|Author||Topic: The "BIG" VA's... Tera, Pentagon, Delta, Absynth|
Posted: 18th August 2002 18:25
Hey guys, I need a little adivce. I'd love to try out VirSyn Tera, Pentagon 1, Delta III, and Absynth, but to do so I'd have to spend a lot of time playing with each one... I don't have much free time, these synths are big and complex (especially for a novice programmer like me), and I'm not going to judge a synth based on presets (plus, you probably only get about 10 in a demo). This is where the advice comes in... if you could help me narrow a couple of synths out, it would make trying out the remaining synths easier for me.
I make trance, some progressive house, and a bit of more melodic breakbeat. Which of these synths would be best for my needs? I need primarily really nice, smooth pads and leads.
Thanks a lot for any help
Posted: 18th August 2002 18:28
Pentagon I gets my vote. It is amazing what sounds can be made with it. I am not that familiar with the others, having only read others comments about them. From what I know though, Absynth would probably be good for you too.
Also, check out the Instrument section here at K-v-R. There are lots of good reviews that should be helpful to you.
Posted: 18th August 2002 18:44
It depends on how much you like programming, how much time you have to spend programming, and how much you know about analog synthesis.
I'll go one-by-one based on your subject:
1. Tera- awesome, amazing synth. Arguably the best virtual analog I've tried and does so much more. It's modular, so as versatile as your imagination will allow. My pipe dream remains to launch Sonar and have one 16 part multimbral instance of Tera open and one instance of the DR-008 open and ready so I can get right down to music. Reasonable at $240.
2. Pentagon- great VA, not multitimbral, can be a vocoder too. Not too challenging to program. Very popular here, as you've probably already seen.
3. Delta- first contender to challenge the Pentagon 1 at its price point. Nice synth, oriented a bit differently than P1. No vocoder option. 8 part mutlitimbral. Modulation matrix is a really nice touch.
4. Absynth- pretty presets, a pain in the neck for me to program, and I've been programming synths since the 80s.
Big things- which host? How much CPU horsepower do you have? If you don't have time to evaluate synths, do you plan to use other people's presets?
FWIW, you're dead wrong about the number of presets provided with the demos of all 4 synths you mentioned. They all come with dozens if not more.
Posted: 18th August 2002 19:49
I have tried all demos. They are all very good products, though I was not too impressed by Tera sounds, but people here are so positive about it that I must be somehow wrong. Maybe I did not understand how to program it and only used pre-programmed patches which I did not fancy too much.
I own Pentagon and I am seriously thinking about buying Absynth. I think they both have great sounds. Absynth sounds are probably the richer to me, maybe due to their special "pipe" effect that you can see is used in many factory patches. Absynth as great envelopes editing capability which makes it harder to program but very powerful.
You should also ask yourself what is the added value for you when taking their price into account. Pentagon has a very high quality/price ratio.
Also if you cannot afford Absynth but if you like this sort of sophistication you may try Crystal which is, amazingly, free ! . To me the sounds of Absynth are superior because the oscillators sounds in Absynth always happen to merger into a unique and incredible sound as for Crystal you almost always hear the three oscillators doing their job independently.
Posted: 19th August 2002 01:09
i own both P1 and absynth. they are two diff beasts. P1 is to me, the near perfection of VA. it sounds so freeking good, as good as FM7, just lacking the envolope fun. programming it is pretty strait forward, altho the interface is a bit jumbled.
Absynth just isn't about sounding like analog gear. the envelopes and the wave form import functions make absynth a tru oscilator based sound designers synth. to use absynth just for making juno type sounds is rediculous.
P1 is cheep. get that for sure, it'll satify you. then when it comes time for making evolving/shifting environments, absynth should be purchased.
I have tried the verasyn demo, just didn't keep my attention, not meaning thats its crap in any way tho...
Posted: 19th August 2002 10:55
I own Absynth and have done a lot of testing with DeltaIII and another synth I think you've left out: the Pro-52.
Absynth is IMHO a soundtrack, ambient, effects, mood, strings, weird beats sort of machine. It's not too good at standard VA type sounds. But I love it, a great device. The Mac banks were recently converted for PC users and some of the sounds - especially the strings are stunning.
Delta III beautifully compliments Absynth - it has a much buzzier analog feel and gets a wetter, juicier sound. Perhaps surprisingly I find it's modulation almost as good as Absynth. Certainly in terms of programming modulation possibilities I think it's definitely THE best VSTi I've ever played. Really quite outstanding. And a great GUI. I earlier was a bit disappointed with the filters, but no more: this synth is tweakable you just have to get to know its moods. There are only two negatives: the presets do not show off its talents - nor are even terribly good starting points; and second, I've had some really terrible CPU peaks on sounds which shoud be very light. Peter from Linplug has been outstandingly kind on this issue and I expect it will be resolved
I've tried the Pentagon but the GUI put me off. That's weak I know, but I just couldn't see what was happening. And the knobs seemed to travel in a strange way, very jerky. I had to give up.
The Pro-52 has an extremely beefy, thick sound with a great resonance and filter combination. The only thing which puts me off a bit is that the modulation possibilities aren't up to the Delta and the program management system is confusing and unfriendly.
Posted: 19th August 2002 13:34
Pentagon I: my best purchase - ever. I'm at the point now when I have over 50 commercial and freeware synths, but every time I start a song with other VSTi's, I end up replacing most of them with PI at the end.
Delta III: indubitably the most flexible modulation system ever implemented. Unfortunately I was unable to get the same thick/deep/rich sounds from it as I do from PI , which is without question MY shortcoming and not the synth's, but in the end it always comes down to synergy between the individual and the instrument, and there just wasn't a lot of it between me and Delta.
Absynth: a wet dream, but it's clearly an ambience synth, and its uses therefore are more narrow (especially for trance) than those of the other two.
Never tried VirSyn Tera; it's probably an incredible instrument, but the split GUI doesn't appear inviting to me.
I have to second PA's opinion: in my experience Pentagon and Crystal are an unbeatable combo. If you want to strike a compromise, get PI (U$99), Crystal (free!!!), Cronox (Delta's little brother, so you get a powerful mod matrix for U$45), and slap on top a few solid effects (Ultraverb or Reverb.it for around U$45-55, Supaphaser for free, Ohmboyz Delay for U$9.95, and Frohmage for free again). You'll still be under U$210 - but way ahead of the game.
I would, of course, buy Absynth if I had the money, but I can't bring myself to spend that much when a lot of incredible stuff is going for under 100... If Crystal gets another couple of updates (GUI, matrix expansion, maybe beefing up or refining the filters/oscillators a bit) I strongly believe it will be the absolutely best value for the money, and a very serious contender to Absynth...
Posted: 20th August 2002 01:56
Every synth mention is great in it's own way.
Sorry to say but the only good way of knowing which will suit you is trying them.
Pentagon comes with 300 presets. I like the interface because it reminds me of analog synths and in terms of beefy sound it's the best.
I don't have much experience with Delta 3 but almost everyone loves it.
VerSyn can get pretty big sounding but also has other sound attributes and is the most versititle of the ones I am familiar with, 800 presets and logical work flow after you get past the overwhelming choices afforded you.
Absynth is a pad, weird sounds and wild rhythmic synth, 700 presets to check out. This one is different in programming style and may be challenging depending on your interface preferences.
Pro 52 might be a good fit for Trance although IMO it doesn't compare to Pentagon. It does have it's own sound and if you like that sound then you'll get it for comparatively cheap.
Posted: 20th August 2002 02:45
Erm… I'd like to put in a word for ES2. I know, not VSTi, Emagic bad, blah, blah, but it sure is a kickin' piece of work. Very smooth and detailed, yet fat as you want. Great basses. Pads, synths ain't bad either. It might be the software that'll wean folks off of their Virus/Nord/Nova.
Posted: 20th August 2002 03:27
if you don't have much time it would seem logical to judge a synth partly on the presets. Absynth is more landscapey then the others, but is definetly worth the money. i guess i would go with pentagon 1, i got it and like it. very versatile. don't like the gui all that much, but whatcha ya going to do. my fav is the junglist. it won't create the prettiest sounds, but imo creates the warmest dirtiest sweeps you'll ever hear. but since you are doin trance i would suggest the pentagon 1. the presets are very diverse and almost all sound great, so its really easy to jump right into it...
the es2 does rock. definetly has edge that no other soft synths have...
Posted: 20th August 2002 09:11
I own the 4 synths you meantioned and have to say that they are all good for what you want to do. You have to check which one you like the most.