Tone2 Icarus3 online-manual

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Icarus3 manual

(The manual for Icarus3 is currently under construction. More will be available soon.)

Welcome to Icarus3!

Icarus is a powerful synthesizer, equipped with a high-end quality sound engine. An engine that is flexible as well as offer an enormous number of features, yet remains easy and intuitive to work with. We call Icarus a '3D wavetable synthesizer', because we expanded the wavetable concept, allowing you to cross-blend waveforms, with an additional dimension for morphing. Next to its wavetable capabilities it also offers resynthesis, true stereo architecture, hypersaw oscillators, a wavetable editor, modular effects, a vocoder, dual filter section, programmable arpeggiator and a comfortable patch browser.  Which is why Icarus is one of the most powerful synthesizers on the market.
Patch Browser

It gives you instant access to an inspiring library with production-ready sounds. Icarus comes with an astounding collection of 1800(!) hand-picked patches. Each sound has been carefully built by a professional sound-designer and has been crafted with a lot of love and great attention to detail. The patches are very easy-to-mix, because they've been carefully EQed, pre-mastered and are in perfect sync to your track tempo. All patches have been sorted into categories and you can find quickly what you need. You can tag your favorites with a ranking-system.

Play Modes

Icarus offers 64 voice polyphony and several different play-modes:
Polyphonic, Monophonic, Legato classic, Legato New, Monophonic Glide, Polyphonic Glide


Icarus offers 21 different microtuning-modes. The engine can slightly detune certain voices to make your chords sound fatter, harmonically rich and warm. We also developed several innovative algorithms that are not longer limited to the usage of a certain tonality. Icarus is able to analyze what you are playing in real-time and can enhance your chords automatically.


Modern Glide: Linear pitch slides
Vintage Glide: Logarithmic pitch slides like in analog synthesizers
Variable Glide: The glide-time depends on the range of the keys played

Random Button

Allows you to create completely new sounds with a single mouse-click!

Wavetable Editor

Icarus comes with the most powerful wavetable-editor available on the market. You can use it to create your own waveforms and wavetables or to edit the ones that are included to Icarus.
The spectral editor turns Icarus into an additive synthesizer, giving you detailed control over the partials and phase. You can also draw your own waveforms using the mouse.
The comfortable editor includes over 100 professional tools to tweak wavetables. You get basic features like, cutting, mixing and filtering, as well as advanced tools such as de-noising, enhancing, re-synthesis, vocoder, spectral modification and phase manipulation. A random-generator allows you to create new wavetables with a single mouse-click.

Hypersaw & Additive synthesis

Icarus offers three oscillator-blocks with true stereo-architecture.
Each oscillator-block itself again can contain up to 16 detuned hypersaw or additive oscillators. The hypersaw and additive modes can be combined with any kind of wavetable, waveform or synthesis-method.

We've expanded the popular hypersaw concept with a stereo-processing, precise phase-control, punch and the ability to make single oscillators play chords. 42 different modes are available, including, hypersaw, supersaw, megasaw, unison, stacking, chords and flanging.
Unlike competing synthesizers our hypersaws do not occasionally sound ugly. We developed smart algorithms that prevent occasional 'phasing' and huge volume peaks. We are convinced, that Icarus3 has the best sounding "hypersaws" available on the market.

Icarus3 bas been extended with additive synthesis. These modes drastically extend the sonic range, especially with disharmonic and unusual sounds. Unlike conventional synthesizers our additive synthesis is not limited to sine-waves. It can handle any waveform or synthesis mode. We developed smart algorithms that prevent the occasional volume peaks that competing synthesizers suffer from.

Synthesis & Morph Mode

Icarus can do a gigantic amount of synthesis-methods:
3D wavetables, classic wavetables, resynthesis of samples, vocoder, additive, subtractive, analog, FM with up to 6 operators, formant synthesis, waveshaping, PWM, sync, ringmod, AM, noise, physical-modeling, phase-distortion, granular, time-stretching, pitch-shifting, samples, harmonic-morphing, FFT-filtering, lofi, import of custom waveforms and wavetables and many other innovative modes, exclusive to Icarus.

3D Wavetable Synthesis

The award-winning '3D Wavetable Synthesis' creates sounds impossible with other synths and reveals a new level of dynamic expression. We have extended the classic wavetable-synthesis, which can cross-blend waveforms, with an additional morph-dimension.
You can use 54 morph-modes to further shape and modulate the sound. The morph-modes are not limited to traditional waveshaping-methods. We also included a vast range of innovative and exclusive synthesis-methods, which are not available from other companies. This results in a wide range of unique sounds that cannot be produced by other synthesizers.
Get inspired by unheared signature-sounds and give your productions an unique character.

Wavetable Fade Knob

This knob controls how this cross-blending of waveforms is done.
If the knob is set to 0, the synthesizer will switch between the waveforms without any crossblending. This gives a hard, clicking sound and reduces the CPU load.
When FADE is set to 100% the waveforms are smoothly crossfaded.
A value of 50% is a combination of both. It can help to enhance the expression and clarity of the wavetable.

Wavetable Selector

Icarus ships with a huge selection of hand-crafted wavetables from professional designers.
Icarus' flexible, compact and open file format allows sound-designers and artists to easily create their own soundsets, waveforms and wavetables. Many common file-formats are supported. It is even possible to import and export wavetables or waveforms from-and-to other synthesizers.
In Icarus all wavetables are stored within your patches and songs automatically, so you don't have to worry about managing any additional files on your hard-disc.


Icarus has 3 LFOs with 45 morphable waveforms and BPM-sync, a Step LFO and 16 additional LFOs with sine waveform.
Do you want to use the LFO to wobble your sound? Simply drag&drop it onto a knob and you've got it.
Modulation can be as simple or complex as you want. Use drag&drop or the modulation-matrix to connect dozens of sources to all important sound parameters.
You can modulate almost any parameter with audio-rate speed.

Trancegate / Step LFO

The Step LFO's design was inspired by step-sequencers and can be used to create rhythmic sequences and trance-gates. The Step LFO uses a Multi-Stage Envelope in which you can set up your own shape by dragging envelope points. It can be routed to any target in the mod-matrix (filter-cutoff, volume, pitch, etc).


A smart equalizer with dynamic bass-boost and psychoacoustic-processing is provided to make your sound sit right in the mix.
The EQ is easy to tweak since a display visualizes the frequency-response in real-time.


Icarus has 4 ultrafast AHDSR Envelopes, 2 high-precision MultiStage Envelopes, 2 Hold Envelopes and 16 additional Decay Envelopes that can be accessed by the Mod Matrix. You can modulate almost any parameter with audio-rate speed.
Do you want to use the envelope to modulate a waveform? Simply drag&drop it onto the knob and you've got it.


Icarus3 comes with the most powerful filter-section available on the market. Our synthesizer-flagship offers 62 exciting filter types. It's a best-of selection of over 300 filter-algorithms that were developed by our DSP experts during 15 years.
Many filter-types are exclusive and not available from other companies, which results in a wide range of unique sounds that cannot be produced by other synthesizers. All filters are musical useful and have really different sonic characteristics.
There are two modular filter-blocks available. Each one is equipped with true stereo-architecture, flexible routing and multi-mode filters. Two stereo-distortion-sections, each with 9 different modes, allow you to further shape the sound.
An animated display shows the frequency-response and gives you immediate visual feedback. This makes it very easy to understand and tweak the filter-behavior.


The included arpeggiator instantly creates inspiring and wonderful melodies. Working with the powerful arpeggiator is very simple: Just input your notes into the note-sequencer.
The arpeggiator supports advanced features such as glides, swing & shuffle, split, smart note-sorting, matrix-integration and gives you precise control over play-direction and velocity.
Comfortable playing aids like auto-chord speed up the production process and assist you whenever you need it.
Don’t feel like programming your own patterns? Just load one of the many pattern-templates.

Drum Sequencer / Auto Accompaniment

It is an easy-to-use, but powerful X0X-style sequencer-module. It comes with a wide variety of drum-sounds, noises and waveforms. You can also import your own samples and save your own templates. A large collection of 100 drum-patterns created by professional designers is included.
The drum-sequencer supports swing, shuffle, loop-length, effect-send, key-split, roll, mono-samples, stereo-samples, looped samples and looped waveforms. Your sounds can be passed through punchy, BPM-synced envelopes, which allow you to create impressive 'gated-drum-sounds' easily. You can stretch wav-files with drum-loops or any other rhythmic content so that they automatically sync to BPM.
Furthermore, the drum-sequencer is not only limited to playing drum-sounds. It is also a small multi-timbral synthesizer that is able to play looped samples or waveforms with or without pitch-tracking. It does also come with a smart auto-accompaniment which automatically resolves the chord that you are currently playing and plays a bass-line that 'fits'.

Glitch Sequencer / Trancegate

Icarus3 comes with a grid-based glitch-sequencer. You can chop your sounds and create modern glitchy, pitchstop, trancegate or stuttering effects.
'The Glitch' works similar to a multi-effect sequencer. The incoming audio is passed through 10 different effect-modules. Each effect is controlled by up to 16 segments to adjust the parameter of the effect. Furthermore, it is possible to adjust the speed, groove, routing, mix, smoothness and loop-length. Random-buttons allow you to create new sequences quicky. It is also possible to load and save your own templates.


Icarus comes with a smart and flexible effects-section. 54 different effects, feedback and a limiter can be combined in modular slots in order to build new and exciting results. You can create your own custom effects which can be saved and loaded separately.
The innovative ducking-module can make the mix sound more transparent and lush. It dynamically adjusts the volume of the effect-mix and prevents delays clashing with the original signal.

Modulation Matrix

Spice up your tracks with exciting movement! Do you want to use the LFO to wobble your sound? Simply drop it onto a knob and you've got it. Modulation can be as simple or complex as you want. Use drag & drop or the modulation matrix to connect dozens of sources to all important sound parameters.
Modulate almost any parameter with audio-rate speed, from internal modulation sources like LFOs, punchy envelopes, step sequencers, and a wide variety of MIDI signals.

Multi-stage Envelope Generator (MSEG)

Two MSEGs are available as additional modulation-sources. The MSEGs can be operated as LFO or envelope and allow you to create any shape you can imagine. The MSEGs offer highest precision, support frequencies up into the audio-range and have been designed with the aspect of musical usefulness.
Literally anything is possible: The MSEGs can be synced to BPM, sync with the arpeggiator or run freely. Triads or dotted rhythms are also supported. You can define loop-points and start points. You can delay or fade the MSEGs. You can move, add or delete points with your mouse. You can bend lines upwards or downwards to change their shape or even create precise rectangular curves. The MSEGs can be edited completely freely or you can snap points to a grid of a select-able size. It is also possible to draw triangles, bars or ramps.


Here you can change settings like the skin-color, the master-tuning or enable MPE (Midi polyphonic expression)


It allows you to rebuild any sound with a SINGLE mouse-click! With Icarus anyone can build fantastic sounds quickly and easily.
Traditional resynthesis methods require a deep knowledge of sample-editing in order to achieve good results. It needs time-consuming pre-processing with a sample-editor and precisely tuned samples. We have taken care of these problems for you and have developed completely new algorithms. Icarus' innovative wavetable-resynthesis can rebuild sounds with a single mouse-click! It works with nearly any kind of audio-material and produces high-quality results. Simply click the button, select a wav file and Icarus will automatically create a patch, which sounds like the original.
Optionally, you can further shape your sound with morphing, BPM-synchronization, time-stretching, the filters, the effects or any other module.
Traditional sample-import, auto-tuning, beat-slicing, pitch-shifting, noise-reduction and granular playback is also supported.
All waveforms, wavetables and samples are automatically stored within your patches or songs. This means you don't have to worry about any files missing on your hard drive or broken song-projects.


If you listen to popular songs you will notice that nearly all of them use a lot of vocals. We are naturally drawn to those sounds, as they are reflections of the spoken word. However, adding vocals to your tracks is a demanding task: You need a singer, a microphone, a recording studio, a wealth of experience and a lot of patience...
Icarus can take care of your work since it can sing chants for you. Simply pick one of the vocoder patches and play a melody. These sounds are not just a bunch of 'vocal samples' - this is real speech-synthesis. These vocalic chants are never out-of-tune. Magically they can automatically synchronize to your song's BPM-rate!
With the built-in vocoder you can also create your own phrases. The top quality vocoder module has 1024 bands and is very easy to use: Simply click on 'Vocoder' and select a wav file containing speech. Icarus will analyze it and automatically create a patch.
Optionally, you can further shape your sound with morphing, the filters, the effects or any other module. Playing the sound forwards, backwards, formant shifting, BPM-sync, time-stretching and looping is also possible.

Oscillator Tools

This menu provides access to a host of sample/waveform/wavetable load, save & edit options as well as Vocoder and Resynthesis generation options.


The GUI can be displayed with 26 different sizes. It is also possible to hide parts of the interface, like the keyboard, when you don't need it.
The customize-able interface allows you to select your favorite color from 37 schemes.

Product installation (Mac)

  1. Close your DAW (e.g. Logic, Cubase, FL Studio, Ableton...). Make sure that you really quit it properly!
  2. Double-click on the PKG file and install Icarus3.
  3. If you are on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher you might need to reboot your Mac. Otherwise recently installed AudioUnits might not be visible (This is a known issue with AudioUnits and affects also plugins from other developers).
  4. Open your DAW.
  5. Do a plugin re-scan in the DAW if it does not list Icarus. Detailed instructions on how to perform a re-scan can be found in your host's manual. Reboot the Mac if the AudioUnit plugin still can't be found.
  6. Insert Icarus as a plugin.
  7. Left-click on the "Click here to activate it" text.
  8. Browse-to and select the key-file (Icarus3.t2k) that you have received with your order to activate the full version.
  9. Restart the plugin. Note that some DAWs may require a complete restart for the plugin to function correctly (this affects especially AudioUnits). Reboot your Mac if it is still not properly unlocked.

You can find a video with an installation here.

Installing Soundsets/Expansions on Mac

  1. After your order you received an email with dowload-links. Download the pkg/dmg file.
  2. Exit your DAW (e.g. Logic, Cubase, Ableton...).
  3. Double-click on the dmg/pkg file to run the installer. If it doesn't run press CTRL + click on the installer package and select 'OPEN' in the context menu.
  4. Load the synthesizer. The new sounds are displayed as additional categories (the left colum with TYPE/Category in the patch-browser).
  5. Reboot the Mac if the new sounds still can't be found.

Product installation (PC)

  1. Exit your DAW (Cubase, Ableton, FL Studio, etc). Make sure that you really quit it properly!
  2. Run the Icarus3 full-version installer. Please note that the demo version of Icarus3 on PC can not be unlocked. Make sure that you install the VST-plugin to the correct directory! It must be the same directoy for the plugins, which is referenced from within your DAW (e.g. C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VstPlugins).
  3. Open your DAW.
  4. Now you can insert Icarus as a plugin.
  5. If your DAW does not show Icarus run a plugin-rescan. You can find info about this in the manual of your DAW.
  6. Left-click on the "Click here to activate it" text.
  7. Browse-to and select the key-file (Icarus3.t2k) that you received with your order to activate the full version.
  8. Restart the plugin. Note that some DAWs may require a complete restart for the plugin to function correctly.

You can find a video with an installation here.

Installing Soundsets/Expansions (PC)

  1. After your order you received an email with dowload-links. Download the zip file.
  2. Exit your DAW (e.g. Cubase, Ableton...).
  3. Unpack the zip file to a temporary folder.
  4. Double-click on the icon of the .exe installer and run the installation.
  5. If you have already installed the synthesizer, it will detect the correct path automatically.
  6. Load  the synthesizer. The new sounds are displayed as additional categories  (the left colum with TYPE/Category in the patch-browser).
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