Synapse Audio Orion 8 released

After two years of development, Orion gets its most important update with Orion 8, taking its sound quality, workflow and possibilities to an entirely new level. This version has new instruments, effects, sample content and a new mixing console amongst all the other improvements.

New Instruments
The new Pro-9 generator is a complete overhaul of the former XR-909 generator. The Pro-9 offers virtual-analog drum sound modelling of breathtaking quality and accuracy, not only making it indistinguishable from the analog reference hardware, but also providing that analog “feel” which mere sample-based recreations lack.

The user interface comprises controls for each drum sound, as well as a classic drum machine step sequencer, for quick and easy pattern programming. There is a total of 11 sounds that can be synthesized, including Bass Drum, Snare, Toms, Clap, Rimshot, Hihats and Cymbals. The Pro-9 is fully compatible with the General MIDI (GM) drum map, so it can be played via MIDI gear as well.

Also new is the Acoustic Grand, a high-quality, sampled-based grand piano module.

New Effects

The effects section gains a high-quality lookahead limiter and a new compressor, both meeting professional standards. For the first time, it becomes possible to master tracks in Orion directly, without having to resort to third party plugins. The new Vintage Chorus effect is a detailed recreation of the warm, analog stereo chorus effects manufactured in the 70s and 80s.

New Mixing Console

The revised mixing console doubles the number of parallel sub groups to eight and adds an extra insert slot, eliminating the need for clumsy workarounds.
Additional pan laws are available for the mixing desk, including Equal Power 0dB, Equal Power -3dB and Linear -6dB for broadcasting.
Another important new new feature is the ability to pattern-automate the mixer in the sequencer.

Both the mixing console and master section support automatic PDC (plugin delay compensation) and 64-bit double-precision mixing.

Templates and Song Merge
The new, innovative Template system allows you to fully customize the plugins you work with. For instance, you may create MIDI maps, route instruments to specific busses, apply insert effects, define keyboard splits or even throw in automation. A template is added to a project in the same way as a plugin, with only a single mouse-click. A rather unique feature is Song Merge: Supppose you programmed a great bass line in an older project, Song Merge allows you to incorporate that track into a new project easily, preserving its patterns, arrangement, Mixer/EQ settings, applied effects and so on.

Improved Workflow
Many detail enhancements make Orion 8 extremely fast to work with. The new navigation bar in the arrangement window gives an overview of the entire project, and allows instant zooming or navigating to any bar with a single click. Patterns can be resized and stretched with the mouse directly in the playlist. Full mousewheel support has been added to all views, including the piano roll, mixer, instruments and effects. 


The DrumRack groove composer gains many important features in the new version. Each sample or sample group can now be mapped to any MIDI key, and all new V8 drumkits are mapped according to the General MIDI (GM) drum map standard. MIDI Grooves can be imported via Drag+Drop and will function instantly due to the GM compatibility. The new 12-bit switch added allows for vintage, gritty MPC-type sounds.

New Sample Content
The sample content for Orion 8 has been provided by well-known sampling experts Yellow Tools. Whether you’re looking for a high-quality acoustic drum set, percussion samples or an electric bass or acoustic guitar- the new content added to Orion consists exclusively of finest 24-bit quality multisamples, a huge improvement compared to the content that came with earlier versions of Orion. Installing the Sample content is much easier than in previous editions, too, as it is performed by a dedicated Setup program.  

The new skinning system introduced allows full custimization of not just all instruments and effects, but the window frames and buttons as well. Two skins are provided, a new V8 skin as well as an adapted “Azura” skin from V7.

Pricing and Availability
Orion 8 is available in the Synapse Online Shop for $249. The upgrade price for Version 7 users is $99. For the limited period of two weeks, users may take advantage of an introductory price: $69 for the upgrade and $199 for the full version. Note that for purchases made within the European Union (EU), 19% VAT is added.

The demo version will be available early March. Orion 8 is available in the Synapse Online Shop for only $249. The upgrade price for Orion 7 users is $99, however users may take advantage of a special offer for $69, valid until 14-Mar-2011.

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