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User Reviews by KVR Members for SynthMaster

Rate & Review SynthMaster Now!

10.00
Reviewed By servolenkung on 20th April 2014
OS: Version: 8.
Last edited by servolenkung on 20th April 2014.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

I wanna make a short review only, because much things are said and some of them are making me really angry.

So here is my opinion:
1. The gui is very intuitive but very complex, too. You get fast results if you know what you do.
If you don't know what you do, look in the manual or buy a synths that isnt as complex as synthmaster!
If you wanna have a gui like Diva, buy Diva! I think, these people go into an Adidas-Shop and say they want a shirt that looks like nike, too. Or they buy a Pc and complain that the PC is much more complicated than the pocket calculator they used so many years without any problems and without reading a manual.

2. The sound and the presets: Sound is fantastic - from hard to soft you can all do it! Especially the presets are genius! Never heard a synth that had so many presets which are used in commercial Dancemusic like Synthmaster! And a preset is a preset, is a preset..... A preset is a startingpoint for your music, nothing more. To the guys that say the presets are uninspiring: Sorry, you are only untalented and uncreative! I hate this presets where you hit a button and "get blown away" or even get a melody, because you can only use them once, or better: you never should use them because 1000ds of untalented guys used the preset already.
And then everybody is wondering why the electronic-scene goes down, noone is earning money any more, because the market is flooded with so many untalented "artists" that are searching for the
"Make a whole song" button in a synth.
I love the presets and sometimes I get an aha experience when I use a preset i didn't like before und play it in a different way, in a different song. "Ahh! Now I know what the
Designer thought as he made the preset....."
Another thing is, that the presets fit perfectly into an modern electronic arrangement. Thats a sign for professionalism!
And!!! Insigna is the best Sounddesigner of all!!!!
And!!! KVR should claim over 200 Dollar only for the Factory-Version! And 200 Dollar is not enough.
And!!! The idea of an online-preset-bank is fantastic! But why are only so few people uploading??? Perhaps they are busy with complaining about uninspiring presets........

If every user uploads 5 of his best presets we had the best and biggest Preset-bank ever!!.

So thats all for today!
Sorry for my bad english.
Thanks to KVR, thanks to Insigna.

8.00
Reviewed By MadAnthony81 on 5th April 2014
OS: Version: 7 PRO 64.
Last edited by MadAnthony81 on 9th April 2014.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

EDIT: I'm rating it an 8 because the GUI freezes easily and its really tedious to program a sound. Also, the factory presets are lame. It's capable of sounding great.

Synthmaster is excellent. Excellent at all around. Excellent at electro. I've heard it excellent at trance and classy house too. Exclent at dub and dup step too for sure. It great with wobbles and that classy pop sound for each genre. Something you can hear on the radio in you car. You know, like the stereo radio like 109.3 or something. Aside from that Synthmaster is difficult to handle is the user programming area. Regardless this is what I have to say.

Synthmaster surerly delves into a new sound on the market. It quite analog on it own is right. It does have multiple synth sound alikes on top of it's own saturation given. The Copy cat kinda of sort of sounds like main analog synths is quite noticeable though of course not exact. It has it's own sound like I said. It's presets are all around but also have many specific genres. Their mixibility within themselves does not really alter in a bad way. They are highly mixable within themselves even the genres, for a "different" sort of mix that is. By the way the presets are fairly boring. Probably more of what you would call typical or lax.

Synthmaster is totally capable of making beyond extraordinary custom presets that can also be saved quite easily and to usb afterwars through windows explorer.

It's subtractive synthesis includes a total of 4 oscillators total. What's cool too, is you can use additive synthesis in substitute or instead of any subtractive synthesis of desire. Maybe possible to sound good that way with hard work, I don't know, I haven't tried really hard at that yet. But it would be difficult. There is also an easy to use make-your-own waveform kind of thing to use but it may possibly be difficult to get useable results from that in which you agree with at first.

It FX synth are good and easy to get once you get the hang of it. All in all the GUI looks seems mathematical but do have copy and paste with a couple clicks. The Synthmaster FX VST is identical. I see room for improvement in Synthmaster for easiness but I rated it high because excellent results are possible.

It's filters are a little touch or seemingly hard to delve and into and use. But what is really cool is the resonance and the options with the 2 filters. The resonance goes super high so it's always there if needed and there's a boost to the filters along with quite a few filter crossover/cutoff types.

Room for improvement is needed with parameter mapping and freezing issues. But it has a smooth analog sound for pop. Enjoy! Great for all kinds of music that gel with pop and excellent programming skills. Not too mention with the right waveform it's one of the grittiest spread out synths iv'e used. MAny waveforms also in all facets. Really cool that way with the waveforms. Real authentic analog sounding and also on top of that original.

9.00
Reviewed By ontrackp on 11th November 2013
OS: Version: Lion.
Last edited by ontrackp on 27th November 2013.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

Synthmaster 2.6.8 AU 64-bit Version.

This is a great sounding synth. UPDATE: The worst bugs I mentioned previously in this review were fixed by the developer almost immediately after I wrote in to their tech support, and it now works as it should.

THE GUI:

As this is a complex synth with a fantastic set of sound making features, the interface is by necessity complicated. Unfortunately, the one dimensional, mono-chromatic color scheme is hard on the eyes, and it lags far behind the more comfortable graphics used by most of it's competitors. The modules and controls are well organized, with lots of tabs to select the various oscillators, envelopes, LFO's, etc…. but the graphics are ugly. It takes a little getting used to but with practice navigating around becomes easy and (almost) intuitive. This synth allows tons of modulation opportunities, but the modulation matrix display is clunky – it's a list of Source and Targets which can be organized in various ways, but as you pile up modulations, working through the list can be a little arduous. To help, there is a convenient facility to display modulations filtered by Source or Target. I've found the most useful option to be it's "Automatic" mode, which displays the modulation for whichever control you click on – i.e. if you click on the Filter Cutoff control the list shows only the modulators for Filter Cutoff.

The envelope, filter, distortion, LFO's and Oscillator waveforms are displayed as graphs, but they look and feel rudimentary at best. I'm sure this is a stye issue, and the displays are accurate, but they are not at all elegant or fun to look at. When you change any parameters there is a tiny display of the numerical description at the top of the screen, showing the current value and how much you've changed it. This is good information; unfortunately it's pretty small.

PRESETS:

I generally program my own sounds or heavily tweak presets, so I can't evaluate the presets that came with the Factory version for stand-alone usefulness. Some of them are really good starting points for programming, and de-constructing them has been useful. They tend to sound better in a mix than by themselves. There are lots of positive reviews of the sound sets you can purchase for SM, so if you rely on presets there seem to be plenty of good ones out there. There is an on-line library of presets also available, that users can upload their patches to, which is a nice feature. UPDATE: There are 50 new factory presets with the new update, and I'm sure they are the same outstanding quality as the other presets.

PROGRAMMING:

Soundmaking is kind of clunky. It's not a quick, grab some knobs and make great sounds right away type of device. However, if you have the time to think about what you want to do, and are willing to explore Frequency Modulation, Phase Modulation and Amplitude Modulation, the sound making potential of this is huge. There are several types of oscillators – Basic (for subtractive synthesis), Additive, Wave Scanning, which is incredibly cool, Vector Synthesis and it's also possible to use SFZ samples as a sound source. There are lots of built in wave-forms to use as the starting point for programming.

SM has two independent layers, each layer has two oscillators, two filters that can be arranged in series or parallel, and the opportunity to apply FM or PM modulation in various places during the signal path. This is very powerful and it's easy to drastically change the character of the sound with these modulations. Again, there is huge potential for making really interesting useful sounds. There is also distortion that can be applied pre-filter, post-filter or in the filter, and a wide range of filter possibilities. Almost every control can be modulated, which is great, but as I said earlier, the modulation display leaves something to be desired.

There are also plenty of LFO's, envelopes, multi-segment envelopes (great idea but poorly implemented), 2 Dimensional envelopes, Easy Controls which provide a good way to assign one controller to several functions, as well as a couple of xy pads.

Copying and pasting partial pre-sets now works perfectly, and it's a fantastic feature that makes programming much easier.

EFFECTS.

There is a robust and good sounding effects section with both layer level and overall routing options. This includes compressors, a vocoder, delays, reverbs, distortion and a phaser. Lots to play with and they sound fine.

CONCLUSION.

For the price (now 50% off for Thanksgiving) this is a great sounding synth. Once the GUI is fixed I think this will be an upper-tier professional synth.

PROS:

Great sound.

Tons of modulation possibilities.

Impressive (and probably infinite) variety of sound-making possibilities.

CONS:

Hard to look at for any length of time (ugly)

Poor visual feedback from the screen.

Clunky interface.

9.00
Reviewed By ozmoz2008 on 19th August 2013
OS: Version: XP64
0 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

This is a VST that have evolved a lot in the last years. The GUI is OK now and the number of presets sounds is very impressive. In fact the first time I've tried this synth a little while ago, and I was not really impress by the sounds, but lately I revisit the synth and fund many new presets that were quite interesting and did used them in a production. For me this is a proof of quality.

There is some very deep bass and on the other hand very metallic sounds too. The GUI is OK but it's not my favorite synth display, but it's quite easy to program or adjust the presets to fit your own needs.

I was in fact quite amazed by the quantity of presets that comes with the synth, very good job here.

I would recommended this synth to anyone interested in good sounding synth sounds right at your fingertips.

Thumbs up.

10.00
Reviewed By yessongs on 16th March 2013
OS: Version: 8.
Last edited by yessongs on 20th March 2013.
7 of 14 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

To me synthmaster is one of the best surprises I have ever found while researching vsti's and if you love prog rock you may find its the best vsti available and the cream of the crop for those of you who love progressive music.

Prog to me is a form of music that is transcendent and at the height of its glory days bands like Yes, ELP, Genesis and Pink Floyd would sell out large arenas and stadiums. Traveling in lavish private airplanes living the life of luxury staying at the finest of hotels all the while trying to escape the cameras and ignoring the press. People would dress up in clothes they made by hand to create fashion statements just to go see these extraordinary bands. It was a time that kids today have no clue about.

Now you are in luck because now you can do what I have dreamed of doing for decades and tap into presets/sounds that are dead ringers from the greatest music in progressive rocks past. If your at all impressed by great musicianship and song writing then these sounds and presets are something you likely have dreamed of playing and now thanks to KV331's SYNTHMASTER you can.

This software is downright affordable for all that it does.

Its always on sale if you read through KVR and are half aware of what is available to you and this is officially my new go to synth for everything from organs and mellotrons to leads and pads it does it all. I wouldn't use it for piano parts but I have sonar and the true amber piano for that.

Seriously where have you been if you haven't heard about synthmaster. It's been winning awards and accolades in computer music magazine as its synth of the year and BEAT magazine had it at number 3 but primarily for the other forms of music it excels at helping musicians create because powerful software like this is fully capable of being used for that awful EDM and trance music. Hey guys don't let that fool you this software does prog rock at a very high level. Seriously people if prog rock is your cup of tea the ability to play an instrument and create beautiful masterpieces takes a foundation of bread and butter sounds.

This software perfectly mimics the sounds as used by the pioneers of prog rock and fortunately for us dinosaurs that still love old school progressive rock and even the synthesizer excess of newer progressive heavy metal we can now tap into the sounds that were used by our musical genius heros.

Seriously this is one mean and powerful VSTI. Its been said its the one synth you'd want with you if you crash on a deserted island and can only have one to use. That statement is closer to the truth than not. After testing this synth I have put off plans to purchase other far more expensive alternatives.

There are plenty of organ sounds in this synth for usage with prog rock so I doubt I need to get another virtual organ but hey knowing me I probably will add that later on just for variety when I get more wealthy.

The lead synth tones on this synth are also top notch and as I develop an understanding of this software I will likely create numerous lead tones of my own but just for the Nori presets alone it is worth getting this synth.
How many synths can you say that about.

There are always going to be synth presets you don't like on any synth you invest in but thanks to the resident preset guru at KV331 named NORI I can say that this is the single most important software synth ever created for those of us who love progressive rock and metal. Just listen to those demos he created on soundcloud and it will be obvious to you.

It use to be, you would have to spend many thousands of dollars to go out and acquire the exact gear your keyboard heroes had used. Not anymore go to the website and listen to the sound cloud samples that Nori created and believe me when I say listening to these sounds he designed to emulate great prog rock songs with slight performance differences and that one listen will make you wonder what you can do with these sounds at your fingertips and trust me once you get a hold of them they will not disappoint.

This one piece of software gives you a lot of bang for the buck thanks to Mr. Nori Ubukata. You are the man. I was drawn to this wonderful software due to his perfect knock off demo sound clips that mimicked numerous sounds and songs from YES, Pink Floyd, UK, Genesis, King Crimson and ELP. He also did a preset bank of world instruments that is very promising as well.

G Forces minimonsta has a lot of Wakemans moog presets in it but its considerably more expensive and it doesn't offer you any mellotron, hammond organs or solina strings like synthmaster does while also knocking off the moog signature tones of wakeman and other synth greats.

If your into prog synthmaster can help you to get the sounds of these great bands of the past. If you want to use these presets as models of greatness to build off of and make your own signature sounds then tweaking this software is something you are going to want to learn how to do and it is an easy to tweak synth from the looks of things. I have a thing for using the controls of filters to try and get moogy and this synth lets me do that but what really is special is its organ patches in the art rock preset collection that Nori created.

As a fan of these progressive rock bands I am always researching the many choices for me to purchase from the numerous modeled synths available.

I was actually planning on buying several other synths that this one synth is replacing.

The sounds are amazing and if you want to free up some money to buy other things your band needs then this is one synth you can count on being your main go to synth and being worth more than you paid for it. Now the good news if your reading this now you can probably find it at a significant discount like it has been for the last month or so.

Why risk being disappointed folks a lot of those other synths people talk about are for dance and pop primarily this one is the choice for us progressive rockers. if you don't like the presets others create make your own the preset collcetions only cost you $15 each anyway.

Maybe in a month or so I will have more to report on this synth right now I am going to enjoy learning more and peering under the hood to try and figure out how Nori was able to design such amazing presets for this synth and get so damn close to the real thing that it could fool a prog rock lover like me.

Trust me if you guys love prog rock and your not buying synthmaster your going to be spending a lot more going a different direction, so why not just get this one first and see if I'm right you can always add others as you feel the need if you even feel the need to. It worked out that way for me and I bet you find it solves a lot of problems for you by providing more sounds that are useful and a part of the history of prog rock. You really can't find a better deal on a synth that covers so much ground for so little money.

Synthmaster is already the best choice for bargain conscious musicians that need to sound great and do so on a budget. I already use Sonar producer and will upgrade to x2 from x1 this week with what I saved not having to buy all those other synths I was thinking of getting. Its not like I'm unfamiliar with other synths on the market I have other synths to compare synthmaster to and if your familiar with Z3ta and other CW synths you know that they rock as well and I own VI one as well and synthmasters quality is every bit as good as those and then some simply because of the fact they have a top notch sound designer. Nori is probably the best in the industry. Keep that guy happy KV331 and get him busy designing more prog rock patches because that is what I want to see coming from you guys. I never dreamed one synth could do so much but I'm a major believer now. This is the one synth to rule them all.

Another thing to consider is that as affordable and powerful as this synth is, its likely to sell very well which means that all the top preset designers will be designing presets for it. From reading the forums here at KVR I have learned the history of this synths development and it looks like they regularly improve and upgrade it so those of us who want to back a winner are all going to want to support this company because it truly is the best bargain in virtual synthesizers out there and unless they have figured out a way to fool my ears it is one of, if not the best sounding synth out there FTM and certainly it is the most versatile for the money.

10.00
Reviewed By dakkra on 26th December 2012
OS: Version: 2.5.
Last edited by dakkra on 26th December 2012.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

Best Synth I have used! Has a warm analog sound along with an amazing selection of oscillator sounds. It's Semi-Modular System is easy to understand and it's GUI is easy to learn. Editing of Envelopes and related items are just clicks, drags, and turns away. It's packaged effects sound amazing for being a synth. It has many different types of oscillators but my favorite is the basic because it can read the single cycle waveforms I make in Mulab which allows me to make pretty much any sound I want. It's sound quality is far beyond my expectations and uses relatively little CPU. I can load Synthmaster and in ten minutes I already have a great sounding melody to start off with. The factory presets sound great and are in a number beyond most other synths. The online library is easy to connect to and you can share your sound easily with it. I'm having trouble finding anything I don't like about this amazing soft-synth.

9.00
Reviewed By NON_73 on 12th December 2012
OS: Version: x64 Home.
Last edited by NON_73 on 12th December 2012.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

SynthMaster is a plugin with both a very friendly user interface and modern sound.

First glance 9/10
My first glance at SynthMaster was that it seems to have great potential and has many good features. Just look at the specs list what it has to offer. But I didn't like the user interface.

Easy to use 9/10
When I first sat down to test this VST synth I quickly confirmed that SynthMaster is both versatile and has huge potential. The user interface which I first thought was difficult turned out to be very easy to understand, it provides both a quick overview of the sound set, and it gives a clear view of how the SynthMaster works

Sound 10/10
The sound is very modern but it can also generate the old classic analog synth sounds. SynthMaster can very well be compared with Tone2 ElectraX, Waldorf Largo and Cakewalk Rapture.

Summary 9/10
Except that it is both user friendly and sounds really good, it is also very stable. I had no hassle with installation, just "plug and play".

I would like to summarize Synth Master with three points:
1) It has an intelligent user interface that is well suited to touchscreen
2) It is very stable, no bugs.
3) It sounds really good
These three points makes it very inspiring to work with, and which I highly recommend.

10.00
Reviewed By tommyzai on 10th December 2012
OS: Version: 10.7.
Last edited by tommyzai on 10th December 2012.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

SynthMaster v2.5 by KV331 Audio is a fantastic all-round, do-it-all, hybrid soft synth, unlike anything else out there! For years I've been bothered by the fact that the big name synth companies leave out a cool feature or two — short changing us users somewhere along the way, forcing us to supplemental gear to make up for deficiencies — to fill in the missing sonic pieces. I have often thought to myself, "If they only included this or that it would be a great synth." Well, I can't think of anything to add to this baby! SynthMaster does it all within its semi-modular architecture — Additive, A Mod, F Mod, P Mod, PW Mod, R Mod, Physical Modeling, Wavetable, plus AIFF/WAV and MIDI import, not to mention a lot of cool filters, oscillators, and effects. It has accurately been nicknamed the Swiss Army Knife of soft synths. SynthMaster is complex enough to keep an audio tweaker busy for an eternity and easy enough to keep a novice from throwing his/her laptop out the window in a fit of frustration. The array of features including in this synth is astonishing, but what really stands out is the variety and quality of sound it can produce. It does everything from clean, smooth, and warm to dirty, nasty, and eerie.

There are so many pros — too many to list, but naturally there are some cons. The CPU could be a little more streamlined and the effects could be reduced throughout most of the preset collection. Less is more, especially when working with a sound so organically lovely. Cut back on that FX! Be naked, stand up proudly and declare, "I AM A SOUNDMASTER PRESET AND I SOUND GREAT." Will SynthMaster replace Diva for analog warmth, Predator for aggressive leads, the D-16 line for their niche, or Lounge Lizard for EP? NO! But, will it provide an amazingly powerful core synth that you can call upon to do just about anything? YES! For me, it's not a desert island synth, but it is a tasty dessert, filled with just about every sweet flavor. And, you know what they say, "Life is short, launch your dessert synth first!"

I highly recommend SynthMaster to any professional electronic musician, sound guru, or producer looking for a deep, solid foundation synth. .. or the amateur looking for one good synth that is packed with all the synthesis types that are ready to learn and explore. When I first heard the name and saw the price I assumed it would be a little synth pretending to be big, but I soon discovered it's actually a big synth being offered at a little price. Great value! Tommy Zai gives SynthMaster three thumbs up, 4.5 Stars, and 9.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Thank you KV331 Audio.

8.00
Reviewed By timaeus222 on 7th December 2012
OS: Version: 1.0.1.
Last edited by timaeus222 on 13th December 2012.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

SynthMaster Review:

Okay, this is literally a first-time use for me, so this review is solely based on my first encounter. I do, however, already have sufficient knowledge of synthesis techniques.

INSTALLING: 10/10
When installing, for some reason it creates a folder called VstPlugIns, which was placed in Program Files. You can definitely browse for the right folder, but if you didn't, then you'd have to find the folder yourself by organizing by Date Modified. Not too big an issue, but it would be nice if it was edited so that it detected the .exe file for any DAW that exists, and then looks to find a folder called VstPlugins, regardless of character case. At least, that's how I think it works. Alright, on to the usability.

FIRST-TIME LOOK: 7/10
It's quite overwhelming, actually. First of all, the plugin dimensions aren't customizable, and that would be a nice feature for those with a semi-small screen. Seeing the flowchart style for the routing wasn't what I actually expected. It makes this plugin seem more complicated than it might really be.

The first thing that genuinely confused me was that the waveforms on the Oscillator wavetables... didn't match their description! The sine wave looks fine, but the triangle wave honestly looks like... a hybrid sine wave? The square wave looks like... a fin wave? They sound normal, but look different than expected. Compared to other quality synths, the basic waveforms sound exactly the same, which is good.

I like the idea of the browser, since it's useful. It reminds me of NI's stuff. The adjustable velocity curve seems unnecessary, as most if not all DAWs have one already.

The FM patches are quite nice, although there are some artifacts in some cases, like the Suitcase MKII. Great sound there, but I'm not sure why louder velocities are meant to add more grit like that. I get the idea, but the grit sounds like distortion almost. Though this boils down to essentially sound design choice, so I'll stop at that.

Just the bass patches tell me that SynthMaster is capable of analog (Fender Jazz MK), dubstep wobbles, vocoded sounds (Dubstep Aei), FM synthesis (Space Station II), PWM, pitch envelopes (Dub My Step BT), possibly ring modulation (Thick Electroknocker BT). That's a nice set of things you can make, but if I can identify all of those, what else can I identify? That's the idea. If I can't identify what's possible, then this will be a hit---but I can. An extremely good synthesizer will make it very difficult for you to exhaust your ideas. What puzzles me though is why some FM patches that are clearly labeled in their name as FM aren't classified by the creator under Frequency Mod, but oh well. That's just something with individual patches.

EASE-OF-USE: 5/10
I'm seeing too many things at once on one screen. This interface leaves me unsure of what I can really do on this. It's tough to keep track of what I've already done because it all looks pretty much the same on any patch.

It's strange how not everything can be modified by anything. For example, I wanted to modify Drive on the Distortion FX with an LFO, but the program said it's not possible. On some other synths (like Omnisphere or Zebra), it is. I'm not sure why that limitation is needed---this is a virtual plugin.

VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10
It might be worth a bit less than $99, maybe $79 would be a fair price. There's lots to it, but it's difficult to use, and the sounds don't sound inspiring.

GRAPHICS: 10/10
No complaints. Looks good enough.

------------------

Overall, it might be something you'd pull up every now and then to look for an inspiring sound, but it's a hit-or-miss. I ultimately have no clue how I can use this plugin well enough because there are too many windows to the layout. It's not good, but it's not bad either. Probably a 8.2/10 for me, but I gotta round down for KVR. I don't want to be a hater, just being honest here. It's essentially the ease-of-use that's bringing this down.

9.00
Reviewed By proletkult on 31st August 2012
OS: Version: 2.5
1 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

Synthmaster has to be closest thing to a musical Swiss Army Knife I have ever seen. If they have forgotten anything,,, it will be something you don't really need.

The first thing that struck me was that the GUI had no frilly bits to detract you eye - this monster is for serious music makers. Dabblers are not wanted here and you soon find out why...

Running through the presets you realises so many of them are really familiar. Time and time again I spotted sounds from chart hits and in film scores alike. This synth is, quite rightly, a staple for a lot of big time music producers and if it's good enough for them - I'd better pay attention. The other thing that struck me immediately was all the presets seem to sit in the mix beautifully. So often I find myself stripping back presets that are designed to impress you straight out of the box but take up too much space when mixed in with everything else. Somehow KV331 Audio have built a synth that creates beautiful, vibrant sounds that are all ready to go straight to work.

Not satisfied with just versatile oscillators KV331 Audio gives you samples and single cycle waveforms to use as sound sources too. Most exciting for me is the fact the Synthmaster lets you load your own samples - I feel a tear welling in my eye. The flexibility here alone is awesome, As you move on through the rest of the architecture you quickly realise everything is at hand and equally flexible. The multimode filters offer more choice than I have ever seen and the step arpeggiator is amazing.

If you want to surgically operate on a sound- the sharpest scalpels are there to operate with. Equally, if you are happy with a sledge hammer- the quick controls are right under your nose.

I found myself reading bits of the manual twice, not because I didn't understand it but because I didn't believe it...use Synthmaster as an insert!!? I opened up the effects rack on my sequencer and there it was! More tears....

Put the price into the equation and not buying it would suggest some need for councelling.

You can't shake the feeling that this is a synth for the big boys but, after a little time getting familiar with it, you soon want to grow up.

A great synth, thouroughly recommended.

10.00
Reviewed By monk_volcano on 7th July 2012
OS: Version: 10.6.8
7 of 12 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

First off, let me just say that the rumors are true: you can do "everything" with this synth, and with high quality results to be sure. It does everything you would expect it to do, with some unexpected bonuses thrown in.

Each component of this synth is capable of affecting the sound in a staggering amount of ways. This is complimented wonderfully by the fact that you can save presets for each component. This modular approach is a strong advantage for this synth. Personally I like to make sounds from scratch as I'm writing a track, but with this sprawling synth, having building blocks is a huge aid to workflow. Plus when you're in an experimental mood, you can mix and match elements from your favorite patches and get inspired.

The sound quality is very high throughout. The filters are top notch. I loaded up a saw wave and put em through the ringer, and was way impressed with the results (I encourage you to do the same). I wouldn't say that I prefer analog or digital mode, they both have a distinct sound which will be suitable for different situations. An important aspect of the filter section is the distortion circuit. It can subtley enhance a sound or (of course) destroy it. Also there's a host of modulatable parameters within the filter section (too many to go into) that allows you to make things get super organic and animated.

The oscilators are great as well. SOOOOooo much I could go into here, but I'm going to focus on the wavescanning oscilators. Wavescanning (or as I always call them wavetables) oscilators are my favorite kind. And this is my favorite implementation of them I've encountered. You select the number of individual waveforms that are interpolated between, and then you select each waveform individually from the wave library. This may sound a bit tedious at first, but there's an ace up the sleeve here, and its called the mouse wheel. Just hover over the selector and crank the wheel until you find the right waveform. It's basically the same way you might audition drums sample til you find the one that pops. You can create you're own wavetable oscilators very quickly by just modulating the index with an lfo and then hoverin' and rollin'. I was very happy to discover this. Like I said there's too much to go into in this review, but another great feature of the osc section is that frequency modulation on any type of oscilator is just a couple of clicks away, which opens up yet another splendid can o' worms.

I'm not quite sure why, but the layer system in this synth is working for me a lot better than in other synths. It's just easy to copy and paste a component of the sound from one layer into another, and then take the rest of the components in a different dirrection resulting complex sounds. Also worth mentioning is that the effects are very high quality, and once again have a load of modulatable parameters. This is the way it should be IMO; when effect parameters are modulatable, they stop being effects and become just another module in the synth. kudos for that. Also the unison sounds really great (of course). Another detail that I appreciate is that you have a very fine degree of control on all parameters, which is very important for finding ye old sweet spot. I'm always a little miffed when I see a soft synth that has 127 values for each parameter (its not 1985 ya'll). Which reminds me, the envelopes are very very precise and tweakable. In both the ADSR and multistage you have very fine control of the time and curve of each segment.

So in conclusion, everyone should have one monster synth, and for me it's this one. I know that there are going to be things I realize I can do with synthmaster in the future that excite me, and being a bit of a gear junkie.. that's great. I can remind myself that I'm forever going to be discovering new sounds without having to actually buy a new synth. I could write pages more about this synth, but I'm going to stop here, check it out for yourself!

8.00
Reviewed By jam92189 on 28th May 2012
OS: Version: 2.5.4.14.
Last edited by jam92189 on 17th June 2012.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

I am going to start out by saying this. I am not very big into synths. I would say 89% of my synths are free because I just use em to adding something in a mix or if there is a space left open and It really needs to be filled i use a synth usually only like a piano or some pads or just a kick and snare with a high hat.

right off the bat I had a problem that was not really a problem.(I know that dose not make sense I will elaborate) Okay so what I really liked about this synth is its also a VST so I wanted to try out how it would song on some audio stuff that i wanted to use the arpagiator section of this on. nothing no audio output,MIDI input still played fine but audio would not work. I contacted the developer I think and I was advised to update and set up the osc 1 to audio input and note C3 I think. after updating it worked like a charm.

Now the other thing is I always have to do that thought not a big problem but would be nice to have a lock on sections (hint)

now on to the sound. This thing is pretty much like a muti tool of synths and effects does it all basically arpatiator bass kicks and some really really nice high hats. and a Million other things the setup seems limited to the user. Like the guy before me I agree not all the presets are great but I found a few good jems that I love to use.Another thing that is nice is that you can connect the the online library of presets and use those and they are nice as hell.

I found that the vocoder on this thing was amazingly nice very very happy with it And even made some synth vocals just for fun. Just to say I did it and they ended up being used in that mix I was doing. the whole way to get around this beast is pretty confusing at first like really confusing. I find myself clicking randomly at times. But after a while you get the hang of it and really get to see the really high quality sounds that this thing can come up with.

What I find are its strong points is the extremely large preset library, the ability to change ANYTHING, and the way that its kind of a jack of all sounds and effects. I can go from bells to loud piercing noises to authentic sounding high hats (I really really like the high hats). The CPU is pretty good considoring that im on a laptop now and I have yet to have it crap out on me with this and the way you can customize the way it looks is very cool.

Overall I would give it a full 10 On sound quality but have to give is a 9 because of the way that I have to update it and constantly change settings if i want to use actual audio with presets.

the things I think could be nice A way to lock section that would effects what the plugin would read as far as MIDI or audio. And I would have to say maybe a limiter just in case Because some presets I notice seem to peak at unity gain and I sometimes have to pull the fader way down.

I would say the few faults of this plugin are easy to fix and not really going to effect your work flow.

The quality and vast number of things you can create with this plugins are just amazing I don't use alot of synths so having a all in one FX and MIDI possessor is just a must have, not to mention the great customer service.

9.00
Reviewed By pheeleep on 25th May 2012
OS: Version: 7.
Last edited by pheeleep on 26th May 2012.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

A few weeks ago I was offered an nfr license of Synthmaster 2.5. Before I even installed it, I found out that Rob Lee makes and sells presets for it. From that moment on, I had a feeling this synth and I would get along just fine. Truth is, I admire Rob Lee, and he only makes presets for great synths. Incidentally, the nfr copy that I received of Synthmaster did not come with the free Rob Lee presets that customers of KV331Audio get when they purchase Synthmaster 2. For the purpose of this review, in regards to presets, I only have the stock presets to refer to. I haven't heard any of the Rob Lee ones (but I am sure they are stellar).

Many times, complaints about synths usually go along the lines of "There's not enough...". In Synthmaster, there's a lot of everything. Example: Most synths give you 8 to 24 slots in their modulation Matrix (if they have one to start with). Synthmaster has 86 slots. Also, it features many different types of modulation (some not found in many synths), and you get several of each type. This synth is semi-modular, which allows a bit more routing freedom than the average synth. It takes a little while to get accustomed to the interface and to all the different tabs. A basic understanding of synthesis is required to operate this synth and I wouldn't recommend it as a first synth. It ain't no V-Station in terms of ease of use. But for intermediate to advanced synthesists (or preset whores), this synth is a great choice. Of course, more features often translates to a more complex user interface and more intricate workflow.

The sound is great! The CPU usage is reasonable and on par with my other better sounding synths. It's somewhat of a Swiss army knife, and packs a lot of bang for the buck. I am not fond of the GUI. It doesn't really show off the quality of this synth. Ugly GUI's never stop me from using an instrument or effect, though. Sound comes first. The synthesis and modulation aspects of this synth is what stands out for me. I find the effects "ok" but this is the one area that could definitely be improved. If you own great effects, you'll be fine, but if you don't, be aware that you will get decent but not mind blowing effects in this synth. The filters sound good, but again, they are not up there with the very best. The arpeggiator on the other hand is great and has several advanced modes. You can even run 2 in parallel. The preset browser is great. My favorite type: 1 click to load a preset. A lot of the presets sound really good. Others are kind of average, but there are more good ones than bad ones. More work could have been put into matching all the volumes of the presets. Some sound quiet, others much louder, but nothing the turn of a button can't fix. Creating presets is fun. Exploring all the different possibilities is fun. The quality of the sound is very good. Happy to add this one to the arsenal. I have been playing with this synth for several weeks now and I feel like I have only scratched the surface. The manual is rather limited.

edit: There are now 3 free Rob Lee preset banks for all Synthmaster 2.5 users. I listened to them and they really show off the great sound this synth has. Many gems in there.
10.00
Reviewed By fisherKing on 13th May 2012
OS: Version: 2.5
3 of 7 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

ok.

i've written several reviews here at kvraudio recently, almost all 10's. i'm writing about the plugins i USE, and therefore appreciate. so, just so you know where i'm coming from…

i've downloaded a LOT of demos lately, trying to find a (very) few plugins to use to make music. i deleted some long-used and very good synths to make room for new sounds (and, importantly, to challenge my work methods).

am new to synthmaster; i played with the demo...and now own the plugin (AND the rob lee soundbanks). so synthmaster passed my 'acid test', and joins my 3 other main synths (sylenth1, dune, and zebra).

more than anything else (architecture, the GUI, features, etc), i care about the SOUND. and synthmaster sounds amazing. there is depth and color in the sound; i love that, some plugins seem very flat, or grey, to me.

there are some great presets in the factory soundbank, and the rob lee banks are (as always) essential.

my biggest concern is the architecture; this synth is quite different from what i'm used to, and i need to make time (a full day or two) to really explore the GUI; it's a bit of a foreign language right now, so…will get to that.

meanwhile, i am really into preset tweaking. i need great starting points, and will then make changes to get what i want. am more into music-making than sound creation (a big subject here at kvraudio).

i did an entire track in synthmaster in the first hour, including drums, and was deeply impressed with it (am talking about the sound of the synth, not my playing…which was pretty good too, come to think of it...).

sounds blend well, yet retain enough personality to be 'heard'; that's a great thing, as i like lots of layers, and contrasting lines; getting a dense sound AND retaining clarity is a huge challenge, and i've worked with synths that don't do that well.

and playing synthmaster is a joy; it feels expressive, and reminds me of my hardware days (mostly, a roland XP-60).

so.

PROS
the SOUND.
the options (lots of parameters to tweak!)
a good preset library to start with.
great price.
64bit AU (altho it's listed as a 32bit plugin…).

CONS (minor, really)
the architecture: am a little lost right now. i hate manuals and prefer to explore on my own.
lack of soundbanks; programmers, get to work! we need more preset libraries for SM.

overall, this is one of the best plugins i've found in my search for 'new'…and i've already added it my default template in Logic.

9.00
Reviewed By digitalboytn on 7th April 2012
OS: Version: 2.6.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 12th December 2013.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

I was given a NFR version of SynthMaster and I was a little overwhelmed when I first starting playing around with this synth ...

There's so many features and it takes a little while to get your head around it all.....

This synth can be so many things - from cold,brittle and digital to FAT,warm and "analogish" - and there's a lot of territory in between - with a multitude of programming options every step of the way...

SynthMaster would appeal to many people who want an affordable all in one solution...

You'll have to take your time and dig in a little to get the full benefit of this synth,but you'll be rewarded with a comprehensive range of sounds that will cover most of the bases .....

The sheer power of SynthMaster is a little overwhelming,but when you get your head around it all,it's a bit of a mind blower....

UPDATE 2013-12-03 : There have been significant bug fixes and improvements in SynthMaster since I first reviewed it and I am really enjoying the flexibility and sound of this synth now...I still don't like the GUI, but it sounds fantastic and there really is a lot of power under the hood....The sounds are very useful in "real life" and there's some top shelf programmers that have contributed some great presets that are a very good starting point for any "tweaking and exploration".... SynthMaster is a winner :)

9.00
Reviewed By VitaminD on 11th March 2012
OS: Version: 25.4.149.
Last edited by VitaminD on 7th February 2013.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

At first, I essentially ignored Synthmaster simply due to the name. Silly, yes. But, to me, the name is a little cheesy (reminds me of comic book action heroes or power rangers) so I wasn't expecting much.

How I was incredibly wrong.


This is one of the single most feature packed synthesizers available today. It rivals U-he Zebra2 in this matter; Synthmaster is a 'swiss army knife' of synths.


The UI is layed out in a manner that I found easy with which to work; I had little problems upon initial run on sculpting a sound with this synth. There are multiple skins (color combination themes) from which to chose too (click the 'Settings' button below the logo) that I found useful.

The GUI, however is static in dimensions. So I will say, I wish there was the ability to increase and decrease the GUI size.


The Preset browser is fantastic! I wish other synths included this sort of feature, one can click on Sound type (Lead, Bass, Pad, etc) and then on various sound/timbre attributes (Saw, Legato, Lofi, Wavetable, etc) to narrow sound selection. Wonderful.

Speaking of which, the included sound bank is rather well made. The included sound bank seems geared more towards Electronic dance music (House, Trance, Dubstep, etc). However, other genres (Chillout, Pop, even Reggae) are included.

The real interesting feature is the developer's promise of included MORE presets in the form of Genre-based Expansions at no additional cost. The first one is already released by Rob Lee (House/EDM set) and it sounds very good. These are song-usable sounds; no need to to sift through a hundred patches that are 'cool' on their own but don't fit in a mix. These fit nicely in a song.

I also enjoy the powerful Arpeggiator that works like a trancegate (tempo synced).


I'm not even hitting on the ginormous amount of synthesis types, combinations, and selections in which to design sounds. You will have to see it to believe it. It reminds me of the V.A.S.T. synthesis on Kurzweil Workstations.


With the latest update as of this review update (2.5.4.149), Synthmaster now functions properly in Synapse Audio Orion! No timing issues, no hung notes, nothing but rock solid stable synth-action! woohoo.

I should also probably mention this synth sounds like a digital synth to me.. well, 'of course!' you say.. it runs on a computer! What I mean is, the sound quality is clear and bright but a little thin ...still yet rich; Synthmaster reminds me of Waldorf synthesizers in this regard - it blends well in layers and plays well with other synthesizers.

While there are a few things I'd like to see (more filter choices, GUI resize), this is an interesting synth with deep synthesis possibilities and a suite of well designed sounds. It is very worth it to try this one for a spin.

9.00
Reviewed By orange on 11th March 2012
OS: Version: 2.5.
Last edited by orange on 11th March 2012.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

This review comes as personal and as a request from Bulent creator of synthmaster.

sound..

To begin i must say i enjoyed working with this synth cos of the multiple osc/filter choices.

the raw waveforms sound good and clean but i still find that they need the occasional beefing up to make them sound huge and fat.. but all in all the big selection of osc's and waveforms makes up for this.

i can easily make fat sounding basses and organic chords.

i found my self spending more time on the additive oscillators than the rest cos of the simplicity of the implementation.

but still the huge amount of sampled waveforms on the "basic" oscillators give the opportunity of some amazing diverse sound pallet.

modulation..

this thing can do almost anything.... you can practically send anything anywhere and its also very simple to work with the modulation matrix. sometimes simplicity is the key of producing the best sounds.. but also having a huge amount of modulation slots and destinations gives room for creating some incredible sounds.

filters..

The filter section is excellent.. it doesn't have 100 different filters types to choose from but the one that are there are very good, clean, and sound very close to analog like.

i love the dedicated slope in the filters.

the ability to envelope control the drive/gain with choices of pre/after/within the filter is just some smart coding.

all in all good and workable filters that produce clean and alias free filtering.

gui..

gui when first looked is clean and easy on the eyes.. but this is the only part i kinda felt lost in.

it does have lots of menu and selections.. the are thousands of options to mangle sounds but it gets kinda confusing some times.. i tend to prefer single window synths but this is not applicable in synthmaster since it incorporates a huge amount of options.

the guy is not for the beginner.. but when used to it its fast and easy to navigate through the different pages.

fx section..

the effects are good..

i specially find the distortion very good and gives in some rather weak waveforms that extra punch and fatness without sacrificing sound quality.

ensemble is also a good one.

i find the use of compressors in the main fx section to be useless it doesn't really offer anything special.. but its good to have.

the reverb although has lots of tweaking options over the space and overall sound and also add some modulation options.. it just doesn't sound very good compared to some other free/payed alternatives.

but with conjunction of the delay and ensemble its usable.

overall..

I liked it.. ALLOT.. its definitely going to be used heavily in my minimal techno and prog house tracks.

the semi modular approach on that synth is well executed and gives lots of room for experimentation.

i think this synth is really for the enthusiast patch maker not only cos of its huge amount of sound sculpting abilities but also cos it can produce some truly great and fat sounds.

i would not recommend it to the physical sound makers but mostly on the dance/ambient/drum and bass producer.

in the beginning it does look intimidating and its easy to get lost but after some time its very easy and simple to work with.

i give it a 9 just cos its huge amount of menu and options makes its cumbersome to work out of the box.. it has a learning curve although not a long one but its not for the noob user that will find him self just browsing the presets. but if you give it some time to learn it.. it will deliver and deliver some awesome results.

special thanx to Bulent and the kv331 team.

10.00
Reviewed By mungocherry33 on 26th January 2012
OS: Version: XP
0 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

All I can say is I just wish I had this before I bought the slew of synths I have. It covers all the bases nicely and the list of preset makers reads like a "who's who" of heavyweight programmers. This and Zebra are my two favorite synths. I'm just starting to get into programming via the book "How to Make a Sound" and Howard Scar's Virus tutorial, and from what I've learned so far, I see vast and infinite possibilities with Synthmaster. It comes with a very thorough 41 page "quick start" guide which is really comprehensive. At this stage of my life, I'm mostly into ambient music, and there are plenty of great pads and dreamscapes and leads to choose from. Bulent and the guys hit a home run with this one. I am using this on a Win XP 32 bit machine and haven't experienced the slightest hiccup.

If you're just starting out, get this one before you buy anything else and I think you'll find that you won't need much else. Like I said I wish this had been available a few years ago as I could have saved my self a boatload of time and money.

10.00
Reviewed By Sendy on 16th January 2012
OS: Version: 2.5.
Last edited by Sendy on 18th January 2012.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

I've been approached about reviewing this synth, presumably because of my other numerous reviews on here. Will I gush as usual? ;) Synthmaster isn't something I particularly would have bought at the moment, seeing as I've spent a huge amount of money on my DAW setup recently and pretty much have everything I need and way more ;). However, if I were just starting out and needed a high value, high-quality way of covering pretty much the entire synthesis spectrum, I would probably go for Synthmaster.

First up the name tells us that Synthmaster pretty much does everything, and with additive, subtractive, vector and wave sequencing, unison (available both in the oscillator, or as a multiplying of the entire synth line including filters, with variable spread of pitch, filter cutoff, ect), AM, PM, PWM, FM, sync, audio input processing, and a healthy range of what are very high quality effects and MORE all available and combinable, I feel the name is justly deserved. This all works on a dual layer principle per patch, and each layer has two oscillators and two filters, all the ENVs and LFO modulation you could ever need, and even four modulation oscillators for each audio oscilllaor pair, meaning you can set up FM and similar functions without the fuss of connecting oscillators. All of these oscillators have all the waveshapes you could ask for, and you can bring in your own as single cycle waveforms or.SFZs!

I was disappointed to see little in the way of timbral morphing in the oscillators - PWM is for the square/pulse wave only, and the vector and wavetable oscillators are powered by crossfading, with no spectral morphing options between waveforms *(see note below). There are plenty of ways around this, as you have plenty of oscillator mangling power via the modulation oscillators, but I am a fan of being able to "animate" an oscillator right off the bat, before the modulation magic happens. Other than this, the oscillators have every single parameter you'd possibly need, and you won't go wanting in that regard. Particularly nice is ability to dampen high frequencies with an LPF before you've even got to the filter, and add pitch "slop" without having to set up a random LFO.

Tone quality of the oscillators is very present and well balanced across the spectrum, with the only real aliasing happening right at the very top of the range, in ultra-treble pitches. Clearly this isn't a problem as nobody creates riffs at stupidly high pitches such as these. This brings us on to the filters.

Each oscillator gets two filters, and they're some of the most well spec'ed and complete filtering solutions I've seen! Analogue-style (Moog ladder emulation) and digital-style (razor accurate) filtering is available in almost every filter mode you've heard of, you can change filter slopes smoothly, morph between filter modes, set up double "two in one" filters for dual-peak sounds and super complex filter profiles... Then there's drive and distortion, which can be customised with a designable transfer curve and placed before, after, or IN(!?) the filter. The latter tends to produce extreme sounds which are very interesting to me, and this is a very esoteric and desirable option to have!

The filters sound great - among the best you'll hear. My only gripe is that I couldn't find a way to do filter FM, but I'm pointing this out as a way of saying, this is pretty much the only hole in an otherwise perfect set of filters. And with all the other audio rate mangling going on in the oscillators, it's no biggie. The analogue filters in particular have a pleasing "life" to them, without going overboard in instability. The way the resonance backs off near the fundamental, avoiding those horrible "eoowwwWHUMP"s you get in simpler filters makes me happy. It's tedious callibrating filtersweep ranges so the rez doesn't crash into the first harmonics, so it's good to see this taken care of. Combined with the snappy and flexible envelopes and built in configurable overdrive/fuzz of the filters, a wide range of filter sounds from punchy to fizzley, clean to ripped open, are possible at the filter section. The ground these filters cover is simply huge! The distortions are musically useful, and quite inspiring in themselves, as well!

I'm not going to dissect every parameter in the synth, but rest assured, every other part of it is oozing the same quality and configurability. Overall the end result is a very professional sound which is versatile and dependable enough at extreme settings to be your only synth.

Visually, Synthmaster looks sleek and sexy. WYSIWYG displays for waveforms, filter profiles, envelopes and 2D envelopes, etc, are everywhere, laid out in a common-sensical way. Being new to the synth I found it all a bit overwhelming at first, since there are lots of pages and options crammed into each page, but I can easily imagine how the logical layout would soon become second nature. The modulation matrix felt a bit clunky with it's drop down menu leading off into a maze of options, but it is organized as well as it could be, and it's hardly it's fault - there are TONS of parameters on offer, and these seem to be growing as the synth is in active development with users playing an important part in that development. As far as I can see, pretty much every parameter can be modulated or automated, an impressive feat! To greatly tame this little modulation menu maze, matrix slots can actually be sorted via a few different ways - a very cool idea to add to the workflow streamlining. I also loved the option to switch each LFO between uni- and bi-polar, this makes, for example, pitch trills easier to set up.

In a funny way, Synthmaster could be Zebra's sister in a parallel universe. It covers the same huge ground, wide parameter range, and confident sound, yet operates on a completely different philosophy both in terms of workflow and sound. In this regard, I somewhat prefer, and am more used to Zebra's approach, but I can't dock points for this, because it's a matter of taste. Synthmaster and Zebra play in the same league, but play somewhat different games. If you didn't get on well with Zebra but was wooed by it's power, I'd especially recommend this behemonth of a synth!

This is one of the most powerful and versatile multi-purpose non-modular softsynths available, and for the asking price, it's a steal! If I didn't already have a ridiculous amount of synths in my VSTi folder, I would have bought this a while ago by now. Despite this, I can easily imagine Synthmaster working it's way into my production process, in part due to those lovely filters, and the possibility of using samples as oscillators.

* - EDIT: As of reading the review the developer is looking into ways to impliment some kind of timbral morphing and/or modulation at the oscillator level.

9.00
Reviewed By dinaiz on 4th January 2012
OS: Version: 7
2 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

Probably because I already reviewed some other products here, KV331 asked me to review their new synth master. Well not only it was a pleasure but also a nice surprise. Read on !
I've been doing some electronic music for a while and like most of you I guess, I've been strugling not to have this shinny metallic sound associated with in-the-box mix and VSTs comared to analogue instruments and mixes.
Fortunately since a while now, it seems that developpers get it right : alchemy, sylenth1, OP-X seem to get it right. Let's end up the suspence here : SynthMaster IS one of them. It sounds great, and the presets in the box are very good already. If that's your intended use, go for the demo, and have a listen, you probably won't regret it.
Now, let's get into programming. Let me get that straight : SynthMaster was wisely named. The first times you try to program anything with it, you feel a bit like trying to fly a spaceship to the moon without even having a car driving licence. It's seriously scary. But when you start looking at the feature set, you understand why. You ARE actually flying a spaceship ! From the factsheet : "SynthMaster 2.5 has more than 650 modulation targets and 95 modulation sources...". No need to elaborate right ? But that's not only about quantity : the filters really sound fantastic, especially the analog-modeled ones
So, depending on what you want to do and how deep you want to get involved with a particular VST, it might or might not be the right choice for you, but in any case, it's definitely worth a try, and a few hours of your time.

10.00
Reviewed By goldenanalog on 30th December 2011
OS: Version: 2.5
2 of 7 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

If you were to ask me for an example of a soft synth that 'grew up' here on KVR Audio, my first pick would be: Synthmaster. If you were to ask me to name a versatile, reasonably-priced soft synth, again I would say: Synthmaster. but I'd be doing both you, and Synthmaster, a disservice to leave it at that.

Synthmaster is literally the 'Swiss Army Knife' of soft synths. What immediately comes to mind in comparison to Synthmaster is the Korg Kronos. It contains a wealth of different things, thanks to a relentless, pro-active developer who seems to live here at KVR-the Number of revisions that Synthmaster has gone through borders on the absurd, but to great benefit to both the software itself, as well as those of us who love it...over the months, implemented feature requests, refinements, 'fixes', etc. have made it more stable, easier to work with, more versatile, better sounding...virtually ALL areas of Synthmaster have been addressed that would make it one's go-to tool.

My #1 question when it comes to any synth, hardware or software, is how does it sound? It can sound superb; but that's almost a paradoxical question when talking about Synthmaster, because it can sound like almost anything that you want it to sound like, since it uses several significantly different technologies. It can sound sterile and cold, warm and fuzzy...At it's core, Synthmaster has a number of oscillator types which can run concurrently; coupled with a large selection of filters, and filter types; many envelope configurations and modulation options....it is capable of being CPU efficient, and can also overload your computer if you ask it to do too much, which you can. You are given so much with Synthmaster...

And again: It can sound superb.

I think that Synthmaster is one of the best software synthesizer options available for the user that wants to limit the size of his or her toolbox, in order to specialize/get the most out of what they have-Quite frankly: If there is a more versatile, great-sounding soft synth out there, that is constantly refined and improved by an approachable developer here at KVR (kv331), I am unaware.

10/10 all around.

9.00
Reviewed By snadge on 19th December 2011
OS: Version: 7.
Last edited by snadge on 19th December 2011.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

KV331 Audio: SynthMaster 2 review

First off I have to say this synth is brilliant and my new “1st out of the tool box” synth, its both easy to use for noobs, intermediates (like myself) or Pro’s, the first impression on the GUI when you load it up is it reminds you of NI’s Absynth as the default view is a big presets window – this is a good thing, you can choose from different options to get to the type of sounds you’re looking for such as Instrument Type, Attributes, Music Style and Author, I love this sort of setup as you can choose your Music Style (such as DubStep) and you get all the sounds that are good for that music style, there is also option to browse an online library of presets which is great and appears to be free, unlike other synths that require subscription to the library or charge for presets, they play upon clicking them too, no need to be redirected to download from websites.

This synth has wayyyy more control and parameters than any normal synth, it has 2 x Layers that control the synths main components, half In one layer and half in the other, there are 4 x Oscillators in total (2 per layer) with 4 x Modulators, 4 x Envelopes, 3 x FX, 2 x LFO, 2 x Multistage, 1 x Key scaling, 1 x Arp, 2 x Filters and 2 x 2D options per layer, each component has so many parameters and options its unreal, It has loads of different waveforms for the oscillator’s including ones from classic hardware synths like Roland, Korg, Moog synths etc, way more scope than your average soft synth, infact Iam gunna have to get the manual out to learn how to use some of the stuff on it!!

It has a decent built in effects panel for your presets, consisting of Vocoder, Chorus, Echo, Reverb, Compression, Tremolo, Layer FX Routing, Layer Sends and Global Effects Routing. Each one has many options to play with and the quality of the effects are top drawer. There is also a Preset window which allows you to enter details about your sounds, you can also see comments or descriptions of built in sounds.
The panel on the right of the synth contains the global settings and Matrix windows, here you have pairs of what appears to be Triggers & Sends. You can also set a global ‘quality’ level so if your PC hasn’t got much punch you can leave it on ‘draft’ but if you have the power you can punch it up a few notches…I love this. There is also a Global ‘Tune’ knob so you can tune it with any other instruments you might be using.

The sounds on this synth are top dollar, very clean and crisp with punch, it’s amazing how good VST’s can sound these days, when you play really low notes where other synths sound like farts this doesn’t, it really does produce hardware like results. The CPU hit is minimal too using about 10-20% of my 1.8Ghz AMD Turion CPU.

My review doesn’t really do it justice, go and download a demo from their website now, you will be very impressed, I will be looking out for other KV331 products from now on.

8.00
Reviewed By djphenaproxima on 10th December 2011
OS: Version: 2.5.
Last edited by djphenaproxima on 10th December 2011.
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I was asked by the developers to review SynthMaster. After spending a couple of weeks with the plugin, I have still only scratched the surface. This is my honest review of my impressions, but I'd strongly encourage you to try the demo version and form your own opinion. I don't think SynthMaster is really intended for those people who are totally new to synthesis; it's too complex to grasp immediately if you don't at least know the basics. Overall, I found it to have a really cool sound, and it's definitely a keeper.

INTERFACE
I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of SynthMaster's interface. It takes a page or two out of Native Instruments' book - the preset browser and page switcher at the top of the interface remind me of Absynth. If SynthMaster is your first synth, the interface might be a little intimidating - but, to be fair, SynthMaster has more features than you can shake a stick at, and it would have been impossible for any developer to pack it all onto a single coherent page. I'm told that SynthMaster includes a skin designer, if you're so inclined - I didn't try it, though, so I can't speak to its usefulness. The default design is useable and reasonably attractive, if rather plain.

SOUND
SynthMaster sounded quite good to my ears. Its output is bright, clean, loud, and "flat" (in the good way). I felt that it had an appealing harmonic sparkle to it.

FEATURES
WOW! In terms of sheer power, SynthMaster absolutely crushes every other synthesizer I own. Most synthesizers limit themselves to one or two synthesis techniques (subtractive, wavetable, additive, etc.), but SynthMaster does it all. There are two "layers" in a SynthMaster patch, and each layer has two oscillators, making this a four-osc synth. Each osc can be set to use a different technique - single-waveform, additive, wavetable (a.k.a wavescan), vector (four waveforms and a joystick), or audio input. On top of that, the collection of single-cycle waveforms that comes with SynthMaster is ridiculously extensive, comprising all sorts of basic and exotic shapes. In the additive, vector and wavetable synth modes, you could spend the rest of your natural life mixing and matching waveforms before importing your own, which SynthMaster lets you do. Each layer packs four dedicated modulation oscillators for FM, phase, and ring mod.

I especially love the wavetable synthesis, because you can individually set up to 16 waveforms to cycle through. In "basic" mode, each oscillator also has a dedicated tone knob (low-pass filter), stereo width, and up to 8 voices of unison! Excellent.

The filters are no less brilliant, and they have become my favorites overnight. The analog ladder filter, in particular, has a really pleasing character, especially at high resonance - it almost sounds like a formant filter, and I love formants. The filters have a "digital" algorithm too, which is functionally identical to the analog emulation, but with intentionally less character. It goes without saying that the filters are multi-mode (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass), including a few modes I've never seen before.

The number of modulation options available in SynthMaster borders on insane. It packs a colossal modulation matrix. MIDI learn is a snap, and you can quickly set up modulation routings by right-clicking on the controls. Each layer has four standard-issue ADSR envelopes, a pair of "2D envelopes" (which I didn't get a chance to try, but I certainly haven't seen on any other synth), a pair of flexible multi-stage envelopes, a pair of LFOs, and a key scaler.

I confess I didn't get a chance to go very deeply into the FX - some of the presets used them, though, and they sounded fine to me, especially the on-board reverb. SynthMaster packs more effects than any other synth I own except for my personal gold standard, Predator. FX parameters can be modulated too, so overall it seems that you get a very useful and good-sounding FX section.

DOCS
The manual is all business - concise, easy to understand, and strictly a reference - it's totally devoid of theory, contributing to SynthMaster's "not for newbies" vibe. It's filled with screen shots, which is a plus. I found it pretty useful for learning my way around SynthMaster's interface.

PRESETS
I didn't spend much time using the presets, because the synth itself offers so many things to play with. I scanned through them briefly, though, and although I don't think the preset collection is anywhere near as good as Predator's, it clearly demonstrates SynthMaster's versatility. I enjoyed the fact that each preset can have up to 8 Kore-style macro knobs.

SUPPORT
I didn't need any. But as I was approached on KVR for this review, I can only assume that KV331's developers are active members here, and they DO have their own support forum.

VALUE FOR MONEY
You're getting an enormous amount of raw power for a price which can only be described as VERY reasonable. If you want to go very deep into sound design and spend long hours generating all manner of crazy tones, you really couldn't go wrong with SynthMaster. Obviously, you can get relatively simple sounds out of it, but its near-infinite depth invites deep tweaking, and it was clearly designed with that in mind. It might not be the best choice for those who prefer to work quickly.

STABILITY
I wish I could say SynthMaster is rock-solid stable, but it still appears to be rather buggy, and it crashed for me several times. That being said, I was hosting it inside the notoriously crash-prone Ableton Live 8 (the latest beta, no less), so it's quite likely that the crashes were Live's fault and not SynthMaster's. I have no doubt that KV331 will work to resolve these issues, though. Definitely try the demo version before you buy.
10.00
Reviewed By FarleyCZ on 26th November 2011
OS: Version: 2.5.
Last edited by FarleyCZ on 8th January 2012.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

I've been watching SM's development for qite a while. On the first look it could seem like another "look at me, I can do anything!" kind of synth, but there is something cool about it. It uses classical synthetiser "methods" but by it's own very inspirational way.

User Interface 9/10
You need to get used to, but it happens in every "bigger" synth. Pretty clean setup if you consider it's solid structure semi modular with so many features. Unusual thing to see in synthetiser like that is this cool "NI-like" preset browser with sorting. Mod matrix is in front of you all the time, which is a good thing and if you like more "modular-ish" approach, you can route modulations by left clicking on buttons, wich is really comfy... This velocity curve is nice detail too. All around nice and user friendly interface.
If any bad thing, then that these pop-up rolling menus need to be "collapsable". With so many waveforms and modulations, you need a lot of scrolling especially on smaller screens. Also some minor UI bug appear once in a while, but SM is in active development, so I'm not worried about this at all.

Sound 9/10
There it get's interesting. Out of the box, SM sounds airy, light, a bit digital-ish with little VA flavour. Cool already, but while messing with it you start to notice this "little" interesting features like editable OSC drift, editable distortion in filters, in ensemble FX, filters in bit reductions......... and then you get it. Normally designers would set some sweetpoints in this setings and let you live with character they made. SM doesn't limit you like that and lets you kind of build it's character on your own. In my opinion that's where it differs. Expecially the filters are really fun to mess with. Still a tiny bit harsh to my taste, but nicely shapable and editable.
I think SM suits mainly that "glassy" kind of ambiental plucks and some energetic but light distorted grooves.
Downsides are fact, that you need to find that sweet spots, which can take a while. Not much of that "analog thicknes" right away....and the volume levels. You need to watch it all the time, becouse SM always keeps adding new ellements to the sound (like unisono voices, distortions) without any normalization. Also onboard unisono could be a little smoother. But it's really small glitches considering how you can shape it. :)

Features 10/10
...and there it gets mental. (in a good way :) ) A really big toy!
Talked about filters already. You can distort them by custom shape and change slope continuously (!!!). Then some other types. Classic digital, formant, combinator etc... Then OSCs. Huge amount of waveforms (some rally nice vintage wavefomrs here), ability to import your own as sfz or just add new "one cycle wavs" to the folder... Good sounding multi operator FM, AM, phase distortion, little additive engine. Morphing between waveforms is fun... Modulations are huge. Additive, multyplying. The number of sources and targets is mindblowing. Modulating even by unisono index? Really? :D I don't like apregiators that much, but thisone is amazing! Multistage envelopes, 2D envelopes (yep, as wierd as you've just imagined it, but "complexing" fun), keytscalers, cool versatile LFO's, saving presets for every module... You name it. All that in 2 layers and with some sweet FX for polishing per instance... It's may be the most featured "solid structure" synth I've ever touched. And as far as I love Zebra-like semimodulars, sometimes you just want to have some "rich" fun right away with not so much "engineering" in the way. You don't get much better synths for that than SM.

Documentation 10/10
Manual is clear, edited by user base and it covers the synth well. Sometime it uses picture of older version, but nothing confusing. I like how it explains all import options to the oscilator.

Value for money and presets 10/10
Absolutely. Demo it and see for yourself. Good to be synth geek to really apriciate your investment, but even beginners will love SM, becouse presets are amazing. Made by people that you see in the area for a long time. All kind of styles, all sorted, nice sounding. In some synths presets need lot of editing to become contemporary. Not the case here. Preset users will be entertained for qite a wihle, especially thanks to in-synth online exchange. :)

Stability 9/10
Cool. Before 2.5 I remember SM was a really buggy. It's far better now. Really stable and usable. Not a single crash. Only bad thing there would be the CPU usage when using global unisono. Even relatively small indexes can raise CPU load a lot. This could make SM bit limited for some users. Also few minor bugs here or there, but I'm sure these will be fixed as Kv33l does lot's of updates.

EDIT: About CPU, there is second unisono engine inside each OSC which is much more efficient, so don't worry, I was just blind. :)

Conclusion: All around really cool monster with nice clean shapable sound, lot of features, lot's of great presets and reeeeealy fun to make sounds with. If you lack a bit of "fresh feel" to your production, there's one for you. :) And what's important, it's in active development with nice and friendly user base. (as opposite to one really famous synth out there :p) Author is really keen to help and concetrates on every single issue, so I guess it'll get even better and better.

Btw tip: Filter KeyTracking is set to 100% by default, which I like, but it's not comon, usually it's 0 and beginers could be little confused by filter behaviour then...

9.00
Reviewed By elipsis1 on 21st November 2011
OS: Version: 2.5
1 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo
Synthmaster 2.5 is an excellent synthesizer hybrid offering a wide variety of synthesis options.

The sound quality is amazing, and the gui does a nice job of making it easy to tweak your sound and provide visual feedback.

The presets are excellent, and the onboard Reverb is very rich.

It has been very stable so far.

The online preset browser is a welcome addition :)

Check out the demo for sure, you will fall in love with this synth.

There are many wonderful things you will discover when you start scrolling through the presets.

I was amazed at the filters, they were very musical and deep sounding, tweaking them was an inspiration in itself.

The GUI colors are a nice feature as well.

The CPU usage seemed to be very acceptable on an intel i7 machine.
8.00
Reviewed By rectus_dominus on 25th December 2009
OS: Version: 2.0.3.1..
Last edited by rectus_dominus on 27th December 2009.
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I thought I write a review of my favourite synth. It is mature enough for a review. (Version 2)
I didn't know that it'll become my fave. When I first tried it was just the potential I was liking. I tried to be fair and honest as possible:

Synthmaster welcomes me with a clean, modern user interface. Knobs can be controlled with mouse wheel, modulations can be set in moments, and I can reach every page easily. I'd say that the 2 layers feel somewhat separated. The feel itself is hands-on and ergonomic, but you can't always see what's going on because of the many pages.

The sound is unique. The wavesequencer can make deeply moving ambient/soundtrack pads. You just need to select and set the wavetables and you're ready to go. There are hundreds of waveforms to choose from, finely constructed experimental ones from Galbanum, and the whole vintage muz3um set from fr4ncesco. There's an additive generator module, which speaks for itself. It can be used to made vintage sounds, and thick leads. The envelopes can be fast enough for decent drums, presets been made as drumkits.
There are a number of filters, I won't list them. It's a good thing that there are more filter parameters, and a wider knob range for them. That way it offers more control, and you can make interesting sounds with them.


Featurewise, for me it has a step sequencer, and a really advanced arpeggiator. Usable and intuitive. For experienced sound designers, there's microtuning. The effects are mediocre, they'll get an overhaul soon. There are a number of customizable modulators, some of them can be additional oscillators.
Synthmaster can do FM in many ways, and it offers really flexible modulation possibilities. You just need some time to discover them.
The audio input is going to be activated soon; it'll be able to modulate your existing stuff.

I haven't really read the documentation to be honest. I didn't need to. I took a look on it and remember that there was a long one. :P

Let's be clear, Synthmaster has partial presets for each module, too. They worth more I think. You can quickly construct sounds with these. There aren't, and can't be enough in my humble opinion.
The full presets are somewhat average. Lots are evolved from individual feature testing of the sound designers. I'd like to see more bread'n butter sounds, in case a musician wants to quickly arrange something.
There are spectacular chilly sounds and agressive leads. Synthmaster can do good sounding hypersaws and the preset developers discovered it. There are usable drums, and some effects from mars.
SM2 has a pretty cool preset browser, similar to Kore. It is prepared for a massive amount of sounds.

There's a KVR forum, e-mail support. The customer support is excellent. The developer is a great guy. Curious, open, and enthusiastic. 3 traits for a good dev. Nearly instant response to everything, and determined to help. Quick bugfixing. Open to your ideas, the synth itself is gradually increasing and improving.

Great value for the money, although I got it for free as I was a beta tester (yay). A must have if you don't have a wavetable synth at home, and worth considering if you'd like to reach more in the digital domain. It is a good all-round synth with lots to offer.

On my system, it is 98% stable. There are some small issues, and they are patched quickly. The Jupiter 8V demo crashed my Reaper more times.
9.00
Reviewed By Trusty on 19th May 2007
OS: Version: 1.0.4
3 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo
Synthmaster is a really great synthesizer, and it comes at a very reasonable price at $99 as well. It has a great sonic character to it that doesn't give that feeling of "heard this before" when you hear it. Considering the endless possibilities of such a feature-packed synth, it would be easy to find the multi-page GUI daunting at first glace, but a second glance after a few minutes of tinkering will demonstrate that the layout is to an advantage. It makes programming the multiple synthesis types easy.

The sound is wonderful and can be as warm and fuzzy or as cool and harsh as you like. I found that the patches I have used so far sit nicely in a mix and it stands on its own against more expensive commercial synths. It is nice that such a versatile synth that can be both thick and thin, and the amount of control over the sound the user has works in favor of its usefulness in a mix instead of against the mix like some newer overblown commercial synths hitting the market these days that want to dominate tracks regardless of the actual output volume.

The features are heavy, but using them couldn't be easier. This is in part due to the clear and easy layout of each page of the GUI. Everything is big, and easy to navigate.

Synthmaster is both a great addition for pros and a probably the best option for the hobby musicians wanting to get out of presetville and get heavier into programming patches. A pro will appreciate the features and functionality of the depth of the synth's capabilities, but a novice programmer (like me) will find that learning to program from scratch is made very easy thanks to the layout, and also the wonderful tutorials included in the presets that are set-up in a way so users that wish to settle down and learn synthesis can get first hand response of what different things on this synth, or really any synth, (that has both the basic functions and parameters and the more complex parameters) can do. This synth would be my first recommendation to those looking to dive deeper into patch programming. It really is the master that can teach willing students how to program synths.

Its $99 value has been tripled in terms of what this synth has been worth for me considering the understanding of synthesis in general it has given me and these lessons have translated into great results when working with other synthesizers in my arsenal.

The sound is great, complimented nicely by the wonderful filters on Synthmaster, and the effects are decent enough. However, it is the arpeggiator and step sequencer that are quite excellent standouts, and considering that I normally ignore those functions on synths in favor of my host's capabilities in that area (Project5), this is quite a compliment.

I would like to see some more of the effects that aren't quite as common on every other synths as well...these programmers seem quite capable to pull of some interesting stuff, as this synth well demonstrates...so the future does seem bright in that area.

There are a few kinks that pop up concerning its stability, but nothing too serious to hamper its use, and the commitment by the developers has shown that every kink gets ironed out.

I'd say the only other drawback is in the presets. The ones that are there mostly sound good and they do the synth justice in terms of sonic capability, but leave a lot to be desired in terms of actual usability. After the wow factor of some of the more outlandish presets wear off, it is easy to be wanting a more rounded bread and butter selection to work with (this problem seems to be more and more common these days with the newer feature-laden synths). While programming couldn't be easier on Synthmaster, a great set of presets are now considered a requirement these days in terms of softsynths and this one in particular could be better served with more, and more in the bread and butter sounds.

All in all, Synthmaster certainly does live up to its namesake. Great sound, great features, and a great price make this a nice addition to any arsenal, and it stands out as the must have synth for newbies and novices that want to go deeper into programming synthesizers than the usual preset tweaking. Highly recommended!
10.00
Reviewed By Debutante on 15th April 2007
OS: Version: 1.0.4.1.
Last edited by Debutante on 14th November 2011.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo
+++ This review was given for Synthmaster V1. Much is changed in V2; much improved - not only do I still stand in praise of the original, V2 improvement is an enourmous accomplishment by KV331Audio. Phoenomenal plugin allround+++

Coming to grips with so many different kinds of synthesis so easily could not have been made simpler. SynthMaster is a fat, fat feature packed plugin that has reignited an excitement about synthesis for me in a way I haven't felt since I first discovered VSTs.

...and it's all because of control. From your choice of simple subtractive, additive, phase distortion, AM, or FM synthesis (or ALL at once), the very aptly named SynthMaster is at heart a sound designer's synth. And even though it's robust mechanical specs avow a remarkably cultured and highly adaptable instrument, it's the meld of this immense power with a clear and functionally brilliant workflow that elevates Synthmaster high above its peers.

It takes NO time to find your way around SynthMaster. In fact, if you are already lightly familiar with synthesis, then you probably know this synth inside-out before you've even used it. This means that you can comfortably indulge in the business of sound design in courting and unimpeding fashion.

So where would you start? At the simplest functional level, each one of the three OSC's comes with 8 voices tweaked by a rich compliment of controls that include unerring phase, tone, and harmonic adjustment, syncing options, and a flattering equalisation scale - all tamed by highly flexible envelopes that should make for some pretty rich patches own their own, well before you've started toying with the cross-modulation and effects features that exponetially multiply SynthMaster's potential.

And if I had to choose a synth to begin exploring the product of cross modulating synthesis then this would be it. AM, FM and phase distortion synthesis are masterfully covered in SynthMaster - by their ease of induction and intuitive exposition; easily THE greatest strength of this plugin. These are arguably the most challenging kinds of synthesis, but because of the way SynthMaster accomodates them, the level of control provided, and the ease in exploring and manipulating tone and timbre feels... absolute.

Another highlighting feature of SynthMaster lies in its paragraphic EQ - 5 configurations possible for 8 bands, with each band having 18 possible distortion algorithms. Lots more fun to be had here. The 3 filters available are equally impressive with just as many options in distortion and 3 selective configurations that can shape each OSC individually or in combination.

The effects section leaves little wanting from a chorus/flanger, delay, vibrato, tremelo and 8 algorithm reverb. Oh yeah... there's also 2 step pattern sequencers, an arpreggiator, and a vocoder that functions with internal and external audio input. More features please? SynthMaster will also operate as an effect plugin, allowing use of it's unique temperment with other audio sources... or as a standalone.

Automatability in SynthMaster is yet another fantastic feature. Whether through assignable internal LFO's, the host, or MIDI, the synth is fully configurable and supportive of automation.

So shaping sound in SynthMaster pretty much comes down to one's imagination. What I feel makes it really special is the way it shepards the user into trying complex new things while still being able to maintain a firm grip on everything that's happening. The degree to which one can temper sound design in SynthMaster will accomodate even the most discerning tastes, and I still can't stress enough on the ease with which it operates. It also happens to be very CPU friendly, and in that price range, absolutely has no competition in my opinion.

Latest 28 reviews from a total of 28

Discussion: Active

Discussion

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25 July 2012 at 9:16pmjam92189

try uninstalling it then restart computer with the update that worked when I was having problems

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27 July 2012 at 1:21pmkv331

@Electronicaz: Your "registered" email address is your paypal email address. If you need to change it please shoot us an email at support@kv331audio.com

@4damind: Such a "biased" review. You couldnt even run the plugin and you are writing a review...

27 July 2012 at 6:56pmjam92189

honestly it seemed like someone who was just trying to talk shit. It took me some time to get a good hold on it but its a all you ever need synth I like it. its not for a new to synths person though.

6 September 2012 at 8:40amAloysius

I really don't get this VSTi. It supposedly does everything but I'm not hearing anything special.So, I purchase what seems like one of the better soundbanks, designed by 'an expert' and still the results are just tepid, mild, bland and uninspiring. My 2C. YMMV.

6 September 2012 at 8:46amjam92189

basically It can do any effect you can want but that is also a problem it does everything. and the layout is not very easy to understand right off the bat. its a good vsti so far I like it but i have little need for many vsti stuff.

13 September 2012 at 7:10pmkv331

What's your "special" threshold ? For us it is giving the user best value/money. We dont claim to do everything "perfectly"

15 March 2014 at 6:06pm11gadget11

dear kv331 my name is nikita konstantinov i want to create VST instrument i mean the modular synthesizer what program or language you had used for creating SynthMaster?

13 September 2012 at 7:11pmkv331

and we're open to "constructive critisizm"

17 March 2013 at 11:16amdb3

I feel the same. I've downloaded the demo a few times wanting to like it but it never convinced me to purchase.

26 September 2012 at 11:58pmsasha_perl@yahoo.com

Well, as with anything related to music -- it is all very subjective... I got it a week ago, and having wonderful time with it. Already put it in production use, and it is VERY inspiring for ME. One thing I would agree -- the main rule of GUI design had been broken (do not surprise the user). Very powerful and fat sounding. Arpeggiator section just blew me away. My 2C.

27 September 2012 at 6:17pmkv331

Hey Sasha,

Main rule of GUI design, what's that?

We really want to improve the GUI. What would you suggest?

Thanks!

Bulent

28 September 2012 at 6:58amjam92189

well maybe for some people setting things up with more of a tab setup would be better. honestly I cant think of any real things to improve on for something that kind of does it all. to much to really slim down.

28 September 2012 at 6:59amjam92189

I like some of these sounds I am going to pick up a few when I get paid.

28 September 2012 at 9:42pmsasha_perl@yahoo.com

Sorry, If I wasn't too clear, let me expand on that.

But first, let me thank you one more time for the product. Special kudos for CPU/ASIO utilization. Very light, great programming indeed.

After spending more time with the synth, I really can suggest only couple of things, both of them are related to the preset browser:

1. Search. it is asking for it, really. Alphabetic sorting is good, but... You know :)

2. Grouping is a bit confusing, especially with not quite so obvious with italic fonts and all.

Do I make sense?

Once again -- thank you. Having so much creative fun!

2 May 2014 at 1:24amcaitiffchoir

Agreed. This post is over a year and a half old, and still there doesn't seem to be a search bar when looking for a preset... (i just bought it two weeks ago)

and the manual for this AWESOME synth is sorely insufficient. This is a very, very powerful synth with a lot of capacity, but given that, a more in depth explanation of some of the controls, routing, tabs, drop menus, etc (I can't even find anything in the manual telling me how to load presets I have saved o my computer) seems appropriate...

8 December 2012 at 5:12pmliquidsound

Can you elaborate on the issue of not being able to "identify" what's possible?

I'm actually overwhelmed by this synth capabilities and I'm working with Zebra, Blue and Diversion ATM.

I bought it long ago for less but today I would spend way more to have it.

The optional expansions really shows off what it can be done (and and I'm with you for the standard presets not being enough to demonstrate the depths of this incredible synth) but there too, the expansion are far from covering the enormous spectrum of sounds that Synthmaster can achieve with the different synthesis types available.

The interface it's trying to deal with the multiple, quite a luxury indeed, tools at your disposal and to be fair they did a good job indeed but I don't think there is much more that can be done without changing completely the approach.

Zebra is unique in that sense.

Yes, a scalable GUI would be welcome and popsUp windows such the wave shaper of the old z3ta for detail work on some envelops.

11 December 2012 at 2:33pmxcentric

Would be nice if it had Polyphonic glide/portamento.

4 January 2013 at 3:11pmdakkra

How would Synthmaster track poly glide? If you have a chord consisting of two notes and you switch both of them how would SM know wich note to glide to its' second note?

12 February 2013 at 6:35pmkv331

Poly glide is currently not supported.

10 January 2013 at 7:03amGernburgs
I think you should make the GUI more analog-looking, as opposed to 100% digital. I like the look of something like DUNE or DIVA where there's a more real-life look to them. Synthmaster is more like Straightliner as far as looks go. I just think the more genuine feel is visually appealing. The synth sounds great though. No need to change much there. The ocillators sound incredible.
20 March 2013 at 6:46pmbharris22

Which Nori preset pack are you talking about specifically - the Art Rock pack? Thanks.

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19 May 2013 at 11:25pmyessongs

great organs and trons in that preset pack but if you are into YES, Genesis, Pink Floyd, ELP and other prog rock greats then Nori has other preset banks you will want and these alone make it worth getting synthmaster and in fact it being a true desert island synth if you could only have one this is it.

25 May 2013 at 8:23pmBitArts

I wrote a review on Synthmaster and am told now, I need to have ten posts on the forum before reviewing the product? Is this a joke? I'd actually guess, I don't need to post for no reason, just to be able to write a review. Having bought and used the product is a basis to review. Not posting random stuff in advance.

So I'm gonna post mine here then:

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A lot of people have described all the positive things and I don't want to just repeat these. There are indeed a lot, that make this VST stand out from others. Yet I haven't read much about the disadvantages, limitations and problems, that come with Synthmaster.

So instead of singing a hymn on the sound and things it's capable of, I'm gonna focus in this review on the opposite and will try to point out some issues and expectations, that aren't fulfilled .

General:

1. The very first thing that got my attention, was the rough, inaccurate parameter handling in Synthmaster. Values displayed in the panel don't change, while the knob indicator does. That means for example, when you're changing a filter cutoff frequency, the knob indicator counts from 34.0 to 34.1, 34.2, 34.3 etc while the related frequency value remains all the time the same with 87,7 Hz. At 35.0 then it immediately switches to 92.9 Hz. What happens in between? I've tried to setup my own formant filters this way, which turned out to be an impossible taks with a parameter handling like that. On higher frequencies the gaps between the displayed values have a size of up to 1kHz! Why aren't the values in between displayed? How is anyone supposed to do accurate settings this way, like e.g. absolutely essential and necessary for formant filters? It's simply impossible.

The even worse thing is, this inaccurate knob behavior goes for absolutely ALL knobs spread over the GUI. Working with something like this in a production is a plain horror to me.

2. No matter what natural instrument you play, if you plug a string, play a key or hit a drum. It usually is a single sound that comes from the instrument on a hit, strike or what ever you want to call it. No instrument does any layering of the ADSR from the former played notes, when you hit the exactly same key again and again and again. The sound would always start over from the beginning. Maybe with a variant sound, but: it starts over! And that's exactly NOT, what Synthmaster does everytime a ADSR phase hasn't arrived at its end. Synthmaster just keeps playing the sound and simply layers a new voice over the exactly same note. The support confirmed this unlogical and unnatural instrument behavior. In practice this produces amplitude layerings without any need and can easily produce volume peaks and other sound problems without any intention or anything wrong in the actual sound design or usage. And of course the result is also redundant CPU usage without any need.

Layers:

1. There are three filter structures offered in the Layer section: split, parallel and series. The fourth possible configuration (split series = OSC1 -> Filter1->Filter2, OSC2 ->Filter2) for some reason is completely missing. If you're heading for this config, this forces you to waste the second Layer and also setup all the things like filters, envelopes, etc. a second time. Though you'd actually require all these only once. But more on THAT later.

Oscillators:

1. The Detune knob has its own life. As soon, as you switch to multiple voices for a unison sound, the dedicated Detune-parameter loses its bipolarity and you instantly get a pitchwise 50% spread sound. Okay. If you now go the other way around and change back from a non-spread and well pitched unison config to a single voice, the result usually is a horrible detuned single voice. That'd make a kinda sense, if there wasn't any Fine Tuning knob and the Detune knob had a double function. But there IS a Fine Tuning knob and the behavior of the Detune appears like pure nonsense. Simply deactivating the Detune parameter, when only 1 voice is selected, would easily solve this. In the Layer section the Detune works exactly like that. In the Oscillator section instead you get these off-pitch results, that make your eyes look cross over your nose, as soon as you hit a key.

2. The Modulators
This to me is one of the real disappointments. There is no real modulation matrix. The modulation routings are predefined by some fixed configs, instead of offering a completely flexible and open matrix like in FM8, Toxic Biohazard or Sytrus for example. And more sad, you can't modulate your carrier with any resonance filtered modulators. Instead, with the "Tone" knob only some kind of very simple (and non-resonant) lowpass filter on the waveform is available. Cross-Oscillator or Cross-Layer modulation isn't possible at all. Most of the currently hip FM growl and scream sounds are actually almost impossible to do with the usual standard waveforms and these limitations.

Beside that there are bugs like for example this one:
When selecting "mod 3+4" as modulator for an oscillator, the display says "mod 2+4" then. Is this a typo or a real misconfig now? I have no idea. I didn't feel like figuring out, how it's now handling this.

3. Synthesis Types
- For the "Basic" synthesis, if you need to inverse your waveform, you have to render it handish yourself and add it to the user library. Way too complicated and time consuming, when a simple "Inverse"-button could easily solve this for all waveforms. Additive Synthesis has this button.

- "Additive" synthesis comes with 8 bands only. An old Hammond B3 organ has 9. The well known Kawai K5000 from 1997 had 128. Of course you could simulate more bands using prepared waveform cycles, but that's not really additive synthesis anymore. The additive synthesis engine in Synthmaster is a VERY basic aproach only. To me this part appears more like an 8-part waveform layering engine. Useful in a way, but far away from being an additive synthesizer with a practical use as such for complex, really additive sounds generated with sinewaves.

Filters:
1. What I'm missing really bad here, is a vowel/formant filter, capable of at least the standard vowels. Like described above, the rough parameter handling additionally makes it impossible to setup your own.

Envelopes & LFOs:

This to me was the main reason to buy Synthmaster. It appeared like a huge, damn LFO modulation monster. And in some way it is indeed. But have you ever tried to sync your LFOs?

1. Multi-Stage LFOs (Mstg1+2)
These are actually very powerful tools and helpers. Actually. It turned out, in Synthmaster they are completely useless. At least if your trying to create something else than insane and random chaos in your sound. NI Massive uses this kind of LFOs to achieve accurate sequencing of varying filter sweeps and wobbles for example. Those typical moving and driving dubstep sounds you can enjoy by pressing a single key. If you try to do something like this in Synthmaster, you'll find yourself very soon near a mental crack-up. Absolutely nothing on these LFOs makes any sense or works like expected. Manual timing doesn't work because of the above mentioned rough parameter handling, so you're unable to set accurate timing by hand. Using the Sync option also has absolutely no effect. What you get then, is a kinda grid, that doesn't make any sense at all, nor obviously is related to accurate host timing. Activating the Sync option also doesn't tell you, what you are synced to now. 1/1? Per single field of the grid? 1/16, 1/8? Per loop points? How do I set the speed of these LFOs? None knows and meanwhile having tried everything I can imagine, I'd actually think, these LFOs are synced to the moon phase of some random planet far far away, or maybe your neighbours VST host tempo, inverted and divided by Pi. Adding "Stages" in these LFOs adds spline curves, with absolutely no relation to the synced timing. Start & End of the loop are related to what? The stages? Sync Points? Again something none knows, because their settings lead to results, that don't make any sense at all. Using two Stages and setting the Loop start to 1 and End to 2, with infinite loops should actually repeat these two stages then, right? Well, it doesn't. Setting the end to 3 does, so this might be related to the Stages end points. Maybe. But then, even with Sync enabled and considering the Stages end points, your totally unable to get a synced sound.

I've reported the whole thing as a bug and got the response, I'd get a proper working example preset sent. Well, I didn't receive any till today and am not really surprised about it. The whole Multi-Stage LFO-feature is a total fail on absolutely all levels and does absolutely NOTHING of what you'd expect it to do.

2. LFOs
A quite standard thing you'd think, right? Well, they are and they work properly, when you're using them for unrelated stuff. But then again there's that thing about host syncing. Since the Multi-Stage LFOs don't work, you'd have to use the standard LFOs for some less complex wobbles, right? And of course these would have to be synced again. As you might already expect, this too isn't as simple, as it might seem. First let me say, at least some of the expected syncing works, if you regard a few things. For the standard LFOs you can choose a sync resolution, set the LFO speed knob to 127 and... that's it. End of sync story. Your LFO will work accurate only with exactly that speed you chose and you're not able to change that speed while keeping the whole thing in sync. Setting your sync to 1/16 and changing the LFO speed via button to 50% would lead to 1/8 you think? Well, it doesn't. The result is something near 1/8. Just the rough paramter handling you already know from the rest. This is just one example with some obvious values. It also doesn't work with other values. Okay, what now? We could modulate the resolution setting instead, right? Wrong! You can't change it, neither from within the synth, nor from the host via instrument automation. Accurate wobbles with changing speeds in Synthmaster? Dream on and enjoy your dream. Because reality has an ugly face.

Each and every synced wobble sound with varying speeds you get on synthmaster will be out of sync. And it's not the sound designers fault. It's a pure Synthmaster problem. I've also reported this as a bug and got the response, the sound designers hadn't complained about this yet. Well, I'd guess it's about time then.

3. Synth LFOs & envelopes
Why I make this a point is, I can't understand why it's possible to spend global LFOs to the synth, but no global envelopes. I find it quite annoying, to be forced to setup the exactly same ADSR envelope twice, when I actually only need one. Why aren't there global Synth Envelopes, when LFOs of the same state are possible? Another thing, that doesn't make any sense to me. And even if it's necessary to stay with separate envelopes, a copy or transfer functionality from layer to layer would be a nice help. Which actually goes for all component paramters of layers and oscillators, that could be shared. But it's not there.

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Okay, enough for now. This became already longer than intended. :) But I guess, this gives a good view on the "less shiny side". In fact it's not all 10/10, if you're caring about designing sounds yourself. Withotu a doubt, the things Synthmaster does like expected are done really well. And it sounds outstanding in many ways and for several reasons. But there really isn't only light all over the place.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

29 May 2013 at 2:28pmBitArts

Just some clarification, refering to my posting above. :).

This was/is just very detailed description of some momentary issues remained. Remained in a very complex project. Happens. Period. Because of these things, that are constantly debugged anyway, Synthmaster still and for sure has no reason to hide. In fact it is, easily despite the things I mentioned, my absolutely favorite synth atm. And believe me, I'm really using it on hardcore level. Most "normal" users probably won't even ever come along half of the issues. And let's face it: Describing all the positive things on the same detail level, would easily have taken tens of multiples of the space the issues required.

So please, don't fool yourself by reading my recent posting in a way it's not meant. I agree on almost all positive things the users before me listed and just didn't want to repeat them all. Still it's all there. And I appreciate it all. so, if you've got the chance to get your hands on Synthmaster, I strongly recommend to get it! You hardly will find something better for your money atm.

The passion kv331/Bulent works with and the frequency he provides enhancements and updates with, makes me feel confident to give Synthmaster 11/10 with my next review in a while. ;))) Okay, that was kinda bootlicking. :-D.

But seriously, I felt the need to avoid misunderstandings and clarify that. Cheers.

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SynthMaster

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