It’s hard to believe that Artruria has anything to add at this point, but here we are. NAMM 2024 is ready to begin and Arturia is introducing the fifth version of its homegrown super synth. In the grand scheme of things this one. But that’s not to say there aren’t new features worth getting excited about.
Perhaps the most important new feature is also the most invisible. Pigments finally support multi-core processing, significantly improving performance. It has never been the biggest resource hog in the virtual synth space (in my experience the current champ ), but can be demanding depending on the patch. CPU usage in the standalone version is now around 4 percent when idle on the M1 MacBook Pro. I rarely see it go above 20 percent.
There are also changes in the dismantled . It’s now more consistent and slightly nicer with the new spectral visualizer. It doesn’t really change things in a practical way, and while I’ll admit that the main UI can seem a bit busy for newcomers, I’ve never had trouble navigating it. The Play look might be a welcome improvement for those who use Pigments in performance settings and rarely do deep sound design, but it’s not something I’d ever change myself.
If you’re not into sound design and rely more on presets, you’ll probably appreciate the 150 new sounds included, not to mention three new sound banks of 150 patches each, all designed with MPE in mind. Pigments is one of the few high-end soft synthetics with a wide range of ingredients , but its default settings often do not take full advantage. But now he is becoming more and more common, Arturia strives to overcome it. Heck, maybe Arturia will announce an MPE controller of its own in the not too distant future.
One of the most interesting improvements is a new option in the utility engine (second source only) for audio input. This means you can run other instruments, even your voice, using Pigments’ effects. You probably already have access to a rich set of effects in your DAW, but being able to seamlessly combine external audio with Pigments’ synth engines and process them through the same effects to help them blend together more seamlessly is a great new source of timbre. . I tested it by running it Electronic Digitone I was quite pleased with the pigments and the results, but I definitely have more research to do. If you prefer to stick with the built-in engines, there’s a selection of new patterns and wavetables for you to explore.
The Sequencer has also received some pretty significant improvements. There is a new dice icon to create a random sequence that can be locked to a certain scale. Sequences can now be saved individually as their own presets, you can lock the same sequence to try out multiple different sound presets. You can even feed MIDI from the Pigments sequencer to other instruments. So if your DAW or synth of choice lacks generative features, you can now let Pigments do the work.
As always, Pigments 5 is available as a free upgrade for current owners. If you haven’t taken this step yet, now is a great time to do so. For a limited time, you can get Pigments, plus three new ones For $99. This is quite a steal since pigments are normally $199 and each sound bank (, and ) will be $30 at full price.