What a day of rapid fire demoing! Here are my notes for the rest of the synths on my list. I'm skipping "sounds nice" comments since that applies to all of the synths below.Avenger
- Super confusing UI. Seems like it tries to be everything from a multi-layer wavetable synth to a drum synth with a built-in sequencer and much more, but that makes basic things hard. There are tabs everywhere, but still the preset browser and the keyboard take up about a quarter of the UI and cannot be hidden. I'm sure it's powerful, but it's just too much. I would rather use my DAW or specialized VSTs for all this extra functionality. Bonus points for having intuitive Serum-style modulation routing though.Diversion
- Reasonably usable UI, but routing modulation using a matrix is so 90s. Not sure what this offers that Serum doesn't, except double the OSCs.Dune 2
- Questionable UI. Modulation routing only through the mod matrix, tabs everywhere. And what's with the demo presets, they're clearly designed to sound impressive with the arps and everything but completely unusable in an actual track.Lush 101
- What's with the skeuomorphic fetish? The UI is nice to look at but confusing to use. Very limited modulation routing options, and maybe I'm blind but I couldn't find a way to adjust the phase of LFOs, and no sine wave option for them. I realize it's an emulation, so it probably never had a chance for my use.Rapid
- Couldn't get along with the UI at all. No preset browser, expects you to use the OS file manager to browser presets that aren't even categorized in any way.RayBlaster
- Has its own thing, but not what I'm looking for.Spire
- Again, confusing UI. Who thought it's a good idea to have two ways of routing modulation, which aren't even in sync with each other?Sylenth1
- Pleasantly surprised by this. Based on some forum comments, I was prepared to write this off as obsolete, but aside from modulation mapping and the preset browser (which is even worse than Serum), the UI is actually quite nice to use. I'm also liking the sounds a lot.Tone2
synths (Electra, Gladiator, Icarus) - All of these have a UI that is too clunky especially with modulation routing.
Maybe I have been spoiled by Bitwig and Serum, but I don't have patience for awkward UIs where you need to for example route everything through the mod matrix. In Serum, it's one drag to route modulation and another to set the amount. In a lot of other synths, it's several clicks to open the modulation matrix, select source and target (which might involve several clicks if there's a nested menu), set amount and close the matrix. At least in Sylenth1 the routing options are always visible, so while it limits the possibilities, it makes routing a lot quicker.
I realize I'm sounding like a grumpy old man with these UI complaints, but so be it.
As a software developer I realize how much design and programming work a seemingly simple and intuitive UI is, and if you're into audio programming instead of UI design, that's not a priority.
I'll continue demoing Diva, Serum & Sylenth1 further. Diva's sounds impress me the most, Serum is by far the most usable, Sylenth1 falls somewhere in between. It's also the cheapest by a small margin.