The super synth’s most recent free improvements include “light mode,” “shimmer reverb,” and drag-and-drop UI features.
At this point, listing the features Arteria’s Pigments lacks is easier than listing the ones it does. Since the company started releasing updates on a regular basis, each new edition has brought something exciting. New synth engines, new effects, and entirely new utility sections are all places where Arteria may try out new concepts while also showcasing some of the best features of its collection of historical emulation.
Pigments 4 appears to be a rather minor update at first glance. There are a few new effects and a few improvements to the different oscillators, but there isn’t much to grab your attention with just a headline. Many improvements to the quality of life are concealed by this modification, despite its seeming subtlety.
One is that you can now easily drag and drop the sources of a modulation to the desired target. It wasn’t very difficult to select LFO One and then select the filter cutoff, to be fair. Now, though, all you have to do is slide the tiny tab over the LFO you wish to modulate. For individuals learning how to use the synth for the first time, it ought to lessen the scary nature of Pigments. Additionally, multimode modules like the filter now include left and right arrows that allow you to easily switch between kinds, as opposed to the past requirement of clicking to reveal a drop-down menu.
Thankfully, the most significant UI changes are optional. The new Play tab comes first, which eliminates the majority of the sound design options and concentrates on a small number of customizable factors. Here, neither effects nor modulation preferences are changeable. It’s intended to get you talking without causing you too many distractions. Although it hides a lot of the depth that makes Pigments so appealing, it’s fine for live performances or if you prefer to stay with the presets.
The second significant interface update is a little confusing. See, Arteria determined that Pigments is too dark and added a bright mode while the majority of firms are rushing to implement dark mode to protect your eyes. There are perhaps those out there who will like its brilliant grey panels, but I don’t like them. The original theme just seems more logical to me, and it’s also easier to stare at for extended periods of time. Even in light mode, many interface elements are still black, giving the appearance that it was thrown together hastily.
That’s a rather small quibble, though, given that Pigments 4 offers a number of new playable tools once you get over the UX. A new filter that was adapted from the company’s MS-20 emulation is included, along with ring mod in the wavetable oscillator, super unison in the analogue oscillator, a dedicated mod oscillator, a better bit crusher, and (wait for it…) shimmer reverb!
Although Pigments already featured ten other filter options, many of which had numerous settings, the MS-20 filter certainly add something unique to the mix. The MS-20 begs to be run at extremes rather than being used like any other lowpass filter. Simple white noise may be changed into a beautiful plucking key sound with a faint crackling by turning on keyboard tracking and cranking the resonance. Or, to obtain some gritty saturation, simply ramp up the volume and hit it with the hottest signal you can (but be sure to lower the master volume or you risk damaging your hearing).
Ring Mod produces some lovely chilly tones. However, Pigments did not exactly lack this prior to this. Although it’s a nice touch, you wouldn’t really miss it if it disappeared overnight. The Bit Crusher effect has undergone the more interesting adjustments (as opposed to the one built into the sample engine). You may now fine-tune the precise taste of digital destruction you’re seeking for thanks to the addition of jitter, scale, and new decimator options.
Oh, and the shimmer reverb is also present. It fulfils its stated purpose. Personally, I believe it to be a crucial effect, thus I’m surprised Arteria hasn’t included one before now. It doesn’t especially stand out, but if you use Pigments to make granular soundscapes or ambient plucks, you’ll be glad it’s available.
Additionally, 63 new wavetables, 67 new samples, 36 new noise types, and a tone of new presets were added by Arteria. In addition, there are three new sound packs: Wavelengths Lo-fi, Wavelengths Neuro Bass, and Wavelengths Cinematic to expand your sonic options if the expanded collection of included patches isn’t enough for you.
Pigments 4 is currently accessible as a free update for current users. Up until January 4th, new buyers can purchase it for an introductory price of $99; after that, the cost will increase to $199.