What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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effalump
KVRer
7 posts since 9 Oct, 2018

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:55 am

If the Tone2 Electra2 VST does everything possible (claiming to be 'the complete synthesis solution!') then why does Tone2 bother with other offerings?:

:idea: Icarus (Wavetable)
:idea: Gladiator (Harmonic Content Morphing - HCM)
:idea: RayBlaster (Impulse Modeling)
:idea: Nemesis (NeoFM)
:idea: Saurus (Analog Emulation)

For my next purchase I'm leaning towards u-he VST (Zebra - HCM-like and/or, Diva - Analog Emulation) to get very different and exciting sounds, albeit a tad more CPU hungry than Tone2 gear.

I've already got Electra2 - and it's great, and flexible - but can you sell any compelling benefits of having any other Tone2 VSTs to me before I go u-he for more different sound capabilities?

BTW, I've got demo's of everything - so I'm just interested in what you guys think and use to get the widest range of sounds possible without having to buy too many VST plugins to achieve it.

Thanks in advance of your responses.
:)

My main DAW is Presonus Studio One Pro 3 (64 bit), but I also have Steinberg Cubase 5 (for old 32 bit stuff). :phones:

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
13292 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:18 am

I have discovered the hard way that each synth has its own overall sound. So even though it may be capable of making "different" sounds, the engine color itself only allows for so much variance. And some engines are more coloring than others.

For me to truly get different sounds on a track, no matter what synth I'm using, I have to turn to a different synth altogether with a radically different engine.

For example, comparing Zebra 2 to Wolfgang Palms Infinite Pro. Now those are two radically different engines. No way you can get the one to sound like the other no matter what you do.

That's why I have so many synths.

User avatar
effalump
KVRer
7 posts since 9 Oct, 2018

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:37 am

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:18 am
...That's why I have so many synths.
Thanks for your experience.
I can't afford lots of paid-for synths, so am budgeting for 3 good ones.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
13292 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:45 am

effalump wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:37 am
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:18 am
...That's why I have so many synths.
Thanks for your experience.
I can't afford lots of paid-for synths, so am budgeting for 3 good ones.
Then go for 3 that are truly different from each other.

User avatar
effalump
KVRer
7 posts since 9 Oct, 2018

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:51 am

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:45 am
...Then go for 3 that are truly different from each other.
OK - good advice. I've got Electra2 already (and the native ones inside the Studio One DAW), so what others would you consider to complete the set? Zebra and Diva perhaps?

cron
KVRAF
3067 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am

I probably reach for Serum and Harmor more than anything else.

Serum because the workflow is extraordinarily fast and it does a passable VA impression as well as the wavetable madness stuff. Seriously, it's all about the workflow though. I don't even think the sound is particularly special. It's just so quick to work with. I never even bother saving my presets for future use because I can come up with new things so fast.

Harmor because it can do things none of my other synths can. It's an endlessly deep rabbit hole of a synth. Once you bring your own samples and an image editor (I use GIMP + G'MIC plugins) into the equation it can essentially sound like anything. Very steep learning curve though, because the GUI doesn't make it obvious just how powerful it is. All the power user stuff is hidden in drop-down menus when you start right-clicking on things. It's certainly not for everyone though.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
13292 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:16 pm

effalump wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:51 am
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:45 am
...Then go for 3 that are truly different from each other.
OK - good advice. I've got Electra2 already (and the native ones inside the Studio One DAW), so what others would you consider to complete the set? Zebra and Diva perhaps?
This is a very difficult question to answer. There are pluses and minuses the more "different" a synth is. For example, something like Infinite Pro, while like nothing else, is difficult to fit into a traditional mix unless you're doing something that allows for diversity in sound. Whereas something like Sytrus, which is different from Electra 2, is not radically different, but fits into more types of music. Sytrus is an FM synth that's really a lot more. It's actually one of my favorite synths because I can come up with something that fits but doesn't sound like the same old same old. The same company that makes Harmor (mentioned above) makes Sytrus.

The good thing is, Electra 2 has that Tone 2 sound engine and nothing outside of Tone 2 synths sound like it. The closest I'd say is Dune 2 by Synapse. But even Dune 2 doesn't have quite that plastic sound. So any synth you get outside of a Tone 2 synth will be different from Electra 2.

So I'd go with Sytrus (instead of Harmor as it's easier to program and I think will frustrate you less) and of course you can't go wrong with Serum. It will complement both synths nicely.

User avatar
Ranoka
KVRist
96 posts since 4 Jun, 2018 from UK

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:17 pm

I like this video by Skippy, I think he makes the point better than I could. Just don't buy 3 different subtractive synths, would probably be better to get different types of synths.
https://youtu.be/jnL1shmZhns

Also this video by ADSR answers your question https://youtu.be/2nXvWdQYg-4

I tried but I can't choose just 3 synths (Maybe Zebra 2, Aalto and Chromaphone 2. No, maybe Icarus, Kaivo and Hive. Or Harmor, Sytrus and Serum. Or could be Avenger, Thorn and Synplant)
Just not 3 synths that closely overlap like Serum, Icarus, Massive and Rapid - you probably better off choosing 1 subtractive wavetable synth and spreading the money.

EdSfer
KVRer
16 posts since 27 Aug, 2015

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:27 pm

+1 for Serum and its workflow. Sound may not have anything special but i think you can do pretty much anything with it. It's usually my goto synth when I want to create a preset from scratch cause it's so much easier and faster than other synths.

Then for something more on the VA side, Diva would be my first choice. It covers a lot of ground with its different OSC/Filters/ENV emulations and sounds amazing.

Finally you could go with Omnisphere 2 if you want a super synth that covers almost everything, including samples. (or synthmaster for a cheaper alternative). And if you want something different, Reaktor 6 for some modular fun. Endless possibilities, lots of great free ensembles made by users, but definitely needs some time to learn if you want to build your own ensembles (although Reaktor 6 made it easier with Blocks).

Cinebient
KVRAF
3614 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:34 pm

Logic Pro X.

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
15332 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:24 pm

Reaktor

anomandaris1
KVRist
248 posts since 26 Nov, 2009

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:07 pm

Get Synthmaster along with some preset expansions (they offer such vintage sounds that you can expect from analogue synth emulation; in the final mix it doesn't matter (if it is processed with reverbs, eq, automations etc) whether you have U-he or Arturia, or freeware...) and some FM (FM8 or Sytrus) or additive synth (Harmor or Razor).

Wopelka
KVRAF
3134 posts since 22 Sep, 2003 from under the sun

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:44 pm

Synthmaster is an excellent choice, versatile, with a hughe library. U-he synths, all of them, are outstanding and a lot of free presets, as well as commercial banks, are available online. Arturia's Analog Lab is also a great place for sound consomption.

HunterKiller
KVRAF
1997 posts since 10 Mar, 2006

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:08 pm

effalump wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:51 am
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:45 am
...Then go for 3 that are truly different from each other.
OK - good advice. I've got Electra2 already (and the native ones inside the Studio One DAW), so what others would you consider to complete the set? Zebra and Diva perhaps?
Electronic albums that stood the test of time, like Oxygene, only used 3 synthesizers. Even though 2 of the analog ones were more similar than not. Ultimately it's not only the synths which are responsible for the sound, but how you treat the sound after it has been synthesized.
"The educated person is one who knows how to find out what he does not know" - George Simmel
“It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.” - John Wooden

chk071
KVRAF
17019 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: What VST family offers the widest range of sounds?

Post Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:29 am

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:45 am
effalump wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:37 am
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:18 am
...That's why I have so many synths.
Thanks for your experience.
I can't afford lots of paid-for synths, so am budgeting for 3 good ones.
Then go for 3 that are truly different from each other.
I second that. Funnily, i have 3 go-to synths as well, while the others vastly catch dust. Monark - for true analog vibe. Largo - for sound design, and moving wavetable pad stuff. Spire - for VA stuff, supersaw, pluck, and bass sounds.

I think that, with these 3, and maybe Padshop Pro for granular stuff, i could make all the sounds i ever want. Plus they all sound great to me, and have a wide variety of sounds where they sound good. Opposed to many, many soft synths, which have a sweetspot as narrow as a piece of paper, and which mostly sound thin like a piece of paper as well.

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