So what are today's top synths anyway?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
SparkySpark
KVRian
1325 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Skövde, Sweden

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:16 pm

Software synths have come a long way and even low-cost and freeware synths are now incredibly powerful. But what are the top software synths at the moment (and why)?

I'm not asking for replies such as:
  • "it depends on your genre",
  • "Noise Maker because it's free",
  • "the synth you know how to program best",
  • "MPS because there are almost no controls"
or the like, but rather:
  • "Omnisphere because the oscs are fantastic",
  • "Gladiator because you can do anything with it",
  • "xxx from PPG because...".
So, price aside, which synths are the crème de la crème today? (And yes, I'm really wondering, not just polling for fun.)

Thanks!
Making music is a nine-to-five job:
From 9 PM to 5 AM.
Go MuLab!

chk071
KVRAF
17680 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:30 pm

I don't know what "today's" top synths are, but, i surely know what my top synths are. ;)

I'd categorize them anyway. Hard to give a general list, because there's always something the one or the other is best at. I'd say, for analog modelling, the best synths come from NI (Monark, Reaktor) and u-he (Diva, RePro and stuff). For wavetable synths, the best comes from Waldorf (most notably for me Largo, at least that's the one i like the most from their soft synths). And, the best hardware VA like synth, think Virus, Nord Lead, JP-8000 and stuff, for me is Spire. I don't know about granular synths, but, i'm very happy with Padshop Pro in that regard, and, i doubt i'd ever need anything else for granular.

So, all already quite old stuff. But, i demo'd quite a few synths after that, and, nothing really blew me out of the water, or could have motivated me to buy, and use it over what i already have. I still think there's too few real "character synths" coming out these days. Rather synths with a very clean, polished, and soft sound. Seems to be hip these days, rather than punchy, snappy, clicky, or aggressive and raw synths. Those seemed to be rather popular 10 or more years ago (Komplexer, V-Station, for example). Almost every synth i try out these days has that super bright, clean, polished, and soft sound.

Examigan
KVRAF
4457 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:39 pm

I have lots of synth plugins.
My favorites (at the moment) are:

Synthmaster
PolyM
Electra2
Spire
Sylenth1
Diva
The Legend
OP-X Pro II
Saurus
PolyKB III
BioTek2
Icarus
Dune 2
Last edited by Examigan on Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ZeePok
KVRian
1138 posts since 22 Aug, 2004 from Edge City, the Low Country

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:40 pm

 
What about Rapid? It has just had a rather spectacular update, with loads of new features and a lot of new UI themes too!

viewtopic.php?p=7174718#p7174718

Examigan
KVRAF
4457 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:41 pm

oops...and Avenger and Rapid...
there are some really great ones to choose from these days! :)

Oopi
KVRer
26 posts since 1 Jan, 2018

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:44 pm

This list has 50 best soft synths listed. I think it's quite complete.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/th ... day-621799

Examigan
KVRAF
4457 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:47 pm

Oopi wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:44 pm
This list has 50 best soft synths listed. I think it's quite complete.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/th ... day-621799
It would be tough to reduce it from 50 down to maybe something like 10 or so..

dark water
KVRian
971 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:02 pm

SparkySpark wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:16 pm
Software synths have come a long way and even low-cost and freeware synths are now incredibly powerful. But what are the top software synths at the moment (and why)?
...
So, price aside, which synths are the crème de la crème today? (And yes, I'm really wondering, not just polling for fun.)

Thanks!
u-he Bazille, Diva and Repro (I'm tempted to add Zebra, but I personally don't use it).
Omnisphere 2.5
Sylenth (oldie but goldie)
Synthmaster
ABL3
Aalto (oldie but goldie)
Phonec 2
(And can Kontakt count?)


A couple of other fantastic synths have come out in the past 2 years, such as by SugarBytes, but I don't use them even though I appreciate their quality via demos etc.

User avatar
Roman Wisniak
KVRist
219 posts since 28 Jul, 2003 from Poland

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:06 pm

Rapid? Who wants to invest in NFR synth for 138.36€ (what a "great" bargain).
DAW StudioOne 4 Audio Interface Presonus 1818VSL with Universal Control 2.7 CPU Intel Core i9-7920X @4400 OS Win8.1 64Bit / OSX (Hackintosh) HighSierra.

User avatar
DJErmac
KVRian
651 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:11 pm

In my opinion, the absolute bests, la crème de la crème, are :

1/ Vengeance Avenger : because it can do anything and sounds great.
2/ Parawave Rapid : because it can do nearly anything and sounds greater than great.
3/ UVI Falcon : because it can do so many things, especially as a sampler, and has insanely good onboard FX.

+ Dmitry Sches Thorn : because... eargasm!
+ Tone 2 Icarus : because it's also hugely powerful, can do resynthesis like no other, love it, love it, love it!!...
+ U-He Zebra : because it's so deep and can be used to make many sort of sounds.

Honorable mention to :
- Native Instruments Form : because I had been waiting for a synth like this for so long.
- Adam Szabo Viper : perfect Virus sound!!
- Reveal Sound Spire : because it sounds soooooo good!!
- FXPansion Cypher2 : mindblowing synth that I'm still discovering...

And very good memories of :
- Synapse Audio Dune 2 : lovely synth, can't wait for Dune 3 to come out.
- Tone 2 Gladiator : used to be my favourite synth ten years ago.
- Tone 2 Electra2 : when it was released I was crazy about it.
- KV331 Synthmaster : insanely powerful, sounds great

Everything listed here is what I consider an excellent 9/10~10/10 product, but there are some I've now replaced by some other for some reason.

User avatar
Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3401 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:12 pm

Roman Wisniak wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:06 pm
Rapid? Who wants to invest in NFR synth for 138.36€ (what a "great" bargain).
I do. Rapid is awesome!

Omnisphere and Halion are powerful as well. Lush-101, Dune 2 and Diversion will go far too. There are gems like spire and sylenth as well. Goes on and on actually.
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101, Hive, Electra 2, Diversion, Halion, Largo, Rapid, Dune II, and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

User avatar
Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3401 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:13 pm

DJErmac wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:11 pm
In my opinion, the absolute bests, la crème de la crème, are :

1/ Vengeance Avenger : because it can do anything and sounds great.
2/ Parawave Rapid : because it can do nearly anything and sounds greater than great.
Perfectly succinct :hihi:

Electra 2 also gets my vote!
Last edited by Touch The Universe on Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101, Hive, Electra 2, Diversion, Halion, Largo, Rapid, Dune II, and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

ZeePok
KVRian
1138 posts since 22 Aug, 2004 from Edge City, the Low Country

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:17 pm

Touch The Universe wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:12 pm
Roman Wisniak wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:06 pm
Rapid? Who wants to invest in NFR synth for 138.36€ (what a "great" bargain).
I do. Rapid is awesome!

Omnisphere and Halion are powerful as well. Lush-101, Dune 2 and Diversion will go far too. There are gems like spire and sylenth as well. Goes on and on actually.
 
NFR SchnenFR! :roll: Don't care! You buy a synth to use it. Not to resell it! :uhuhuh:

User avatar
Ingonator
KVRAF
12043 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:47 pm

Based on softsynths i currently own myself those are the best for me at the moment (without a specific order):

- Tone2 Icarus
- Tone2 Saurus 2
- Waldorf Largo
- Waldorf Nave
- U-He Repro-5 (installer includes Repro-1)
- U-He Diva
- Synapse Audio The Legend
- Synapse Audio Dune 2.5
- Xils Lab Syn'X 2
- Xils Pab PolyKB III
- VPS Avenger
- UVI Falcon
- Xfer Serum
- KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2.9
- Roland Cloud System-8
- Roland Cloud Jupiter-8
- Ableton Wavetable (in Live 10 Suite)
- Korg ARP Odyssey
- Korg Wavestation
- Arturia DX7 V
Last edited by Ingonator on Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ingo Weidner
notebook: HP Omen 15.6" / Win 10 Home 64-bit / i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz / 16GB RAM / 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD (internal) // audio: Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (2nd gen)
DAWs: Live 10 Suite / Cubase Pro 9.5 // controller: Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk1

Cinebient
KVRAF
3779 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: So what are today's top synths anyway?

Post Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:54 pm

1. Alchemy. All other synths sounds static against it.
2. P900. Best filters and saturation for me i heard yet in a software synth. Very versatile since it‘s a modular.
3. Moog Model D app. For me miles ahead all other Minimoog plug-ins
4. 5.....etc. doesn‘t matter since i‘m quite happy with the Logic stock synths and don‘t buy any synths anymore. Even most synths on my iPhone are as good as most expensive plug-ins.
Days of really interesting synths seems over for me.

Return to “Instruments”