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Modern soft synths

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VilianTroy
KVRist
 
197 posts since 27 Apr, 2015, from Bulgaria

Postby VilianTroy; Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:36 am Modern soft synths

Hi people wanna ask KVR community what you guys think modern soft synths need to have as playability or functions - it seems that wavetable synths are more used these days but some of us also like traditional subtractive type of synths... but with more options - to me personally most important thing is a synth to have at least 4 ADSR slots ,more wave shapes to load in osc and morphing function between osc.Please share your opinion about what you like or dislike in a modern synth no matter you are sound designer or just user-want to hear your opinion.What would you like to see in a future developed synths as well which today's synth don't have or it's not developed well.How you imagine the perfect synth?Thanks.
p.s. Modern synths structure i like:Synthmaster,Spire,Predator2.
Last edited by VilianTroy on Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
8779 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:45 am Re: Modern soft synths

Hope you're prepared for as many possible combinations of answers as are mathematically possible because that's pretty much what's going to happen.

Here's my list in order of preference.

1) Fully Modular - Unlimited types of modules. No limit to number of modules in a patch at least as far as your CPU can handle it. Softube is on the way, I hope. Right now, very few modules and development seems to be at a snails pace. It might be years before I get all the modules I want. So give me a modular with everything all in one shot.

2) A true Windows replacement for Alchemy which I never had a chance to get.

3) Modulation Routings - Prefer synths where I can modulate as many of the parameters as possible.

4) Great Sound - I don't care if it's wavetable or VA or additive or whatever. Just as long as it has a great sound.

That's essentially it. Those are my priorities.
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VilianTroy
KVRist
 
197 posts since 27 Apr, 2015, from Bulgaria

Postby VilianTroy; Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:55 am Re: Modern soft synths

Thanks comrade :)Your opinion is special cuz are in sound design long before me - just wanna hear opinion from different types of users :)
chk071
KVRAF
 
13560 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:04 am Re: Modern soft synths

  • 3 or 4 oscillators
  • Unison, stereo spread, and detuning control per oscillator
  • 4 or more LFO's and envelopes
  • Mod matrix with enough slots
  • 2 filters
  • Wavetable capabilities, like on Waldorf's synths
  • FM
  • Drawable envelope shapes
  • Waveshaping capabilities would be cool, but, rather a nice extra (although much too few synths have this)
  • First of all a nice sound, much bang in filters and envelopes, and a pleasant unison sound (think Virus, Waldorf, Solaris, JP-8k, in general, getting the sound of some hardware devices, which IMO aren't famous for nothing)

That's about it i guess. Still looking for a synth which has all that. :P There are some which are pretty near though.
Last edited by chk071 on Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
It's not "news" anymore, it's "infotainment".
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exmatproton
KVRAF
 
1856 posts since 24 Apr, 2011

Postby exmatproton; Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:08 am Re: Modern soft synths

Falcon








Seriously;

Three points i find very important

a) sound (filters, osc's and env's)
b) UI and UX (big, dark, scalable, not too much contrast, "fun" layout as in 'not boring' (charlatan2))
c) 64 bit (i really don't like extra layers. It works, but it costs extra cycles)

I really don't care much about other stuff.
Last edited by exmatproton on Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
egbert101
KVRian
 
988 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Postby egbert101; Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:14 am Re: Modern soft synths

VilianTroy wrote:Hi people wanna ask KVR community what you guys think modern soft synths need to have as playability or functions - it seems that wavetable synths are more used these days but some of us also like traditional subtractive type of synths... but with more options - to me personally most important thing is a synth to have at least 4 ADSR slots ,more wave shapes to load in osc and morphing function between osc.Please share your opinion about what you like or dislike in a modern synth no matter you are sound designer or just user-want to hear your opinion.Thanks.
p.s. Modern synths structure i like:Synthmaster,Spire,Predator2.


This could be a good thread.

This category of general purpose soft synth seems to have four priorities:

1) CPU efficiency.
2) Workflow or simple GUI.
3) Focus on modern electronic music. (EDM, Synthpop, etc.)
4) Price.

As CPUs improve in power, so too does the quality and authenticy of this type of soft synth, as well as the growing features. There's more a preference for digital type sounds, yet still a persistence for analogue filters (subtractive synthesis).

Those who want higher quality or more complex features, will probably trade that in for higher CPU costs and higher price, in such soft synths as Serum, Omnisphere, Avenger, Rapid, Falcon, Zebra2/ZebraHD.

Those who want more analog authenticity will have to trade in functionality, workflow (if the interface is being as authentic as possible), lack of polyphony, and so on, usually including higher CPU costs but often lower prices due to it being a more specific market (except for Roland their crazy prices). Such synths are Monark, Repro-1, The Legend, Diva, ACE, LuSH-101, Roland System-100, Roland PROMARS, Roland SH-2, Korg Legacy Collection, Arturia V Collection, and so on.

Since there is only a creative limit on synthesis types, and in the focus on CPU efficiency, workflow, music and cost, then we will only see incremental changes in current synths, over the years according to the improvement in CPU power. However, the good news is that we are about to enter a new battle between AMD and Intel over enthusiast level CPUs, and so this translates to higher quality and more features in later updates.

In my personal opinion, sound is the most important decision, followed by workflow. The very latest SynthMaster One beta, seems to follow this philosophy. It is aimed at giving you as much as possible with only two oscillators, at a reasonable price, with greater attention to authenticity of its analog sound. A more complex version with more oscillators and more features will probably come at a higher price point.

Other companies might do well in following this type of philosophy. Such as a Hive Pro, with more oscillators and features. Or a Predator Pro, Dune Pro, Spire Pro and so on, for those with more powerful PCs and bigger wallets, why not have two different price points with similar architectures?

XILS Lab have been following this kind of philosophy for awhile, but their soft synths are more specific in their analog emulations.
Last edited by egbert101 on Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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VilianTroy
KVRist
 
197 posts since 27 Apr, 2015, from Bulgaria

Postby VilianTroy; Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:18 am Re: Modern soft synths

chk071 wrote:
  • 3 or 4 oscillators
  • Unison, stereo spread, and detuning control per oscillator
  • 4 or more LFO's and envelopes
  • Mod matrix with enough slots
  • 2 filters
  • Wavetable capabilities, like on Waldorf's synths
  • FM
  • Drawable envelope shapes
  • Waveshaping capabilities would be cool, but, rather a nice extra (although much too few synths have this)
  • First of all a nice sound, much bang in filters and envelopes, and a pleasant unison sound

That's about it i guess. Still looking for a synth which has all that. :P There are some which are pretty near though.

Yeah i totally forgot about unison mode - probably more developers need to make innovations in this directions,which makes me thing to expand topic about what we want from them cuz most of them don't listen very carefully what users want :)
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VilianTroy
KVRist
 
197 posts since 27 Apr, 2015, from Bulgaria

Postby VilianTroy; Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:29 am Re: Modern soft synths

egbert101 wrote:
VilianTroy wrote:Hi people wanna ask KVR community what you guys think modern soft synths need to have as playability or functions - it seems that wavetable synths are more used these days but some of us also like traditional subtractive type of synths... but with more options - to me personally most important thing is a synth to have at least 4 ADSR slots ,more wave shapes to load in osc and morphing function between osc.Please share your opinion about what you like or dislike in a modern synth no matter you are sound designer or just user-want to hear your opinion.Thanks.
p.s. Modern synths structure i like:Synthmaster,Spire,Predator2.


This could be a good thread.

This category of general purpose soft synth seems to have four priorities:

1) CPU efficiency.
2) Workflow or simple GUI.
3) Focus on modern electronic music. (EDM, Synthpop, etc.)
4) Price.

As CPUs improve in power, so too does the quality and authenticy of this type of soft synth, as well as the growing features. There's more a preference for digital type sounds, yet still a persistence for analogue filters (subtractive synthesis).

Those who want higher quality or more complex features, will probably trade that in for higher CPU costs and higher price, in such soft synths as Serum, Omnisphere, Avenger, Rapid, Falcon, Zebra2/ZebraHD.

Those who want more analog authenticity will have to trade in functionality, workflow (if the interface is being as authentic as possible), lack of polyphony, and so on, usually including higher CPU costs but often lower prices due to it being a more specific market (except for Roland their crazy prices). Such synths are Monark, Repro-1, The Legend, Diva, ACE, LuSH-101, Roland System-100, Roland PROMARS, Roland SH-2, Korg Legacy Collection, Arturia V Collection, and so on.

Since there is only a creative limit on synthesis types, and in the focus on CPU efficiency, workflow, music and cost, then we will only see incremental changes in current synths, over the years according to the improvement in CPU power. However, the good news is that we are about to enter a new battle between AMD and Intel over enthusiast level CPUs, and so this translates to higher quality and more features in later updates.

In my personal opinion, sound is the most important decision, followed by workflow. The very latest SynthMaster One beta, seems to follow this philosophy. It is aimed at giving you as much as possible with only two oscillators, at a reasonable price, with greater attention to authenticity of its analog sound. A more complex version with more oscillators and more features will probably come at a higher price point.

Other companies might do well in following this type of philosophy. Such as a Hive Pro, with more oscillators and features. Or a Predator Pro, Dune Pro, Spire Pro and so on, for those with more powerful PCs and bigger wallets, why not have two different price points with similar architectures?

XILS Lab have been following this kind of philosophy for awhile, but their soft synths are more specific in their analog emulations.


Maan you nale it :)i was thinking almost the same but didn't want to write too much cuz people get bored :)Two versions is cool idea - one for designers and one for users - cuz there will be different demands - if you are DJ,Producer or Artist and don't want to deal with sound design you need more sounds and nice browser ,for infected with this sound design disease probably more functions and freedom with ideas :)The topic is evolving :)
shonky
KVRist
 
272 posts since 21 Nov, 2005

Postby shonky; Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:59 am Re: Modern soft synths

Was thinking of Harmor, which I love for its sound, detail and depth of programming possible, but dislike for its general user-unfriendliness and rather brief manual.

Not saying that synths should be overly simple, as this often limits their potential, but the basic functions should be laid out intuitively and more complex functions should be explained clearly in the manual, preferably with examples.
xoxos
Mr Entertainment
 
12056 posts since 29 Apr, 2002, from i might peeramid

Postby xoxos; Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:01 am Re: Modern soft synths

- wears black turtlenecks

- doesn't listen to the rolling stones

- has an informed user that realises what process they intend to implement and how much architecture it needs rather than trying to hit the all you can eat buffet and get everything on their plate so they can tell everyone what a fathead they are because they can name all the things that synthesizers use like a prat.
you come and go, you come and go. amitabha xoxos.net free vst. neither a follower nor a leader be
tagore "where roads are made i lose my way"
where there is certainty, consideration is absent.
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Ingonator
KVRAF
 
11366 posts since 21 Mar, 2008, from Hannover, Germany

Postby Ingonator; Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:10 am Re: Modern soft synths

chk071 wrote:
  • 3 or 4 oscillators
  • Unison, stereo spread, and detuning control per oscillator
  • 4 or more LFO's and envelopes
  • Mod matrix with enough slots
  • 2 filters
  • Wavetable capabilities, like on Waldorf's synths
  • FM
  • Drawable envelope shapes
  • Waveshaping capabilities would be cool, but, rather a nice extra (although much too few synths have this)
  • First of all a nice sound, much bang in filters and envelopes, and a pleasant unison sound (think Virus, Waldorf, Solaris, JP-8k, in general, getting the sound of some hardware devices, which IMO aren't famous for nothing)

That's about it i guess. Still looking for a synth which has all that. :P There are some which are pretty near though.


A synth with all those features does not really seem to exist but those could come close:

- Tone2 Icarus
- VPS Avenger
- Synapse Audio DUNE 2.5
- Waldorf Largo
- KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2.8
- NI Massive

Concerning FM from those DUNE 2.5 has all 3 Oscs + Noise available as a mod source so those could modulate all mod destinations.
Largo has all 3 Oscs + Noise available as mod sources for the 3 main Oscs (so an Osc could also do FM with itself...) and for both filters. It could do FM between Osc 1+2 and Osc 2+3 and Sync between Osc 2+3.
Unison is global for all Oscs while you have the option to use up to 4 complete layers in Largo.

I wanted to mention Falcon but the only way to do FM there is within the dedicatzed FM module. The other Osc modules could not do FM or Sync with each other.

From those mentioend above both Icarus and Avenger do FM and Sync by using an additional "hidden" Osc with seectable shape (e.g. Sine, Square, Saw) but not between teh main Oscs.

Avenger, DUNE 2.5 and Synthmaster 2.8 include MSEGs to create your own envelopes. Icarus could use a step LFO with 16 steps as a workaround.

Icarus, DUNE 2.5, Avenger and Synthmaster 2.8 got an Unison that could work per Oscillator where Icarus and DUNE 2.5 seems to include the most options there.

DUNE 2.5 seems to miss a proper second filter and in Avaeger while you got up to 4 filters you coudl not route a single Osc to two different filters. You could use up to 8 Oscs and route those to the 4 filters and also use all 4 filters in series. Each Osc has a routing section to assign this.
Largo, Icarus and Synthmaster 2.8 have routable dual multmode filters.

While mostly Synthmaster 2.8 seems to fit to your description teh wavetable oscillators create a wavetable "on teh fly" from up to 16 waveforms and interpolation in real-time. Theer are no predefined tables like in teh upcoming more simple Synthmaster One (which then misses some other features you mentioned).

An older synth that is quite old but still powerful is NI Massive (and fits to multile points in your list).

Another option could be RAPID which i do not own myself while i am quite sure it also does not offer everything you ask for.


So at the moment no synth really seems to offer everything you mentioned...
Ingo Weidner - Sound Design
HW: Blofeld, Pulse 2, UltraNova, Bass Station 2
SW: PPG 3.V, Largo, Nave, Icarus, Avenger, Serum, Legend, Saurus 2, Diva, Komplete 10, many more
i5-3350P / Win 10 x64 / Live 9 / Cubase Pro 9 / Studio One 3 / Bitwig 2
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exmatproton
KVRAF
 
1856 posts since 24 Apr, 2011

Postby exmatproton; Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:13 am Re: Modern soft synths

Ingonator wrote:
chk071 wrote:
  • 3 or 4 oscillators
  • Unison, stereo spread, and detuning control per oscillator
  • 4 or more LFO's and envelopes
  • Mod matrix with enough slots
  • 2 filters
  • Wavetable capabilities, like on Waldorf's synths
  • FM
  • Drawable envelope shapes
  • Waveshaping capabilities would be cool, but, rather a nice extra (although much too few synths have this)
  • First of all a nice sound, much bang in filters and envelopes, and a pleasant unison sound (think Virus, Waldorf, Solaris, JP-8k, in general, getting the sound of some hardware devices, which IMO aren't famous for nothing)

That's about it i guess. Still looking for a synth which has all that. :P There are some which are pretty near though.


A synth with all those features does not really seem to exist but those could come close:

- Tone2 Icarus
- VPS Avenger
- Synapse Audio DUNE 2.5
- Waldorf Largo
- KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2.8
- NI Massive

Concerning FM from those DUNE 2.5 has all 3 Oscs + Noise available as a mod source so those could modulate all mod destinations.
Largo has all 3 Oscs + Noise available as mod sources for the 3 main Oscs (so an Osc could also do FM with itself...) and for both filters. It could do FM between Osc 1+2 and Osc 2+3 and Sync between Osc 2+3.
Unison is global for all Oscs while you have the option to use up to 4 complete layers in Largo.

I wanted to mention Falcon but the only way to do FM there is within the dedicatzed FM module. The other Osc modules could not do FM or Sync with each other.

From those mentioend above both Icarus and Avenger do FM and Sync by using an additional "hidden" Osc with seectable shape (e.g. Sine, Square, Saw) but not between teh main Oscs.

Avenger, DUNE 2.5 and Synthmaster 2.8 include MSEGs to create your own envelopes. Icarus could use a step LFO with 16 steps as a workaround.

Icarus, DUNE 2.5, Avenger and Synthmaster 2.8 got an Unison that could work per Oscillator where Icarus and DUNE 2.5 seems to include the most options there.

DUNE 2.5 seems to miss a proper second filter and in Avaeger while you got up to 4 filters you coudl not route a single Osc to two different filters. You could use up to 8 Oscs and route those to the 4 filters and also use all 4 filters in series. Each Osc has a routing section to assign this.
Largo, Icarus and Synthmaster 2.8 have routable dual multmode filters.

While mostly Synthmaster 2.8 seems to fit to your description teh wavetable oscillators create a wavetable "on teh fly" from up to 16 waveforms and interpolation in real-time. Theer are no predefined tables like in teh upcoming more simple Synthmaster One (which then misses some other features you mentioned).

An older synth that is quite old but still powerful is NI Massive (and fits to multile points in your list).

Another option could be RAPID which i do not own myself while i am quite sure it also does not offer everything you ask for.


So at the moment no synth really seems to offer everything you mentioned...


falcon ticks all the boxes here
chk071
KVRAF
 
13560 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:20 am Re: Modern soft synths

Ingonator wrote:
chk071 wrote:
  • 3 or 4 oscillators
  • Unison, stereo spread, and detuning control per oscillator
  • 4 or more LFO's and envelopes
  • Mod matrix with enough slots
  • 2 filters
  • Wavetable capabilities, like on Waldorf's synths
  • FM
  • Drawable envelope shapes
  • Waveshaping capabilities would be cool, but, rather a nice extra (although much too few synths have this)
  • First of all a nice sound, much bang in filters and envelopes, and a pleasant unison sound (think Virus, Waldorf, Solaris, JP-8k, in general, getting the sound of some hardware devices, which IMO aren't famous for nothing)

That's about it i guess. Still looking for a synth which has all that. :P There are some which are pretty near though.


A synth with all those features does not really seem to exist but those could come close:

- Tone2 Icarus
- VPS Avenger
- Synapse Audio DUNE 2.5
- Waldorf Largo
- KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2.8
- NI Massive

Concerning FM from those DUNE 2.5 has all 3 Oscs + Noise available as a mod source so those could modulate all mod destinations.
Largo has all 3 Oscs + Noise available as mod sources for the 3 main Oscs (so an Osc could also do FM with itself...) and for both filters. It could do FM between Osc 1+2 and Osc 2+3 and Sync between Osc 2+3.
Unison is global for all Oscs while you have the option to use up to 4 complete layers in Largo.

I wanted to mention Falcon but the only way to do FM there is within the dedicatzed FM module. The other Osc modules could not do FM or Sync with each other.

From those mentioend above both Icarus and Avenger do FM and Sync by using an additional "hidden" Osc with seectable shape (e.g. Sine, Square, Saw) but not between teh main Oscs.

Avenger, DUNE 2.5 and Synthmaster 2.8 include MSEGs to create your own envelopes. Icarus could use a step LFO with 16 steps as a workaround.

Icarus, DUNE 2.5, Avenger and Synthmaster 2.8 got an Unison that could work per Oscillator where Icarus and DUNE 2.5 seems to include the most options there.

DUNE 2.5 seems to miss a proper second filter and in Avaeger while you got up to 4 filters you coudl not route a single Osc to two different filters. You could use up to 8 Oscs and route those to the 4 filters and also use all 4 filters in series. Each Osc has a routing section to assign this.
Largo, Icarus and Synthmaster 2.8 have routable dual multmode filters.

While mostly Synthmaster 2.8 seems to fit to your description teh wavetable oscillators create a wavetable "on teh fly" from up to 16 waveforms and interpolation in real-time. Theer are no predefined tables like in teh upcoming more simple Synthmaster One (which then misses some other features you mentioned).

An older synth that is quite old but still powerful is NI Massive (and fits to multile points in your list).

Another option could be RAPID which i do not own myself while i am quite sure it also does not offer everything you ask for.


So at the moment no synth really seems to offer everything you mentioned...

Yep, Largo is actually pretty close to that scenario. Unfortunately no drawable envelopes, unison per oscillator, or waveshaping though. Anyway, i can at least get over the unison per oscillator, because it sounds thick and fat, even with a small amount of voices. :D
It's not "news" anymore, it's "infotainment".
recursive one
KVRAF
 
2975 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Postby recursive one; Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:27 am Re: Modern soft synths

Native Virus TI with per osillator unison for all kinds of oscillators, drawable msegs, oversampling (and the possibility to switch it off), new analogue-modelled filters in addition to the current filter set, more mod targets and maybe drag and drop modulation and wavetable import.

This will be my ideal softsynth.
I hate incomplete sentences because they ...
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Ingonator
KVRAF
 
11366 posts since 21 Mar, 2008, from Hannover, Germany

Postby Ingonator; Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:50 am Re: Modern soft synths

chk071 wrote:Yep, Largo is actually pretty close to that scenario. Unfortunately no drawable envelopes, unison per oscillator, or waveshaping though. Anyway, i can at least get over the unison per oscillator, because it sounds thick and fat, even with a small amount of voices. :D


For the Unison in Largo a workaround is to use multiple layers with differnt Unison settings in each one or differnt Oscilator/Usnion combinations. Largo also has a copy/paste feature for layers.
With all 4 layers used you could get 12 main Oscs and 8 Sub Oscs and that multipled if you use Unison.
If you use Oscs 1+2 with 2 filters in parallel and with 4 layers it is possible to use 8 wavetable oscillators that all use their own filter.

Concerning envelopes theer are also other modes beyond ADSR including e.g. the "ADS1DS2R" with two Decay and Sustain stages (available in all 4 envelopes) and the "Loop S1S2" is similar but loops between Sustain 1 and 2. You could also use the Step LFO mode in LFO 3 as a custom envelope with up to 16 steps (with holding the mouse button you could draw a shape there).

Largio has 8 filter Drive modes includeing a "Shaper" mode that could get some nice results too. The "Shaper" and "Pickup" modes indeed seem to be able to do a kind of waveshaping.
Ingo Weidner - Sound Design
HW: Blofeld, Pulse 2, UltraNova, Bass Station 2
SW: PPG 3.V, Largo, Nave, Icarus, Avenger, Serum, Legend, Saurus 2, Diva, Komplete 10, many more
i5-3350P / Win 10 x64 / Live 9 / Cubase Pro 9 / Studio One 3 / Bitwig 2
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