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recursive one
KVRAF
 
3309 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Postby recursive one; Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:52 am Characterful wavetable synths?

My wavetable synths are Virus TI, Serum, Rapid, Massive and Dune2 (by a wavetable synth I mean the classic definition of it, a synth which scans through the pack of different single-cycle waves). Virus TI and Massive are what I describe as "characterful", they have its own recognizable sound coloured by filters, effects and perhaps also by the interpolation algorithms when one scans through a wavteable (I guess they both have more aliasing than current VSTis which dirties the sound in some sweet way). Serum has got a lot of different wavetable effetcs and a very hi-fi engine but on the other hand it is sounds very clean and neutral. Rapid is somewhere between Serum and Virus TI, one may get more pleasant sound character/coloration using it's filters, distortions and some of the WT effects but it still sounds a bit too clean. Dune2 does only basic wavetable scanning and yet again it tends to sound too clean/neutral/soft.

What else should I check out? Codex? Largo? Wolfgang Palm synths? Basically, as there is Viper covering the VA side of Virus I'm looking for a synth doing the wavetable part. Ideally it should load user wavetables, preferably in Serum format (wav) as I've got Virus TI wavetable pack in wav format prepared for Serum, also I'd want it to have some juicy, maybe analogue-modelled filters and overal gritty "oldschool" sound.

The second audio demo here, Dilated, sounds lovely (I mean these roaring/creaking things on the background) but the other ones are not so convincing.

https://www.waves.com/plugins/codex#audio
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Lotuzia
KVRAF
 
9527 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris

Postby Lotuzia; Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:23 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Largo has certainly a lot of character. hence why it's my favorite WT instrument.
Now , if this particular character will please you ..... ???
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chk071
KVRAF
 
15134 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:28 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

I'd definitely check out Largo, if you haven't yet. It's definitely in the top 5 of soft synths i have ever tried, and it really has that hardware snappy- and punchy-ness. As i would consider the sound pretty "characterful", it may or may not be your cup of tea. But, considering we often like the same synths, i would bet it is for you. :) Edit: Lotuzia beat me to it.

Concerning Codex: While i wrote Largo is in the top 5 of soft synth, i would consider Codex in the top 5 of worst synths i ever tried... i really found it pretty horrible. The overall sound of the oscillators is pretty lo-fi IMO, and the filters sound like something from 15 years ago. I was really quite shocked when i bought it for 20 € on a sale, and gave it a ride. Just my opinion, but, i wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. YMMV.

I know you already tried it, and didn't like it so much, but, i'd also consider Tone2 Icarus. While it surely wasn't my overall favorite, i found it to be quite cool when i demo'd it. The thing for me with Tone2's synths though is that there's always 2 or 3 things which a nitpicky person like me can pick on. With Icarus, it was that the oscillators (once again in a Tone2 synth) aren't stereo, and you can't have unison on oscillator level for all synthesis types. There were a few minor things apart from that as well, which i can't remember right now, but, like with Electra2, and their other synths, there's always a couple of things i didn't find so good, so, apart from Electra2 which i sold again, i haven't really bought any Tone2 synth until now. Maybe their next one will be the one which makes most of the things right. Oh, and their resale policy is also atrocious, so, you will hardly have any resale value, in case you find that you don't like the synth anymore.
Stefken
KVRist
 
348 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Postby Stefken; Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:44 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

My favorite wavetable synth is Icarus.
It has a warm vibe to it, that's why I prefer it a lot more than Serum (a obvious contender) which sound cold.

It has a very powerfull oscillator section with a lot of modulators possible on that level.
It has very nice filters (dual filter also), again a lot better than Serum imo.

It has a lot of sonic possibilities (broad spectrum of sounds possible).
Has a vocoder function.
Is actively being developed (currently 1.6 beta) and has nice preset packs available.
recursive one
KVRAF
 
3309 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Postby recursive one; Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:45 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Thanks!

Well, Largo seems to be the one to check out asap. Does it load wavetables? (actually this is not strictly necessary if the stock ones are good).

As for Icarus, I can't say I don't like it but I'm not exactly blown away. As chk071 said, there is indeed some weird design choises like the oscillator stereo path and fixed detune settings, iirc it also had only thee FXes per a patch. Sound-wise I think it's somewhere between Serum and Dune2, that is on the clean/neutral side, maybe with a bit more "warmth" though.

Found this demo, while it's only ambient pads (my music tends to be on more agressive side), it shows really nice sound character

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwz-Acjp1iE

And of course Ayin Zahev turns everything he touches into gold

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FWRAf8dvoE
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Lotuzia
KVRAF
 
9527 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris

Postby Lotuzia; Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:51 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

A few demos of a soundset I made for Waldorf, that possibly show some sides of Largo.

Largo 1
Largo 2
Largo 3
Largo 4
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brick
KVRian
 
642 posts since 11 Dec, 2003

Postby brick; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:13 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Codex is great , if you're after a characterful lo-fi sound . It is hampered by a 6 slot matrix though , far too limiting to get heavily modulated sounds and make them expressive at the same time . Interface is fiddly to use but not terrible.

Thorn is definitely worth a look . Much prefer it to Serum , its clean but not sterile , the filters are awesome , it has a huge mod matrix , interface is a pleasure to use. Decent range of FX .

Largo , has a sound that nothing else does , can get gritty and nasty or it can do cold / digital .
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wagtunes
KVRAF
 
11010 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Postby wagtunes; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:15 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

I'm just trying to understand what the word characterful means. IMO, every wavetable synth that I have has character of some kind. So I'm afraid I can't be of much help here. But I do hope you find what you're looking for.
Robmobius
KVRAF
 
3091 posts since 9 Sep, 2010, from A shit hole (Ireland).

Postby Robmobius; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:22 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Serum & Icarus would be my two.

But I don't know if I would call them particularly characterful. So I kinda' agree with Wags's question here.
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discoDSP
KVRAF
 
3445 posts since 17 Jul, 2002

Postby discoDSP; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:32 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

discoDSP Plug-Ins | Synths | Sampler | Effects
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aMUSEd
KVRAF
 
29117 posts since 14 Sep, 2002, from In teh net

Postby aMUSEd; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:34 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

I like Nave, can do some crazy modulation with that

The PPG ones are pretty unique and interesting
recursive one
KVRAF
 
3309 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Postby recursive one; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:36 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

wagtunes wrote:I'm just trying to understand what the word characterful means.

I agree, it's a bit hard to explain, therefore I gave some examples of what I consider "characterful" synths and what I don't. E.g. Serum may sound extremely different depending on the wavetable you put into it, while Massive tends to sound recognizable to some extent, even when used outside of the typical dubstep/D&B sounds. This may boil down to that the sound designers are limited by the Massive stock wavetables but I think filters, effects and the whole sound engine somehow contributes into it.
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Introspective
KVRist
 
82 posts since 12 Jan, 2004, from Boston, MA

Postby Introspective; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:40 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Oooh! Wavetables! Oooh! My favorite topic. No, Seriously! I've actually considered (and still consider) going "wavetable-only" and making that part of my "synth identity," whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. I *love* WTs.

Yeah, Largo's good, though I've had some trouble with stability and the license has been a bear (but that's not a fair comment—I bought it before they went entirely soft-license, and it's been better since then). Very powerful synth, and definitely has the "Waldorf" character. The problem is the presets: they're pretty "out there," so if you get this, plan on grabbing some replacements (or making your own).

Icarus is my new favorite, but I wouldn't really call it "characterful," as it's quite clean.

I'm going to *strongly* disagree with the previous opinion on Codex. Its filters may be slightly dated, but the overall "feel" of this synth is *very* characterful. (VERY.) Personally, I find it rather old-school... most of my favorite Codex patches remind me strongly of TangerineDream's Phaedra years. I find the UI to be quite streamlined. VERY limited: this is NOT (!!!) your "do-everything" synth: they made some very clear, sometimes strange decisions. ...but I think that's *exactly* what gives it character. I don't believe it loads wavetables, but, again, *that's what gives it character*: the wavetables are pretty unique, mostly from one guy's synth collection. :) I quite like them in an old-school way. Codex is a great synth, and a steal at the price. It's a keeper for me: definitely top-ten.

No one's mentioned the two big ones: APS Avenger and Omnisphere 2. Both are pretty "clean" for WT synthesis, but are *so* powerful that one could add their own character. Avenger loads WTs (as waves), and has something of a Virus character, though it's a *bit* cleaner. It's still *soooo* powerful, that you probably don't want to pass this one up. Yes: it's *marketed* as a trance-beast... and it certainly can be ... but it's really a hyper-flexible, well-designed patch-programmer's synth. Very elegant UI with a head-spinning number of features crammed into it. One of my favorites.

Omnisphere cannot load tables, but the ones it has are *great* and pretty unique and versatile, I think you would enjoy them. It's a little off-putting to be using O2 as a WT synth, since that's not ostensibly "the point" (it's a ROMpler, really), but you're seriously missing out if you ignore it: it's actually one of the greatest, and the ability to have a ton of on-board FX that you can actually control with the *super*-powerful mod-matrix? ...It's a pleasure to make WT patches with it. In fact, I recommend you largely ignore the ROMpler side of O2, as it starts to sound pretty "same-y" after a while! But the WT stuff is really deep.

PPG Wave 3.V is AWESOME ... if you like "that" sound. Go for the full-on 3.V, though: the one in the pack (2.V or something?) isn't nearly as strong. It can load WTs, but in a weird format, IIR.

Korg's Wavestation app is great ... if you like "that" sound. It's not *exactly* "spot-on," but close enough for politics, and super nostalgic. ...If you're old enough to remember. :) So much easier to edit than the original, though, that you'll never go back. No, you cannot load tables, but that's no the point on this one.

W. Palm's stuff is ... weird. NOT recommended, simply because patch-management is a bear (really, what the hell was he smoking?) stability is a serious issue, and while the capabilities are cool, the overall effect is ... pretty weird. It feels a bit like working with an old, busted ... well... PPG. If you're *really* into the PPG sound (I am)... well... you're better-off with Wave 3.V, frankly, but these synths are interesting to have around as a curiosity, but they are not what I would call "professional."

Z3ta+ 2 isn't WT, but it's close, and it's pretty cool. ...To my ears, though, it sounds ... dated. I would suggest Avenger over this.

Audjoo Helix is actually pretty cool, but sounds *super* dated. Those filters are trash. But the mod-matrix is cool and the "hyper-saw anything" is cool, and the way you can modify waves is really cool. I wish he would make a new version of this.

Vember Surge 2, if you can find a copy, sounds *amazing* for its age. No, the filters aren't great (the comb's quite nice though), but the capabilities make up for it. This is a classic that most people missed. Recommended, if you can find it, though it's not quite "up to snuff" with modern synths. Still.

Absynth has some really cool WT capabilities, but I could never really get comfortable with the on-board effects, and the filters just don't cut it for me, so I pass on this one. Still have to mention it.

NI Form is *really* cool for loading your own waves and treating them like WTs. You should peek at it, at least. Personally, it's not ... "solid" (?) enough for me, and I don't like the quality of the filters.

DS Audio Diversion is another gem that gets passed over by ... well... nearly everyone. It's a *strange* beast, with non-intuitive workflow, but the rewards of figuring it out are significant. Good filters (not great, and a little weird, but creative), good effects, decent mod matrix, and four *super*-powerful OSCs (including their own filters). And it can load WAV tables. Great synth for stranger stuff, but probably not bread-and-butter.

Spire... not sure how this one hasn't been mentioned yet. (?) This is, to me, a more "usable" version of Dune2, so if you like that one, you'll probably prefer this one. Though, actually, I think of this more as a resurrection of Albino (remember that one?), which I adored. I love that you can mix the WT with a classic waveform to "tone it down" a bit: very useful (and what I loved about Albino). Again: marketed as a trance monster, which ... well... it *can* do (and pretty well, but there are, IMO, better), but it's actually an excellent WT synth in its own right. ...Though on the cleaner side.

Oh, jeez, someone needs to shut me up. ...Gotta stop somewhere, sooo...

Sorry. I do love Wavetables.
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Introspective
KVRist
 
82 posts since 12 Jan, 2004, from Boston, MA

Postby Introspective; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:40 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

[dupe msg removed, sorry.]
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Introspective
KVRist
 
82 posts since 12 Jan, 2004, from Boston, MA

Postby Introspective; Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:50 am Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

brick wrote:Codex is great , if you're after a characterful lo-fi sound . It is hampered by a 6 slot matrix though , far too limiting to get heavily modulated sounds and make them expressive at the same time .


Yeah, I'll agree with that one: the six slots aren't enough, and it's the ceiling that I hit with almost every patch I make. ...A bit of a shame. Though my host is BitWig, so I just use their excellent modulators to make up for it: it works.

Still wish it had ten (or, let's be honest: twenty).

Not a show-stopper for me (clearly), but something to consider.
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