Review: Eisenberg Einklang Extended

Soft-Synths are a dime a dozen. Everywhere you look, companies are emulating classic gear, making improvements upon existing technologies and creating new concepts all together. Needless to say, if you’re going to turn heads in this business, you better come with something new and innovative. German company Eisenberg has a great concept behind their Einklang soft synth. This soft synth is very versatile in application and can work as either a stand-alone, AAX, RTAS, VST, and AU. You’re basically covered on all fronts. Installation is very simple and activation is a breeze.
Einklang translates to many things in German (like “unison”, “harmony” and “equilibrium”) and that is just what this synth’s framework is built around – taking three different models of instruments and allowing them to interact and blend in different ways. They have even gone as far as developing their own proprietary AIST technology, which powers the synth. This allows true modeling capabilities and in depth interaction with changes to parameters as well as other instruments you blend in the “Morphing Triangle.” The interface is laid out extremely straight forward with the triangle on the right side that allows for you to load 3 different patches and blend between all three models in almost limitless combinations. On the left you have a set of controls that are used as overall controls for the blended sound. You are given timbre, loudness, and modulation.
Operation could not be any more simple. Load 3 patches into the morphing triangle and start dragging. Einklang is a perfect concept for people who just need to throw together combined sounds without in depth editing. I’m afraid that if you like sound design, this may not be the synth for you due to the limited nature of its interface, but if simplicity is your mantra, you’ve come to the right place. Not only do you get a standard set of sound packs with Einklang, the extended version gives you 5 extra tone packs with models based on colors (red, green, blue, black, and white). Each are created to evoke certain feels based on the emotion of the color spectrum… but do they really follow through?
Although the interface looks great, I feel that the models of instruments are very primitive sounding. They sound nothing like the instruments they are trying to model. I almost get a feel that I am using a very old inexpensive keyboard sampler. Now if this is what you’re going for, then you’ve hit pay dirt. I just find myself really having to fight to get any quality sounds. Another issue I have is with the controls on the left. There needs to be a way to either control each preset in the triangle as well as a master control for each individual setting in the morphing triangle. I feel that this would give you a little more variety in shaping your final product. (Right after this review was published, Einklang 1.2 was released and has added a master volume slider as well as a visual meter to help match your levels with other content in the mix. They have also added a preset manager and browser for both plugin and stand alone use. One of my favorite new additions in 1.2 is the ability to make Einklang function as a monophonic synth, perfect for those leads and basses.
All of that being said, I absolutely love the concept, I just wish the sounds were more contemporary and realistic. Also throw in the fact that you’re paying $239.00 for very primitive sounds, I’m just not sure the public is going to go for that. I’m hoping that their proprietary modeling system expands and we can truly use all cylinders of this soft synth. I mean… who wouldn’t want to realistically pitch down a harpsichord and blend it with an electric guitar while layering it with a nice pad? I’ll definitely have my eyes on this company in the future and be waiting for more soundpacks to be released that better use this very unique and spectacular concept.
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