Multi-timbral synths

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
164 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Post Thu May 21, 2020 5:36 am

I'm looking at the plugins I have that are multitimbral.

I have Largo, LuSH-101 and Omnisphere.

In a world where we can load as many instances as we want to layer up our sounds, do you think there is still merit in multitimbrality? When I look at ROMplers doing synth duties for example, it seems their strength is in the ability to layer up sounds. It's also nice that you can spend some time on a single patch, which on its own might be quite dull, but when used with other layers it can take the overall sound 'to the next level'. Having that packaged up with the synth not only makes it great for auditioning sounds to find how they work together in the first place, but its nice to have the 'whole sound' in a neat package.

I'm looking at hardware synths recently too, and of the many releases we have had lately, it seems the majority are 'monotimbral' - I guess that is partially because we're seeing a lot of modern analog synths where it would cost more to manufacture 'extra instances'. The closest thing I could find in hardware form that is a multi-timbral VA-like synth (ie. not a workstation, but something more synth focused) was the Korg Wavestate. It looks like great fun but its probably fair to say that is not a VA, looking at the architecture of it (especially if you compare it to the architecture of the Korg Radias from ~2006... that must have had a LOT of DSP power)

Any there any new software synths you use that make good use of multitimbrality? I want to try some out!

dblock
KVRAF
2347 posts since 25 Feb, 2005

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 5:52 am

For me, I would much rather load one instance of Omnisphere that has 8 channels than 8 instances with one.Nice and simple.

Lotuzia
KVRAF
10241 posts since 19 Feb, 2004 from Paris

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 8:01 am

Xils-Lab Syn'X 2. Very deep synth, a bit comparable to Lush 101, except this time it's the elka Synthex which was emulated with -optional- multitimbrality

Some patches exploring Syn'X 2 multitimbrality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INmHlCNBz2I
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Synth Presets

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
164 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 4:54 pm

That sounds great! Very funky sounding! Will have to check it out
Lotuzia wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:01 am
Xils-Lab Syn'X 2. Very deep synth, a bit comparable to Lush 101, except this time it's the elka Synthex which was emulated with -optional- multitimbrality

Some patches exploring Syn'X 2 multitimbrality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INmHlCNBz2I

User avatar
layzer
KVRAF
6747 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 5:23 pm

M1 and Purity are my fav CPU efficient MT synths OXEfm
to a lesser degree :idea:
HW SYNTHS [KORG T2EX - AKAI AX80 - YAMAHA SY77 - ENSONIQ VFX]
HW MODULES [OBi M1000 - ROLAND MKS-50 - ROLAND JV880 - KURZ 1000PX]
SW [CHARLATAN - OBXD - OXE - ELEKTRO - MICROTERA - M1 - SURGE - RMiV]
DAW [ENERGY XT2/1U RACK WINXP / MAUDIO 1010LT PCI]

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8092 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 5:41 pm

I generally don't care about multi-timbrality for the reasons you mentioned. I'd rather do that in DAWs or other layering tools. However in the case of Omnisphere I appreciate it because each part can have it's own midi channel, has it's own effects and it's easy to copy from one part to the others. So with an mpe device, you get this cool functionality where you can modulate effects per voice/key. That's pretty rare. Some synths have per voice distortion for example, like repro. Falcon has a few per voice effects as well. But with mpe and Omnisphere, you can have all effects be per voice. So you could have an expression not only increase distortion but also change delay rate or reverb amount or something. So yeah that is very cool. Otherwise if it's just for layering, no I don't care.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
164 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 10:23 pm

I totally get where you're coming from with the layering - a DAW can manage it to a large extent. But at the same time, if a good va-type synth has layering 'baked in' by offering multiple instances of itself with independent effects chains etc, and actively encourages the workstation-type paradigm of 'programs' and 'combis' so that you can build up layered sounds by individual patches, I feel like you would end up with sounds that you may not have imagined when looking at things one instance at a time.. What really annoys me is I think Largo comes SO close to this for me - it seems like a great VA with the wavetables as a nice extra, but falls over with patch management. If there were a clear distinction between a 'program' (one instance) and a 'combi' (the 4 instances containing any program you like, that can be saved as such) it would be pretty much... perfect for what I'm looking for at least!

If you can think of anything else that works this way I'm all ears. I just saw Tone2 Electra2 seems to fit the bill quite well and will be having a play with that over the weekend
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:41 pm
I generally don't care about multi-timbrality for the reasons you mentioned. I'd rather do that in DAWs or other layering tools. However in the case of Omnisphere I appreciate it because each part can have it's own midi channel, has it's own effects and it's easy to copy from one part to the others. So with an mpe device, you get this cool functionality where you can modulate effects per voice/key. That's pretty rare. Some synths have per voice distortion for example, like repro. Falcon has a few per voice effects as well. But with mpe and Omnisphere, you can have all effects be per voice. So you could have an expression not only increase distortion but also change delay rate or reverb amount or something. So yeah that is very cool. Otherwise if it's just for layering, no I don't care.

User avatar
Markus Krause
KVRist
446 posts since 2 Jul, 2018

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 10:34 pm

Tone2 Audiosoftware https://www.tone2.com

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
164 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 10:35 pm

Haha nice one :) I just mentioned it specifically!
Markus Krause wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:34 pm
https://www.tone2.com/electra2.html

AnX
KVRAF
7024 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Thu May 21, 2020 11:58 pm

no merit here

clipnotic
KVRist
225 posts since 19 Sep, 2007 from Germany

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Fri May 22, 2020 1:27 am

in my DAW and probably in others is a "layer feature", with that I can layer as much VSTs I want and play them together with splits and so on.
VST developers need more motivation and best motivation is hardcore criticism! :D
My english is terrible, feel free to correct me! :wink:

Lotuzia
KVRAF
10241 posts since 19 Feb, 2004 from Paris

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Fri May 22, 2020 7:24 am

fallacy wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:23 pm
I totally get where you're coming from with the layering - a DAW can manage it to a large extent. But at the same time, if a good va-type synth has layering 'baked in' by offering multiple instances of itself with independent effects chains etc, and actively encourages the workstation-type paradigm of 'programs' and 'combis' so that you can build up layered sounds by individual patches, I feel like you would end up with sounds that you may not have imagined when looking at things one instance at a time.. What really annoys me is I think Largo comes SO close to this for me - it seems like a great VA with the wavetables as a nice extra, but falls over with patch management. If there were a clear distinction between a 'program' (one instance) and a 'combi' (the 4 instances containing any program you like, that can be saved as such) it would be pretty much... perfect for what I'm looking for at least!

If you can think of anything else that works this way I'm all ears. I just saw Tone2 Electra2 seems to fit the bill quite well and will be having a play with that over the weekend
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:41 pm
I generally don't care about multi-timbrality for the reasons you mentioned. I'd rather do that in DAWs or other layering tools. However in the case of Omnisphere I appreciate it because each part can have it's own midi channel, has it's own effects and it's easy to copy from one part to the others. So with an mpe device, you get this cool functionality where you can modulate effects per voice/key. That's pretty rare. Some synths have per voice distortion for example, like repro. Falcon has a few per voice effects as well. But with mpe and Omnisphere, you can have all effects be per voice. So you could have an expression not only increase distortion but also change delay rate or reverb amount or something. So yeah that is very cool. Otherwise if it's just for layering, no I don't care.
Layering is one thing, and having it all inside a single plug can indeed be a plus -imho-. (except when you want to layer synths with diff. synthesis engines, like specialised Analog+FM synths)

Then, the Syn'X 2 let you explore multitimbral synthesis in other ways. The same LFO can modulate the PWM of different layers, where, in each layer, oscillators waveforms can vary and have different PWM offset settings. Or trigger when playing a chord some layers that will be different each time, because they have diff.oscillators, that the chord will not trigger the same layers each time, and that some layers can have portamento, and the other not, or diff. pitch EVs etc etc. Possibilities are indeed endless, and give very lively, expressive and organic patches, which very few synths -at least none that I know- can approach.
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Synth Presets

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there

dune_rave
KVRAF
1657 posts since 23 Jun, 2006 from Hungary

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Fri May 22, 2020 8:18 am

Since we have unify, its very easy to create and save ( and tag) a multitimbral combi preset.

User avatar
fallacy
KVRist
164 posts since 15 Apr, 2016 from Germany

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Fri May 22, 2020 8:40 am

Oh wow this looks pretty good too! I like the approach!
dune_rave wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:18 am
Since we have unify, its very easy to create and save ( and tag) a multitimbral combi preset.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8092 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Multi-timbral synths

Post Fri May 22, 2020 5:09 pm

I think NewSonicArts reestyle is the coolest utility for this. Infinitely flexible and you can instantly change snapshots of entirely different structures including layers. Also you can morph between macro presets.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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