Review

Don't Forget //

Bob Katz talks about Lowender

“It's just magic. There's nothing else on the market like it. I'm very happy.”

Tchad Blake talks about Lowender

“I love that thing.”

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Get a free Lowender t-shirt with your purchase.

Electronic Musician on Lowender

Download of the Month

May 2007

Lowender is a subharmonic synthesizer designed for bass enhancement. This capability, common in classic analog hardware, is rarely found in software, especially at a reasonable price. You can purchase Lowender and read the documentation, user testimonials, and reviews on the reFuse Software Web site (www.refusesoftware.com). Lowender uses the Cycling ‘74 Pluggo plug-in framework, so you will need to install the free Pluggo Runtime if you don’t already have some version of Pluggo installed (you’ll find download links on reFuse Software’s Web site).

Lowender adds a couple of welcome twists to subharmonic synthesis. You get a choice of three frequency ranges to match your source material. Classic is the standard boombox range of 24 to 56 Hz. The Guitar and Bass settings match the lowest octave on a guitar (38 to 76 Hz) and a bass (19 to 38 Hz). The chosen range is split into two bands, which you balance with the Bass Synthesis knobs and corresponding level LEDs (see Web Clip 1).

The subharmonic generator is followed by a gating circuit with a threshold control. You use that to restrict subharmonic generation to louder sounds such as a kick drum. The gate is followed by an overdrive/saturation circuit and a lowpass filter with a cutoff range of 55 Hz to 1 kHz. You use those together to fatten the signal by adding some upper harmonics while filtering out higher frequencies that might conflict with other tracks. Blender (wet/dry) and output-level sliders round out the control panel.

You probably won’t use Lowender on your next harpsichord recording, but when you want to get the dance floor shaking, there’s nothing like it. Lowender is capable of producing subtle effects, but it’s mostly in-your-face. When you need it, you need it.

Please note: since the time of this review, Lowender has been made a native plug-in, so it no longer requires Pluggo.