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Author Topic: Looking for soft synths  (Read 7361 times)
Moon
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« on: February 12, 2013, 07:08:40 PM »

I lost track in the software arena, so here is my question: what is great VSTi-software in the following sections:
- Drums
- Bass
- Analogue synths
- Bread and butter sounds / sample based synths
- Special sounds

As far I know this is (was) my outdated view:
- Drums: Battery from NI
- Bass: ...don't know
- Analogue synths: Silenth1
- Bread and Butter / sample Based synth: Dimension from Cakewalk
- Special sounds: Spectrasonic Omnisphere

I assume that in the last 2 years some new titles entered the arena. Any ideas ?

Moon
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 07:58:42 PM »

I'm not all that impressed with NI's Battery & I don't care for the interface.Currently,my Sonic Reality drums have served me pretty well(& it's inexpensive).
There is a free version of Ocean Way Drums that I downloaded in a Reason Refill format & they're amazing sounding.As far as other drums(as well as some other bread & butter sounds),the new NI Kontakt 5 program has really got my attention and I am seriously considering it for my Mixcraft 6 DAW(when it arrives)....as I suspect that I will have an easier time of installing it on this new program.

Regarding synths...well..I don't-nor will I ever have enough computer power to run something like Spectrasonics...so as an alternative,I have a free version of Camel Audio's Alchemy & I will eventually get the full version.
Aside from Alchemy's wonderfully simple & intuitive layout,it allows you to add your own samples...so it's a pretty radical sample engine.It's cheap too...$249! Cool
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SLD Music
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 09:47:22 PM »

Moon,

I suspect you'll get a different answer to your questions with each person you ask.

As an owner of Omnisphere--I must say that it is AWESOME for just what you were saying... "special" sounds.  It is monstrously large, a powerful waveform based synth in it's own right, and simple not only to use, but to get great sound from with the thousands of presets that you can tweak to your heart's content.  I've had it for almost 3 years now.  I suspect Marc (also an Omnisphere owner) will back me up on this...

With the others it just... depends on what you want specifically.  For natural drums, I have Superior Drummer 2, which is great--and powerful, but so much so that it can take some time to get to know how to use.  For more electronicy types of drums sounds, Battery is still very good, but I also like spectrasonics Stylus RMX, which despite what some may think is not just loop based.  It can also be used in kit mode (which is how I use it most of the time), and as with the other spectrasonics instruments, it's just... a rockstar product.  Powerful, easy to use simply, and incredibly deep if you want to really get into tweaking.  The spectrasonics plug-ins are expensive, and yes, they take up a bit more processing power than alot of other VSTs, but it's not as hard on a PC as you'd think, and the price is an investment worth making.  I use those two products (omnisphere and Stylus RMX) more than any other VST I own when I do electronic music.  Although I've also got Native Instruments Maschine now... and it's very very cool.  I'm using that more and more.

As far as a bass synth--by reputation and experience alone, I would get Trillian (Spectrasonics third and final instrument), but it's the only one I don't own, so I can't speak for it directly.  I can only repeat that their other two synths are awesome.

For bread and butter sounds (pianos, e-pianos, guitars, etc.), I mostly use my Motif XF8, but I also like Halion Sonic and Kontakt.

Analog synth--well... I mostly use Omnisphere for this.  ::shrug::  Smiley

More special sounds -- Steinberg's Padshop Pro is really unique.  It's a granuller synth, and very cool.  Native Instrument's Massive is also very cool, and is a great place to go for the more modern "dubsteppy bass" sounds.  Massive was used to make most of the spacy sound effects in my track, Light Speed.   Omnisphere and Stylus RMX are featured heavily in that track as well.

Anyway... I'm sure others will have their thoughts as well.  Thsoe are mine.  ::shrug::

« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 09:50:44 PM by SLD Music » Logged
elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 04:53:13 PM »

Moon,

Just some afterthoughts...I don't know if you would consider purchasing a whole other DAW...but Reason 6.5 has an ocean of synth types..from not only it's multiple synth engines,but the many 3rd party Refills & also,3rd party synth engines..via the Rack Extension device.

One Reason Refill that's really amazing,is the Fairlight Platinum Refill(which is also available for Kontakt 5 also).It has an incredible library of Jan Hammer-type sounds and many emulations of Fairlight,Prophet,E-MU & many other 80's synths.



-Thom
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Moon
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 06:32:35 PM »

Reason is a great package, but it has also a complete other workflow that I'm used to. So I won't be making the jump to a whole new DAW setup.

I prefer sticking with Sonar and FL studio. The idea is to have everything running on my laptop so wherever I go, I can take my projects with me. Of course the idea is not to have to rely on hardware synth, except perhaps for the keybed. For this reason I fancy Yamaha's new MX 49 which offer both keys, soundcard and bread and butter. Leaving me with the other categories to cover. I don't want too many softsynths either, just a limited but good set to play with.

Moon

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Moon
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 06:57:39 PM »

As an owner of Omnisphere--I must say that it is AWESOME for just what you were saying... "special" sounds.  It is monstrously large, a powerful waveform based synth in it's own right, and simple not only to use, but to get great sound from with the thousands of presets that you can tweak to your heart's content.  I've had it for almost 3 years now.  I suspect Marc (also an Omnisphere owner) will back me up on this...
...
Anyway... I'm sure others will have their thoughts as well.  Thsoe are mine.  ::shrug::

Yes, spectrasonic has a good reputation and everybody who has it, is recommending it to me. I've been temted getting Omnisphere, only it's price is setting me back. True, they are not cheap, but quality comes with it price I guess.

Moon
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Moon
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 07:20:30 PM »

Does anybody knows this one http://www.synthmaster.com/synthmaster.aspx?couponcode=ADWORDS25OFF&referrer=adwords300 ?

Syntmaster was proclaimed 2012's best softsynth. It doesn't break the bank, currently comes at 25% discount, optional sound packs. It's also called a swiss army knife.

Nice!

Moon

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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 07:30:16 PM »

As an owner of Omnisphere--I must say that it is AWESOME for just what you were saying... "special" sounds.  It is monstrously large, a powerful waveform based synth in it's own right, and simple not only to use, but to get great sound from with the thousands of presets that you can tweak to your heart's content.  I've had it for almost 3 years now.  I suspect Marc (also an Omnisphere owner) will back me up on this...
...
Anyway... I'm sure others will have their thoughts as well.  Thsoe are mine.  ::shrug::

Yes, spectrasonic has a good reputation and everybody who has it, is recommending it to me. I've been temted getting Omnisphere, only it's price is setting me back. True, they are not cheap, but quality comes with it price I guess.

Moon

I've been fascinated by Omnisphere for a long time,but I will only buy it...provided that I have a powerful enough PC to safely run it...which won't be happening any time soon for me,if at all.
As a big bass enthusiast that I am,I would LOVE to have Trillian,as it is the most comprehensive & meticulously sampled bass module that I know of...but as usual,I always have to consider price & PC power and explore everything else that's out there first.
As impressive as Trillian is..well..Kontakt's bass VST's are realistic enough for me and as far as I am concerned,Kontakt 5 is a tremendous value at $400 and Trillian is-if I remember correctly,$279.
Of course though,Trillian wins,in terms of absolute & impeccable realism in bass instrumentation...but perhaps a bit more fancy than what is required for what I do in the studio.

Moon...I strongly recommend that you try the Alchemy free player,because although it's not a Omnisphere replacement,it is a great alternative,for those special sounds & indeed,Alchemy is a very unique sounding sampling synth.
For me personally,Alchemy is an ideal alternative to Omnisphere,because it's CPU-friendly,low cost and the audio fidelity & sonic character of Alchemy is out of this world!


-Thom
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 07:37:48 PM »

Does anybody knows this one http://www.synthmaster.com/synthmaster.aspx?couponcode=ADWORDS25OFF&referrer=adwords300 ?

Syntmaster was proclaimed 2012's best softsynth. It doesn't break the bank, currently comes at 25% discount, optional sound packs. It's also called a swiss army knife.

Nice!

Moon



This is indeed,a very nice and flexible synth for the modest coin,but don't have any special need for it though...but I do like it quite a bit! Cool
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Moon
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 03:24:43 PM »

Moon...I strongly recommend that you try the Alchemy free player,because although it's not a Omnisphere replacement,it is a great alternative,for those special sounds & indeed,Alchemy is a very unique sounding sampling synth.
For me personally,Alchemy is an ideal alternative to Omnisphere,because it's CPU-friendly,low cost and the audio fidelity & sonic character of Alchemy is out of this world!

Thom, how does Alchemy compares to NI's Kontakt ?
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 04:42:38 PM »

Moon...I strongly recommend that you try the Alchemy free player,because although it's not a Omnisphere replacement,it is a great alternative,for those special sounds & indeed,Alchemy is a very unique sounding sampling synth.
For me personally,Alchemy is an ideal alternative to Omnisphere,because it's CPU-friendly,low cost and the audio fidelity & sonic character of Alchemy is out of this world!

Thom, how does Alchemy compares to NI's Kontakt ?

Moon....all of these programs are sample-based & that is the only similarity that they share,as Alchemy is an entirely different program from Kontakt & even Spectrasonics.I can't really go into great detail,because(like I had said),I have the free version of Alchemy and in fact,if you want the paid version of Alchemy,you have to uninstall the free version beforehand.
Alchemy specializes in additive,granular,virtual analog and resynthesis...so essentially,it's just for ambient,experimental and other subsets of non-generic genres of music.As far as I can tell,there are no traditional sounding bread & butter sound libraries for Alchemy.

Alchemy is unlike any software synth I have ever seen & there's nothing else out there quite like it,so if you want those special sounds from a radically unique sound source...this is it.In no way,is Alchemy designed to replace Kontakt or Spectrasonics...but rather,just yet another different path to take.

For me personally,Alchemy is a program that I will choose to go with first,because of it's price and lower CPU usage....& I may still add Spectrasonics to my arsenal....one day in the far future.I'm really hoping that Spectrasonics will come out with something new eventually...thereby lowing the price of Omnisphere and then I won't hesitate to buy it.

http://www.camelaudio.com/Alchemy.php#alchemy_bundles


-Thom
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 04:47:37 PM by elwoodblues1969 » Logged

Moon
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 05:27:02 PM »

Wow.. didn't knew that the have such a vast library...

Indeed a product with it's own rights. Nice one !

Moon
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Moon
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2013, 09:37:27 AM »

After searching and comparing lots of soft synths, I finalised my working list.

If you search for softsynth, first question is what type of music you want to make. In my case, it is more electronic sounding music. In that context, the search area is narrowed down a little bit.

Here's what I've come up with:

For drums: Waldorf Attack. Many of you propably don't remember this one. Yes it's old, but great for analoge drum sounds. It comes  as part of 'The Waldorf Edition' and can still be bought for 49 euro (together with PPG Wave,  and D-pole ). See http://www.waldorf-music.info/en/archive/attack.html for more information.

For analogue sounds: Sylent1. I owned this one allready, it is a great sounding synth and there are lots of patches you can buy to expand your sound arsenal. So the choice was obvious.
See http://www.lennardigital.com/modules/sylenth1/ for more information.

For the rest: Synthmaster 2.5. A swiss army knife in the synth arena. There is tremendous value in this package: different syntheses types, good sounding presets and all this for a modest price. A soft synth with a very high quality/price ratio. Note: this synth recieved many awards in 2012. For more info, see http://www.kv331audio.com/

And here ends the list! Yes, just 3 to get me going. No expensive nor luxurious titles, just a basic setup that doesn't break the bank.  Afro

OK, let's make some music now...

Moon
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2013, 03:47:21 PM »

Moon,

I recently discovered,that Camel Audio has revised their Alchemy Free Player version...in a major way!Unlike the old version...you had to uninstall it first,before you installed the full paid version...but not with the new 1.55 version!
V1.55 comes with 1GB of sounds,with 200 presets and the only difference between the free & paid versions is GB content and editing features(paid version has a total of 5GB of sounds and deeper,much more detailed editing).

The included sounds in the free version are absolutely amazing & inspiring and for 12 euro,you can get an additional 1GB worth of sounds(which   are sample sets from each sound library in Camel Audio's 24 library collection)!

I downloaded all of this stuff a couple of days ago & I am in synth heaven!Trust me Moon...this is a synth that must be added to your short-list...in fact,you should download it right this very minute!

When I get to know Alchmey V1.55 a little better,I will post a full review of it soon...


-Thom
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Moon
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 05:26:00 PM »

A great apetizer. I'll download it after solving my Sonar X2 issue...

For thos who are interested, see http://www.camelaudio.com/Taste-Of-Camel-Sound-Sample-Library.php

Moon
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 06:14:15 PM by Moon » Logged
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