New wavetable synth - Sektor by Initial Audio

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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7694 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:47 pm

yellowmix wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:15 pm
Another thing I want to add. Going through the patches, there were several impressive ones. But then I realized the bulk of the sound was coming from the sample oscillator. I haven't listened to the demos but I'd be wary of judging the synth that way since it could be a sample-based patch. If it's got an acoustic instrument sound like orchestral strings, brass, or piano, it's likely sampled.
Why is that a problem? It sounds like a grand idea to me, like what Equator does.
Kinh wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:54 am
We dont bloody need a new wave table synth
Why not? I'm always up for a synth with a great sound and a good workflow. What form of synthesis is used in the oscillators is of less than no interest to me.
Thomas@InitialAudio wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:49 am
Yes I get the point, but by your own admission your not really in the market for a synth. I think for people that are genuinely looking for a synth a 4GB download is not a big deal and will download within 1 to 20 mins on the majority of internet connections. We want people that are demoing to know exactly what they are getting so they can make a more informed decision. Then when they purchase the product they have everything they need. No more to download.
It seems perfectly reasonable to me and it won't stop me downloading the demo tonight, even though my only internet access is via 4G. If it was an issue, I'd download it at work. Having gone to the effort of installing the Signal demo (from Output), only to find it has just a handful of sounds from the library, I feel that was a total waste of my time, so I get why they want to include the whole 4GB here.
ATS wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:35 pm
I demoed it, sounded more like a toy to me compared some other big name synths.
In what way? I think it sounds very nice - full, detailed sound with enough punch to get by.
recursive one wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:19 am
The sequencer doesn't seem to have velocity and glide, pretty useless to me. I wish more devs realized that a sequencer/arp in a synth is not supposed to be a crippled replacement for a DAW piano roll, but rather it must be a sound-design/performance tool on its own.
That's a very contradictory statement, in that it is a plugin instrument with full access to your host's sequencer. So what would be the point of simply replicating that functionality in the synth? I think the simpler it is, the better. If I need more than note on/off, I'll use my host's sequencer. I get that on stage it might be a limitation but I'd just find another part to play.
I can't imagine what it may do better than Serum, Spire and Viper. i don't have a MPE controller, the MPE compatibility seems to be the main selling point of this synth.
One thing it will definitely do better is leave your finances in good shape. That you are comparing it to synths that cost a lot more tells me it must be pretty good value, even if it doesn't necessarily measure up to those synths.
Tj Shredder wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:43 am
But be ware that MPE doesn‘t work and the company doesn‘t care at all...
MPE doesn't work in my host, either, so it makes no difference to me. I have Equator and, to a much lesser extent, MicroMonsta to use with my Roli but I still need other synths to play all the backing tracks.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10), Yamaha AG06, Orion 64 bit, Roli Seaboard Rise 25, Ultranova, Rocket, Pulse 2, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno.

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KVRAF
2237 posts since 29 Jun, 2005 from La La Land

Re: New wavetable synth - Sektor by Initial Audio

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:37 pm

I love this thing to death. I told my my son that Sektor is my buy of the year, and believe me, I have everything and then some and I never said that about a synth. This is the first synth I've ever bought that I'm unconditionally attached to. The funny thing is, that I can't say exactly why in a nutshell. It's a combination of many things. Yes there are issues, but as I said earlier, unconditional love for this thing. Those issues as big as some of them might be in my mind, funnily enough, don't bother me. This is a first for me ever, where I didn't let anything bother me about a synth plugin.

Is it trying to, or can it compete with Serum or any of the other heavyweight wavetable synthesizes? Hell no! Is it's sampling capability comparable to that of any of the big time samplers out there? Hell no! Does it have the best effects ever bolted on to a synth. Hell no! Can you tweak it into oblivion like Halion 6 or Omnisphere? Hell no!
Is it loaded with sick ass presets that you could use in any modern production that are not included in any other 3rd party synth preset packs or factory banks? Hell yeah! Does it come with a bunch of super cool GUI presets that actually I love every one of them and it's fully resizable right out the gate? Hell yeah! (This is huge for me because I can't stand every single GUI preset that was ever included with any plugin, if there were any included at all.) Is the bang for buck factor extremely high? Hell yeah!

I'm pretty sure it's not everybody's cup of tea, but I know for sure, it is mine. This is not your old, stale, run-of-the-mill VST that's for sure. That's probably why I love it so much. It's just downright cool.
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Alienware i7 R3 loaded with billions of DAWS and plugins.

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7694 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: New wavetable synth - Sektor by Initial Audio

Post Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:31 pm

It sounds like the relationship I have with Thorn - I don't really rate any part of it individually, except maybe the distortion effect, but the overall result is pure magic to my ears.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10), Yamaha AG06, Orion 64 bit, Roli Seaboard Rise 25, Ultranova, Rocket, Pulse 2, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno.

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KVRAF
4673 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: New wavetable synth - Sektor by Initial Audio

Post Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:05 am

yellowmix wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:37 pm
Okay, I demoed it, made several expressive patches, and that's the most special thing here. If you don't have an MPE device, you're going to feel like it's missing something.

Pros:
* Contemporary, vector, fully-scaling GUI
* Built-in GUI color menu
* Drag and drop modulation, or right-click menu.
* 12 pair mod matrix
* interesting "rainbow" option that changes color of modulation indicators according to strength/value
* MPE-capable with the flick of a switch
* 8 expression source>target pairs with curves (in addition to Mod Matrix)
* 2 Parallel filters, LP/HP/BP, 1- or 2-pole
* Dedicated ADSRs for Amp and Filter, plus 2 ADSRs and 3 Mod Envelopes (MSEG)
* 2 Wavetable oscillators, A can FM modulate B
* Very fine control over individual unison voices
* Factory wavetables are interesting
* Sample-playback oscillator, good factory library
* Easy to use sequencer/arp
* 2 FX lanes, configurable source, modifiable FX module order
* Good selection of standard FX, 4-node EQ, compressor, okay delay, chorus, phase, reverb is decent, there's a trance gate too
* Good CPU usage
* Built-in help (hover)
* Generous, unencumbered demo

Cons:
* Maximum 4 targets per modulation, though the Matrix allows 12 more arbitrary source-target pairs.
* Filter architecture is not flexible
* 7 voice unison (per oscillator) parameters cannot be modulated
* No oscillator shape algorithms (e.g., bend, sync)
* Doesn't seem to be a way to import wavetables or samples
* No wavetable edit or manipulation besides index
* 3.81gb of data is placed in a specific path on main drive, cannot be changed or relocated
* CPU spikes up for no good reason at idle after a few minutes then goes down when you play a note. wtf?

Impressions:

It's well-thought out, the contemporary GUI ticks off all the boxes. It still feels like Serum is much faster with regards to workflow. At this pricepoint its competitor is Synthmaster (nevermind that Synthmaster regularly goes for much less than 129 MSRP), and Synthmaster is just more capable. I want to like it but I personally have no use for it, since it's simply outclassed by Serum in every regard. But if you don't have Serum, is this is a good option? If you have an MPE input device, maybe. Otherwise, it falls way short of the next step up, if you look at Tone2 Icarus ($179), for example. But if you have exactly $139 and need a wavetable synth now... well, I'd say check out Synthmaster and save some money or do Serum rent-to-own.

It's in a tough market position. It does everything mostly right, but it feels lacking given how much a little more money gets you and what it's missing that less expensive options do. If it were something like $99 then it would make more sense. If you're in the market for your very first wavetable synth, all of the ones I mentioned have demos. You'll know what I mean if you actually try it out.

What could they do to solidify a market position? Custom/import samples and wavetables would be a good start. Some oscillator algorithms would be good too. The filters are honestly boring even with the "drive" control; some more characterful options would be nice. Since it has a parallel filter architecture, it sorely needs a notch filter. Then the GUI and eyecandy makes up for the rest of it.
Right now it's only $79 on their website. That's definitely not a bad price for what it can do.
Just wondering... is it even less $$ anywhere else?

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