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Do VSTs Make The Cut?

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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
9123 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:10 am Do VSTs Make The Cut?

This month I'm celebrating 40 years of making music and it got me thinking. With all the synths I've owned over my lifetime, if I made a top 10 list, do VSTs make the cut?

The more I thought about it and started compiling this list, I found myself asking the question, "Do hardware synths make the cut?"

Taking into consideration sound, workflow and price, my ultimate answer was, sometimes but not always. I found myself leaning more towards the VSTs than the hardware. Of course, to be fair, I own a lot more VSTs than I ever owned of hardware in my life. And cost, not sound, was a huge part of that. I just couldn't afford to buy a new synth every month. Not with a family to support.

So here it is, my top 10 all time list of synths, both hardware and software counting down from 10 to 1 and my reason for it being on the list.

10. Icarus (VST) - My favorite WT synth. I love everything about it. The sound, the workflow, the mod options. Even the FX are decent if not great.

9. ArcSyn (VST) - One of the more unusual sounding synths out there. Love the sequencer. One of the most fun synths out there to just fool around with.

8. Dune 2 (VST) - I simply love the sound and how you can program each voice if you want. Off the top of my head, I don't know any synth like this one.

7. Zebra 2 (VST) - Only reason this synth isn't higher up is because it's not fuller modular as in unlimited modules. A synth this good should be. But it is still one of my favorite synths to program.

6. Reaktor 6 (VST) - This isn't higher up because it's not the easiest group of synths to work with. The patch system I absolutely hate. Building things, you need a degree in engineering. But what this thing is capable of, and the synths that come with it or can be downloaded for free makes this one of the best values out there. There is simply nothing like it.

5. Korg Triton (Hardware) - My 2nd favorite hardware synth. There was a time when every track was nothing but Korg Triton. I no longer own this as I sold all my hardware when I went to PC. But this was my main workhorse synth for a couple of decades.

4. Bazille (VST) - The sequencer and patch system won me over big time on this one. Can get lost in this thing for hours on end.

3. Korg Wavestation (Hardware) - One of my all time favorite synths to program. Nothing sounded like it. Only reason the software isn't on this list is because I can't use it with that small GUI.

2. Omnisphere (VST) - I use this more than any other synth. I love the sound, especially for soundscapes and atmospheres. I sold a bunch of hardware to be able to afford to get this. Otherwise, I'd probably never own it.

1. Softube Modular (VST) - In spite of a non existent patch management system and painfully slow development, even with the limited modules it comes with, I've programmed over 500 patches for this thing. The Buchla oscillator was what sent this to the top. And as development continues, this thing will only get better. And unlike Reaktor, easy to program. Well, at least for me.

And that's it. So as you can clearly see, at least for me, VSTs more than make the cut, leaving hardware in the dust in terms of sound, price and workflow.

YMMV

So, what are YOUR top 10 synths both hardware and software in one list? More hardware than software? More software than hardware?

Just curious.
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Teksonik
KVRAF
 
11640 posts since 15 Sep, 2001, from Las Vegas,USA

Postby Teksonik; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:17 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

Here we go......... :hyper:
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
recursive one
KVRAF
 
3048 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Postby recursive one; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:20 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

Oh, we need more lists of everything!

Sort of like that. The order corresponds to how often I use them, but I only bought Nos. 9 and 10 this weekend, I think they will quickly become my Nos. 3 and 4.

1. Virus TI
2. Spire
3. Rapid
4. Serum
5. Diva
6. Lush-101
7. Diversion
8. Sylenth
9. Repro-1
10. Bazille
I hate incomplete sentences because they ...
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Synthman2000
KVRist
 
366 posts since 27 Apr, 2016

Postby Synthman2000; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:32 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

I say post your music up and let KVR decide that. I think hearing the synth in context with your own music is 10 x more interesting.

I know the VSTi synths I choose to use make the cut and I use only 1 hardware synth which is the Virus. And sometimes some lesser VSTi's on my B list as long as they are doing the job asked of them. i.e. I needed a retro vibe in a track I was working on and Predator 2 did the job just perfect.
Last edited by Synthman2000 on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
 
9049 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:35 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

Synthman2000 wrote:I say post your music up and let KVR decide that.


No. Don't.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
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Synthman2000
KVRist
 
366 posts since 27 Apr, 2016

Postby Synthman2000; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:38 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

Well I can say I would prefer to hear them than see a pointless list any day. It also
gives an insight as to where people are at so you can judge them and their opinions better
when reading other posts.
D-Fusion
KVRAF
 
3558 posts since 13 Jul, 2004, from Earth

Postby D-Fusion; Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:53 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

Here are my favorites so far :)

1. Tom/DSI Ob 6
2. Roland JD-Xi
3. Korg Kross
4. Repro 1 and possible no.5 since it is based on Repro 1.
6. Spire
7. Phoscyon
8. Omnisphere 2
9. Tone 2 Electra 2
10. Tal uno LX

The numbers from no. 2 don't matter since they are all my favorites but No.1 is awesome.

I left no. 5 open since i am waiting for another excellent hw synth so i guess that one will end there :)

These are all in my startup template when i open my Daw except for Omnisphere that i usually add when i need it.
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beely
KVRian
 
1234 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Postby beely; Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:03 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

recursive one wrote:Oh, we need more lists of everything!


We need a Top Ten List of the favourite Top Ten Lists, now...
mu:zines | music magazine archive
Vintage issues of Sound On Sound, Music Technology, E&MM and more...
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Teksonik
KVRAF
 
11640 posts since 15 Sep, 2001, from Las Vegas,USA

Postby Teksonik; Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:07 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

How can anyone have 10 favorite synths and want to waste time posting about them rather than spending time enjoying them ? :shrug:

So to that end I'm going back in to the studio. :party:
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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justin3am
KVRAF
 
10129 posts since 7 May, 2006, from Southern California

Postby justin3am; Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:13 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

Here is a list of the synths I use the most (didn't include samplers or sample players, though I use them as much, if not more).

eurorack modular synths - These get the most use by far. They can be practically anything and they can sound as good or bad as I want them to.
V-Synth GT - A sound design playground. Very interactive with the time-trip pad, d-beam and joystick. Hi-fi sound. I often use it as a sampler with layered synth sounds. It's a very capable effect processor/vocoder as well.
Bazille - My favorite soft synth. Great for experimentation. It's a very precise instrument but it can be wacky and unpredictable as well.
Ambika - An incredible sound and very flexible architecture. I built it myself and hacked the firmware for my needs, so it will always have a special place in my rig.
Analog Four - Another very interactive synth. The sequencer is it's biggest strength, great for very animated sounds.
Aalto - Similar to Bazille but not as flexible. Love the waveguide delay and the sequencer.
Reaktor - Of course Reaktor can be anything but you have to build it first. I don't use much of the factory library but I've started to use Blocks a bit.
Zebra - The first deep synth I really clicked with. Another playground for sound design.
MicroBrute - A very immediate synth with lost of sweet spots, most of them dirty and gnarly.
Chromaphone - Fantastic physical modeling percussion synth. Very detailed and unusual sounds.

I often try to incorporate something that I haven't used in a while in each project and I also use a lot of toy instruments, and junk because I like how they sound in contrast to more hi-fi stuff. I also end up interconnecting most things, so it's not like I'm using a bunch of separate instruments. It's more like I'm conducting or orchestrating devices which are communicating with each other.
You can find examples of my sounds/music in the links below.
fanodu1
KVRist
 
34 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Postby fanodu1; Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:56 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

These "list your top synths" threads probably got old 10 years ago. Now they're just annyoing. Just use whatever you have I'm sure you haven't went as deep as you can into every synth you own. And most importantly, make some music.
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justin3am
KVRAF
 
10129 posts since 7 May, 2006, from Southern California

Postby justin3am; Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:05 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

I'm no where near my studio at the moment, and have some time to kill. So, I participated in a thread.
Some of us like discussing the gear we use and over the years, the stuff we prefer to use may change.
I find it interesting to find out what tools people are using then listen to what they are doing with those tools.
Trying to shut down a conversation like this because it "got old 10 years ago", seems silly to me.
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
9123 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:07 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

fanodu1 wrote:These "list your top synths" threads probably got old 10 years ago. Now they're just annyoing. Just use whatever you have I'm sure you haven't went as deep as you can into every synth you own. And most importantly, make some music.


1) I've probably made more music this year than you've made in your whole life.

2) Some people like discussing these things. If you don't, there's no need for you to be here.
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
9930 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:08 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

So, basically you are wondering what's better, softsynths or hardware?
Hardware in terms of fun and live performance, software basically in every other respect.
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
9123 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:11 am Re: Do VSTs Make The Cut?

fluffy_little_something wrote:So, basically you are wondering what's better, softsynths or hardware?
Hardware in terms of fun and live performance, software basically in every other respect.


Better being highly subjective, I'm more curious as to what people "like" better for whatever reason.
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