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Differences from Strobe2?

Apart from FM and the number of oscillators, could you summarize the differences between Cypher2 and Strobe2? The fact that there’s “upgrade” pricing makes it sound like the former is an improvement over the latter, though both were part of the DCAM Synth Squad.

To be perfectly honest, after listening to some examples and patch surfing the trial version of Cypher2, not hearing anything radically different from Strobe2 in terms of the types of sounds produced. And there’s a whole lot of overlap from TransMod and MPE-related enhancements to microtuning. Also can’t say that the diversity of sounds is that obvious, to me. In my mental models about synths, all these patches fit in the same overall category.

Which isn’t to say that Cypher2 doesn’t have a market. But since it’s being hyped to Strobe2 owners, it’d be useful to have a direct comparison. (Differences from DCAM Synth Squad are pretty obvious. Had never heard of that one before this week.)


Best Answer

Hi Alex, that's a good question. 


Indeed, it's better to think of this as a crossgrade, as Strobe2 and Cypher – while being part of the same family and having obvious affinities – are separate instruments that will both continue to be developed.


Cypher2 is a complete overhaul of Cypher, part of the DCAM Synth Squad synth bundle (which included Strobe, Cypher, Amber, and Fusor). All of these original synths have some common ground and are meant to be considered part of a family of synths, but each play a very different part. 


I'll try to summarize a few of the main differences between Cypher2 and Strobe2.


First, as you note, the oscillators (and the ability for FM) is perhaps the most obvious difference:

  • Strobe2 has 1 analog-modeled, multi-waveform, stackable super-oscillator with detuning, sync, and suboctaves, plus noise. 
  • Cypher2 has 3 analog-modeled, variable waveshape oscillators with audio-rate modulation, thru-zero FM, ring modulation, variable phase, and sync, plus noise.
Frequency modulation as well as audio-rate modulation of the Cypher2's oscillator's parameters allows for a huge variety of sounds, and having three oscillators allows for a wide range of sound design possibilities.

Filters:

  • Strobe2: 1 multimode filter with 22 modes and drive
  • Cypher2: 2 multimode filters, each with 6 circuit types and 8 modes, drive, and FM

Waveshapers:

  • Strobe2: no dedicated waveshapers within each voice path
  • Cypher2: 2 waveshapers, selectable pre- or post-filter, with 9 modes each

LFOs:

  • Strobe2: 1 dual LFO with 21 shapes, sub-LFO, and variable swing, pulse-width, and phase
  • Cypher2: 2 dual LFOs with 21 shapes, sub-LFO, and variable swing, pulse-width, and phase

Envelopes:

  • Strobe2: 1 modulation envelope and 1 amplitude envelope, each with sync and looping and selectable linear/exponential response
  • Cypher2: 2 modulation envelopes and 1 amplitude envelope, each with sync and looping and 4 response curves

Ramps:

  • Strobe2: 1 ramp with selectable delay time, rise time, sync, and looping
  • Cypher2: 2 ramps with selectable delay time, rise time, sync, and looping

Sequencers:

  • Strobe2: 1 step sequencer
  • Cypher2: 1 step sequencer, 1 gate sequencer, 3 modulation sequencers

Arpeggiator

  • Strobe2: 1
  • Cypher2: 1, MPE-controllable

While there are additional differences, these are some of the main points of comparison. Cypher2 offers more oscillators, filters, waveshapers, envelopes, ramps, and sequencers, and the oscillators themselves allow FM, RM, and other audio-rate modulations. 

Having our sound designers and developers work extraordinarily closely in the development of Cypher2 accounts for many of these features, and for that reason Cypher2 is almost literally a sound designer's dream synth. 

I hope this helps, and please let us know if you have any more questions.

Red


Answer

Hi Alex, that's a good question. 


Indeed, it's better to think of this as a crossgrade, as Strobe2 and Cypher – while being part of the same family and having obvious affinities – are separate instruments that will both continue to be developed.


Cypher2 is a complete overhaul of Cypher, part of the DCAM Synth Squad synth bundle (which included Strobe, Cypher, Amber, and Fusor). All of these original synths have some common ground and are meant to be considered part of a family of synths, but each play a very different part. 


I'll try to summarize a few of the main differences between Cypher2 and Strobe2.


First, as you note, the oscillators (and the ability for FM) is perhaps the most obvious difference:

  • Strobe2 has 1 analog-modeled, multi-waveform, stackable super-oscillator with detuning, sync, and suboctaves, plus noise. 
  • Cypher2 has 3 analog-modeled, variable waveshape oscillators with audio-rate modulation, thru-zero FM, ring modulation, variable phase, and sync, plus noise.
Frequency modulation as well as audio-rate modulation of the Cypher2's oscillator's parameters allows for a huge variety of sounds, and having three oscillators allows for a wide range of sound design possibilities.

Filters:

  • Strobe2: 1 multimode filter with 22 modes and drive
  • Cypher2: 2 multimode filters, each with 6 circuit types and 8 modes, drive, and FM

Waveshapers:

  • Strobe2: no dedicated waveshapers within each voice path
  • Cypher2: 2 waveshapers, selectable pre- or post-filter, with 9 modes each

LFOs:

  • Strobe2: 1 dual LFO with 21 shapes, sub-LFO, and variable swing, pulse-width, and phase
  • Cypher2: 2 dual LFOs with 21 shapes, sub-LFO, and variable swing, pulse-width, and phase

Envelopes:

  • Strobe2: 1 modulation envelope and 1 amplitude envelope, each with sync and looping and selectable linear/exponential response
  • Cypher2: 2 modulation envelopes and 1 amplitude envelope, each with sync and looping and 4 response curves

Ramps:

  • Strobe2: 1 ramp with selectable delay time, rise time, sync, and looping
  • Cypher2: 2 ramps with selectable delay time, rise time, sync, and looping

Sequencers:

  • Strobe2: 1 step sequencer
  • Cypher2: 1 step sequencer, 1 gate sequencer, 3 modulation sequencers

Arpeggiator

  • Strobe2: 1
  • Cypher2: 1, MPE-controllable

While there are additional differences, these are some of the main points of comparison. Cypher2 offers more oscillators, filters, waveshapers, envelopes, ramps, and sequencers, and the oscillators themselves allow FM, RM, and other audio-rate modulations. 

Having our sound designers and developers work extraordinarily closely in the development of Cypher2 accounts for many of these features, and for that reason Cypher2 is almost literally a sound designer's dream synth. 

I hope this helps, and please let us know if you have any more questions.

Red


1 person likes this

Thanks. It does help. Still on the fence, partly because Equator is closer to my sound design dream. But it does make a lot more sense for me to think of the Cypher2 feature list as more exhaustive than the Strobe2 one. A bit like Apple keeps separate softsynths with one as a deeper version than the other (say, ES2 over ES1). What attracts me to Strobe2 is the simplicity and straightforward integration.

Now, if this were an iOS app…

any chance we're going to be able to import strobe 2 patches into cypher 2?


or going forward, should i just continue to treat them as separate instruments?


thanks in advance.

Rich

Hi Rich,


Good question. As they are indeed different instruments, and we plan on developing them separately, it's best to treat them as separate instruments. 


Thanks,


Red

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