BlauKraut Engineering Charlatan is a polyphonic subtractive synthesizer with focus on sound quality and easy usability.
It comes with a flexible, yet not overwhelming feature set which encourages artists to start tweaking instead of just relying on presets. Inspite of it's simplicity, Charlatan's architecture is flexible enough to create both classic sounds and rather experimental noises. While making no compromise about sound quality, the sound engine has been highly optimized for efficient CPU usage making Charlatan well suited as a "bread and butter" synth even in projects with a large number of plugin instances.
2 oscillators with shape modulation.
Oscillator hard synchronization and ring modulation.
Unison mode with upto 7 voices and stereo spread.
Stereo noise generator.
2 ADSR envelope generators.
LFO with host tempo synchronization.
3 filter types modeled after classic analog hardware: 4-pole (24 db/oct) and 2-pole (12 db/oct) lowpass, bandpass.
3 voice modes: Monophonic, Monophonic Legato and 8-voice Polyphonic.
Ultra-low CPU usage.
Straight from the developer's website: "Charlatan is a polyphonic, subtractive virtual analog (VA) synthesizer plugin with focus on sound quality and easy usability." There it is, pure and simple. You have 2 oscillators, hard sync, ring mod, unison, noise generator, LFO, a filter section with 4p/2p LP and BP, and 2 ADSR envelopes. All of this is in an easy to understand, easy to use, low CPU package. Leads, pads, sweeps, basses, you name it - you can create them all. So go get it.
It doesn't do much but what it does do sounds really good. A very believable analog modeler with a voice that's still uniquely its own. And its free.... I went through a period where I was fucking with this a lot while I was arranging songs. Its a low CPU hit so I would have a million instances of this or synth1 as place holders while I was drafting sequences to assign to other instruments later. I haven't been using this one so much lately, dunno why.