Old 03-05-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Inexpensive Soft Synth All-rounder ? / General Synths Discussion

I usually make Rock / Metal style music but am also partial to a bit of Dnb / Electronic Music. I also Like to throw some synths into Rock Stuff too.

Ive Demoed Massive & Fm8, & really liked them. I'd love to get the Komplete 6 Pack but just dont have that kind of money. Just buying Massive & Fm8 is still gonna cost about £350.

So Im looking for an all-rounder, Something that performs well with Bass, Leads, Pads, Arp etc. My max budget would be around £180. The two I have my eye on so far are u-he's Zebra 2.5 & Vember Audio's Surge.

I'd really appreciate opinions on this from fellow Reaperites
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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I think you are looking for some kind of workstation VSTi. A few weeks ago I needed a plugin with some nice ready to use presets (as I'm not a synth programmer) for sounds like bass, strings, orchestra, synth leads, and got great suggestions at KVR forums. Here's the topic:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3975735

I've tested Hypersonic 2, Wuzikstation and Sonik Synth. I really liked Hypersonic. Beautiful sounds with tons of really "musical" patches instead of freaky and weird patches that wouldn't fit anywhere.

Omnisphere seems to be the best you can get, but it's very expansive in money and hard drive aswell (45GB).

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Old 03-05-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergo View Post
I think you are looking for some kind of workstation VSTi. A few weeks ago I needed a plugin with some nice ready to use presets (as I'm not a synth programmer) for sounds like bass, strings, orchestra, synth leads, and got great suggestions at KVR forums. Here's the topic:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3975735
Not really a workstation Synth per-say I have the free Kontakt player
& shortcircuit for samples & such. I'm looking for a synth that satisfies the more electronic side of my musical tastes. Something that would give me similar bass sounds to massive & yet be flexible enough to give me descent lead, pad, arp etc.

When it comes to vst fx I'm all set with Reapers own fx plugins & a few go to freebies like the Kjaerhus Audio set.
But when it comes to free synths though, I'm just not completely satisfied with what's out there. Instead of hunting through four or five softsynths until I get the sound I'm looking for, I'd prefer just one or two versatile one. Good patches would be nice but I don't mind having to sculpt my own sounds.

I'm just trying to build up a nice but no too expensive set of plugins:

Guitar AmpSim - Acmebargig Shred = check
Bass Ampsim - Studio devils VBA = Check
Drum Sampler - SSD-EX = Check

Coming Soon
Strings/Orchestration - GPO
All-Round Synth - ???

Im getting there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger View Post
You know , something that has insane capabilities and lots of sounds is Camel Audio ALCHEMY... Great company.... Give it a demo for sure !!
I'll definitely check the demo out flatfinger.
More Suggestion Welcome
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr0...dioalchemy.htm
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peevy View Post
I usually make Rock / Metal style music but am also partial to a bit of Dnb / Electronic Music. I also Like to throw some synths into Rock Stuff too.

Ive Demoed Massive & Fm8, & really liked them. I'd love to get the Komplete 6 Pack but just dont have that kind of money. Just buying Massive & Fm8 is still gonna cost about £350.

So Im looking for an all-rounder, Something that performs well with Bass, Leads, Pads, Arp etc. My max budget would be around £180. The two I have my eye on so far are u-he's Zebra 2.5 & Vember Audio's Surge.

I'd really appreciate opinions on this from fellow Reaperites



The real question could be; Do you do you design/program ????
If not , then you need to consider the popularity and thus , the availability of quality patches.
Surge is a fine instrument , but hasn't had the stratospheric popularity of something like ZEBRA ( which isn't an easy thing to program...modular) so as much as I like surge ; I couldn't reccoment if you don't design patches.


Really , a good sampler can set you up with ridiculas amounts of sounds , and most of them can do great synth sounds too . Something like Kontak or dimension would mean that you could always expand the pallet by getting a sampled/expansion sound set ... You do need big drives if you go that path though .
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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You know , something that has insane capabilities and lots of sounds is Camel Audio ALCHEMY... Great company.... Give it a demo for sure !!
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peevy View Post

So Im looking for an all-rounder, Something that performs well with Bass, Leads, Pads, Arp etc. My max budget would be around £180. The two I have my eye on so far are u-he's Zebra 2.5 & Vember Audio's Surge.

I'd really appreciate opinions on this from fellow Reaperites



both of these are excellent choices.

can't go wrong with either.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for that sadiamond.
Ive tried Zebra Surge & Alchemy. And I have to say out of the three I'm really loving Alchemy. I love the way you can import your own samples, you can asign modulation / Lfo's to any nob. Out of the three I also found the UI much easier to find my way round & quicker to get a decent sound.

So unless someone else has any other suggestion, it looks like it gonna be Alchemy for me.......now where did I put that Hammer so I can crack open the piggy bank, come to think of it where's the piggy bank. Ohh! shit I don't have one....at least not since I was about five.

Too much coffee too little sleep.

All Donations gladly accepted
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:40 AM   #9
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Before throwing around some cash I suggest you take a look at Oatmeal and Synth1. The first has some very impressive progrock sounds among it's available patches (think 'Jordan Rudess') and the other tmo is still one of the best 'bread and butter' synths around.

Both free to be had and both with hundreds or even thousands of patches available on the net

PS. for Oatmeal really get the LimeFlavour skin (he's a Reaperite as well), the default Oatmeal skin is seriously ugly and might have you think it is less then useful. Looks can be deceitful you know

Check here for the download links: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=52382
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:13 AM   #10
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spend a decent amount of time with the demo of each synth because there are a few factors that you need to consider. firstly, do you like the sound of the synth? if you buy a synth for any less reason than the sound of it you will never be happy with it and end up selling it. trust me! ie. on paper zebra 2.5 looks like the most capable, all you will ever need synth ever, but the sound of it does nothing for me so it would be useless to me personally. secondly, how easy/intuitive is it to program? if you don't get on with the interface you will just end up frustrated and, again, probably end up selling it. also, how easy is it to dial in the kind of sounds you like? i LOVE the sound of old analogue synths so i bought myself a copy of vaz plus 2 which easily has one of the most convincing analogue esque sounds - but i just can't get a sound i am happy with from the thing! schwa's olga on the other hand, i can get a great sound out of every time without even trying hard. strange.

you just have to demo, demo, demo...

Last edited by bladerunner; 03-06-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:37 AM   #11
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Omnisphere....Awesome.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladerunner View Post
spend a decent amount of time with the demo of each synth because there are a few factors that you need to consider. firstly, do you like the sound of the synth? if you buy a synth for any less reason than the sound of it you will never be happy with it and end up selling it. trust me! ie. on paper zebra 2.5 looks like the most capable, all you will ever need synth ever, but the sound of it does nothing for me so it would be useless to me personally. secondly, how easy/intuitive is it to program? if you don't get on with the interface you will just end up frustrated and, again, probably end up selling it. also, how easy is it to dial in the kind of sounds you like? i LOVE the sound of old analogue synths so i bought myself a copy of vaz plus 2 which easily has one of the most convincing analogue esque sounds - but i just can't get a sound i am happy with from the thing! schwa's olga on the other hand, i can get a great sound out of every time without even trying hard. strange.

you just have to demo, demo, demo...
I hear ya bladerunner. I'm still in make my mind up mode. I liked Zebra initially but found it a bit frustrating getting the sound I was looking for. Surge was pretty good but I found the interface a bit awkward & to my ears the actual sound quality wasnt as good as the others. I did like the fact that Surge came with a 64bit version. Alchemy was a different story altogether. I found the interface a delight to work with & the sounds I was getting with just the first couple of presets I loaded was very tweak-able & pleasing to the ear. I'm still gonna play about with the others for a while before I make my mind up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technogremlin View Post
Before throwing around some cash I suggest you take a look at Oatmeal and Synth1. The first has some very impressive progrock sounds among it's available patches (think 'Jordan Rudess') and the other tmo is still one of the best 'bread and butter' synths around.

Both free to be had and both with hundreds or even thousands of patches available on the net

PS. for Oatmeal really get the LimeFlavour skin (he's a Reaperite as well), the default Oatmeal skin is seriously ugly and might have you think it is less then useful. Looks can be deceitful you know

Check here for the download links: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=52382
I have Synth1 but I haven't tried Oatmeal yet. I think I tried Oatmeal out a few years ago in Cubase but could never get it working. I'll spend a bit more time playing with these too. Believe me I'd be a very happy camper If I can get what I'm looking for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by henge View Post
Omnisphere....Awesome.
Sorry henge. £340 is way above my measly budget.

Thanks for all the suggetions so far guys. Gotta love this forum
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technogremlin View Post
Before throwing around some cash I suggest you take a look at Oatmeal and Synth1. The first has some very impressive progrock sounds among it's available patches (think 'Jordan Rudess') and the other tmo is still one of the best 'bread and butter' synths around.

Both free to be had and both with hundreds or even thousands of patches available on the net

PS. for Oatmeal really get the LimeFlavour skin (he's a Reaperite as well), the default Oatmeal skin is seriously ugly and might have you think it is less then useful. Looks can be deceitful you know

Check here for the download links: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=52382
I wish someone could tell me how to change the skin. I have the LIMEFLAVOUR ONE BUT i'VE TRIED JUST ABOUT EVRYTHING. i TRIED CLOSING rEAPER AND TAKING THE DEFAULT SKINS OUT AND LEAVING JUST THE lIMEFLAVOUR SKIN IN BUT rEAPER SAID IT WOULDN'T LOAD AND JUST GAVE ME THE ui. OOPS. MUSTA HIT CAPS LOCK.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:41 PM   #14
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On the default Oatmeal gui click the button named 'skin', browse to and load the lf_lumina.oms file.
That's it, just need to close and open the gui for the skin to be in use.

I might aswell suggest that you download the newest version of the skin from my blog: Flavours of Lime
Because I do not know which version is included in the Oatmeal all-in-one package.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #15
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Zoid9, here's how it works:

Get the package from KVR and extract it in your plugin directory or where you want to use it. Make sure that where the Oatmeal DLL is located you also have the 'oatmeal skins' directory there. If you use the download on the KVR forum I linked to then there are a whole bunch of skins in that directory, including Lime's.

If you have Oatmeal installed this way, load it up in Reaper. Somewhere top-right on the Oatmeal screen is a 'skin' button. When you click on it it let you browse for the skin you want to use. Choose the lf_lumina.oms file and then delete Oatmeal from the track and reload it.

That should do it

Check out the other skins as well, the stuff from Grymjack (gr) and Yeager is top notch as well. Although for me Lime Flavour's lumina skin is the one.


Edit: Aaah.. Lime beat me to it.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:35 PM   #16
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i can't believe nobody has mentioned atlantis yet.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:21 PM   #17
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u-he ACE.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
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u-he ACE.
the downside with this is that you will have to get used to the idea of bouncing a lot your tracks to audio as it can be extremely cpu hungry.


earlier in this thread i gave a vote for alchemy but i must admit, after thinking about it i would say rhino is probably the best when considering features and value for money (alchemy is almost 3 times the price).
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:11 PM   #19
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Get an Alesis Micron, and plug it in to your computer, one of the most amazing and versatile synth's ever made.

ARP.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:38 PM   #20
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I was under the impression he's specifically looking for a soft-synth and in that case your suggestion doesn't really make too much sense...
I could be wrong of course.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I was under the impression he's specifically looking for a soft-synth and in that case your suggestion doesn't really make too much sense...
I could be wrong of course.
I cant think of just one soft synth that's anywhere near as versatile as the Micron, trust me to miss the point entirely though...

I have Reaktor, and Reason, between those two applications they have everything more or less covered, they get used on virtually every session, highly recommended, from really way-out-west, to bog standard meat-and-potatoes.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARP View Post
I cant think of just one soft synth that's anywhere near as versatile as the Micron, trust me to miss the point entirely though...

I have Reaktor, and Reason, between those two applications they have everything more or less covered, they get used on virtually every session, highly recommended, from really way-out-west, to bog standard meat-and-potatoes.
No harm done, all suggestions welcome...I suppose its partly my fault, I didn't specify SoftSynth in the title. But you did miss one other thing:

Inexpensive Synth All-rounder ?

Reaktor = £342


Inexpensive: –adjective
not expensive; not high in price; costing little.

HAHAHA!!

I suppose that's subjective really, depending on your budget. Mines about £150, I might stretch to £180 for Alchemy though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro View Post
You're right. In my opinion ACE is the best sounding synth I've heard so far. It's overwhelming but sound quality is beyond.
OK No excuses now. A demo of Ace came with the latest copy of Computer Music. I'm gonna install it now & give it a whirl.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:29 AM   #23
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worth and great stuff
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