by ZenPunkHippy; Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:30 pm
Also agree that Alchemy + Zebra + Diva complement each other very, very well. It's great to have so many excellent options available.
by Marginal Ray; Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:14 am
My opinion on Zebra and Diva is based on demo versions. I never used them in my compositions. I wouldn't compare them with Alchemy, because they generate sound with oscillators and not samples. However, Alchemy's VA engine combined with modulation capabilities makes it a very capable VA machine. Mixing vintage samples (Moog, Oberheim…) with VA sounds gives brilliant results, so I have no need for Diva or equivalent. A laptop, 4 instances of Alchemy (or even Alchemy player) with Himalaya vintage sound bank can be enough to play techno live, with no need of a specialized DAW, like… Abbleton Live. Same for ambient. Of course, Diva is trying to mimic the behaviors of the old analog machines. Do we ear the difference?
Zebra sounds different. At first glace more surgical, shinning clean, what doesn't mean that the sound is not "rich". May it be FM sound (I'm not sure)?
Except Reaktor of equivalent, the most powerful synth I've ever used, with an enormous sound palette and amazing sound quality is the freeware ZynadSubFx: Additive synthesis for the main engine + substractive + FM + wave shaping… It's a really vibrant instrument, like a "real" one. For sound quality, my favorite among the pure synthesizers (not using samples).
In a way, only samplers can everything, because they can be fed with any source. Alchemy is mostly a "sample manipulator", a kind of hybrid machine between synthesizer and sampler, or a mix of both, open to third party stuff (not like Omnisphere). So there is no limit to its sound palette. But to reach an optimal sound quality, it requires good raw material (samples) and/or resynthesis algorithms. Both will be improved in V2.
But no other synth than Alchemy is so easy to use, to modulate, to tweak… Just plug and play, and choose or make your sound while you play. For the fun, what is the most important to me (with sound quality), Alchemy is unsurpassed.
by Stevee00; Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:32 am
The point I'm making is a serious one. Alchemy is showing the way in terms of UI, ease of use. They get it in terms of harnessing the potential of computer controls. I think the days of emulating hardware controls on a computer screen are over. Why emulate a hardware knob that does only one thing when on a computer it can display multiple parameters, it's state and dynamic relationships to other controls? I think U-he is caught in the hardware emulation trap. Their screens are gorgeous, but hard to work with. Because they sound so good--the underlying sound circuits are so good--I'm hoping and praying they drastically change the interface in future releases.
And when I say I love the way Diva / Zebra complements Alchemy, I'm not just talking about choice, I'm talking about when I'm playing both in the same mix. They each have a different quality that sound good together and give more definition to my musical ideas. I set up morphing textures and soundscapes with Alchemy, then bring in a Diva or Zebra lead to soar over the top.
by liquidsound; Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:30 am
Zebra and Diva are much less intuitive and practical for my style.
Yes, ZynadSubFx great synth worth paying for.
Since I bought Alchemy I'm narrowing down to less and less Synths in my work and this leaves me a lot of room to learn few of them and learn more overall.
Best money spent so far.
by Stevee00; Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:20 am
by Marginal Ray; Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:13 am
Stevee00 wrote:I think the days of emulating hardware controls on a computer screen are over.Steve
Yes Steeve, I totally agree. Emulating or mimicking hardware interfaces is not the best way to use a computer. For example, mixing on a real mixing console is easier then moving virtual sliders with a mouse. But a computer can offer a totally different, more natural and intuitive way to mix: Dropping instruments on a XY surface. Pan and volume (and other parameters if needed) of each instrument can be adjusted together as a conductor would arrange musicians in a room. I understand that an experimented SSL analogue console user will not be convinced that an Ipad (or other tablet) can be mo intuitive and fast to mix! But it is, in some circumstances.
The same for Alchemy: Made for computers, from the beginning. Almost perfect for "natural" modulation (right click, add modulation, so easy!) and morphing (Alchemy's performance section or Alchemy Player). The editors should be improved: Creating a complex and nice sound from scratch within the additive editor is not so easy. Tweaking an imported sample in the spectral editor is an approximate job.
Zebra and Diva sound great. No doubt about it. For pure plucked sounds, Zebra (or the freeware Zyn, that I mentioned in a previous post) is a hit. In Alchemy, this kind of sound is generally based on samples. Why not, if the raw material is OK.
by Jamie61571; Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:25 pm