Your top 5 most innovative softsynths?

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Soundwave
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Your top 5 most innovative softsynths?

Post by Soundwave » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:34 pm

What landmarks of the softsynth revolution would you rate and why?

1. Reaktor – Build your own synths/fx/plugins from the ground up the easy(ish) way. Short of being an electronics expert or setting up a small company this software has given the realms of true synth design to the masses. There's no surprise it has a massive cult following.

2. Arturia Moog Modular V – The first serious powerful analogue softsynth that's wasn’t only a landmark in digital analogue emulation but offered more features than the original hardware with the digital conveniences of patch memory of MIDI polyphony ect and out of all the other analogue emulations I think the MMV’s layout lends itself perfectly for a softsynth GUI (as long as you have a 19" screen). Purists will argue about small inaccuracies compared to the hardware but its pretty close and for the cost difference who cares? (Klaus Schulze doesn’t)

3. Virsyn Cube – Amazing Spectral morphing resynthesizer which is probably the most innovative new synth design of the last 10 years making the likes of the K2000, K5000 and Wavestation look like childs toys in comparison. Making this into hardware synth would be hugely expensive and pointless as a software interface is the only way to practically implement the features of such a complex synth design. This synth goes where no other synth has gone before.

4. FM7 – (My own personal choice) I suppose you could make one with Reaktor but I really like the complex looping envelopes that are easy to use (with a template bank), user definable algorithms, 32bit sound, 31 waveforms (including formant), twin filter with variable cutoff slopes, great MIDI implementation and well thought out GUI make this the near perfect FM synth.

5. Reason – Ok more of a complete softstudio but a great intuitive hardware style interface which is fun to use and great for beginners and experienced users alike. A basic setup like what you get in Reason would have cost you a few grand 15yrs ago. I wish they would have released this when I bought my first MC303 for £500!!!!. :x

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Post by chamomileshark » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:57 pm

Tricky. Haven't got 5 but I'd agree with Reaktor, maybe FM7/8 for taking something hard to programme making it cheaper, easier to use and adding features. I'd probably go with one analogue emulation, not sure which though but I follow your reasoning. I'd add Absynth as it became almost a standard in film music at one point, while not being an emulation of anything in hardware.

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Post by Meso » Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:14 pm

Since you mention Reason I think Rebirth is worth a mention, I believe it was the first really popular "studio-in-a-box" thing and seeing as Reason is kind of an evolution of rebirth.

Totally agree with you on Reaktor and Moog Modular V, haven't had the pleasure of trying out Virsyn Tera, and haven't used FM7 that much.

And I also think the Korg Legacy collection was quite remarkable because it featured a hardware controller for the MS-20 plug-in,
which is something I would like to see more of from software manufacturers.

Thats all I can think of at the moment.

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Post by Alexx » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:28 pm

The only commercial softsynths I covet (I already own Reaktor and FM7) are Camel Audio Cameleon 5000 (Virsyn Cube rival additive synth), and maybe NI Absynth.

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Post by stephen » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:59 pm

I've played with the demo version of FM8 and I'm most impressed with it. I demo'd the GMedia softsynths too. I might even buy them! I especially like the sound of their Oscar synth, but I'd rate them all.

For non-commercial softsynths I raise a glass to Crystal (sorry about the pun), Fluidsynth and Zynaddsubfx. Oh, perhaps I could mention linux's dssi-vst commands which let us join in the addictive fun that is VST! (Damn them, I don't have time to make music any more!)
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Post by KLAXON » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:07 pm

I don't have 5, but my two favourite (and the only two I really use) are:

Reaktor
Metasynth
.....i have some things that create and sculpt sound.

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Post by oceanbourne » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:34 pm

Arturia's CS-80v for making something akin to this legend availible to those who never had a chance to play a real one.

FM8 for just being a delight to use and very good-sounding too.

The Korg Legacy Digital Collection for the M1 emulation . . . it's nice to have those sounds and a sweet GUI for them but I never probbaly would have bothered to pick up a used hardware M1 so this is really nice.
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Post by Pighood » Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:21 am

Most innovative?

Reaktor....audio Lego for curious sound connoisseurs. Scads of kind-hearted mad scientists have posted their labors of love for free at NI's user library. Many are worth paying for...notably a Synthi AKS clone that's SHOCKINGLY accurate. Endless, endless, endless fun...an entire synth universe in a box.

Sculpture....available only inside specially marked packages of Kellogg's Logic Audio Pro. Skidding, scraping, groaning, bouncing madness. Plus it's as grey as the greyest object you can imagine. GREY, I say.

Zebra2....a nod to the most responsive creator dude out there and his brainchild...a semi-modular that's undaunting, fun to look at and a joy on the earholes.

FM8....The ULTIMATE FMachine whose pads rival ANYTHING out there. Can get ugly in a hurry if desired...has spectacular built in effects and arpeggiator which gild the lily.

Ilio Xtreme F/X....I guess I'm alone in this one, but this is the only software that does what it does, allowing you to layer/ringmod/vocode sounds amongst each others....easy to get lost in it for months, so I suggest you don't get it.

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Post by Pighood » Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:24 am

oceanbourne wrote:Arturia's CS-80v for making something akin to this legend availible to those who never had a chance to play a real one.
That's my favorite Arturia.

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Post by chnarles » Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:30 pm

Great topic, BTW. I've learned a few things from the responses.

If we're talking about groundbreaking then perhaps we should include the upcoming Arturia Origin. Modular everything, not to the extent of Reaktor, but certainly a flexible and powerful piece of equipment.

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Post by whiteyhouston » Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:36 pm

I'm currently in love with the impOSCar and the pro53..
fun fun..

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Post by MitchK1989 » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:05 pm

innovative?

NI Reaktor
z3ta+
NI Absynth
NI FM8
Camel Audio Chameleon.

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Post by crystalmsc » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:43 am

U & I Metasynth
Antares Kantos
Virsyn Poseidon
Rob Papen Blue
NI Massive
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Post by Shleed » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:05 am

Absynth 4:
Excellent for ambient/electronic madness.

Arp 2600V:
It may be an emulation of the real thing, but the features alone make it an ace softsynth... not to mention it sounds bloody ace.

Massive
Big, raw... VERY CPU intensive. Oh well, still a goodie.

FM8
Improves on FM7 and makes FM programming a LOT easier IMO.

Reaktor
The ultimate program for electronic musicians and a very good example of the capabilities of digital synthesis.

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Post by crystalmsc » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:06 am

stephen wrote:For non-commercial softsynths I raise a glass to Crystal (sorry about the pun)
ah yes, it's a freebie from outer space.
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