Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
10bd01
KVRist
117 posts since 14 Sep, 2016

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:31 am

I've had a few frustrating days with plugin designers and thought it was time for a list. I'm going to post a thread for this in both instruments and effects to see if we can get a good list going.

According to the following criteria, what companies have you run into that are scoring a full 10 on the following scale:
  • 1. Sound
    • Stellar sound. If the intention is transparency it's transparent, if the intention is analogue it is accurately analogue, if the intention is dirty it's really dirty.
    2. Accurate Metrics
    • Numbers actually reflect reality.
    3. Great Interface
    • You can resize it. It's aesthetically pleasing. It's a pleasure to use. It's clear and intuitive.
    4. Great Performance
    • Non-existent or little latency in both sound and the interface. Acceptable CPU/memory usage for the function it performs. Rarely if ever crashes.
    5. Great Features
    • Robust features. Progresses the field or contains all of the necessary and relevant features one would expect.
    6. Great Presets
    • Presets that sound great and work in production with minimal or no tweaking.
    7. Great Customer Service
    • They maintain their products (e.g. updates). They respond within a day or two during the week. They read what you've written and respond with intelligent answers and solutions. Or you never need to contact customer service.
    8. Great Website
    • Their website has sound samples, downloadable demos, tutorials, a place to ask questions, and a knowledge-base or manual that contains most of what a user would need to know about their software.
    9. Acceptable Marketing Practices
    • They don't pester you. They offer discounts regularly. Their promotions make sense. They appear to have an accurate sense of their value and don't create a list price of $1000 and offer 99% discounts every other week.
    10. Acceptable Licensing
    • They don't punish the user who buys their product with labyrinthine hell-hole licensing situations because they are paranoid that their software will be pirated and can't develop a user-friendly solution that doesn't condemn their paying users to regular torture.
I'd be interested to see what companies you've worked with that score a 10 on this scale. If you feel like you'd like to include a company that doesn't score a 10 - either one that scores high but doesn't make the mark, or one that scores so low you want to warn people about it - feel free! Also feel free to include some information about how they fell short or what they could do to improve.

Because this is the instruments thread please only post companies that produce instruments, I will also make a similar post in the effects thread so individuals there can also benefit from an effects list.

I may add to this list, but off the top of my head companies that score a 10 for me:

Modartt (Pianoteq)
U-he

I don't actually know if you can resize the Pianoteq interface, but I've never felt like I've needed to. I give Uvi an 8 because I've had some unwanted sound artefacts in UVI Tines and I'm not entirely sure about their gain staging in Vintage Vault/their workstation.

So...who gets a 10/10 for you :?:

::: Current KVR Member 10/10 List - Instrument Developers :::

U-he (15)
Native Instruments (5)
Tal (4)
Synapse (4)
None (3)
Orange Tree Samples (3)
Vengeance (3)
XFER (3)
XILS (3)
Air (2)
Applied Acoustic Systems (2)
GForce (2)
KV331 (2)
Versilian Studios (2)
Waves (2)

Cableguys (1)
Cockos (1)
DS Audio (1)
Eventide (1)
Full Bucket (1)
FXpansion (1)
Greenoak (1)
Ilya Efimov (1)
Klevgrand (1)
Madrona Labs (1)
Modartt (1)
NuSofting (1)
Plogue (1)
Psychic Modulation (1)
Rob Papen (1)
Sonic Charge (1)
SPC Plugins (1)
Spectrasonics (1)
Spitfire (1)
Sugarbytes (1)
Togu Audio Line (1)
Tone2 (1)
Unfiltered Audio (1)
Westgate Sounds (1)

::: Honorable Mentions :::

Steinberg
Soundtoys [moved to the effects thread* - twice]
Blue Cat Audio [moved to the effects thread*]
ValhallaDSP [moved to the effects thread*]
Melda [moved to the effects thread* - twice]
Lennar Digital (I count the quasi 1 and the secondary 1 honorable mention)
Native Instruments ( -Slow Support)
Modartt ( -GUI)

*viewtopic.php?f=6&t=494724&p=6926199#p6926199
Last edited by 10bd01 on Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:18 am, edited 28 times in total.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
13626 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:56 am

I honestly don't rate companies. If I see a synth and like the way it sounds, I buy it. I'm not bothered by web sites or marketing strategies. Very few things on your list even matter to me. And even if I cared about all that stuff, which I don't, I wouldn't sit down and make a chart "Now let's see, XYZ company gets a 7 for features, an 8 for sound..." and so on. It's a waste of my time.

Are there companies I've been pleased with in the course of buying synths? Yeah, lots of them. But I couldn't tell you if they're a 10 or a 9 or whatever.

My favorite companies?

In this order

U-he
XILS
Synapse
Native Instruments

That's about it. But have no idea if they're 10s, 9s, 8s or whatever. I just know that if they come out with something there is a good chance I'm going to get it. I can't really say that about any other company.

egbert101
KVRAF
2099 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:39 am

<delete>
Last edited by egbert101 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
No rest for the wicked.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
13626 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:40 am

egbert101 wrote:For me:

Togu Audio Line
Blue Cat Audio
u-he
ValhallaDSP
GForce
Rob Papen
Does Valhalla make a synth?

elassi
KVRAF
1892 posts since 8 Sep, 2009

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:45 am

KvR - the place where devs are the artists (or DJs).

:violin:

egbert101
KVRAF
2099 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:46 am

<delete>
Last edited by egbert101 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
No rest for the wicked.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12280 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:16 am

Lennar Digital: Website is just average, factory presets are useless for me (wrong genre), the guy is a bit on the grumpy and stubborn side. But everything else 10/10 :tu:

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wagtunes
KVRAF
13626 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:29 am

egbert101 wrote:
wagtunes wrote: Does Valhalla make a synth?
Nope, but if you want the best reverbs. :hihi:
I asked because he just wanted this list to be for synths. There is a thread in FX for companies that make FX.

10bd01
KVRist
117 posts since 14 Sep, 2016

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:32 am

wagtunes wrote: I asked because he just wanted this list to be for synths. There is a thread in FX for companies that make FX.
Just in case and just to be clear, it could also be virtual instruments. I don't know if all virtual instruments are considered synthesizers or not. :?

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wagtunes
KVRAF
13626 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:38 am

10bd01 wrote:
wagtunes wrote: I asked because he just wanted this list to be for synths. There is a thread in FX for companies that make FX.
Just in case and just to be clear, it could also be virtual instruments. I don't know if all virtual instruments are considered synthesizers or not. :?
Yeah, any instrument. Pianos too. But FX he definitely wants separate and set up another thread for it.

Straight2Vinyl
KVRist
168 posts since 10 Mar, 2017

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:55 pm

If we can expand this to include Kontakt libraries, I'd definitely include Orange Tree Samples. I recently bought their guitar library, along with the upright bass and flute and they blow me away. Fantastic instruments and service from everything I've seen, though I haven't needed much in terms of service as everything worked as expected.

EnGee
KVRAF
4947 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:04 pm

My list (includes current Support experiences):
- u-he
- Waves
- Native Instruments
- Air
- Waldorf
- Synapse Audio

Some companies I haven't dealt with their support, but love their products:
- Steinberg
- Lennar Digital (that is Sylenth1 :hihi: )

I might missed one or two!
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.
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My DAW: Windows 10 with Live 9

10bd01
KVRist
117 posts since 14 Sep, 2016

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:32 pm

Straight2Vinyl wrote:If we can expand this to include Kontakt libraries, I'd definitely include Orange Tree Samples.
Of course! I actually just picked up a couple of their guitars in that last group buy they did. Haven't had a chance to break them out yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Added!

10bd01
KVRist
117 posts since 14 Sep, 2016

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:36 pm

EnGee wrote: - Waves
[If there were a skeptical emoji on here this is where it would be.]

I added this...but last year I went to one of their online "giveaways" and 6 hours into it I felt like the multiverse had opened up and hoards of vampiric demons were attempting to suck the money out of my wallet through my veins.

:neutral:

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Michael L
KVRAF
2402 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from the End of the World as we Knowit

Re: Which Companies Score a 10/10? - In Instruments [with List Updates]

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:09 pm

This is different. You are ranking entire companies, rather than just their products.
So a company that scores high on everything except sound and features (Soundspot) is better than a company that scores great on sound and features but not on anything else (Sound Guru)?
I detect a flaw in your reasoning....

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