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What (freeware) synth would you recommend for absolute beginners to synthesis?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:00 pm What (freeware) synth would you recommend for absolute beginners to synthesis?

I wanted to put together a tutorial on sound design using a subtractive synth (for few of my acquaintances and my own benefit), but I want the synth to be available 32/64bit preferably, and:

1. No FM. Ring modulation might be nice but I don't want to deal with FM at this stage.
2. At least two oscillators that can sync and detune.
3. Access to all classic waveforms with PWM and pink/white noise.
4. Simple filter section with classic filters and modulation from LFO, KB, and a separate envelope to cutoff and resonance.
5. Some built-in chorus/reverb/delay for demonstration purposes.
6. Some classic terminology (like 16', 8') might be nice.
7. Ability to tweak phase of oscillators might be nice.
8. Simple unison and stereo placement might be good?
9. Most important: AS FEW KNOBS AS POSSIBLE!

So far I've found Charlatan and TAL-Noisemaker to be somewhat suitable but lacking (great synths, but with Charlatan no built-in effects, there is FM, and lacks few things. TAL-Noisemaker can be overkill in many places, and for GUI, I need to travel back and forth!

I suppose if I were to get a better alternative, what better place than KVR?
It's all about the wavelets. I dream of the perfect additive synthesis.
You can hire me if you are in Toronto! Contact for details.
KVRist
 
154 posts since 8 Jan, 2013, from morf
 

Postby Eauson; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:09 pm

http://www.synthbasics.com

I don't know if this is subtractive or if it has fx, but its a starter:-)
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KVRAF
 
2764 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:11 pm

It might not fit all your requirements, but i strongly recommend Synth1. Basically because it is so popular that the most will already fiddled around with it, plus it has enough synthesis capabilities to really keep you busy for a while, and you'll be able realize most of the things on your list i guess. And it has a real classic layout, won't be too hard for the most beginners to figure out.

Looking forward to see your tutorial (if public). :)
User avatar
KVRAF
 
3669 posts since 3 Jul, 2012

Postby V0RT3X; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Check out Tyrell by U-he!

It sounds as good as any commercial product out there and can run fairly decent on modern systems.

http://www.u-he.com/cms/tyrelln6
KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:13 pm

chk071 wrote:It might not fit all your requirements, but i strongly recommend Synth1. Basically because it is so popular that the most will already fiddled around with it, plus it has enough synthesis capabilities to really keep you busy for a while, and you'll be able realize most of the things on your list i guess. And it has a real classic layout, won't be too hard for the most beginners to figure out.

Looking forward to see your tutorial (if public). :)


It will probably not be public, at least the first one I do. But to be honest with you, Synth1 is probably the last thing I would think of -- because I want to gear these towards people who do not even know what LFO is (but probably attempted using one), and the interface would freak them out. It does show the power of synthesis, however.

To Eauson: this is really good educational synth, but I can't see VST capabilities, which is real shame. I could try to route...
It's all about the wavelets. I dream of the perfect additive synthesis.
You can hire me if you are in Toronto! Contact for details.
KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:16 pm

V0RT3X wrote:Check out Tyrell by U-he!

It sounds as good as any commercial product out there and can run fairly decent on modern systems.

http://www.u-he.com/cms/tyrelln6


That's the first thing that came up in my mind as TyrellN6 is one free synth I always keep around, but I was wondering... um... something easier? Not to mention the recent update made the interface look absolutely... well, to say it kindly, horrendous. Ver. 1 was much better however.

Maybe if I could get all those technically inept to ignore 3/4 of the knobs for a second, Tyrell would be a good choice, yes. I know there is a skin made by a member here which is quite good, actually.
It's all about the wavelets. I dream of the perfect additive synthesis.
You can hire me if you are in Toronto! Contact for details.
KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:19 pm

Eauson wrote:http://www.synthbasics.com

I don't know if this is subtractive or if it has fx, but its a starter:-)


I actually really like this one, it's funny. I demand one-synth challenge using this :D
It's all about the wavelets. I dream of the perfect additive synthesis.
You can hire me if you are in Toronto! Contact for details.
KVRist
 
154 posts since 8 Jan, 2013, from morf
 

Postby Eauson; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:19 pm

This is nice and easy - http://www.kvraudio.com/product/ez_poly_by_krakli
Maybe a contender?
User avatar
KVRAF
 
3669 posts since 3 Jul, 2012

Postby V0RT3X; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:22 pm

Here are some good ones to use too

http://www.synthschool.com/downloads.html

Image

The Odyssey emulation actually sounds pretty darn good too for free..


Btw if you don't mind paying $50.00 you can get the Korg MS-20 legacy which is a great great starter synthesizer IMO. I learned a lot on this..

http://www.korg.com/LegacyMS20

Image
Last edited by V0RT3X on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
KVRian
 
806 posts since 9 Feb, 2013, from dallas tx

Postby yessongs; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:27 pm

just play presets if your a beginner and add a bunch of synths.

my faves for now:

mag ware cm zebra cm, dune be/cm Synthmaster be/cm Xilslab polyKB cm/be
Z3ta cm/be, Rhino cm,
( already have Z3ta 2 because I have sonar production suite )

IK sample tank
NI komplete players
AAS Swatches
Alchemy player
Proteus VX
Piano one and CV piano
Mr Ray / Organized Trio
Church organ 2
Istvan Kaldor Dirt bag and maestro
minimoque luxus TD
Prodigius
Elektro studio: ODSay, OR2V, various moogs, tapeotronic
Zebralette, Tyrell, triple cheese, podolski
Tube ohm: Alpha ray, Anti transparent, fluid, pure pone
Voyager
Oatmeal
monfury
synth 1
Tal noisemaker
mausynth
ilosynth
poly 2106
cryologic demo
latte le
augur
Plex
P8 superwave
redtron
various Krakli, HG fortune, KX77, Solcito, ODO, UGO, DSK and Psychic modulation synths
Chimera
UFO 1&2 the beast
pitch black
scanned synth
kong guzheng etc
Syntar
Dulcet
Spicy guitar
sonata


There are a few other BE versions I want as well but it will require me to get back issues.
tone2 firebird, geist BE, discoDSP phantom, Nuklear, Alto to be specific.

samples of the harpsichord and spinet I forget the site, also SSO for symphonic stuff. It's 16 bit but it sounds good.
KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:38 pm

I actually found the one closest to what I was looking for. Works on PC and MAC, 32 bit and 64bit support, free, from a respectable company... it is...

drum roll...



Image
LinPlug Free Alpha


Of course, once we take the training wheels off, we should have a go at TyrellN6 or Podolski, and Crystal hopefully.
Last edited by schnapsglas on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's all about the wavelets. I dream of the perfect additive synthesis.
You can hire me if you are in Toronto! Contact for details.
jbe
KVRist
 
45 posts since 2 Jun, 2012

Postby jbe; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:41 pm

Perhaps MinimogueVA from Glen Stegnar.

Classic synth, clear GUI with big knobs. Start out with one oscillator and add more as needed.

It is what I started out learning with.

Image
Last edited by jbe on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
KVRist
 
280 posts since 29 Aug, 2006, from Eta Carinae
  

Postby arachnaut; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:43 pm

You could use Reaktor and build your own - that's a great way to learn the basics.
Jim Hurley
google.com/+JimHurley
http://www.arachnaut.net
http://soundcloud.com/arachnaut
Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)
KVRian
 
996 posts since 14 Jun, 2012, from Toronto, Canada

Postby schnapsglas; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:44 pm

Hey, thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I found out about this GUI-fear when I was tutoring Massive. The student had a hard, hard time following me at all, and I realized some people can learn by randomly touching knobs, while others really need something they can focus on. So I try.

All the best :D
It's all about the wavelets. I dream of the perfect additive synthesis.
You can hire me if you are in Toronto! Contact for details.
User avatar
KVRAF
 
2490 posts since 30 Mar, 2007, from virginia, US
   

Postby bailees7irish; Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:48 pm

jbe wrote:Perhaps MinimogueVA from Glen Stegnar.

Classic synth, clear GUI with big knobs. Start out with one oscillator and add more as needed.

It is what I started out learning with.

Image


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