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).
the options (lots of parameters to tweak!)
a good preset library to start with.
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.