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Arturia – Augmented Yangtze (Review)

Blending traditional sounds with cutting-edge synthesis is a sought-after capability in contemporary cinematic music production. Arturia’s new addition to the “Augmented” series, Augmented Yangtze, offers this in a single, robust package. This virtual hybrid instrument combines the rich textures of sampled Chinese instruments with dynamic synthesis engines, creating an evocative tool for media composers, music producers, and sound designers. This review will delve into the details of Augmented Yangtze, exploring its interface, features, and sound quality to provide you with a thorough understanding of its potential in your compositions.


Augmented Yangtze is a modern hybrid software instrument that unites a comprehensive library of traditional Chinese instrument samples combined with dynamic synthesis engines. This fusion equips users with a broad palette of evocative, intimate, and performative Far Eastern sounds, ready for modern production. The unique morphing of sampling and synthesis ensures a constant flow of new tones and colors, allowing you to transcend conventional sounds and unlock new tonal colors for TV, film, games, and professional music production.

The Augmented Yangtze features a diverse collection of performance samples from traditional Chinese instruments. These include eight samples from the Bass Dizi, seven from the Erhu, four from the Guqin, six from the Pipa, eight from the Xiao, and five from the Yangqin. Each set of samples offers various playing techniques, providing a broad spectrum of sounds. Additionally, there are thirty special and processed sounds derived from these instruments. These multi-samples cover a range of notes and dynamics, perfect for capturing the essence of these ancient instruments, such as the Pipa and Guqin, which have histories spanning thousands of years.

Augmented Yangtze includes 6 multisampled traditional Chinese instruments. The instrument offers over 68 articulations, combining 38 traditional and 30 processed and multi-sampled articulations for a rich sonic foundation. Augmented Yangtze also comes with over 200 meticulously designed factory presets created by trailblazing sound designers. The instrument’s total size is approximately 3 GB, ensuring a balance between high-quality samples and manageable disk space usage. Installation is straightforward, with Arturia’s Software Center managing the process seamlessly. The plugin is available in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats, ensuring compatibility with all major digital audio workstations (DAWs)

Key Features:

  • Hybrid Instrument: Combines traditional Chinese instrument samples with modern synthesis.
  • Expressive Morph Control: Allows instant sweeping changes to tone, character, and color.
  • Comprehensive Presets: A wide variety of presets designed to inspire and kickstart your creativity.
  • Deep Sound Design Capabilities: The advanced panel offers detailed control over sound layers and effects.


Augmented Yangtze’s user interface is divided into two main panels: the Play Page and the Advanced Panel.

The Play Page is designed for immediate, expressive sound manipulation. The central feature here is the Morph control, which allows users to smoothly blend between the A and B sample layers. Additionally, there are seven macro knobs that provide quick access to essential sound parameters like filtering, envelope, modulation, and spatial effects. Each preset comes with a unique combination of macros that are individually programmable and automatable, giving you extensive variety to craft your sounds.

For those seeking deeper sound design capabilities, the Advanced Panel offers extensive control. This panel is divided into several sections:

  • Layers: Access and configure the two layers of sound, combining sampled Chinese instruments, processed samples, and synthesis engines.
  • Sound Generators: Each layer can house two sound generators, allowing for complex sound design. Options include combining synth and sample engines or using two of each per layer.
  • Modulation: The modulation section includes various modulators like LFOs, random generators, and keyboard behaviors, providing flexible parameters for creative editing.
  • Arpeggiator: Create and play rhythmic patterns and sequences with control over velocity, gate, chords, playback direction, time divisions, swing, and octave switching.
  • Effects: Both layer-specific and global effects, including reverb and delay, allow detailed sound sculpting
  • Macros: Customize and control the modulation and effects parameters mapped to each macro, ensuring precise control over your sound.

The Morph control is much more than just a simple crossfade between the two sound layers. Accessible through the Macros page, you can freely assign up to twelve individual parameters to the morph control simultaneously. This control is particularly powerful in live performance and quick sound adjustments. The Color, Time, and Motion macros further enhance sound design flexibility by adjusting filters, envelope settings, and modulations, respectively.

Each layer’s sound generator section includes a VCA, filter, and filter envelope, allowing for detailed sound shaping. The sample engines feature high-quality recordings of traditional Chinese instruments like the Bass Dizi, Erhu, Guqin, Pipa, Xiao, and Yangqin, as well as experimental and processed multisample sounds. These samples are complemented by synth engines with custom presets, creating a rich, textured sound palette. Each synthesis engine in Augmented Yangtze can utilize one of five synthesis types: analog, granular, harmonic, wavetable, and simpler. The simpler type functions as a basic sampler that uses fixed samples rather than multi-samples, with adjustable start, end, and loop points. This variety of synthesis types allows for a wide range of sound creation and manipulation options, catering to different sound design needs.

The effects section offers both layer-specific and global effects. Layer effects include various reverbs, delays, and modulation effects, while the global effects consist of three types of delay and two types of reverb, providing ample options for adding depth and space to your sounds.


The sound of the Augmented Yangtze is truly its most compelling feature. The hybrid approach of combining traditional Chinese instruments with modern synthesis results in a diverse and expressive sound palette. The sampled instruments are captured with high fidelity, providing authentic textures that are perfect for cinematic compositions. The synthesis engines add an additional layer of versatility, allowing you to blend synthetic elements with the organic sounds of the traditional instruments.

The quality of the sampled Chinese instruments is exceptional. Instruments like the Erhu, Guqin, and Pipa are recorded in detail, capturing their nuanced articulations and tonal variations. These samples provide an evocative foundation for creating intimate, atmospheric, and even historic soundscapes.

The synthesis engines in Augmented Yangtze are designed to complement the sampled instruments. With presets tailored to enhance the traditional sounds, these engines offer a wide range of synthetic textures that blend seamlessly with the sampled instruments. The ability to customize and layer these sounds further expands the sonic possibilities massively.

The modulation capabilities of the Augmented Yangtze allow for intricate sound design. The LFOs, random generators, and keyboard behaviors provide a high degree of flexibility, enabling complex modulation routings. The effects section adds depth and dimension to the sounds, with options for adding reverb, delay, and modulation effects to both layers and the overall output.


Arturia’s Augmented Yangtze stands out as a versatile virtual instrument that merges traditional Chinese instrument samples with advanced synthesis, creating a unique tool for modern music production. The usability of the instrument’s intuitive user interface, featuring the expressive Morph control and customizable macro knobs, allows for quick and dynamic sound shaping.

The Play Page provides immediate access to essential sound parameters, while the Advanced Panel offers in-depth sound design capabilities with its dual-layer setup. Each layer can accommodate two sound generators, allowing for complex combinations of synth and sample engines. The modulation section, equipped with LFOs, random generators, and keyboard behaviors, provides flexible parameters for creative editing. The arpeggiator facilitates the creation of intricate rhythmic patterns, with extensive control over velocity, gate, chords, and playback parameters.

Layer-specific and global effects, including reverb and delay, enable detailed sound sculpting, while the customizable macros ensure precise control over modulation and effects parameters. This comprehensive feature set makes Augmented Yangtze an exciting out-of-the-ordinary instrument for composers and sound designers seeking to infuse their projects with evocative Far Eastern sounds.

Whether this chapter of Arturia’s “Augmented” series of instruments is for you ultimately depends on your preferred music style and genre. While not every music production might need a traditional Far Eastern flavor, Augmented Yangtze’s many sound-shaping options can introduce a distinctive and unique color to almost any project.


  • Unique Sound Palette
  • Versatile Synthesis Engines
  • User-Friendly Main Interface
  • Rich Sample Library
  • Advanced Modulation and Effects


  • Possible Niche Appeal
  • Learning Curve


Arturia’s Augmented Yangtze is available as a download on the Arturia online shop for a competitive price of $99. To check the latest pricing and availability, visit the Augmented Yangtze product page.

Augmented Yangtze is also part of Arturia’s Augmented Series 6 bundle which contains 6 virtual instruments for $199 (regular price $299).



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