Characterful wavetable synths?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Robmobius
KVRAF
3102 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:55 am

aMUSEd wrote:I like Nave, can do some crazy modulation with that
Actually... I'm going to add Nave to my list, as it's an absolute beast of a synth. It does have character in the sense of having an unreal filter (one of the best I've ever heard in a vst) and the distortion algos as fat as hell.

I can't believe I forgot this one!
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wagtunes
KVRAF
14014 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:02 am

recursive one wrote:
wagtunes wrote:I'm just trying to understand what the word characterful means.
I agree, it's a bit hard to explain, therefore I gave some examples of what I consider "characterful" synths and what I don't. E.g. Serum may sound extremely different depending on the wavetable you put into it, while Massive tends to sound recognizable to some extent, even when used outside of the typical dubstep/D&B sounds. This may boil down to that the sound designers are limited by the Massive stock wavetables but I think filters, effects and the whole sound engine somehow contributes into it.
So i other words, a synth that is recognizable on its own? Where you can say THAT'S Massive or THAT'S Largo or whatever?

If so...

1. Can you absolutely, within the context of a mix, point out every single synth and say THAT'S whatever? I've made this challenge before and I'm making it again. I say that if I did a track with nothing but wavetable synths, you wouldn't be able to tell which part was which synth.

2. Does characterful necessarily mean good? A synth can have its own character and sound like crap. So how much does being characterful on its own really matter?

I haven't really counted but I think I own about 6 synths that have wavetable capability.

Off the top of my head

Serum
Nave
Dune 2
Avenger
Falcon
Massive
Rapid
Icarus
HALion 6

Okay, there's 9. To me, they all have character. My favorites from most to least?

Dune 2 (but not for its WT capability, that's for sure)
Icarus
Serum
Nave
Avenger
Massive
Rapid
Falcon
HALion 6

For me, Falcon and HALion 6 have the most sterile, clean sounds of all the synths I own. In fact, I'd probably go as far as saying they both lack character. They are about as generic sounding as you can get. For sound design, that's fantastic. Because then you can truly make them your own.

But like I said, in the context of a mix, eh, who cares? Only people with super power hearing can tell one synth from another and I'm absolutely ready to prove it. I'll do a track with those 9 synths and nobody will be able to tell which part is which synth especially when you've got 4 or 5 things going on at the same time.

Having said all that, yeah, if working with a synth in isolation you need that character to inspire you, sure, it matters. Because if you're not inspired, you're not going to use the synth much. So that much I get. But in the context of the music? Hell, I listen to some of my own songs and outside of a few very rare examples I can't tell which synths I used on them.

recursive one
KVRAF
3775 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:57 am

Well, that Nave sounds really good, jusdging from the Youtube demos (I assume the VSTi plugin does all the same things as the iOS one?). Somehow I like the sound character more than the Largo demos.

E.g., the drone from 1:43

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

Or the dissonant FX at the beginning of this video, as well as these "plastic" chords coming after it and the warbling pad at around 2:58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNWLG2F_kIk

Basically I'm after something like this since I have more typical VA/unison sounds covered by Viper, Spire and some other synths.
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Robmobius
KVRAF
3102 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:04 am

recursive one wrote: (I assume the VSTi plugin does all the same things as the iOS one?).
Yup! :tu:
We 'the leaders' bring you the ultimate paradigm shift. Dramatization: No paradigms were actually shifted in the making of this statement. Furthermore, any reference to paradigms is for entertainment purposes only.

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BlackWinny
KVRAF
3500 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:17 am

Since the day I discovered it (during its beta tests last year) it is this one which became my favorite wavetable synth, not only for its sounds and its features but also for its incredibly clean interface and it is a pure blast to play with and take hours to discover it again today after more than a year and half of use:

Oscillators

Wave Table Oscillator

Wave Draw

Bezier Curves

Detune

Distortion And Noise

Filters

Modulation

Factory Programs and Waveforms

GUI

Watch some video tutorials

Listen To Presets

Listen to all the songs made for the OSC 109 a month ago

And it is modular, with an opened architecture :

Image
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aMUSEd
KVRAF
30068 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:37 am

Robmobius wrote:
aMUSEd wrote:I like Nave, can do some crazy modulation with that
Actually... I'm going to add Nave to my list, as it's an absolute beast of a synth. It does have character in the sense of having an unreal filter (one of the best I've ever heard in a vst) and the distortion algos as fat as hell.

I can't believe I forgot this one!
Yeah the filter is really gutsy

chk071
KVRAF
17683 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:10 am

recursive one wrote:Well, that Nave sounds really good, jusdging from the Youtube demos (I assume the VSTi plugin does all the same things as the iOS one?). Somehow I like the sound character more than the Largo demos.

E.g., the drone from 1:43

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

Or the dissonant FX at the beginning of this video, as well as these "plastic" chords coming after it and the warbling pad at around 2:58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNWLG2F_kIk

Basically I'm after something like this since I have more typical VA/unison sounds covered by Viper, Spire and some other synths.
The downsides i noticed on Nave, compared to Largo were: Less bottom end. Largo has a bass boost, which really creates some massive low end, and can be very useful for thick, full sounds. Also, Nave's VA section is limited compared to Largo. Largo, apart from wavetable capability, not only sounds very good for VA sounds too, but, has 3 oscillators, where Nave effectively only has one real VA oscillator, and, i think (correct me if i'm wrong), only allows unison for the VA oscillator as well, not for the wavetable oscillators. Nave is more flexible for wavetables though, and has some stuff there which Largo has not.

After demoing it, i liked Largo's sound more, and i also found the filters to be better sounding. But, i guess that's really a matter of taste. Nave is fantastic considering it uses so small CPU.

Oh, and dunno if it has been answered yet, but, nope, Largo doesn't have wavetable import. Which is the only real negative point i could state about it.

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masterhiggins
KVRAF
1888 posts since 31 Dec, 2004 from People's Republic of Minnesota

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:26 am

Ppg wavegenerator definitely has character.

recursive one
KVRAF
3775 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:34 am

chk071 wrote:
recursive one wrote:Well, that Nave sounds really good, jusdging from the Youtube demos (I assume the VSTi plugin does all the same things as the iOS one?). Somehow I like the sound character more than the Largo demos.

E.g., the drone from 1:43

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

Or the dissonant FX at the beginning of this video, as well as these "plastic" chords coming after it and the warbling pad at around 2:58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNWLG2F_kIk

Basically I'm after something like this since I have more typical VA/unison sounds covered by Viper, Spire and some other synths.
The downsides i noticed on Nave, compared to Largo were: Less bottom end. Largo has a bass boost, which really creates some massive low end, and can be very useful for thick, full sounds. Also, Nave's VA section is limited compared to Largo. Largo, apart from wavetable capability, not only sounds very good for VA sounds too, but, has 3 oscillators, where Nave effectively only has one real VA oscillator, and, i think (correct me if i'm wrong), only allows unison for the VA oscillator as well, not for the wavetable oscillators. Nave is more flexible for wavetables though, and has some stuff there which Largo has not.

After demoing it, i liked Largo's sound more, and i also found the filters to be better sounding. But, i guess that's really a matter of taste. Nave is fantastic considering it uses so small CPU.

Oh, and dunno if it has been answered yet, but, nope, Largo doesn't have wavetable import. Which is the only real negative point i could state about it.
I'll definitely demo them both, but as I said, the VA capabilities are of secondary importance for me as I have other synths for that, though I definitely want a good filter. I mostly need a WT synth to make various kinds of drones, FXes, moving pads etc.

Sorry for posting my own stuff, but here some of the exemplary sounds, I made the drone sound at 1:03

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/e ... rom-utopia

and the main sequence starting from 3:03

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/andromeda-nebula

in Virus wavetable oscillator with almost no external processing except for Virus own FX. When I'm trying to make similar sounds in Serum and Rapid, even using the original Virus wavetables, the result sounds somehow too clean/soft. This is not bad per se and this may be fixed by some external processing but as I tend to build most sounds within the synth itself and to use external processing only for "corrective" purposes, I'm looking for a synth which has "the right" (or at least "some") character right off the bat.
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chk071
KVRAF
17683 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:43 am

I think the Virus' wavetables are even by Wolfram Franke, the guy responsible for Largo, and many Waldorf synths before that (or at least some of them are, he surely was involved in the development of the Virus). They sound pretty "edgy". I think Largo could well be suited for those, even though, naturally, because it can't import wavetables, you'd have to use what's available in there. Dunno, i found Nave to be less punchy/edgy/beefy, but, that's just me. I can well understand if some don't perceive it that way. If you're looking for a pure wavetable synth, Nave surely has more to offer than Largo, feature wise.

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layzer
KVRAF
5767 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:18 am

any sound can be characterful if you modulate it, in pitch amplitude or frequency :idea: :hihi:

but yeah, wavetable.... Surge, a bit old but light on CPU and
gets the job done.
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Last edited by layzer on Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Ingonator
KVRAF
12043 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:20 am

I have a bunch of wavetable synths and really like most of them but talking about character Waldorf PPG Wave 3.V like the hardwrae PPG Wave 2.2/2.3 on which it is based has LOTS of character.

PPG Wave 3.V could load WAV files for doing sample playback and IMO it sound great as a "Lo-Fi sampler".
Almost any sample i had loaded with it sounded really nice to my ears and that with just a single sample for all octaves, not a multisample. Multisamples are possible too if you use 8 multi parts with corresponding keyzones (those could be set in the PROG menu).
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Cinebient
KVRAF
3779 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:25 am

Robmobius wrote:
recursive one wrote: (I assume the VSTi plugin does all the same things as the iOS one?).
Yup! :tu:
Not all..... :D

Stefken
KVRian
675 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:32 am

layzer wrote:any sound can be characterful if you modulate it, in pitch amplitude or frequency :idea: :hihi:
.
You forgot the reverb. :clown:
What's the use of these posts. You always say the same thing: You don't need it.
Just like a ppg, dx7, moog, arp, ... sounds the same.

What are you doing on a synth forum then?
It's like going to a football stadium and shouting all the time: football sucks.
Well, leave then and go do something usefull.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
14014 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Characterful wavetable synths?

Post Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:38 am

Stefken wrote:
layzer wrote:any sound can be characterful if you modulate it, in pitch amplitude or frequency :idea: :hihi:
.
You forgot the reverb. :clown:
What's the use of these posts. You always say the same thing: You don't need it.
Just like a ppg, dx7, moog, arp, ... sounds the same.

What are you doing on a synth forum then?
It's like going to a football stadium and shouting all the time: football sucks.
Well, leave then and go do something usefull.
Thank you.

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