter and FX routing

On this instance, the engine 2 is ready to Pattern. The output is ready to F2, which implies I’m bypassing Filter 1. The Filter Routing is ready to Cut up, which implies no matter comes out of Filter 2 is barely despatched to the FX B chain.

This enables to exactly form every engine with its personal filtering and results processing.

After all, you can even preserve issues easy, and route every thing into Filter 1, then Filter 2, then FX A, then FX B.

Sequences within the Pigments Synth

The SEQ view enables you to create every kind of cool sequences and arpeggios:

The sequencer contained in the Pigments synth

Arpeggios are a subject we lined intimately on this information right here. So I gained’t go into an excessive amount of element on this information. However in a nutshell, an arpeggiator will play notes from a chord in sequence. A sequencer on the opposite enables you to decide the pitch of every notice.

In my view, that is one other distinctive function missing in lots of fashionable synths.

On this instance, once I press the notice C, the Pigments synth will really a sequence of notes C – C – C – C – G – D# – C – A#:

Triggering a sequence in Arturia Pigments
Triggering a sequence in Arturia Pigments

The sequencer has a bunch of nice customization choices for particular person notes, together with:

  • Octave jumps
  • Velocity management
  • Slide quantity

You can too introduce an quantity of randomization into your sequence with the cube icon:

Introducing randomization with the octave jumps
Introducing randomization with the octave jumps

The sequencer has a loopy quantity of different cool options that are actually value exploring.

That’s It for This Information on the Arturia Pigments Synth 🙏

That’s a wrap for this information on Pigments! Hopefully, I used to be capable of assist making a decision whether or not this synth is for you or not. Should you’re nonetheless uncertain, simply check out the three free days on Splice. You’ll get really feel for the way this synth operates and if it fits your style and workflow 👍

Did I miss out on something? Something unclear? Be happy to get in contact with me at [email protected]

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