Old 01-12-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
lolilol1975
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Default Your favorite virtual instruments ?

Just got the Dune 2 synthesizer, and I have to say I really like it.
It sounds lush, warm, and it's reasonably versatile.

My other synth is Synthmaster. Although they probably can do the same patches I prefer the output of Dune 2, as SM sounds less dynamic and a little bland next to it; I've yet to understand why but it sounds congested in comparison with Dune. Curiously, to me SM sounds a bit like Spire, that many people, for some reason say sounds better than Dune, but I find the contrary is true.
On the downside, the Dune presets can only be found by browsing the menus. No search by name, keywords or "like". I don't know why authors of synthesizers don't implement that feature. In 2015/2016, having to search in menus by name is primitive. I don't like to have to spend hours searching for sounds. Especially since with something like SQLite, it's very easy to implement.

SM is probably even more versatile than Dune 2, except for the arpeggiator, which is quite a bit better in Dune, and you can layer up to 8 sounds with 3 oscillators each (you can do the same to a certain extent in SM with the 2 layers/4 oscillators). SM comes with many more presets (1200 vs a couple hundreds), but many of them are kinda boring compared to Dune presets imo. They don't showcase the capabilities of SM as much as they could. Lots of people find the graphical interface confusing, but it's not my case. I think it's very visual and relatively easy to use. But all in all, because of its great sound, for me Dune is the better synthesizer. OTOH, while Dune 2 is quite expensive since it's the same price as Zebra 2, which is arguably more capable (but probably doesn't sound better), SM is the deal of the century when you grab it on sale. I got it for €45.
And finally, I like to complement it with the free Kairatune for making weird high sounds.

Also Kontakt player. I'd like to buy Kontakt and a shitload of samples too, but it's way too expensive for what I do right now.
So I use the excellent and free Grace to play sfz samples.

Last edited by lolilol1975; 01-16-2016 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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Massive is my go to when i do synthesis. Kontakt is one I use or samples.

And just so you know, kontakt is essential for in-box production, but recently I started doing more and more sounds in massive, replacing samples. Reason is I have much more control over sound and I can make sounds verb free ( which is super important when mixing different libraries with pre-recorded verbs ).
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:08 PM   #3
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Default Itchin Xedex

Synth1 by Ichiro Toda

I have collected somewhere north of 15000 (fifteen thousand) presets for it.

Dexed by Digital Suburban

It's the DX7 you've always wanted. It comes with over a thousand presets.


Whoa I had forgotten about Kairatune it's running right now and I'm diggin.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:34 PM   #4
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For subtractive wavetable synthesis you have to try Serum. If you are a fan of Massive, Serum will absolutely blow your socks off:

https://www.xferrecords.com/products/serum


For sampling and granular synthesis it's very hard to beat good old Absynth. A bit complicated at first, but it's a beast.

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Old 01-12-2016, 08:51 PM   #5
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Superior Drummer.

Sample Modeling's Sax's and trumpets.

LASS solo strings.

Soniccouture's Ondes and Novachord.

Arturia classic synth collection.

UVI String Machines.

TAL U-No

IK SampleTron

I've yet to see a library that really tempts me to get Kontakt. The above Kontakt instruments all work with the free player version.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:25 PM   #6
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Main regular use VSTi:

Omnisphere2, Trilian, StylusRMX

IvoryII Italian

NI Komplete10, Reaktor6, Razor, Massive, Absynth5, Battery4, FM8

Jamstix3, Hybrid3, Spire

( OK Doc B) SQ8L

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Old 01-12-2016, 10:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by toddhisattva View Post
[b][size=3]

Dexed by Digital Suburban

It's the DX7 you've always wanted. It comes with over a thousand presets.
Really? I have this and see only 32 presets.

I'm missing a few...
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:44 PM   #8
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In no particular order, but all in regular use:

XLNA - Addictive Drums 2
D16 - Drumazon
D16 - Nepheton
NI - Battery
ePhonic - Drumatic 4
One Small Clue - Poise
Pluging Boutique - BigKick

KV331 - SynthMaster
D16 - LuSH-101
NI - Massive
NI - Monark
u-he - Tyrell N6
D16 - Phoscyon
TNA - Trancendental2000
Blaukraut - Charlatan
OBXD
Futucraft - Kairatune
Ichiro - Synth1
NI - Kontakt
TAL - Noisemaker

Honourable mentions that get used less frequently but still rock quite hard...

Cwitec - TX16Wx
TAL - Bassline
Tunefish
AudioNerdz - Delay Lama

R
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:09 AM   #9
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Really? I have this and see only 32 presets.

I'm missing a few...

Press the 'CART' button to load 32 more banks of 32 presets each.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MikComposer View Post
Massive is my go to when i do synthesis. Kontakt is one I use or samples.

And just so you know, kontakt is essential for in-box production, but recently I started doing more and more sounds in massive, replacing samples. Reason is I have much more control over sound and I can make sounds verb free ( which is super important when mixing different libraries with pre-recorded verbs ).
I agree Kontakt is essential. As for orchestral libs, the Vienna Symphonic Library has the immense advantage of being generic (not "Hollywoodian") and recorded without reverb. Problem is, it's super expensive.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by robu_23 View Post
In no particular order, but all in regular use:

XLNA - Addictive Drums 2
D16 - Drumazon
D16 - Nepheton
NI - Battery
ePhonic - Drumatic 4
One Small Clue - Poise
Pluging Boutique - BigKick

KV331 - SynthMaster
D16 - LuSH-101
NI - Massive
NI - Monark
u-he - Tyrell N6
D16 - Phoscyon
TNA - Trancendental2000
Blaukraut - Charlatan
OBXD
Futucraft - Kairatune
Ichiro - Synth1
NI - Kontakt
TAL - Noisemaker

Honourable mentions that get used less frequently but still rock quite hard...

Cwitec - TX16Wx
TAL - Bassline
Tunefish
AudioNerdz - Delay Lama

R
Good list. I also have NoiseMaker and Tyrell N6 but don't use them much, although they do sound quite good. But I prefer to concentrate on Dune and Synthmaster, that allow me to make all the sounds I want and sound quite a bit better in my opinion.

OTOH, I don't understand the love for synth1. It's light, simple and versatile, but it's never sounded interesting to my ears. It has lots of patches, but I find most of them rather boring.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:15 AM   #12
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For subtractive wavetable synthesis you have to try Serum. If you are a fan of Massive, Serum will absolutely blow your socks off:

https://www.xferrecords.com/products/serum


For sampling and granular synthesis it's very hard to beat good old Absynth. A bit complicated at first, but it's a beast.
That serum looks healthy in did
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:19 AM   #13
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Really? I have this and see only 32 presets.

I'm missing a few...
Dexed, like FM8 load DX7 patches, hence thousands available on the net.
Basically thousands of crap patches, and perhaps some gems.

Dexed sounds more bright, brash, forward, crisp and glassy like a real DX7. You can make patches sound pretty much identical to real DX7 on both with tweaking.

Dexed sound notably more like a DX7 without tweaking. FM8 is smoother and warmer (as if NI were scared that virtual analogue lovers might hate it if it was too faithful)but can easily be pushed to sound just like DX7.

If you don't want to tweak and you immediately want a highly faithful DX7 sound Dexed is your synth.
If however you want a better, more rounded, more capable synth FM8 is better, but that isn't free. Of course the patch collections are much better on FM8.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:20 AM   #14
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That serum looks healthy in did

Indeed!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:26 AM   #15
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I agree Kontakt is essential. As for orchestral libs, the Vienna Symphonic Library has the immense advantage of being generic (not "Hollywoodian") and recorded without reverb. Problem is, it's super expensive.
Yes, vsl sounds fantastic too. And when I'll be able to afford it, I'll definitely snatch it. Thought most of kontakt libs, as well as play etc. they do have close mic's too. And personally, I do really like "Hollywoodian" sounding samples, thought there must be some misunderstanding, cause for example ewql does sound like that, but it actually sound like real hall performance way more then dryer libs!

Anyway, there is few options that op can go with, but I think just getting some libs that work in free kontakt player, is good for starters! And I just reminded myself that there is planty of free libs for it too, and they sound fine. I think there is even couple of free orchestra libs, not converted from sfz, but build from high quality recordings.
[And please, to anyone who say's sfz sound good; they don't ]

And to close, I sometimes also use Zebra2, finding it to be the roundest sounding, authentic and vintage imitating synth out there. But I never pushed to learn it properly, so that's something to do down the line.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:27 AM   #16
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Indeed!
Scouse me my Polish Indeed!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:29 AM   #17
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And please, to anyone who say's sfz sound good; they don't
I'm glad someone said it!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:31 AM   #18
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Scouse me my Polish Indeed!
Should be fun trying to interpret a Polish Scouser!!!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:49 AM   #19
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Should be fun trying to interpret a Polish Scouser!!!
hahaha

I forgot how to spell shorter version of "excuse me", and google is not helping. Is is "scuse me"? ^.^

@Judders I'm glad someone is agreeing with me
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:54 AM   #20
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hahaha

I forgot how to spell shorter version of "excuse me", and google is not helping. Is is "scuse me"? ^.^

@Judders I'm glad someone is agreeing with me
It's 'scuse me (note the apostrophe, otherwise you were spot on).

I think people try to convince themselves those old soundfonts sound good because they're free... and they don't sound much worse than IK Miroslav
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:36 AM   #21
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It's 'scuse me (note the apostrophe, otherwise you were spot on).

I think people try to convince themselves those old soundfonts sound good because they're free... and they don't sound much worse than IK Miroslav
Heh heh, Miroslav can sound excellent. It's a mixed bag, cracking VFM. Of course it's no Spitfire library.
The IK demonstrations for Miroslav 2 do not sound much different to its predecessor. I hope the finished product is more convincing.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:41 AM   #22
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Is it that time again? Erm... looks at vst folder.. I have EMU's Proteus VX and Ohmforce's Symptohm installed. I've only been using sample based stuff for quite a long time now as I'm never happy with the sound of software VA's. That's just me personally though.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:50 AM   #23
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for drums Groove Agent 2

for synthesizer its Blue, MinimogueVA (I love it), Podolski and ACE. ah, and Absynth for the sick stuff.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:05 AM   #24
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I think about soft synths as i think about eqs and compressors;

1- I don't need to have two things that do the same thing.
2- Workflow is more important then a specific sound. Simply because as human we are the x factor, not the tools we are using.

So i use:
- Dune1 for most of what i do because of the extended modulation matrix and filters selection.
- Sytnh1 if i feel the contrast between two dune part is not big enough.
- TAL BL101 for basses, leads and weird distorted sounds and bleeps.
- Korg M1 for retro ethereal pads and ambiance.

If i had money to invest in soft synths i would probably get U-He hives for its simple layout, cpu hit and overall quality. Hives would more then likely replace Dune and Synth1.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:05 AM   #25
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Kontakt full version. Industry standard soft-sampler, tons of content for it. My go-to for other sounds.

Minimonsta. The best Minimoog VSTi out there. Endorsed by Rick Wakeman himself. Great retro synth sounds.

Ezdrummer, Ezkeys. Can't live without them.

Synth 1. Superlative synth. Forget the 'free' label, it's great.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:38 AM   #26
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Heavyocity Evolve (awesome cinematic sounds)

Toontrack - All of it

Prominy SR5 - Bass
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:54 AM   #27
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Minimonsta. The best Minimoog VSTi out there. Endorsed by Rick Wakeman himself. Great retro synth sounds.
Wow, I'd not seen that before. The demos sound really good!
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:03 AM   #28
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I'm going to be generic here.

Everything u-he.
Everything NI.
Everything Waldorf.
Everything TAL.
Everything GForce.
Everything Korg.

Other than that, I have to mention OLGA, LinPlug Spectral, Modartt Pianoteq, SonicProjects OP-X Pro II, GSi VB3, and UVI Falcon.

Quote:
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Minimonsta. The best Minimoog VSTi out there. Endorsed by Rick Wakeman himself. Great retro synth sounds.
Except NI Monark is a much, much better and closer emulation of a Minimoog, with 100% nailed envelope and filter behaviour. Minimonsta is ok for an 11 years old VSTi, but Monark simply kills it. Just my 2c.


Also, some more info: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug0...minimonsta.htm

Obvious pros and cons clearly outlined in that article.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:10 AM   #29
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And please, to anyone who say's sfz sound good; they don't...
I don't have a dog in the fight but why is that? - do you mean the format [sfz] lowers the fidelity of the sample or can't articulate sufficiently or both?
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:13 AM   #30
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sfz can sound only as good as the samples that are put in. It can certainly be programmed quite well, there are plenty of opcodes that can do lots of different things. It's by all means not an inferior format. sfz itself doesn't do anything to the samples themselves (as in deteriorate their quality). It's just a text file, let's compare it to MIDI. It contains all the instrument information and what the instrument should do depending on MIDI input received, but no actual audio.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:20 AM   #31
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Monark is a killer Mini Moog, J.M.Jarre reckons superior to a real modern Moog Voyager! *NI cheque in the post* - just kidding JMJ!

Happy enough with U-HE Diva emulating mini moog too.

MinimogueVA sounds little like a real moog but it's a cracking little freebie synth for aftertouch expression.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:39 AM   #32
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I don't have a dog in the fight but why is that? - do you mean the format [sfz] lowers the fidelity of the sample or can't articulate sufficiently or both?
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.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:17 AM   #33
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Except NI Monark is a much, much better and closer emulation of a Minimoog, with 100% nailed envelope and filter behaviour. Minimonsta is ok for an 11 years old VSTi, but Monark simply kills it. Just my 2c.
Have you done comparisons or are you just talking about the info on NI site?

We did extensive side-by-side tests and there were no differences between real Minimoogs and Minimonsta. Also, Monark requires Reaktor. It also does not have morphing. Just my 2c also
If you are a Reaktor man, then say no more. Everyone likes their own discoveries.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #34
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MinimogueVA sounds little like a real moog but it's a cracking little freebie synth for aftertouch expression.
I love the filter on that thing - one of the few digital filters I rate.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:48 AM   #35
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Have you done comparisons or are you just talking about the info on NI site?

We did extensive side-by-side tests and there were no differences between real Minimoogs and Minimonsta. Also, Monark requires Reaktor. It also does not have morphing. Just my 2c also
If you are a Reaktor man, then say no more. Everyone likes their own discoveries.
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.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:49 AM   #36
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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. Reaktor does morphing between snapshots too.
Ah! I didn't know that.
I am biased towards Minimonsta though.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:54 AM   #37
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Pianoteq
NI Monark, Massive
EZDrummer, DrumMica
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:48 PM   #38
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Press the 'CART' button to load 32 more banks of 32 presets each.
Way cool! Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:04 PM   #39
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Serum is awesome indeed. I´m not that much into synthies yet, but got great results with it quickly, and the sound quality is fantastic as well.

the Olga synthie is cool as well.

There´s quite a few smaller synthies that I like to use for pads and other ambient stuff. A huge one for Kontakt is Xosphere.

4front True Pianos for ... well, pianos.
freebie alternative: Piano One.

And ... the Emotional Cello is plain magical.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:06 PM   #40
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I'm migrating to Reaktor 6, so most old favourites will be replaced, but Aalto will stay, and when KX77FREE updates X-16 to 64-bits it'll be again a centerpiece synth.

I make electronic ambient and prefer synths with depth and tons of modulation options.
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