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Arturia Synclavier V Synth

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The Synclavier V faithfully recreates the elite digital synthesizer/workstation that started it all, powering some of the biggest hits and film soundtracks of the early ‘80s with its unique rich, edgy sounds.

If you were to ask anyone back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s to name the Holy Grail of synthesizers, the most revered of them all was New England Digital’s Synclavier. Its unique combination of additive synthesis and frequency modulation delivered a creative edge to the privileged few keyboardists, producers, film composers and sound designers who could afford systems that ranged from $13k to $400k.

Some of those rock-solid systems are still in use today. Arturia has recreated this highly revered hit maker in partnership with original programmer Cameron Jones, delivering the immense rich textures and creative palette of this vintage instrument, while dramatically improving it to let you blaze new musical trails today with sounds never heard before.


Sounds you will only find here

There’s simply nothing else like the powerhouse sound of the Synclavier V. No synth arsenal is complete without it.

There’s no hint of analog or samples here—this is the sound of unabashed digital synthesis in all its glory. While it can certainly create unique mellow tones, this vintage flagship is more known for its distinctive digital character ranging from edgy to eardrum-ripping brash to intergalactic. It’s especially ideal for extended pads and slow cinematic, ambient soundscapes. Plus, we’ve invested in significant updates that make the Synclavier V a thoroughly modern instrument with sounds that set it—and you—completely apart.

Hundreds of presets from the world’s top sound designers tame the unparalleled power of the Synclavier V and place it at all your fingertips for instant inspiration and easy customization.


A programmer’s dream

While you’ll get tons of love from Synclavier V’s presets alone, there’s a universe of sonic adventures waiting just beneath the surface whenever you’re ready.

The unique sound of the Synclavier V comes from its blend of additive and FM synthesis, with control over 24 additive harmonics on both the carrier and modulation oscillators. Where the original instrument let you mix four uniquely programmed Partials Timbres in a Timbre preset, Arturia’s recreation has twelve, boosting your creative possibilities exponentially. The Time Slice engine allows complex evolutions of the sound over time—even several minutes if you want.

Programming the Synclavier V is a study in elegance. Three different interface views let you choose the depth of control that best suits your needs.

The Synclavier V lets you realize the dream of an entire stunning synth orchestra with just one plugin.


A Legend Reborn

Arturia partnered with the original programmer of the Synclavier to bring this synth legend back to life even better than ever. Yeah… it’s all that and more.

Uncompromising vision

Introduced in 1979 based on research from Dartmouth, New England Digital’s Synclavier turned heads as the first commercially available digital synthesizer. The company’s mantra was that quality was paramount and money was no object. 
Mission accomplished. Although, these systems cost more than many musicians made in a year, they quickly found their way into top studios, movie soundtracks and recordings by top artists including Michael Jackson (Thriller), Sting (The Dream of the Blue Turtles), Pat Metheny (Are You Going With Me?) and George Michael (Faith). Notoriously demanding composer Frank Zappa even recorded the entirety of his final Jazz from Hell album using the Synclavier alone.

Technology that’s out of this world

To handle the incredible amount of data required to pull off digital synthesis in the ‘70s, NED had to design and build their own ABLE mini-computer as the heart of the instrument, complete with a proprietary 16-bit operating system. But that’s another story…

Totally authentic

Quality also being paramount at Arturia, we partnered with original Synclavier programmer Cameron Jones—considered by many to be the Bob Moog of digital—to insure our recreation would be as authentic as possible. We remained faithful to the instrument’s elegant interface design, both in reproducing the original features and adding new ones. We even used part of the original code. It doesn’t get more authentic than that.

A modern instrument beyond the original

While the Synclavier V expertly brings this historic instrument to life, we’ve improved it dramatically by taking advantage of today’s processing power. We’ve also infused into it everything we’ve learned over 16 years of developing award-winning software synthesizers. The result is a thoroughly modern, cutting-edge instrument that stands alone among hardware and software synths alike.

Intuitive Interface

What’s the point of unlimited power if you can’t easily harness it?

Synclavier V’s ergonomic 3-panel interface insures that you can put your hands on exactly what you need, whether you’re finding sounds while performing, exploring and tweaking during recording, or doing in-depth sound design in the studio.

Standard Panel Mode

Our redesign streamlines the original hardware interface, distilling into the Standard Panel Mode only what you need for exploring and performing with the generous Timbre preset library. This panel also gives you easy master control over parameters that affect the Timbre as a whole, such as envelopes and ratio for the carrier and modulation (harmonic) oscillators.

Extended Panel Mode

When you’re ready to get more adventurous, the Extended Panel Mode lets you select and tweak one or more of the 12 Partial Timbres that make up a Timbre. Each Partial Timbre has complete discrete controls for advanced envelopes, FM amount and ratio, vibrato, stereo animation and much more.

Graphic Display Mode

Based on what you’d see on the original green monochrome CRT, the graphic display lets you design visually at the deepest depths of the Synclavier V sound engine. Here you work with the harmonic spectra of the oscillators and how they evolve via Time Slices. You’ll also find the Partial Timbre mixer, modulation assignments, graphic display and control of envelopes, effects and more. Many controls from the other display modes are duplicated here for one-stop programming.

A Sound All Its Own

No other instrument gives you the sonic architecture, flexibility and character of the Synclavier V.

Timbres consist of up to 12 Partial Timbres

Much of the magic of the original Synclavier owed to the ability to build Timbres (presets) by creating and layering four completely different sounds or Partial Timbres to realize massive, complex sounds. With the Synclavier V, we’ve taken the number of Partial Timbres to 12, dramatically expanding the creative possibilities. Since each Partial Timbre is a complete sound, that means that you can stack many different sonic elements into electrifying Timbres resounding with rich complex textures brimming with subtleties.

Partial Timbres are each compete synth engines

Each of the 12 Partial Timbres has two digital oscillators that combine the principles of both additive and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis. Rather than using filters to subtract harmonics from simple oscillators, additive synthesis builds up complex sounds by selectively adding harmonics in this case. The Synclavier V goes way beyond that, combining these oscillators in an FM architecture where the carrier (main) oscillator is modulated by the second harmonic oscillator. The fusion of additive and FM technologies make for a stunningly diverse and unique universe of cinematic pads, epic leads, evolving bass lines and more.

Time Slices animate long passages

Time Slices allow you to specify up to 50 snapshots of the 12 Partial Timbres of additive and FM synthesis goodness, and animate through them over time. For each Time Slice, you can set the volume, pitch, FM modulation amount, and delay. The ability to set parameter crossfades of up to 30 seconds between Time Slices—over a total time of 5 minutes—makes it possible to create long evolving ambient pads and cinematic cues of incredible complexity.

Improvements make a great instrument even greater

We’ve made a lot more improvements beyond boosting the sound engine from four Partial Timbres to 12. Where the original modulation oscillator was only a sine wave, now you can also choose sawtooth, square, or triangle—or graphically build your own waves comprised of 24 phase-controllable harmonics. These enhancements allow you to create outrageous textures never possible before. Each Time Slice can now even have a separate FM modulator waveform. Variable bit depth between 4- and 24-bits, on-board effects, and a MIDI Learn feature are just some of the many examples of the new options available to you in Synclavier V.

Synclavier V puts the full spectral control and power of top-flight digital synthesis at your fingertips.

Unparalleled Creative Expression

With the Synclavier V, digital synthesis meets total creative and performance expression.

Sure, all synths have LFOs, but the vibrato section of the Synclavier V is exhaustive, giving you control over LFO attack, phase, quantizing, bias and more. Things get even more interesting when you apply the LFO to the FM harmonic oscillator that, in turn, modulates the carrier. Let that sink in for a minute!

Want to take your listeners on an animated journey? Add extra energy to your pads and soundscapes with the stereo modulation section. It actually takes the form of separate linkable tremolos for each channel, making for unique spatial animation effects that will have everybody’s heads spinning.

Imagine performing with expressive nuances never possible before. Press harder on the keyboard to change the amount of FM modulation. Ride the expression pedal to affect the frame speed of your Time Slices. Grab the mod wheel to rock the FM modulation ratio. These are just some examples of what’s possible when you use the modulation matrix to easily map any of your favorite MIDI controllers to dozens of sound engine parameters—discretely for each Partial Timbre.

Synclavier V lets you express yourself in ways that have never been possible before.

Diving Deeper

When you’re ready for full control, the Graphic Display Mode is a programmer’s playground.

The Mixer page brings many of the individual sound engine controls for each of the 12 Partial Timbres together in one place so you can focus on programming without jumping between screens. Other pages let you graphically define complex envelopes for each oscillator, key ranges for each Partial Timbre, and how your sounds evolve via Time Slices. To top it off, the Effects page taps into newly added onboard effects like reverb, delay, phaser and flanger, so effects come right along for the ride with your presets.

You don’t have to be a programmer to bring the power of the Synclavier V’s advanced digital synthesis to your music—but the elegance of the graphic interface may inspire you to become one.

Instant Love

Get ready… people are going to start asking you “What’s that sound?”

Clear your schedule because the Synclavier V is about to inspire you to make a lot of new music—the best measure of any instrument. Created by some of the world’s top sound designers, hundreds of factory presets—including 50 Timbres from the original library—will keep you going for a long time. Simple tweaks are easy. And if programming is how you roll, your other instruments might soon start getting jealous.

Whether you’re looking to trigger ambient soundscapes, compose orchestral synth opuses or just add an edge to any genre, the Synclavier V brings a serious update of the most coveted digital synthesizer of yesteryear to your rig and your music today.


Preset browser

Our redesigned preset browser lets you quickly find just the sound you’re looking for.

Search by name or simply select the appropriate tags to dial in on the exact sonic character you’re looking for. You can mark and recall your own favorites, enter comments, and set up playlists. There’s never been a more intuitive way to manage your library of designer and personal presets.

Resizable GUI

The user interfaces for all your Arturia instruments are now resizable, making it easy to work with any High Resolution screen, UHD or Retina.

You can decide whether you want to fill the screen with awesome graphic reproductions of classic instrument goodness, scale the window down when you’re working in a DAW and screen real estate is at a premium, or even zoom for detailed work.


Platform specifications

Windows: Win 7+ PC: 4 GB RAM; 2 GHz CPU. 
1GB free hard disk space
OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU
Apple: 10.8+: 4 GB RAM; 2 GHz CPU. 
1GB free hard disk space
OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU

Required configuration

Works in Standalone, VST 2.4 (32-bit and 64-bit), VST 3 (32-bit and 64-bit), AAX (32 bits with PT 10.3.8, 64 bits with PT 11), Audio Unit (32-bit and 64-bit), NKS.

VST 2.4


The software is protected by the Arturia Software Center. You can learn more about it here.

Main Features

Software synthesizer playable through a MIDI keyboard
450 presets sounds
Original programmer + original code = the original Synclavier synthesis engine
Powerful FM (frequency modulation) synthesis
Full additive synthesis:Time Slice engine for dynamic additive synthesis
Additive waves for both carrier and modulator waveforms
Expanded number of partials to 12 (the original had 4)
Variable bit depths (original was only 8-bit)
High-quality output effects
Algorithmic reverb
50 presets from the original Synclavier library
VST, VST3, AU, AAX, and standalone operation
Support for Native Instruments NKS format