Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2855 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:52 am

Best sounding? Wouldn't say that unless you're after extremely agressive and artifical sounds. One advantage of Harmor is that it allows to synchronise all the partials in phase, giving extremely sharp sound.
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jsp1979
KVRAF
2912 posts since 7 Aug, 2008

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:02 am

This.

It's the manual image line should've written but didn't.

egbert101
KVRAF
2099 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:11 am

Harmor has so much potential and power, it is wild, but being able to tame the beast is a matter of spending time with it, and trying to learn its unique way of doing things (time which I just don't have at the moment). There is no doubt about the quality of its output, but whether its nice sounding is debatable, as it goes into all sorts of nasty territory (which is good for some).

I would say, if you want something a little eccentric but with a lot of potential then go for Harmor, but if you want something a little more logical and understandable, go for Serum instead.
No rest for the wicked.

Neon Breath
KVRAF
2947 posts since 15 Sep, 2010

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:57 am

surreal wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:00 am
What is the best sounding vst synth guys?
That's like asking 'What is the best tasting food guys?''.

Although you can find a general consensus, there's no right nor wrong answers.
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sjm
KVRAF
1729 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:19 am

To work with Harmor, you need to understand how a single sound can be broken down into a series of sine waves. Or put it another way, add together the right sine waves at the right frequencies, and you can make any sound.

If this is completely new to you, i.e. you are unaware that you can add together sine waves of different frequencies to create any sound, I'd suggest that instead of tutorials on Harmor, you read up on the basic physics of audio waves. That is the basic understanding you need to work with Harmor.

So Harmor works completely on this level (so-called partials). The EQ is applied at the partial level (it will make particular sine waves louder or quieter depending on their frequency). The phaser is applied to the partials, not the audio output.

The easiest way to understand what Harmor is doing when you use one of the functions is to open the view on the right. This gives you a representation of all the sine waves in your sound, how loud each one is, and what is happening to it (changing in volume, changing in pitch etc.). Top tip: type "can i haz moar view" into the description box (where you see the author and preset name) to make this preview bigger.

I would suggest that you watch this view, and play around with the different options to see how each one of them affects the partials. In particular, the way the prism and harmoniser work are not necessarily obvious if you just listen to the sound. But it should make a lot more sense when you see what each sine wave is doing.


Best sounding synth? It can be. It's also very easy to make it sound like complete garbage... :)
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Neon Breath
KVRAF
2947 posts since 15 Sep, 2010

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:28 am

sjm wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:19 am

Best sounding synth? It can be. It's also very easy to make it sound like complete garbage... :)
Bullseye. So it is for most instruments and tools.
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Synthman2000
KVRian
536 posts since 27 Apr, 2016

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:55 am

It seems to have a quality I really liked. Very fat, dry, clean punchy, like it can cut through.. more so than any other synth I have heard. Thanks for this info it gives me something to start with... and the manual.. gulp.

Sure I appreciate that all sounds/complex waveforms can be broke down into sines ultimately. Although this is theoretical and mathematical and not the basis of "reality" as typically experienced. Or it is just one non actual view of it, in essence a description. Though when it comes to synthesizing this way it seems so abstract and far from aurally imaginable/mentally conceivable results it seems impossible. Anyway philosophising apart...

Unless there is some kind of basic starting methodology such as (one example) how a triangle wave is generated:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_wave

Maybe Harmor is a very pure type of synthesis. In sound we often hear about "getting it right at source"
and what can be more so than actually tooling in your harmonics.

It still seems like a mountain to climb in my mind. Probably going to take a while.

Its chosen name is now starting to make sense at least. :wink:

robotmonkey
KVRAF
2036 posts since 20 Jun, 2012

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:19 am

I will also vote no.

It does sound very good though. Unfortunately it's one of those synths that after purchasing it I have never used it on anything. I sometimes noodle with it but then find the GUI to be a turnoff.
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liquid234
KVRist
44 posts since 27 Dec, 2017

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:27 pm

Been demoing Harmor and watching Seamless’s excellent in-depth video tutorials. This is one synth that benefits from expert explanation. I’m trying to think what other soft synths are similar to Harmor. Actually, Image Line makes another additive synth that can load samples- Morphine. It does resynthesis, like Harmor. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept. From the website:

”Resynthesis allows you to capture a complete spectrum from any audio sample, for accurate emulation of real instruments, or as a starting point for something completely new, using the in-built editing tools. Unlike the resynthesis of other additive synthesizers, Morphine provides total control so the resynthesized sounds are as close to the original sample as possible”.

Tone2 Icarus does resynthesis and sample loading, being primarily a wavetable synth. What synths are comparable to Harmor and Morphine, being additive with resynthesis and sample import? BTW, what are the main differences between Harmor and Morphine that users have experienced?

(And Image Line software is all “Not for resale”, correct? Normally, that might be a deal breaker, but Harmor is awesome, and decently priced.) Waiting patiently for Black Friday, but if anyone wants to do an early sale... I’m listening! :hihi:

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aMUSEd
KVRAF
29812 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:53 pm

Just a pity it never gets updated beyond minor bugfixes, and even then only on Windows. The Mac alpha is still in the same state it was abandoned in several years ago.

EnGee
KVRAF
4951 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:54 pm

Alchemy is comparable to Harmor resynthesis. There was an old long thread in the past about I think three or four synths resynthesis. Alchemy (version 1 RIP) and Harmor were the best two I think. I'm just too lazy to search for it (sorry!).

Ignore Morphine! This is the worst additive synth IMO. There are much better alternatives. Anyway, there are many other synths now that do wavetable, additive, subtractive and even maybe some FM! So, it is not a synth must do only one kind of synthesis anymore!

Harmor is a fine synth and it is still from the best synths out there. From all Image Line synths, the most I like are Harmor and Sytrus. I don't use them much to be honest, but they both sound great and can do wide range of sounds with great quality and reasonable CPU usage. I need to give them some attention and fair use ;)
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12299 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:37 pm

I used to have Harmless, is it related to Harmor, like its small brother?
Except for the GUI I did not like Harmless, it sounded cold and harsh to me.

Their plugins range seems rather mediocre and abandoned, and for the most part overpriced, for instance their Poizone, which has not been updated in ages.

And of course there is the usual IL resale problem. I don't think I will ever buy anything from IL again as long as I don't suffer from Alzheimer's.

EnGee
KVRAF
4951 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:48 pm

Yes Harmless is the little brother of Harmor. Don't know about cold and harsh, but most synths sound cold and harsh to you ;)

There are two developers for synths. Harmor, Sytrus ..etc are by Gol but the Poisone, Morphine ..etc are by Maxx (?). Anyway, I think there are very good tools (synths and FX) in FL Studio, but there is a certain workflow and style you either hate or love. It's little bit too late for me now to learn FL Studio as it is not like Live or Bitwig, neither like Cubase and other linear DAWs. It is not difficult but it needs to get used to its workflow and its way of design.

Yes, they are not for resale (NFR) products. However, FL Studio has lifetime free updates, so people already got their money back ;)
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12299 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:55 pm

With the DAW yes, it is reasonably priced. Then again, Harmor for instance is not part of the DAW, one has to buy it separately, and it is not cheap, 139 euros + VAT, i.e. about 170 euros. Once I buy it, I am stuck with it forever, even if they abandon it as usual.

cron
KVRAF
3093 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Re: Harmor.. is this the best sounding VSTi synth ever ?

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:21 pm

Harmor is an absolutely remarkable machine. Almost certainly the most powerful analysis/synthesis tool out there. There's a third party manual someone posted here a while back which is worth going into.

A lot of the power is hidden in the drop-down menu on the grapher, particularly the modules on the right hand side of that menu which can fundamentally alter the behaviour of many modules in the synth. The obvious example I always use is drawing a custom prism shape to turn the prism control into a 'whammy bar' for individual/groups of harmonics, then there are simpler things (by Harmor's standards) like being able to draw an arbitrary filter shape.

Try converting your analysed samples to image synthesis mode and using it in conjunction with an image editor too. Harmor makes it very easy to transform analysis data in your image editor of choice - you just hit copy in one and paste in the other. No need to create/save files. I use GIMP + G'MIC plugins for this. You can copy amplitude and frequency data separately, or both at the same time. I find amplitude data gets the best results.
Last edited by cron on Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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