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Review of Lancinantes drone synth (32 / 64 bit VST and AU) by Inear Display


Lancinantes is a drone synthesiser plugin from Inear Display. It doesn’t have an amplitude control envelope meaning that its oscillators are free running generating a constant sound. Three special additive oscillators are layered, allowing the creation of chords that can be conformed to a melodic scale. The oscillators are built around harmonic combinations applying random amplitude modulation to create perpetual subtle variations. New sets of harmonics can manually be regenerated at will.

A mixer section allows you to adjust individual oscillators levels as well as the amplitudes of a sub-oscillator and a white noise generator. The mixer output then goes through a resonant filter, an overdrive, a delay, and a reverb to further shape the sound.

Most of the settings can be set to random values thanks to a versatile randomizer section.

It is available from Inear Display in 32 & 64 bit VST and AU versions typically priced at 39 Euros + VAT.

In-depth review

The GUI has a clean, minimal feel and is easy to use and learn. It has a re-sizable interface and can be described in 9 separate parts.

The menu is located at the bottom of the display, it has a settings cog with options to reset to default values, show presets folder and show preferences file. You can also load and save presets.

The notes section allows you to set the note for oscillator one and offset oscillators 2 & 3 relative to this. You can set the scale root note and there are a number of scales you can choose including chromatic, major, minor and a number of more exotic scales. When the keytrack button is toggled (small keyboard) oscillator 1 is bypassed and the note used will be the last received midi note to allow you to sequence melodic progressions from your DAW.

The mixer module allows you to adjust the amplitudes of the three oscillators and also the sub-oscillator and noise although these do not have any controls apart from levels in the mixer.

The filter module has a low pass or high pass filter, cutoff, resonance and post-filter overdrive settings.

The delay has the expected delay time, feedback and mix settings as well as a handy feedback damping frequency control.

Lancinantes has a simple reverb with size, damping and feedback controls.

The master module has controls for the number of harmonics generated for each oscillator (increasing this has an impact on CPU usage) and a global output amplitude.

The randomiser section is a great addition allowing you to randomise settings for specific sections or everything at once.

The final part is the visualiser giving a graphic representation of what is happening.


This is an excellent drone synth, It’s very easy to learn and use and can produce a wide range of sounds from dark evolving textures, metallic sounds, feedback type sounds to wind type sounds and many more. The movement in the produced sound is subtle but gives brilliant tonal variation.

Because it has a continuous output, it feels more like a hardware unit than software. It’s perfectly suited to automation, volume is a parameter that particularly comes to mind but equally automating other controls can yield some very interesting results as can manipulating parameters in real time and of course applying external effects offers lots of further potential.

I’ve used it on the two albums embedded at the beginning of this post. I’ve used it on tracks 2, 3 and 4 of ‘welcome, stranger’ for background effects and have processed instances of Lancinantes with a range of effects – Convex (Glitchmachines); Octavox, H3000 Band Delays, H949 Dual Harmoniser (Eventide); Litote (Inear Display). This was recorded in MuLab 7 using Scaler to create chord progressions and Carbon Electra (both PluginBoutique) as the sole synth.

I’ve used multiple instances of Lancinantes on ‘a peculiar sense of oppression’ processed with a variety of effects – Subvert, Cryogen (Glitchmachines); Kuvert (Klevgrand); Incipit, Litote (Inear Display); H3000 Factory, H949 Dual Harmoniser, SP2016 Reverb, Blackhole (Eventide); VHL3C, Blackface SC5 (Black Rooster Audio). These were recorded as one-take live recordings in Usine Sensomusic Hollyhock 3. Both albums were mastered in MuLab 7 using Magnetite (Black Rooster Audio), Stage (Fiedler Audio) and Elevate (Newfangled Audio).

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