Arturia Spark 2 Video Review
This VST is a great tool for beat-making, focusing on emulating old school drum machines with the flexibility and compatibility of modern plugins. You can run Spark 2 on its own, but it definitely benefits by you using the companion hardware – Arturia SparkLE 2 LE. In this Arturia spark review, we will go over how this piece of software can be used as a standalone plugin.
One of the best features of Spark 2, the same as the SparkLE is the step sequencer, which has quite a few modes – bank, pattern, sequencer, tune and song – all that reflects the interface of the SparkLE controller.
This plugin is a 1 to 1 replica on what you would see on the physical controller, both visually and functionality-wise. Each pad has a bank of three knobs, allowing you to adjust multiple things, like the Osc Pitch, Decay and Click Decay. When we get into the software only side of the plugin is where it gets really interesting. That is what this Arturia spark 2 review is all about.
What the spark VST has over the SparkLE physical drum machine is the sequencer tab, where you can program your drum loops, but what the software has over the hardware is the export button, which allows you to just drag out the pattern into your DAW timeline.
You can do this both in MIDI and audio waveform. Which makes using this sequencer immensely intuitive. In the sequencer window, you have 16 different samples you can assign, you also have velocity and other parameters that you can assign per not or per-sample basis, which is quite handy.
Following up the sequencer tab, you have the song arrange mode, which is somewhat confusing, but if you have worked with Machine and made arrangements within the plugin, this might just be the place for you and following that up, a very exciting window, the studio tab, where you sculpt your sounds.
As you move through different sounds in your kit, you will see different parameters you can control. For example, the volume, pan, cutoff, res, aux 1 and aux 2, pitch, decay, click decay, damo, frequency and noise. These are also the parameters we mentioned regarding the three physical knobs allocated to the pads. You can choose with once you select on the fly and as you can see you get quite a selection.
The spark drum machine is definitely a powerful tool. But, you also get a few effects racks, to add mixing effects like distortion, delay, a phaser, a limiter, chorus, param eq and much more.
BUT – that is not where it ends, if you want to get a step further, go further into the modular tab, where you can get working on the synthesis side of the drum machine, controlling different modules, like oscillators, filters, envelopes, LFOs and other different modules you can attribute in a node-based manner.
This allows you customise and craft the sound in the way you want to sound, making every single aspect of the drumkit your own, giving the Spark 2 infinite possibilities. But once again, that is not it! You also get a mixer tab, where you get rudimentary control in a mixer form to control and mix your samples and sequencers.
And now let us talk about the library, the library is massive and it has an amazing library of analogue sounding samples. Not just classic, but legendary.
Making this one of the best libraries of classic drum machines with amazing sounding samples that will make this a one, amazing, go-to drum machine, that when combined with the physical drum machine becomes one of the best tools in the industry if you want to not only work with vintage samples but craft your own.