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Softsynth

Unique Tube-Based Knifonium Synthesizer Is Now a Plug-In

Geary Yelton

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Brainworx Audio’s new soft synth Knifonium is now available from Plugin Alliance.

Knif Audio’s Knifonium is a unique monophonic synthesizer that contains 26 vacuum tubes and costs $16,000. This upscale hardware synth features two tube-driven oscillators, a fourth-order ladder filter, a ring modulator, and a gorgeous steampunk aesthetic. High-end audio device designer Jonte Knif builds them by hand in small batches. He’s been making tube-based hardware for mixing, mastering, and sound design for years. What makes the Knifonium worth $16,000? To quote its inventor, “It sounds like nothing else.”

Brainworx Audio’s software emulation, which is also called Knif Audio Knifonium, is an 8-voice polyphonic synth plug-in that models as many as 208 vacuum tubes and costs a tiny fraction as much as the original. Software engineers at Brainworx Audio made it even better than the original by giving the Knifonium plug-in eight independent voices, mid-side (M/S) and stereo spread capabilities, and a powerful unison mode. Its carefully curated effects section features a well-known vintage-style phaser, a wavefolder, SPL’s Ranger EQ, and other useful processors.

Naturally Analog in Character

The Knifonium plug-in sounds uniquely rich and captivating. Jonte Knif confirms that it sounds and behaves just like the real thing. Brainworx Audio meticulously modeled the complete circuits of the original hardware, including all 26 tubes. They applied their patented TMT (Tolerance Modeling Technology) to re-create natural variations in envelope parameters, pitch, LFO speed, and other characteristics to make their digital re-creation sound as realistically analog and natural as possible.

Remarkably, the Knifonium plug-in runs in Windows 7 through 10 and macOS 10.9 through 10.15. It supports AAX AudioSuite, AAX Native, AU, VST2, and VST3 plug-in formats and is fully NKS-compatible.

From now until August 10, Knifonium’s introductory price is $199.99. After that, its retail price will be $299. To purchase or for more information, look here. You can download a fully functional 14-day trial when you register for a free Plugin Alliance account. Also, you can read the Knifonium manual here.

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