Old 01-13-2016, 02:08 PM   #41
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I love the filter on that thing - one of the few digital filters I rate.
All his Memorymoon synths are good too.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:18 PM   #42
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By all means read favourite lists (various forums user bias), make a shortlist. The nice thing about soft synths is that it is so easy to try the stuff, they are mostly very small files.
Even if you live in a barn, with paper cup and string broadband try everything!
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:23 PM   #43
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I wasn't talking about the format, but the free orchestral instrument samples that have been floating around the internet for years in soundfont format.
You can find some rather convincing free pianos and harpsichords.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:27 PM   #44
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Interesting one to ponder, for what it's worth, here's mine:

ReFX Nexus² with several of the expansions, notably the 3 signature packs from the gifted BigTone (presently my favourite and go-to synth)

Spectrasonics Omnisphere (not upgraded to 2 just yet, but I'm it will happen soon enough)

Synth1 which is just about THE very best software synth going - imho of course

SynthMaster 2.7 - what an amazing piece of programming!!!

Kontakt 5 - much needed for those lovely Hollow Sun libraries

Madrona Labs Aalto - closest thing to a Buchla that I am likely to get :-D

KarmaFX Synth Modular - great fun and a great sound. Still quite new to it and still learning it's wonderfully weird little ways, but a definite user/keeper

Oddity 2 and ImpOSCar 2 - both brilliant synths and great for live use.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:49 PM   #45
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You can find some rather convincing free pianos and harpsichords.
That reminds me!

I forgot:

Pianoteq.

The sympathetic resonance in their modelling makes all the difference to my ears, and the ability to "age" an instrument and place virtual mics is also great
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:52 PM   #46
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NONE!

They're erzatz samey boring tricksy pre-programmed-multi-parameter florid grotesque abominations.


Having said that, Trilian's quite good if you're stuck for a bass right enough.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:54 PM   #47
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NONE!

They're erzatz samey boring tricksy pre-programmed-multi-parameter florid grotesque abominations.
Haha I like that.. and pretty close to how I feel about most virtual instruments.

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Old 01-13-2016, 05:18 PM   #48
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NONE!

They're erzatz samey boring tricksy pre-programmed-multi-parameter florid grotesque abominations.


Having said that, Trilian's quite good if you're stuck for a bass right enough.
Ha!

I would much prefer to have real musicians playing my music... but software instruments are just a tad cheaper than hiring musicians, rehearsal space, studio fees...

Every fake part I've ever made I think of as a mock-up awaiting real recording.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:33 PM   #49
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Ha!

I would much prefer to have real musicians playing my music... .
People have been saying that about electric and electronic instruments from day one.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:37 PM   #50
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People have been saying that about electronic instruments from day one.
And now we have virtual instruments playing the part of electronic instruments playing the part of acoustic instruments.. lol
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:37 PM   #51
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People have been saying that about electronic instruments from day one.
Synths I'm not so bothered about, because they're not supposed to sound like anything else (unless you really want that vintage analogue beast), but orchestral/acoustic/electric piano/organ software instruments are just placeholders for me.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:39 PM   #52
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And now we have virtual instruments playing the part of electronic instruments playing the part of acoustic instruments.. lol
Hehe
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:41 PM   #53
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And now we have virtual instruments playing the part of electronic instruments playing the part of acoustic instruments.. lol
Yes indeed. The next step is to have bots enjoy the music for us too.
Oh no, wait, EDM/DJ wannabes on Soundcloud have been doing that for years!
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:45 PM   #54
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Synths I'm not so bothered about, because they're not supposed to sound like anything else (unless you really want that vintage analogue beast), but orchestral/acoustic/electric piano/organ software instruments are just placeholders for me.
Those placeholders will remain a fantasy for most though. It's just nice to be able to do it at all.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:14 PM   #55
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Yeah, I'm only half joking of course.

It's interesting (to me anyway) to see the features develop in soft synths.
I sometimes visit KVR when I'm feeling masochistic bored with acoustic instruments, but the overriding focus there is largely on what's the latest toy or the "realest analog sounding" and noticeably an obsession with automation and modulation. They're not neccessarily bad things, but....

To me, that excessive focus on modulation comes from a restlessness and trying to create something that feels meaningful by making it ever-changing. Like you can banish the dullness by distracting the attention from it.

It doesn't often work unless your already talented or tuned in; and if it's mostly pre-set then it kind of defeats the purpose of feeling that you're creating on-the-fly.

Even Brian Eno said you can play a reasonable hit song by holding down one key of most modern soft-synths. How many people are playing softsynths "live" at gigs in any meaningful sense of "playing live"?

No doubt some are, and I'm not a synth-hater, but a lot of "live" stuff is arguably a few button pushes away from just putting on a CD and miming.
_

In a documentary on youtube, Eno picks up his electric guitar and explains that he'd like synths to be more like strats. "There's far too many options with modern synths. Not like this guitar.It's limited to just a few basic sounds, but they're very useful basic sounds".
Or words to that effect.

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Old 01-13-2016, 06:15 PM   #56
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Those placeholders will remain a fantasy for most though. It's just nice to be able to do it at all.
Oh definitely! I am slowly building up contacts though, so maybe one day... Good job I don't want to write for full orchestra
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:38 PM   #57
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I can't believe no one has mentioned SQ8L. It sounds virtually identical to the hardware and it's free. I love that synth.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:54 PM   #58
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I own both and I like Monark much more. I did side by side with friend's Minimoog and Monark fares much better than Minimonsta, especially at extreme settings - Minimonsta simply falls apart ungracefuly there. Reaktor does morphing between snapshots easily.
Any chance of posting some fav Monark Snapshots (moogie type)?? Playing it right now & tons of neat ones !
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:02 PM   #59
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Yeah, I'm only half joking of course.

It's interesting (to me anyway) to see the features develop in soft synths.
I sometimes visit KVR when I'm feeling masochistic bored with acoustic instruments, but the overriding focus there is largely on what's the latest toy or the "realest analog sounding" and noticeably an obsession with automation and modulation. They're not neccessarily bad things, but....

To me, that excessive focus on modulation comes from a restlessness and trying to create something that feels meaningful by making it ever-changing. Like you can banish the dullness by distracting the attention from it.

It doesn't often work unless your already talented or tuned in; and if it's mostly pre-set then it kind of defeats the purpose of feeling that you're creating on-the-fly.

Even Brian Eno said you can play a reasonable hit song by holding down one key of most modern soft-synths. How many people are playing softsynths "live" at gigs in any meaningful sense of "playing live"?

No doubt some are, and I'm not a synth-hater, but a lot of "live" stuff is arguably a few button pushes away from just putting on a CD and miming.
_

In a documentary on youtube, Eno picks up his electric guitar and explains that he'd like synths to be more like strats. "There's far too many options with modern synths. Not like this guitar.It's limited to just a few basic sounds, but they're very useful basic sounds".
Or words to that effect.
I agree with pretty much everything you say here. Nothing new here of course.
Much respect to the real musicians with non electric, true acoustic instruments and many years of hard classical training.

In recent months I have learned a bit about automation but not really to make the music. it was initially depressing to learn that people use the computer to make all the music, not even own a MIDI keyboard. Then there are people that don't even write notes into piano role, they just stitch together sample tracks.

I like the performance tools such as aftertouch, ribbon controllers, expression pedal etc...

Seeing some soft synths making what I call music events, not just tones. I initially looked at that as somewhat alien. Fun though. Similarly it annoys me how some hardware synth demos on YouTube don't even involve the demonstrator actually playing the keys, just knob twiddling. Hey, but that's real analogue man, hear the tone!

The lines are all blurred now. We are now faking the fake, even the faults (that engineers were cringing about in their day) are being lovingly recreated.

As long as people derives pleasure from making their music and the real musician skills do not go the way of the dodo because of it this virtual world then it's all good.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:10 PM   #60
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I can't believe no one has mentioned SQ8L. It sounds virtually identical to the hardware and it's free. I love that synth.
I'd never heard of it, but it sounds pretty good to me from the wee selection I listened to....and it has a kind of mystique in the backstory, apparently
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:11 PM   #61
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As long as people derives pleasure from making their music and the real musician skills do not go the way of the dodo because of it this virtual world then it's all good.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:41 PM   #62
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I'd never heard of it, but it sounds pretty good to me from the wee selection I listened to....and it has a kind of mystique in the backstory, apparently

Do yourself a favor and download and start making patches. It's a tweakers synth for sure. It's limited in some ways by design but it was meant to be a limited version of a bigger paid model that never materialized and unfortunately probably never will. That being said it's still a must have synth for me anyway.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:54 PM   #63
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I use a wide variety of things but if I'm pressed to pick a couple of favorites it would have to be NI Kontakt and Reaktor. I probably use some instance of either or both in just about everything I do.

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Old 01-13-2016, 08:05 PM   #64
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I can't believe no one has mentioned SQ8L. It sounds virtually identical to the hardware and it's free. I love that synth.
I'm betting that has alot to do with the interface and actually using it. Back when I had more interest in synthesis and was learning the basics, I remember being thoroughly confused SQ8L. Also, the patches have a certain 80's aesthetic that might not be to so many peoples' taste.

A snippet from the readme.txt

Quote:
+-=== F. Known problems ===========================================-+

The current version of SQ8L has the following problems:

- Bad documentation.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:56 PM   #65
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Aside from Steven Slate Drums, I use freeware/Magware exclusively.

That being said:

Green Oaks Crystal
All the U-He Freeware (including ZebraCM and Beatzille)
Curve2CM
Synthmaster Player
Enzyme Player
Alchemy Player
DuneCM
Autogun
Kontakt Player
AAS Player
Cumulus
MauSynth
And
Helm
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:02 PM   #66
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I did download SQ8L thanks, and yes it is very confusing looking!
I did a bit of tweaking, but some of the presets sound great as they are. In fact a lot of them did, and I was actually disappointed when they ran out

Cheers Doc, I might get some mileage out of this one!
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:01 PM   #67
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I did download SQ8L thanks, and yes it is very confusing looking!
Edit: I never noticed the damn context information at the bottom of the panel! Ha ha....what a a maroon.
Edit2: Not so much a maroon...Reaper's fx window doesn't show the full panel unless it is resized.
Edit3: I also never noticed that double-clicking a parameter name brings up a popup menu....back to somewhat a maroon.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:45 PM   #68
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And now we have virtual instruments playing the part of electronic instruments playing the part of acoustic instruments.. lol
If you are emulating anything with the computer, youre doing it wrong tbh. It only sounds good when you embrace its computer nature and explore the particular and unique properties it has. These days we have tons of sounds that cant be produced by hardware.

Using samples, "vintage analog emulations" and fx emulating classic hardware consoles etc is just lol.
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:43 AM   #69
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U he Podolski.

It is simply inspirational. EVERYTIME I make a patch something comes out of it. I recently did a bass patch that almost replaced 4 front bass.

4 front bass.....because its easy and works in a wide range of situations.

Volko Alaturka Drum....again easy, works and i am somehow addictedcn to the 70s Gretch kit with the boomy bass drum.

Waldorf PPG 2

Never heard the real thing but this synth is just fun and sounds amazing to me. I like it better than 3v because its simpler and the gui is easier on the eyes.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:19 AM   #70
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If you are emulating anything with the computer, youre doing it wrong tbh. It only sounds good when you embrace its computer nature and explore the particular and unique properties it has. These days we have tons of sounds that cant be produced by hardware.

Using samples, "vintage analog emulations" and fx emulating classic hardware consoles etc is just lol.
It's not your cup of tea, which is fair enough. Enjoy laughing out loud at software, it's not my idea of great comedy.

There is an element of silliness to the plugin market, all these FX plugins claiming to sound like this or that hardware item. It is especially silly when people pay big money for these plugins.
However for me the most musically enjoyable instruments are emulations (with their intentional limitations) but I do like to make sounds for thoroughly modern (non subtractive) synths too.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:27 AM   #71
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If you are emulating anything with the computer, youre doing it wrong tbh. It only sounds good when you embrace its computer nature and explore the particular and unique properties it has.
There is something very close to the truth in that statement although the 'doing it wrong' part is a bit too polarising really.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:01 AM   #72
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However for me the most musically enjoyable instruments are emulations (with their intentional limitations) but I do like to make sounds for thoroughly modern synths too.
Nothing wrong with digging them, some of them are based on really great instruments after all, like the mini. I just don't think emulation is the best use for a modern audio computer, it's capable of more, capable of unique and wonderful things, it has the power now to be an instrument of it's own right.

Grand piano is the best grand piano, symphonic orchestra is the best symphonic orchestra, and computer is the best computer.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:07 AM   #73
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There is something very close to the truth in that statement although the 'doing it wrong' part is a bit too polarising really.
Yeah wasn't probably the best wording, but it was meant to highlight the fact that it is a purely subjective opinion.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:13 AM   #74
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for synth FM8 has been my go to for a while, owned a couple of Yamaha Dx synths in the past, so it just feels second nature
For samples Kontakt
also like Absynth and Reaktor Prism
occasionally still use Z3Ta+ version 1
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:58 AM   #75
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Using samples, "vintage analog emulations" and fx emulating classic hardware consoles etc is just lol.
Where do you draw the lolz line?

Is flanger lol? Ring modulation? Delay? Soft clipping, overdrive and saturation? Reverb?

When you take out everything that is emulating an analogue effect, what are you left with? Bit crusher?

If you expect digital audio stuff to behave exactly like analogue stuff, then that is somewhat naive. However, if you treat these emulations as simulacra to be used on their own terms, and judged by their own merits, then there's no reason they are at all inferior to more "computery" stuff.

What does it matter if one person adds a high-pass and some harmonic distortion, and another just pulls out a console emulation? Is one funny and the other not?
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:49 AM   #76
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Using samples, "vintage analog emulations" and fx emulating classic hardware consoles etc is just lol.
If this were 2001 or even 2006, I would agree with you.

However, DSP coding has now got to the point that emulations of hardware are indistinguishable. Coders and industry pros all agree.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:52 AM   #77
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If this were 2001 or even 2006, I would agree with you.

However, DSP coding has now got to the point that emulations of hardware are indistinguishable. Coders and industry pros all agree.
Except me! Most of that head nodding is for marketing purposes only. Funnily enough, most of the software I rate as sounding hardware-like are up to 15 years old (Vaz, digitalfishphones etc.).
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:55 AM   #78
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However, DSP coding has now got to the point that emulations of hardware are indistinguishable. Coders and industry pros all agree.
Digital hardware maybe, but I've never heard anyone say that software was indistinguishable from analogue hardware, outside of advertising copy.

Many now say that software is perfectly good enough to work with, but that is not the same thing.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:13 AM   #79
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If this were 2001 or even 2006, I would agree with you.

However, DSP coding has now got to the point that emulations of hardware are indistinguishable. Coders and industry pros all agree.
I disagree. Dsp emulations have gotten much better, but there is still a long way to go. For example, one thing that I just realized the other night about why I hate amp sims is that they lack in harmonics. I got to playing around with Overtone GEQ (a harmonic eq) at different points in the signal chain, and it made a big difference in getting closer to the sound of a touch responsive amp, although it came with a downside of sounding on the harsh side. But having those upper harmonics is so much more satisfying than what amp sims do on their own.

As with amp sims, I hear what many compressors, saturators, filters, and synths are shooting for, but they never quite arrive to the point of satisfaction.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:41 AM   #80
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Edit: I never noticed the damn context information at the bottom of the panel! Ha ha....what a a maroon.
Edit2: Not so much a maroon...Reaper's fx window doesn't show the full panel unless it is resized.
Edit3: I also never noticed that double-clicking a parameter name brings up a popup menu....back to somewhat a maroon.
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I'm betting that has alot to do with the interface and actually using it. Back when I had more interest in synthesis and was learning the basics, I remember being thoroughly confused SQ8L. Also, the patches have a certain 80's aesthetic that might not be to so many peoples' taste.

A snippet from the readme.txt

To be fair the interface is a little confusing if you're used to a typical subtractive layout but once you get used to using the various sections it's fairly straightforward. Siegfried Kullmann wanted this emulation to be spot on to the Ensoniq including the interface which is good and bad if you ask me.

The most important thing for me is the raw sound and if I like the sound of the filter. This emulation is a big thumbs up for me in the sound department. I wish he would of released the paid, more feature rich big brother of this but I guess it's not to be.
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