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Lethal: The Power of Synthesis With the Flexibility of ROMplers

Lethal: The Power of Synthesis With the Flexibility of ROMplers

Lethal by Lethal Audio is the ROMpler synthesizer plugin that packs a huge library of tones and sound design tools.

It’s also the first plugin from LANDR Rent-to-own plugins. So we’re doing an in-depth Lethal review to show you everything it can do.

Lethal is perfect for fast access to recognizable sounds from modern electronic music from Trap to Deep House in a convenient, lightweight package.

If you prefer to keep things simple and get a lot of mileage from a single plugin or you don’t have the resources to run a full suite of power hungry VSTs, Lethal is the solution.

Get the tools to shape your sound with 30+ synths, instruments, effects and utilities plugins from industry leaders like Arturia, UJAM and more. Try LANDR Plugins.

What is a ROMpler?

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A ROMpler is a sampler that uses only built in sounds loaded in read-only memory (ROM).

ROMplers had their heyday in the late 90s as sample memory became more affordable.

These devices didn’t need the expensive hardware necessary for true sampling. That made them faster, more compact and capable of holding a larger library of sounds.

ROMplers became a standard part of many producers’ studios. The classic units are responsible for some of the most recognizable sounds in dance music of the era.

Eventually computer music tools pushed ROMplers aside as DAWs and VST samplers became more powerful.

A ROMpler is a sampler that uses only built in sounds loaded in read-only memory (ROM).

But ROMplers are enjoying a major comeback thanks to plugins like Lethal that offer limitless possibilities and benefits over traditional synthesizers and the limitations of their oscillators.

Lethal is every bit the modern ROMpler with an impressive feature set and high quality sounds.

Lethal: Fit and finish

Lethal’s interface is slick and minimal. Its front panel emphasizes functionality and workflow without ever feeling stripped down or basic.

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Its futuristic look integrates a stylish blend of influences that recall Access’ Virus desktop synth or Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy era.

All the major functions are accessible directly from the main panel and the large preset browser provides simple library navigation.

Lethal is every bit the modern ROMpler with an impressive feature set and high quality sounds.

Changing tabs in the main menu pane gives you access to the secondary functions and system options in a straightforward manner.

Using the Lethal plugin

The ROM based approach to sound generation makes Lethal incredibly versatile and shockingly resource efficient. Even the most modest production rigs can handle dozens of instances of Lethal.

That let’s you put Lethal’s impressive features to good use.

Comprehensive preset library

Lethal comes bundled with a huge built-in collection of sounds.

The core library on its own has enough unique tones to build entire tracks in a wide variety of genres. The expansion libraries only increases the ground you can cover with Lethal.

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All Lethal expansions are included in the rent-to-own version of Lethal.

Inspiring rhythm sequencing

Lots of the fun of using Lethal comes from manipulating its onboard rhythm based modules: the trance gate and arpeggiator.

The trance gate can produce endless variations on the classic sidechained gating effect. It makes adding rhythmic interest to pads and sustained sounds feel simple and creative.

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The arpeggiator is a similarly flexible composition tool that’s great for getting sounds moving without much fuss.

Powerful synthesis

Lethal isn’t just a preset machine. The onboard synthesis features give you everything you’re used to with traditional subtractive synthesis.

The onboard synthesis features give you everything you’re used to with traditional subtractive synthesis.

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Routing its LFOs and envelopes is intuitive too—especially for those just getting started with these key synthesis functions.

These parameters can all be automated in your DAW to create cutting-edge, evolving synth tones.

Onboard effects

Lethal features an impressive internal effects engine with flexible routing and recallable presets.

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I was able to mangle the stock sounds into uncharted sonic territory using the reverb, distortion, bit crusher, phaser and chorus.

There’s also a host of effects directly on the front panel for easy tone shaping. Adding chorusing with unison voices or expanding the stereo

The sound of Lethal

Lethal has a clean, crisp and powerful sound.

The presets included with the Lethal core library and the 24 expansions are well curated and do a great job of capturing key tones from modern styles including Trap, EDM, Deep House and more.

The basses are big and punchy, the kicks have plenty of point and the pads are lush and lively.

The basses are big and punchy, the kicks have plenty of point and the pads are lush and lively.

I particularly found the bell sounds in the X18 BELLS expansion to have a pleasing crystalline quality that seemed very refined in the top end.

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The effects are quite usable and have their own unique character. The reverb might not displace your go-to plugins, but it works perfectly well in context with the rest of Lethal’s sound palette.

Get the tools to shape your sound with 30+ synths, instruments, effects and utilities plugins from industry leaders like Arturia, UJAM and more. Try LANDR Plugins.

In general, the sounds of Lethal have a clear, hi-fi quality that give the impression they would sit well in a mix with minimal effort or EQ.

In fact, the “pre-mixed” quality is one of the things about Lethal that’s most reminiscent of ROMplers in general, although it never sounds canned or overly artificial.

Lethal’s filters are rich and powerful with wide range and musical sounding resonance.

Lethal weapon

Overall, Lethal is a precision production tool with lots to offer to producers of all genres.

With its simple interface, low CPU usage and broad sound palette, Lethal has enough horsepower to create entire tracks.

Try Lethal if you’re after an uncomplicated lightweight solution for getting club-ready tones into your tracks fast.

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Various contributors from the LANDR team of music mentors.

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