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.

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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 01-13-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
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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 ).
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, 07:26 AM   #4
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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, 07:29 AM   #5
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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, 10:10 AM   #6
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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   #7
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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, 10:39 AM   #8
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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 01-12-2016, 08:08 PM   #9
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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   #10
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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   #11
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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   #12
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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 01-13-2016, 07:15 AM   #13
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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, 07:20 AM   #14
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That serum looks healthy in did

Indeed!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:27 AM   #15
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Indeed!
Scouse me my Polish Indeed!
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:20 PM   #16
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[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   #17
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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, 12:15 AM   #18
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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, 12:09 AM   #19
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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, 12:48 PM   #20
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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   #21
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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, 07:19 AM   #22
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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 01-15-2016, 06:38 PM   #23
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Really? I have this and see only 32 presets.

I'm missing a few...
It has a somewhat weird interface that is not intuitive for me.

Press the CART button for more 'cartridges'. Then LOAD. The same for other patches you download. It reads a standard DX-7 dump, and there are many available to download.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:27 PM   #24
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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.
And since Dexed can read DX-7 dumps, there are thousands more on-line. It's great if you want FM!

I would also add Plogue sforzando for playing back soundfonts. Some searching and you can build up a great library of free samples. It will convert SF2 as well.


Anything by TAL is good. I have all three of his paid VSTi. They are only $60 each, have a great GUI and sound. The Juno is killer and the sampler is also very cool.

While it can eat up CPU cycles, Diva is wonderful. It has a variety of architectures and sounds very good. U-he has good support plus they have a license plan, much like Reaper. It is registered to YOU and can be used on multiple machines.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:35 PM   #25
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Anything by TAL is good. I have all three of his paid VSTi. They are only $60 each, have a great GUI and sound. The Juno is killer and the sampler is also very cool.
Definitely. The filters on their Juno are amazing.
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:44 PM   #26
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Default Help on how to use reaper

I have downloaded the free version of reaper as a try on and see if I can like it but as a beginner who has no idea on how to use DAW it very complicated as to how to even instal any vst to make beats and there is no videos on YouTube that shows step by step how to setup reaper and how to use it. Secondly I have akai mph mini but I can't even use to to connect to reaper. I really want to use reaper and no other DAW. I read the forums and am convinced reaper is the best DAW for me. Can anyone please help me to set up my home studio as I have all the equipment but no knowledge as to what to do. Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:01 PM   #27
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On the main Reaper page there are indicators of various resources. The User Manual is a MUST.

Here is the Link from that page showing many videos available.

http://www.reaper.fm/videos.php
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:15 PM   #28
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Hi, and welcome . . . .

Reaper is a bit daunting at first, but your decision to go with it is a good one.

Try this link for setting up: https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMus...d_an_akai_mpk/

That ought to get the Akai recognised in Reaper.

Reaper takes some learning to start with. I DO recommend Kenny Gioia's videos here: https://www.groove3.com/reaper-train...er-4-explained

[These vids are All for Reaper4, but the core details are good for reaper5, certainly fine for learning how Reaper works] I'm sure dedicated Reaper5 vids WILL appear as time goes along . . . .

I have ALL of Kenny's vids - and they are great value, both in the clear way they are presented and the amount of detail.

The "Reaper 4 explained" is more that 7.5 Hrs long and is a great overview.

There is a $15 /month access scheme, but I opted to buy for $40

EACH of the vids has a "sample chapter" that can be viewed for free to give you an idea . . .

Don't forget the Manual itself. Its a big read, but contains lots of detail.

Also available (free to view) are these vids: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=76872

And these, from Paul C : http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=154715

Hope that is of some help

Best Regards

parametric
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:40 PM   #29
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I DO recommend Kenny Gioia's videos here: https://www.groove3.com/reaper-train...er-4-explained
+1

I had a decade of DAW use before I moved to REAPER, but Kenny's REAPER Explained videos were totally worth it for my smooth transition.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:00 PM   #30
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Going all the way back to the sfz doesn't sound good comment. It is all about the samples. No one is going to go professionally record every instrument in a symphony orchestra in a acoustically beautiful hall with a dozen articulations played by a professional musician and then give away the samples. If they spend that kind of money they are going through Kontakt or their own engine, not a free sfz player.

Those of us who play in the realm of free instruments are well aware of this. We are glad when Karoryfer or Ivy comes along and adds to the accumulated store of free instruments. But we also know that all successful artists will move on to vastly better and vastly more expensive instruments as they become pros. That is kind of the point and probably why a significant number of my hits come from second and third world countries.

On topic
PianoTeq
Sampletekk Black Grand
The Nashville expansion for EZ Drummer
Kirk Hunter Diamond Orchestra
Realivox Blue
oh and the huge toybox that is NI's KU
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:08 PM   #31
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I love the term 'sfz', got a nice tang to it, short and sweet, romantic even.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:24 PM   #32
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That is kind of the point and probably why a significant number of my hits come from second and third world countries.
Hey, I used the free University of Iowa anechoic samples for a few years. I made my own sampler instruments out of them and even managed to make a Hollywood TV composer think it was a live trumpet with some very detailed programming. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't a lot more work than expensive software instruments!
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