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The most underestimated synths...

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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
8746 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:14 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

Michael L wrote:I'm trying to get back on topic.
Enzyme is a synth that is pretty close to what you describe: close your eyes and pick a sound :o


After having demo'd it (did not buy it) I can almost agree with that assessment. Ugly sounding synth, IMO.

But what's your point?
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Michael L
KVRAF
 
1708 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:24 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

Just like you choose bagpipes, someone else will choose Enzyme. Most people would choose neither. Thus those instruments are underestimated for "most people" but not to those with the "ears to hear." Who did that amazing Ambient preset library for Enzyme?
Even 'close your eyes and pick a sound' has its place: to be surprised. So, all synths have a place, somewhere.
Even Tunefish.
"As the artist goes deeper into his own thing, he learns what works and then needs fewer tools."
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
8746 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:01 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

Michael L wrote:Just like you choose bagpipes, someone else will choose Enzyme. Most people would choose neither. Thus those instruments are underestimated for "most people" but not to those with the "ears to hear." Who did that amazing Ambient preset library for Enzyme?
Even 'close your eyes and pick a sound' has its place: to be surprised. So, all synths have a place, somewhere.
Even Tunefish.


All synths have a place? Absolutely. I would never argue that. I don't think, however, that's the point of this whole "underestimated" thread. I think we're trying to point out the less "popular" synths (however we even determine that) that probably should be more popular for whatever reason.

The main point being "popularity" as the criteria.

I'm not saying that I agree that just because a synth is popular that it's a great synth. But that seems to be the baseline for this whole discussion.

All I know is this. I find a use for everything. The only reason I don't use a synth is because it doesn't work. And right now, there is only one synth in my collection (Cycle) that simply does not work at all and the only one I'm sorry I bought.
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Michael L
KVRAF
 
1708 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:13 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

Yes. Some people hear something in a synth that others don't. To me, a sound often suggests a melody.
I plan to revisit Cycle; its a very technically ambitious design for making instruments. It forces you to go into fine details, like Puredata. I admire Daven, but Cycle is just a bit down my queue atm.
"As the artist goes deeper into his own thing, he learns what works and then needs fewer tools."
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chaosWyrM
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1560 posts since 28 Apr, 2010, from NYC

Postby chaosWyrM; Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:53 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

my definition of "underestimated" would be the same as "underrated"...which really has nothing to do with popularity but more to do with its perceived quality.

i dont think anyone could reasonably place (as some have) any u-he synth on this list....as u-he synths are universally over rated (before anyone gets all nuts...they are obviously great synths...but people tend to go a tad overboard with the praise...as indicated by me feeling i needed to even say this).

anyway...for my money...the most underestimated synth is synplant. i am routinely surprised at the lack of attention it receives when considering the enormous creative abilities it has. its an amazing sounding, fun to program, unique instrument, that i personally feel people dont realize is anywhere near as good as it is.

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wagtunes
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8746 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:03 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

chaosWyrM wrote:my definition of "underestimated" would be the same as "underrated"...which really has nothing to do with popularity but more to do with its perceived quality.

i dont think anyone could reasonably place (as some have) any u-he synth on this list....as u-he synths are universally over rated (before anyone gets all nuts...they are obviously great synths...but people tend to go a tad overboard with the praise...as indicated by me feeling i needed to even say this).

anyway...for my money...the most underestimated synth is synplant. i am routinely surprised at the lack of attention it receives when considering the enormous creative abilities it has. its an amazing sounding, fun to program, unique instrument, that i personally feel people dont realize is anywhere near as good as it is.

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Know what the problem with Synplant is (Because I demo'd it myself). It's too odd. The GUI is one of those "WTF" moments you get when you look at something. I tried to wrap my head around the "helix" or whatever the hell it is, and it was just too off the wall for me. And I've programmed hundreds of synths. But this one was just not worth my time to try to figure it out.

Soundwise, it was okay. Nothing that made me go "Wow! I don't care how weird this thing is. I've got to learn how to use it" And that's ultimately why I didn't get it.

Having said that, I can absolutely see people liking this synth. It's certainly not bad sounding and, if nothing else, it IS different.

It just wasn't for me.
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Michael L
KVRAF
 
1708 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:16 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

Thanks for mentioning Synplant. Its DNA Helix is a truly "genius" approach to shaping sound; and it also has a huge fun factor, with those seeds. It is a favorite of the developer of Alchemy, too!
"As the artist goes deeper into his own thing, he learns what works and then needs fewer tools."
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fluffy_little_something
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9790 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:23 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

Underrated synths tend to be underrated for good reasons. Usually there is something wrong about them from the perspective of most users.

Conversely, popular synths tend to be popular for good reasons.

In other words, synths are usually rated correctly :hihi:
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chaosWyrM
KVRAF
 
1560 posts since 28 Apr, 2010, from NYC

Postby chaosWyrM; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:30 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

fluffy_little_something wrote:Underrated synths tend to be underrated for good reasons. Usually there is something wrong about them from the perspective of most users.

Conversely, popular synths tend to be popular for good reasons.

In other words, synths are usually rated correctly :hihi:


i think what you mean is "poorly rated synths tend to be poorly rated for good reasons." to which i agree. but, if the reasons for the poor ratings are good...they arent "underrated" they are appropriately rated. thats the point of this list, to name synths we believe to be better than the common thinking.
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chaosWyrM
KVRAF
 
1560 posts since 28 Apr, 2010, from NYC

Postby chaosWyrM; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:36 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

wagtunes wrote:
Know what the problem with Synplant is (Because I demo'd it myself). It's too odd. The GUI is one of those "WTF" moments you get when you look at something. I tried to wrap my head around the "helix" or whatever the hell it is, and it was just too off the wall for me. And I've programmed hundreds of synths. But this one was just not worth my time to try to figure it out.


i couldnt possibly disagree with you more. i think that gui is just about the best ive ever used. its organic and responsive...it does exactly what i think it will do. i have never used a synth that allowed me to create such unique and exciting sounds with such ease and fluidity as i can with synplant. its amazing how easy to use it is for the complex sounds you get from it.

but hey...thats why they make chocolate AND vanilla...right?
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el-bo (formerly ebow)
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8675 posts since 24 May, 2009, from A galaxy, far far away

Postby el-bo (formerly ebow); Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:39 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

chaosWyrM wrote:my definition of "underestimated" would be the same as "underrated"...which really has nothing to do with popularity but more to do with its perceived quality.

i dont think anyone could reasonably place (as some have) any u-he synth on this list....as u-he synths are universally over rated (before anyone gets all nuts...they are obviously great synths...but people tend to go a tad overboard with the praise...as indicated by me feeling i needed to even say this).

anyway...for my money...the most underestimated synth is synplant. i am routinely surprised at the lack of attention it receives when considering the enormous creative abilities it has. its an amazing sounding, fun to program, unique instrument, that i personally feel people dont realize is anywhere near as good as it is.

Image


Whoah! Must've demo'd this 8-10 years ago, then just forgot about it. Since you've posted this, I've been soaking up demo tracks, YT vid's etc., and it's definitely going on my list
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fluffy_little_something
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9790 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:40 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

chaosWyrM wrote:
fluffy_little_something wrote:Underrated synths tend to be underrated for good reasons. Usually there is something wrong about them from the perspective of most users.

Conversely, popular synths tend to be popular for good reasons.

In other words, synths are usually rated correctly :hihi:


i think what you mean is "poorly rated synths tend to be poorly rated for good reasons." to which i agree. but, if the reasons for the poor ratings are good...they arent "underrated" they are appropriately rated. thats the point of this list, to name synths we believe to be better than the common thinking.


Yes, I should have put underrated in " " because indeed they are not underrated.
I don't think there are synths that are unjustly rated low, or not high enough. In the age of the Internet, if there is a really good synth, the word will spread fast, there are no hidden treasures out there. For instance that plant thingy might appeal to some and look fancy and unusual, and I think many people have played around with it for some time, but at the end of the day they don't use/buy it and resort to more conventional gear.
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chaosWyrM
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1560 posts since 28 Apr, 2010, from NYC

Postby chaosWyrM; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:48 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

fluffy_little_something wrote:
chaosWyrM wrote:
fluffy_little_something wrote:Underrated synths tend to be underrated for good reasons. Usually there is something wrong about them from the perspective of most users.

Conversely, popular synths tend to be popular for good reasons.

In other words, synths are usually rated correctly :hihi:


i think what you mean is "poorly rated synths tend to be poorly rated for good reasons." to which i agree. but, if the reasons for the poor ratings are good...they arent "underrated" they are appropriately rated. thats the point of this list, to name synths we believe to be better than the common thinking.


Yes, I should have put underrated in " " because indeed they are not underrated.
I don't think there are synths that are unjustly rated low, or not high enough. In the age of the Internet, if there is a really good synth, the word will spread fast, there are no hidden treasures out there. For instance that plant thingy might appeal to some and look fancy and unusual, and I think many people have played around with it for some time, but at the end of the day they don't use/buy it and resort to more conventional gear.



ok...im not trying to argue with you about it. i think you simply have a fundamental misunderstanding of the term "underrated"....as per your logic...nothing can be underrated, since everything gets the rating it deserves.

seeing as how we have a 20 page thread of synths people feel are in fact underrated...i think most people here may disagree with your assessment of what underrated means.
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JoeCat
KVRian
 
1029 posts since 19 May, 2011, from North Carolina

Postby JoeCat; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:59 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

+ for Synplant :)

Along the lines of "appropriately rated" is Oxium - the GUI just puts a lot of people off.

But it's a great bread/butter synth, even if you don't' use the "Le Masque" sequencer. The workflow isn't terrible - modulations are a little wonky, but IMHO the synth makes up for it in the ease with which you can get a great sound with just the oscs/filter/envelopes.

Strobe (and probably Strobe 2) are similar in that respect to my ears, albeit at the higher price.

Lastly, I think Reaktor is underrated as a "platform" - meaning it's got a lot of value just as a host for its user library even if you never program the thing (I know how much Wags loves programming it :) ). There are a number of synths and effects in there that justify the cost, like this:
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/r ... show/4923/
cron
KVRAF
 
2847 posts since 27 Dec, 2002, from North East England

Postby cron; Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:04 am Re: The most underestimated synths...

V0RT3X wrote:32-bit plugins are obsolete.


As a 32 bit guy, I prefer "underestimated" :P

My pick for underestimated synth would be Harmor. Purely because of the GUI. While far from perfect, I don't think it's "terrible" as is the common view, it's more that it makes no sense on first glance before you understand what you're dealing with. Harmor is so obscenely powerful that no GUI could possibly hope to communicate it adequately, let alone the (pseudo) single-page solution Harmor has gone with. Once you start right-clicking on things and realise how much of the synth is freely customisable, it's a truly mind boggling moment. You want a drawable filter, but also drawable resonance and drawable fake self-oscillation? No problem. That's just the start. That's beginner's stuff in Harmor. Stick with it and in no time you'll be making custom prism shapes to do octave whammies on individual harmonics in resynthesised audio. It is absolutely unparalleled as far as additive (re)synths go.
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