Native Instruments announced an update to its software synthesizer, Absynth 2.0 yesterday at Frankfurt's giant music and technology event, Musikmesse 2003.

Absynth 2.0 can adjust sound, and includes 800 musical presets to cover what the company calls "an astonishing range of sonic territory".

The product combines features of both a synthesizer and a sampler. It offers a patch window in which users can mix effects. Each track (or voice) has six synth or three sampling oscillators, four filters, three ring modulators and a wave-shaping distortion function.

Sound waveforms can be drawn by hand or created by sketching harmonics. A built-in context-menu library of waveforms, envelopes, and oscillator channels enables the construction of complex, evolving sounds in a few clicks.

The product supports up to 68 break points in each sound envelope, offers a Midi controller, and each envelope can be linked together.

Its digital-signal processing unit has been revised and optimised in this release. Anti-aliasing can be applied and the product runs completely in stereo. The company has also added several new sound filters to the product.

Absynth 2.0 will be available for OS X, OS 9, Windows, and nearly every Plug-in format. It will cost 299 euros (about £192). Existing users can update for 99 euros (about £68).