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Diva's oscillators, filters and envelopes (which can be mixed and matched) closely model components also found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. "But," says Urs, "what truly sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the circuit emulations – at the cost of a relatively high CPU-hit, DIVA is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit emulators (search for "PSpice") in realtime. Especially the authentic behaviour of DIVA's zero-delay-feedback filters, when pushed to the limits, demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach."
u-he describes the available filters as "famous transistor ladder", "screaming Sallen-Key", "classic OTA ladder" and "OTA state-variable" (and similar for the oscillators), and owners of classic analogue synths will already know how best to apply these models – they are easily differentiated in the gorgeous user interface.
Since Version 1.3 Diva also features a Digital Oscillator, an "Uhbie" filter and a vintage-style Arpeggiator.
Reviewed By rsjc
October 5, 2013
With my ear particularly attuned to analog guitar tone, and never quite satisfied with the boxy sound of the 90's era hardware synths and DAW plugins I'd used, I have leaned towards using high resolution samplers with no expectation of satisfaction with modeling devices. D.I.V.A. captivated my attention with a realism and presence that reminded me of being in a room with live acoustic instruments. Since working with it, I've been thoroughly impressed by the obvious heart that goes into keeping U-He instruments playable and cutting edge. And while I hope readers will pardon the superlatives here, I've found it life changing. Thank you.
Reviewed By loft_electronics
August 31, 2013
Diva is the best sounding soft synth I've ever used. It has an incredibly musical sound.
It is good for analogue emulation to such a degree that I literally sold my analogue synth after buying it, as I couldn't see the point any more of hanging on to analogue gear. If you're looking for lush Seventies sounds, it's spot on. If you are looking for 80s stuff you can get there too, just about. Once you start trying to make modern dubstep basses and so on - no. Nor 303 sounds. But for anyone looking for Wendy Carlos, Vangelis or even Gong synths... you will be in heaven.Read more
Reviewed By Aiynzahev
July 23, 2012
It is interesting that such a well known and loved synth only has three reviews here. Mine being the third. So many people have discussed it in the forums.
Well, it is fair to say that DIVA really changed the way we looked at soft synths. For me in fact this was significant. I was about to completely pack up my music making on the computer.
I was going to try to get hardware or nothing. DIVA came along as a beta so I tried it out. I didn't see what all the fuss was about at first. It sounded different but not very interesting to me.
It took me a while to realize just how detailed the sound is. Along came the OSC and I entered. I found DIVA to be dark and very difficult to mix. I still didn't think much of it by the time I'd submitted my track. I thought it was good, but still didn't see what the hype was about.
Finally, I don't know when, I began to get used to its sound and it soon became my favourate virtual synth, for the following reasons:
In a word, simple. Which I now realise is the most important aspect of a UI for me. Cluttered & confusing I don't want to know about it. Many synths are just not inviting. The knobs are small or scattered around, there are labels everywhere. It's too much. DIVA is plain and clear, and it is a nice size too, and if it was not you can resize it!
I found it to be very logical.
Exceptional. It is not just the Zero-Delay filters because even in draft mode this synth has character. The oscillators are fat. They are musical. When you add vibrato it sings, not just modulates. It has so many facets.
These are excellent, hi pass and band-pass are offered. I think MS-20, Juno and Moog types are there. I am hoping for SEM types too. They change character depending on the input gain. Very cool!
These are among the best I have heard in software, let alone on a synth. The flanger is one of the most usable around. The phaser is beautiful and makes any sound you put through it lively.
Here is where I wish there was more. No Arp, no extensive mod matrix. But having said that the features you do have are just enough to keep me happy. They are in-fact really cool. I love the modifier area. Being able to combine LFO's in different ways, quantize etc it is really fun.
The stacking feature made all the difference for me, when it was added I could finally make huge saw pads, fat basses and trance leads the way I liked them, because not only can you stack the voices but you can spread them in the stereo field.
Good! Lots of detail now. Its complete.
At $179 it is not cheap. It's intro price was great. Even so it is highly worth it. If you are like me you could happily use this one synth. Not that it does everything, like wavetables, but someone like me can get by just fine without them. For me it is the realism that matters, that musical sound we mostly associate with analog synths.
Very stable. I've never had any problems with it.
I think one of the reasons DIVA appeals to so many people is it has so much to offer, a little here a little there, JUNO sounds for one guy, moog for another, ms-20 for another, stacking for another. It is really rewarding. When you make a sound or a song on DIVA and then listen to it later you completely forget that it is your composition you are listening to, you just focus on the synth sounds.
Since DIVA came out there have been some good other synths released. Infact there have always been synths around, but you know not even all analog synths are loved the same. Some don't sound very appealing at all. So I won't say DIVA is the best VA synth, but it is the one I like the most. If I could only have one, it would be DIVA.
It reminds me of why I love electronic music. I am in love!Read more
Reviewed By alienimplant
May 8, 2012
The fattest, thickest, most out-of-the-box analog synth of them all. One of my most trusted synths along with Minimoog and ARP-2600 from Arturia. Diva is the reigning Queen of the soft synth hill!
It's funny how you can go through life thinking you've reached escape velocity from digital sounding tracks only to realize when you hear the right synth that you've still been in orbit the entire time. Then the right synth comes a long and you blast in to outer space and across the solar system. This synth had that affect on me.
I can get really good results from lesser synths by using an analog-emulation chain of effects with half a dozen plugins, or I can just reach for Diva and be done with it. Plus, the built-in chorus effect may be the best I've ever heard. I wish it were also available as a separate plugin so I could use it on other source material!
I am ecstatic that the first update to this synth has focused acutely on improving CPU efficiency and stability. These are cherished improvements, and I appreciate the thought that went into it.Read more
Reviewed By digitalboytn
April 27, 2012
Diva is my favourite sounding VA and she's a real game changer in the world of soft synths...
The Spice emulations come at a heavy cost to CPU consumption,but the sound is absolutely sensational..
I have never heard a soft synth with this amount of dimensional depth and the soundstage is HUGE....
We are getting closer to "analog" in the digital domain and Diva has raised the bar and got us the closest yet...
In fact,with the increased versatility of the digital modelling,I would say that Diva has transcended the physical constraints of the analog world and surpassed it....
Now that's something for the analog snobs to consider :)
u-he is on a bit of a roll at the moment with a great development team and some 3rd party sound designers who know how to make these synths sing and things are only getting better all of the time...
I have all of the u-he synths and every one of them fascinates and inspires me...
Zebra and Rapture are my main workhorse synths,but Diva is quickly becoming a daily driver :)
There's some elements of great instruments that are intangible - a little difficult to define in exact terms... But every instrument - both soft and hard - have these elements... It's got nothing to do with specs and everything to do with tone,"feel" and touch....
Diva has a very "organic" feel - really seductive - and you feel like you are touching the heart of something very special when sounds are pouring out of her....
Diva is the most impressive soft synth I have ever played....
5 Stars and much kudos to Urs and the team at u-he for such a wonderful creation...
UPDATE : The v1.1 update has significantly decreased the CPU consumption by introducing a Multi core mode and other optimisations...The improvement is really noticable...Also - the "touch" has also been tweaked and is even better than before...Diva really is a very special musical instrument and anyone looking for something extra ordinary should put this one at the top of their list :)Read more