It can do regular, synth stuff, but because its wired, quite unlike other synths, and has a unique choice of modules, it can go places regular, semi, modular, synths dont, for example. This forest is synthesized entirely using the default routing of the synth, and these sounds live very near. Regular synth sounds depending on how you set the synth up, even when you change its default wiring because of the way its set up, you can get some pretty unexpected results: Music, its an analog monophonic synth with digital controls, thats designed to explore what happens when things Arent wired up the way theyre supposed to in most since kind of like the synth version of a logic puzzle rather than a simple linear arrangement of modules. Soft pop 2 encourages circular patching cross, mods and feedback like in this pop or pixel cross mode. In this video ill dive deep into its waters, explore a few patch ideas, compare it to the original soft pop and take a look at its pros and cons Music Applause. Before i start, a quick disclosure pastel sent soft pop 2 over for review, but, as always, they have no say over. The content of this video. This channel is funded by viewers who subscribe to my content and book updates on patreon youtube premium and ads and price check affiliate links in the description which help the channel, regardless of the product you choose to buy Music lets start with an overview before we take A look at the cross, mod and feedback aspects of soft pop.

Many of its elements are ones youd find in a regular monosynth, a simple analog, oscillator, a resonant multi mode filter and a two stage envelope, which can also loop as an lfo Music. The faders work in pairs, so an oscillator frequency will have a mod depth, for whatever source is modulating, it filter and a mod depth for whatever source is modulating it and then the envelope rate and shape and again, if its looping, then its the lfo shape and Rate its a semi modular synth, meaning that you can rewire its modules or connected to other semi, modular or eurorack gear. Using the patchbay inputs are labeled white on black and outputs in reverse text inputs and outputs that are related to each other are connected with a line. Things are pretty well organized by modules, so these are related to the oscillator, these inputs and outputs to the filter. These to the envelope these to the sequencer – and there are a few utilities around the corners speaking of the sequencer soft pop 2 – has an eight step sequencer that can store eight banks of eight patterns each and you can chain patterns, and these gate buttons also have Multiple additional parameters like setting the scale setting the clock, division, a few sequencer effects and more and you access these various functions using the buttons on the left and on the right. The sequencer is a bit mightier than it seems aside from pitch. It can also sequence the mod depth fader motion, as well as other triggered parameters slides by default or anything you can patch the slide output to it can actually also sequence, scale, changes and pattern changes now getting to all these functions is quite a shifty affair.

Luckily many of the shift combos are either printed on the panel or on the enclosure, so you dont need to reference the manual for most of the shift functions. Soft pop 2 can also accept an audio input with level control on the panel and theres. A 5 pin midi din input for sequencing with external gear, with a couple of control modes, either playing notes directly or transposing the sequence where soft pop 2 starts. Getting unique is in its default cross, mod routing and features the default modulator for the oscillator pitch is a sample and hold circuit which samples the oscillator itself and is triggered every time the envelope is triggered or every time the envelope loops. The end result is at audio rates for the oscillator pretty much like a random pitch, and when you lower the oscillator to sub audio rates, things can get rhythmically interesting as ill. Show you in a bit another interesting default routing that you cant change, actually and ill set this into drone mode. So you can hear it. The oscillator frequency, the mod depth and the sequencer Music always go through a scale which you can determine one of eight scales and you can customize these scales and that opens up quite a few interesting opportunities. Ill show you more of this later. The transpose input by the way bypasses the scalar, but is still quantized to semitones, and the only thing that isnt quantized is the fine tune.

Slider. The second interesting cross mod is the pop function, which goes from soft, which is basically no cross mod to pixel, which cross mods the filter, frequency with again the oscillator frequency itself, and this can get quite weird Music anywhere from performance to. Even though this is all analog bit crushed in digital, like sounds Music and then the third interesting cross mod is again between the vco rate and the envelope rate. Now, as far as i could tell, this has a very subtle if any impact at higher oscillator rates. But again, if you go to sub audio rates, then youll notice that the envelope rate gets modulated up and down. Based on this now as an lfo, the oscillator frequency. Finally, overall, the build seems rather solid. Maybe a little wobble here but faders seem fine. This knob stays in place. The switches are fine, the case itself isnt exactly quite eurorack size, so you cant mount it directly. Its powered by 5 volts micro usb input in the back, so presumably with a panel adapter. You could mount it in a eurorack case, but not as is lets jump in a little deeper and look at its synthy bits. First, the oscillator by default is a square wave. The oscillator also outputs a triangle wave, but youll need to patch it into the filter to hear it notice. Things are being quantized, though. If i pick a scale with no notes selected, it defaults to semitone quantization.

The oscillator also has pwm, which is accessible only through the panel, so you wont hear it unless we plug voltage into the pwm input. We could take this utility here, which lets me send voltage using this knob into pwm, and i now have some control over pulse width. I could, of course, modulate pulse width with the envelope Music. There we go or with an external lfo. Of course, speaking of this module, you can also act as an attenuator and a tenure inverter, so i could pass an lfo through it and then attenuated using the knob. If i wanted to combine the waveforms by the way, i could do it using the input for additional base, and this circuit does clip nicely. Like i mentioned earlier, by default, the sample and hold unit is plugged in as a mod source, but again i could connect any other source into this fader, for example, the envelope any voltage from the mod input. This slider in the sequencer goes through a quantizer. So if i picked a scale with fewer notes, you could literally hear it cycle through the notes of the scale i didnt mention this earlier, but things that are routed by default in the patchbay have this little arrow next to them so sample and hold, and to This input, for example, the envelope into the filter, mod depth, sequencer into the trigger and the trigger edge to trigger the sample and hold circuit lets, move on and take a listen to the filter.

Music in low pass mode. Pretty sharp slope manual says: 12 db per octave seems a little bit more to me, Music thats without resonance and then increasing resonance doesnt reduce levels which is nice yeah. This gets nice and crunchy and the filter will self oscillate. I can bypass the normal connection of the oscillator into the filter by plugging a dummy cable into the filter input, and then there are two other modes for the filter: a bandpass mode, shallower slope and a high pass mode with resonance by the way, Music Applause. So a really nice sounding filter. I also mentioned the cross mod option using the pop function from the oscillator lets. Take a quick, listen to that from vocal performance, all the way to more progressive pixelated distortion, and then the looping envelope goes from a descending saw morphing into a triangle envelope or lfo into a ramp because well into audio rates and by default, its routed to the Vca, but also to Music, the filter, mod depth lets take a closer look at the quantizer and how you edit its notes, ill plug the envelope into the mod depth. So we cycle through the different notes in the scales like i mentioned, you choose the scale by holding the scale button and choosing one of the eight scale options, and then there are instructions on the side on how to edit the notes in the scale. But basically, once youre in the scale, you can go up and down the various 12 semitone options and then turn notes in the scale on or off by pressing the tempo button, so in this case c will participate in the scale.

If this led is on and wont, if its off then go to c sharp doesnt participate and oops and does when i press tempo go up by semitones choose whether note participates or not like this, you can actually change scales. While patterns are playing Music. So you could say mid performance swap from the major scale to a minor scale, and you can actually sequence scale changes more on that in a bit. Okay, lets move on and talk about the sequencer. Each pattern can have up to eight steps. You can have eight patterns in a bank and there are a total of eight banks. Each step in a sequencer holds four bits of information pitch, which you can sequence using this fader mod depth, which you can sequence using this fader and then whether a note is triggered or not, and whether a slide is triggered or not. If i hit play, we can hear the current sequence, all eight steps, if i want to sequence, live, i hold both pattern and slide record and sequence like that, and this adheres to the scale, of course, and i could sequence mod depth as well high mod depth With random notes, doesnt sound like much and youll notice. These little leds on the panel theyll turn off when the faders dont control pitcher mod depth anyway, thats how you can live record notes, you cant, live record notes, at least not currently using midi. You can also step sequence notes, so a short press on pattern and slide, which is record, will get you into step sequencing mode where you can hold the step and change its pitch.

You might want to turn on drone for this Music, which is sequenced. Three steps lets do one more Music, so thats how you step sequence. You can also use these buttons as an onboard keyboard in this step. Sequence mode, not an ideal way to sequence. Again, it would be nice if you could do that using the um, an external keyboard. One final way, you can step sequence, is by holding a gate and then pressing the up or down arrows to transpose in semitones, and this adheres to scale as well. You can press multiple times anyway, so thats how you sequence, one pattern and we just sequence pattern: two in this case lets say: go to pattern. Three and theres. Nothing in here lets maybe do something simple in here and turn on the gates. Okay, so thats pattern. Three thats pattern: two, you can chain patterns just by holding the button and pressing the patterns you wan na chain, and you can chain multiple patterns like this or repeat, a pattern. If you like, you can actually sequence scales like this as well. So lets take this one pattern: if you hold scale and then say press scale and press another one and press another one, it will cycle through the scales in the order that i pressed them effectively making this kind of like a chord, sequencer Music, see it isnt. The patterns that are changing here, its the scales that are being sequenced, Music and yeah theres a bug in the current firmware, where the first note takes its time, and sometimes an additional note will play when you hit stop.

I have been told this will be fixed in the final firmware. What else the sequencer has a few play modes. So if you hold play appropriately and press one of the 8k buttons, this plays the pattern backwards and you can hopefully see this on camera. The leds blink – this plays the first four notes, Music and the last four notes you can turn gates on or off by the way, its still cycling through the scales which is cool, maybe with a delay, especially yeah. If i want to disable cycling through the scales, just choose a scale and it wont do that anymore. Ive got a few more play modes and orders, and you can sequence that as well. You can sequence play orders, so notice, yeah a lot of things. You discover when you use this, so those are the various flame modes and then lets maybe go back to a simple forward motion. Another interesting feature is the temporary effects. If you hold trigger and choose one of the eight gate options, it will mess with your pattern. In one of eight ways, fast triggers or slow triggers, either octave arpeggios long, slew, noise, modulation, Music, then a final thing about the sequencer. You can sync it to external clock. I tested it with a volca analog. Sync works pretty nicely Music. It keeps up with tempo Music, as it should. Music. Soft puff 2 supports a few clock, divisions which you enable by hitting tempo and choosing one of the gates, Music theres no midi out, but you can use the clock output to sync external gear that accepts analog clock by the way you may have noticed this psychedelic Orb flashing, as i play the synth.

Basically, it gets rgb values from three sources in the synth, the oscillator level, so on and off based on the oscillator rate, then its blue Music based on the envelope and it turns red, i think, based on the output of a bandpass filter, Music and obviously the Colors combine based on the different sources lets explore soft pop 2, a little bit deeper by looking at a few patch ideas. The dynamics output is an envelope follower that follows anything coming in through the audio input. Since the envelope follower generates a positive modulation, we want to invert it and control it using the xy circuit and at the proper settings you can get a really nice side chain effect that will help your kicks stand out in the mix Music. Next little patch idea, the pop circuit can get pretty rowdy, but we can patch the envelope either directly to control the pop cv or through the attenuverter out the mixer and back into pop. What this does is, let us add, just a bit of distortion and pixel at the beginning of the sound Music, so lets control your power pixel next little tip, you can push a parameter beyond its default limits by adding voltage to it. Lets take the xy output plug it into the envelope right because i want it to go faster than it normally would so by default. If you want to hear the envelope ill plug, adjust it into the filter, cause it to cycle thats about as high as itll go, i can make it go higher by adding voltage to the rate input Music well into high audio rates, but that isnt very controllable And you cant control it with cv and play with it, but if we take the pulse output of the oscillator and patch it into the trigger input of the envelope, if we set the envelope to loop, we get both a sawtooth wave and one thats impacted kind Of like oscillator sync Music and we essentially sequence the envelope using a sequencer play it using a sequencer to get entirely different, sounds Music out of soft pop way beyond just a triangle and pull sauce later Applause, so cool stuff.

Next tip, like i mentioned earlier, voltages from the mod input the pitch slider and the sequencer are combined and passed through a scalar. This can be a great way to arpeggiate patterns as theyre playing using external or internal voltage, thats, basically whats going on in this patch Music. The envelope as an lfo is cycling through different notes being offset by the sequencer Music next little tip by default. The play modes can give you either an eight note pattern or a four note pattern. But what if you wanted a pattern that had a different length if youre not using the slide parameter in your patterns, you could use the slide gate to reset the pattern. So now we get a three note pattern or we could change that to uh yeah any other length that we wanted. If we really wanted to use the slide – and we didnt mind that all the notes in our pattern triggered so remember, you could disable certain notes in a pattern. But if we didnt mind that all of them triggered, we could turn all of them off and then use the envelope gate to reset the pattern. If we turn all the gates off, we obviously cant hear the pattern, but we could use the clock to trigger the envelopes and we essentially now freed up the envelope trigger pattern to cut the sequence short, freeing up the slide gate to make slides or anything else. You will need to disconnect the clock from the triggers to stop the sequence, though now you can use this extra mod lane to modulate other things.

So lets say, for example, go into the reverse input to reverse the envelope in certain places in the sequence or maybe add an accent, Music, its a nice way to add an accent or anything else activate the cycle, for example, for ratchets, maybe have a controlled trigger Of the sample and hold circuit next tip, you could use the xy circuit as a crossfader and a mixer, for example. If you want to add a texture to your sound, you can mix in noise alongside the oscillator, in this case im using the falcos noise clipper, but any other tone generator or noise generator can play alongside whatever you have going on on softbot too next tip. Like i mentioned to you, when you lower the oscillator rates, a few cross mods kick in a few extra cross mods as if there werent enough before to turn on some delay and with a bit of mucking about. You can start to see why this and its predecessor were called soft pop, its quite easy to find these bubbly sweet spots, Music, Music, Music and, with a bit of extra patching, even more craziness, can ensue before i head out to the pros and cons a brief Comparison to the good old soft pop mark one, you can see that its a bit smaller – it has a built in speaker which really isnt necessary. It can be powered by batteries which this soft pop cant. You need to access.

This inconvenient dip switch bay to cancel a few of the default cross mods, something which you dont need to do on soft pop, too. You can override the normalized settings just by plugging dummy cables into the inputs, all the settings by the way, except the cross mod from the oscillator to the envelope at low rates. This apache bay obviously required these little wires to plug in here, which isnt as convenient as proper patch jacks. You did have an interface 2 modular using these inputs, and these patchbay points, but having 3.5 millimeter jacks is obviously more convenient final pro for the original soft pop is that it was cheaper or is cheaper than soft pop 2.. Beyond that plenty of pros here, these faders are on the panel, as opposed to being on the sides here, which wasnt very convenient. The sequencer here is way more powerful way, more sequences easier to program this multiple scales and scalar by far more comprehensive on soft pop 2. The new pop and pixel mod control very convenient so overall, a major and substantial improvement over the original soft pop. But obviously this comes at a cost, so, with that said, lets take a look at some pros and cons for soft pop too. Overall, on the kanza side, if youre looking for a quote regular subtractive, semi modular, mono synth, there are plenty of other options with more oscillators, more envelopes, lfos and so on priced at this price or less.

This synth is for you. If you want a synth made by people who think very differently from others, if you want to dig into the patch bay and want to embrace the cross mods and this very different way of using quantization within a synth, so lets say that you are one of These people that are interested in embracing the different. What are some of the things to be mindful of first question that i had when i saw it was? Is it too shifty and if you look at the manual the list of shift combos is very long and intimidating. However, when you actually use the synth, they kind of fall into place and make sense you edit the scales using the scale buttons and arrow keys, you, edit the clock, divisions using the tempo button and the gate buttons or the arrow keys. You choose patterns using the pattern. Button choose slides using the slide button, theres a midi button here to choose midi channels. It kind of all makes sense now. Are there some hidden shift functions? You need to be aware of beyond these. Absolutely, yes. Is it totally self explanatory, as is no but its something you can just feel your way around in most cases make some mistakes until you finally get it beyond that im using a pre production firmware on this unit, and it does have a few noticeable bugs, like The first node in a sequence being slow, like i mentioned earlier, and a few other issues, theres also a very low level bleed of audio through the vca.

Again, i dont know if this is because this is a pre production unit, a bug or just how it is bastille have told me. These issues will be addressed and ill add a comment to the description if they are beyond that im: hard pressed to think of cons, because this is just so different if you accept the different. This is the framework that you work with. I think the only thing that i would have liked changed is you: can disable all the cross mods except the low oscillator frequency cross mod to the envelope rate, its cool for organic generative style patches. But if you want to disable it, you cant, at least to my knowledge, on the pros side. Like i mentioned at the beginning of this video soft pop 2, is a refreshingly original synth. Its got some pretty cool default cross, mods that make for lovely organic textures and plenty of surprises along the way and an extensive patch bay, which invites you to create your own different cross, mods or craziness. At first i thought soft pop 2 was a relatively simple synth, but, as i dug deeper, i ended up spending way more time than i thought i would not just because it felt like i had to uncover as many of its secrets and puzzles as i could. But mainly because i kept discovering timbral nooks and crannies that i just couldnt find on other synths. So if you want a synth that will challenge and surprise you, soft pop 2 is well worth a look, speaking of which many of the tips and ideas in my ever expanding book available to the good people who support this channel on patreon are directly applicable to Making the most out of soft pop too see link below if you want to check it out, hit like if this video was useful, ring the bell below.