Ableton Operator
Ableton Operator

Operator, Virtual FM synth from Ableton.

Adyssey Beats 06/22/2012

Ableton Operator : Adyssey Beats's user review

« Could be better. »

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As I purchased and installed the Ableton Live 8 Suite package - which includes Operator as an instrument - getting started was as easy as waiting for Live to be done and opening an instance of the synthesizer. Unlike some more complex synthesizers, Operator is an easy to use 4 oscillator deal with graphic ADSR envelopes that allows for manipulation of various parameters of the waveform. The learning curve is not terribly steep, as the sounds being produced by each of the four oscillators are fairly limited and the overall complexity isn't high.


Operator definitely works well in Ableton Live, but I kind of expected more from it. The sounds, when played side-by-side with synthesizers customized in Native Instruments' Massive or FM8 sound feeble and pathetic. There is certainly much less versatility in Operator. That said, I found this synthesizer a great way of teaching others the basic properties of additive synthesis and have incorporated some of its more sinusoidal sounds in my music.


For a stock DAW synthesizer, Operator was made out to be something much bigger than it turned out being for me. I have been much more impressed over the years with the stock synths in Logic Pro and Fruity Loops, and am disappointed that my flag-ship DAW is lacking in this department. Unfortunately I can't comment on the value for the price as it came with my Ableton Live 8 Suite package, but I can say that if Operator was stripped out of Ableton and sold as a solo VST, I wouldn't buy it. It works, but it wouldn't make or break my decision to buy Ableton over another DAW.