Review: Retromod Digital 1 by Tracktion


Review: Retromod Digital 1 by Tracktion

Digital 1 is Tracktion’s homage to the 80’s and is a great choice for the expansion of the Retromod library. The source instruments hail from the years 1981 through 1987 and include the Yamaha TX81Z, the Kawai K3, the Kawai K5, the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, and the Korg DW8000. This entry brings you a huge palette of colors including: pads, basses, keys, bells, arps, brass, voices, etc…Digital 1 has everything you need to give you that classic 80’s hybrid synth sound.

Retromod Digital 1 sells for $79.00 from Tracktion


Macros Page

It has been a real pleasure reviewing the Retromod series and seeing it’s journey on the road to greatness. Each new stop along the way has helped to flesh out this series and create a veritable cornucopia of sounds to work with. One of the things I have loved about all of the Retromod libraries is that the GUI remains somewhat consistent across all of the libraries. The only real inconsistencies seem to be with the presets categorization and the preset names.

All of the Retromod libraries share the same preset selection frustration and though not a deal breaker, I feel it does interfere with the flow at times. This frustration stems from the fact that you have to deselect the current category before selecting a new one or you get a blended effect where the new category’s selections are mixed with the selections from your original category. As stated in my other reviews of the Retromod series, it does create a slight sense of confusion when you’re in the flow and expecting to see the results of a category pop up, but instead you get a blended result because you forgot to deselect the previous category.

Presets page

The only other issues with the names are due to my personal preference only and has no bearing on the software. I feel as though the way they have categorized the presets across the libraries have been hit or miss and settling on a definitive approach would help all of the libraries seem more cohesive. I liked how some of the libraries had the categories separated by the source synths; which, was a nice feature if someone had a particular synth in the past and was looking for a specific sound from that synth. Digital 1 does not have them separated by the source synths, but they do have original preset names that are easy to remember and refer back to later. Other than these small issues, Digital 1 was an absolute blast to review.

I loved the variety of sounds and how good they all sounded. One of things I’ve always liked about the Retromod series is that no matter what time period the source synths were from, these libraries work great together.

It is obvious that great care was chosen to pick synths that would play nice with all the other libraries in this series. I also really like that the macros page and the effects page are consistent across all of the libraries. In Digital 1, some of the parameters on the macros page seems to be more refined and the XY pad is the area where this is the most noticeable to me. I have always been a fan of XY pads, but in the previous libraries, it seemed kind of difficult at times to really hear what affect it was having on the sounds. This was not the case with Digital 1. With even the slightest adjustments to the XY pad, I was able to augment the sounds on the fly and make some really interesting phrases. The oscillator section of the macro page allows for some fine tuning by featuring knobs that control the octave, semitone, cent, ring mod, and the 2nd oscillator’s level. The common section features an analog knob that does its best to emulate analog synths by causing subtle pitch variations of each note. This section also contains a unison knob that causes the voices to be slightly detuned and a glide knob that affects how notes transition to one another. This section is also where you will find the arpeggiator. The arpeggiator contains a latch mode, a clock, an octave adjustment box, and an option to use the projects BPM or the ability to set your own. The effects page is where you will further customize your sound and features EQ, Chorus, Distortion, Phaser, Delay, Filter, and 3 different types of Reverb. Overall, this is a great sounding library that has plenty to offer and like the other entries in the Retromod series, Digital 1 is strong enough to stand on its own, but will really shine when combined with the rest of the Retromod libraries.

Effects page


Digital 1 contains 367 presets, comprised of 10,000 samples. It is 5.9 GB and available in AU, AAX, VST. It is also available for Mac, PC, and Unix.

Retromod Digital 1 sells for $79.00 from Tracktion


Demos of Retromod Digital 1 by Tracktion

Videos of Retromod Digital 1 by Tracktion

Contributor Tim Davis reviews Retromod Digital 1 by Tracktion

“A great expansion of the Retromod library. Sources hail from the years 1981 through 1987 giving you everything you need to give you that classic 80’s hybrid synth sound.”