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Cherry Audio Mercury-4 Synth Plug-In

Cherry Audio are bringing back the "quirkiest Jupiter", and pairing it with a Space Echo in the recently released plug-in.

By

21 September 2021

Mercury-4 is a detailed emulation of one of the best-sounding and quirkiest polyphonic synthesisers of the late 1970’s, the Roland Jupiter-4. It’s the rarest and most sonically unique of the fabled Jupiter series, and great lengths have been taken to recreate the subtle (and not-so-subtle) nuances and character of this beloved classic. Every aspect of Mercury-4 has been expertly modelled upon a vintage Jupiter-4 originally owned by Greg Hawkes of legendary 80’s new wave band The Cars, and played on their double-platinum 1981 album Shake It Up. In Greg’s words, Mercury-4 “sounds just like my old Jupiter! It’s nice to have it back.”

The Jupiter-4 had its share of disadvantages, including limited patch storage, just four voices of polyphony, and boat-anchor weight. Cherry Audio’s Mercury-4 improves upon the original’s design by offering 16-voice polyphony, infinite patch storage, velocity sensitivity, MPE support, and much more.

Poly In The Beginning

Originally released in 1978, the Roland Jupiter-4 synthesiser was one of the earliest instruments to combine voice-assign polyphony with digital patch storage – that is, the ability to store and recall sounds to a digital memory and recall them at the touch of a button.

The Jupiter-4 rapidly became the go-to polysynth for numerous English and European acts in the 80’s including Duran Duran, Thomas Dolby, The Human League, Simple Minds, and more, and for good reason: the Jupiter-4 sounded fantastic, with a raw, raunchy tone not found in any of the other beloved Juno and Jupiter synths. Its analog oscillators have a uniquely aggressive tone quality, the built-in sub oscillator adds girth, its oddly fast and deep LFO modulation capabilities allow it to create uniquely whacked-out modular synth-like tones, and Roland’s famous stereo chorus “ensemble” circuit is beautifully implemented, adding a boatload of width and dimension.

Mercury-4 recreates Jupiter-4’s bold and unusual analog oscillators, powerful dual filters, and easily overdriveable VCA section. The unique arpeggiator section has also been replicated, heard on tons of classic new wave tracks, as well as the original’s two massive unison modes. A Drift knob has been added to dial in just the right amount of vintage character. The renowned stereo BBD ensemble effect has been modelled, and also added is a truly other-worldly “Space Echo”-style tape echo with multiple reverb modes. The tape echo perfectly recreates the warm tonality and subtle speed variations that make the original Space Echo units so desirable.

Mercury-4 is packed with over 400 presets, including the Jupiter-4’s legendary front-panel factory presets, and 75 presets from acclaimed sound designer Huston Singletary.

Mercury-4 Features:

  • Authentically modelled oscillator with sub oscillator
  • All filter characteristics modelled, including powerful low-frequency resonance
  • Up to 16-voice polyphony
  • Over 400 presets, programmed by industry veterans
  • Unique arpeggio section w/tempo sync
  • Wide-range LFO modulation with “inverted” mod characteristics
  • Drift control for increased analog realism
  • Precisely replicated stereo ensemble effect
  • Warm and organic tape echo with multiple reverb modes
  • Tempo-syncable LFO
  • Detunable unison mode
  • Single-key chord memory mode
  • Optimised coding for high performance with ultra-low CPU load
  • User-adjustable oversampling control
  • Advanced one-click UI magnification
  • Comprehensive MPE support
  • Full MIDI control and DAW automation for all controls

CONTACT

Cherry Audio: cherryaudio.com
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READ ONLINE NOW
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Issue 93

REVIEWED

Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.