Best free synth to rule them all?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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wagtunes
KVRAF
13276 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:18 am

JerGoertz wrote:We know you have a hangup about user interfaces, wags. If that makes you dismiss a synth, then more power to you too.
Um yeah, not being able to read what I'm doing, having all those sub windows crashing on me for no reason, sub windows not ever opening, labels not showing up, playing keys and nothing coming out the speaker and having to reboot my DAW every 5 minutes tends to make me dismiss a synth big time.

ZSF was a total train wreck. The new one, in comparison, is a dream machine. Some problems but MUCH better than that piece of crap that they tried to pass off as a usable piece of software.

JerGoertz
KVRAF
2085 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:33 am

fmr wrote:
JerGoertz wrote: The sound is superb. That's why it's great. And it was buggy/klunky but still usable, just not convenient. There are plenty of renowned hardware synths known for being temperamental (oscs going out of tune) :shrug:
That's because those are dynosaurs, built in an era where technology didn't allow to make them better. The ones that are great aren't BECAUSE of that but DESPITE that. Believe me, any user would gladly get rid of those "temperament" if they could :shrug:
And I'm saying ZAS is great despite its issues, too. I thought that was clear. There's no apparent disagreement here. :shrug: Its pad mode (or whatever it was called) sounds gorgeous.
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JerGoertz
KVRAF
2085 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:42 am

wagtunes wrote:
JerGoertz wrote:We know you have a hangup about user interfaces, wags. If that makes you dismiss a synth, then more power to you too.
Um yeah, not being able to read what I'm doing, having all those sub windows crashing on me for no reason, sub windows not ever opening, labels not showing up, playing keys and nothing coming out the speaker and having to reboot my DAW every 5 minutes tends to make me dismiss a synth big time.

ZSF was a total train wreck. The new one, in comparison, is a dream machine. Some problems but MUCH better than that piece of crap that they tried to pass off as a usable piece of software.
Wow, what version of ZASFx were you using? I remember some interface glitches and maybe some crashes on the latest version I tried, but my impression is that it was definitely usable. The "interface issues" caused by your eyesight (and unwillingness to use fixes/workarounds) are more specific to you, and it's entirely reasonable someone without them wouldn't be bothered.
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User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
13276 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:47 am

JerGoertz wrote:
wagtunes wrote:
JerGoertz wrote:We know you have a hangup about user interfaces, wags. If that makes you dismiss a synth, then more power to you too.
Um yeah, not being able to read what I'm doing, having all those sub windows crashing on me for no reason, sub windows not ever opening, labels not showing up, playing keys and nothing coming out the speaker and having to reboot my DAW every 5 minutes tends to make me dismiss a synth big time.

ZSF was a total train wreck. The new one, in comparison, is a dream machine. Some problems but MUCH better than that piece of crap that they tried to pass off as a usable piece of software.
Wow, what version of ZASFx were you using? I remember some interface glitches and maybe some crashes on the latest version I tried, but my impression is that it was definitely usable. The "interface issues" caused by your eyesight (and unwillingness to use fixes/workarounds) are more specific to you, and it's entirely reasonable someone without them wouldn't be bothered.
I was using the absolute first version that looked like something out of a Wang VS 2200 punch card machine. I don't know what version you were using but this thing was the absolute worst VST that I am sure was ever made.

generaldiomedes
KVRian
502 posts since 15 Apr, 2017 from Canada

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:53 am

There doesn't need to be a single best free synth - since they are free there is no restraint on how many you can use :) Also, development is usually a bit limited so having a one-synth-does-all may never happen.

For pay synths, people often just have a budget for one per year or whatever, so then it makes sense.

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AJYoung
KVRist
219 posts since 19 Aug, 2014

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:32 pm

wagtunes wrote:Um yeah, not being able to read what I'm doing, having all those sub windows crashing on me for no reason, sub windows not ever opening, labels not showing up, playing keys and nothing coming out the speaker and having to reboot my DAW every 5 minutes tends to make me dismiss a synth big time.

ZSF was a total train wreck. The new one, in comparison, is a dream machine. Some problems but MUCH better than that piece of crap that they tried to pass off as a usable piece of software.
wagtunes wrote: I was using the absolute first version that looked like something out of a Wang VS 2200 punch card machine. I don't know what version you were using but this thing was the absolute worst VST that I am sure was ever made.
Ahhhh that explains it. I was wondering why you had so many problems with old Zyn. In my experience, ZynFusion has been significantly more buggy than the old VST version.

But if you were using the first Zyn VST version (2.0.0 I think?) you'd have a much different experience. I think the oldest version I ever used was 2.4.8 or so. 8 more years of development can do a lot for stability :lol:.

But yes, the old interface is terrible, and compared to that the new ZynFusion UI is a godsend.
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gaf_thit
KVRian
508 posts since 28 Sep, 2012 from Norway

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:05 am

But adding zynfusion UI makes it a $55 plugin, though.
Looks awe-inspiring. So many options...

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Mister Natural
KVRAF
2254 posts since 28 Oct, 2007 from michigan

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:38 am

this thread inspired me to search around and reconsider freebies - I recently downloaded Zebralette and . . . wow. this thing sounds terrific
No wonder everybody loves Zebra2

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tapiodmitriyevich
KVRist
312 posts since 15 Jan, 2017 from 127.0.0.1

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:59 am

Multicellular wrote:Oatmeal.

zzz00m
KVRian
1293 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:17 am

Zebralette is very cool!!! One oscillator from big brother Zebra2.

That would probably be one of my top 3 free picks, which are:

1. u-he Tyrell N6 (FX:Chorus) Free download from amazona.de
2. u-he Zebralette (FX: Chorus/Phorus/Phaser) free download from u-he.com
3. u-he Beatzille (FX: Delay) This was free at one time via a Beat mag offer

There were many good suggestions in this thread, including Synth1 and Dexed. But I think I would tire of the Synth1 GUI if that is all I ever had to look at. Don't get me wrong, the sound is great and the choice of presets is unmatched. As for Dexed, I would think the FM sound only would become tiresome after a while. It is good, but I just prefer a bit more variety.
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User avatar
atya
KVRist
199 posts since 17 Sep, 2014 from LPGC

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:37 am

And the 'winner' is? :hihi:

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atya
KVRist
199 posts since 17 Sep, 2014 from LPGC

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:39 am

...
(double post ... ignore)

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11097 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:56 am

JerGoertz wrote:
wagtunes wrote:
JerGoertz wrote:ZynAddSubFX was a true masterpiece indeed. Only think holding it back was the bugginess and klunkiness of its interface. Man it sounded good though.
You guys crack me up. Yeah, the only thing bad about ZAS was it was buggy as hell, had a horrendous interface and nobody could really use it. But other than that, it was an amazing synth. LMAO.
The sound is superb. That's why it's great. And it was buggy/klunky but still usable, just not convenient. There are plenty of renowned hardware synths known for being temperamental (oscs going out of tune) :shrug:
Yeah, but it's not. It's ok. Like I said, there are no secrets, you can look at the source code and see that it's anything but cutting edge. Great sounding soft synths are a function of technology, not magic or wishful thinking. If it were leading edge, the technology would have been borrowed many times over.

The fact that the U/I sucks as well just adds to the averageness of the thing. U/I matters in how it inhibits us from getting the sounds that we want out of a synth. It matters to everyone, you're just making assertions based on a particular tradeoff. If U/I didn't matter then we'd all be using the most powerful free synth in existence, a C compiler. If that's too abstract, the PDvst, or CSound VST.

stvrsz
KVRist
91 posts since 23 May, 2011

Re: Best free synth to rule them all?

Post Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:54 am

tapiodmitriyevich wrote:
Multicellular wrote:Oatmeal.
Agreed on
1.Oatmeal
and possibly
2.Uhmet Ozcan Genesis CM which is now free
Zebralette sounds pretty good too, but is pretty limited
So....
3. TAL Noisemaker will take third
4. Synth1

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