The first thing you’ll notice about Circle² is the interface: the simple, clear and bold design says a lot about the approach taken by developers Future Audio Workshop. Circle² is an updated version of the company’s sole synth offering, and it’s a real statement of intent.
The visual aspect of Circle² is so telling because it sums up the synth’s main selling point: this is a complex, powerful synth that still manages to be user-friendly, a feat that should be high up any developer’s list of priorities but all too often gets overlooked in favour of cramming in as many features as possible.
A complete beginner could fire up Circle² and get started making sounds without too much difficulty. The synth engine is based on a combination of wavetable oscillators and FAW’s new VPS (“vector phase shaping”) synthesis engine, developed in conjunction with the audio research group at Maynooth University. It’s a powerful setup that avoids becoming overly complex thanks to the graphically driven approach; the name of the synth comes from the small circles underneath parameters, which can be dragged around the interface to set up modulation routings.
Circle² looks great and sounds even better.