Advice on direction of synths

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gael_
KVRer
19 posts since 7 Jun, 2019

Post Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:02 am

And if there would be an ultimate synth someday, there would be too many options to choose from. That's why simplicity can be key in a synth, but will limit the sound design possibilities at the same time

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crimsonwarlock
KVRAF
2120 posts since 18 Apr, 2001 from The Netherlands

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:53 pm

Kwurqx wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:15 am
And maybe spent some time on how to program/tweak your own synths/sounds.
gael_ wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:48 am
it could be more enjoyable to play with, have more functions, a better workflow, etc.
Sound advice, but you both missed the point of the OP's question:
JumboNewJack wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:21 pm
At this point making sounds and tweaking sounds is not my thing.
I could have suggested my own Ragnarok synth, as it sounds marvelous and there are already quite a few preset banks floating around for it, but it is primarily aimed specifically at fast sound design and performance tweakability, what the OP exactly did NOT ask for.

There are several free synths that rival the sound quality of the top commercial synths. Charlatan, MauSynth, OB-Xd, PG-8x, Dexed, TAL NoiseMaker (mentioned before) and of course all the Full Bucket stuff to name a few, but those do not have thousands of presets available.

Just saying :D
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin, using Reaper and a fine selection of freeware plugins.

Ragnarök VST-synthesizer co-creator with Full Bucket

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2807 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:27 am

JumboNewJack wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:21 pm
In the past I primarily used Synth1 because it was free and had a great number of presets. I figured as I got back into music making I'd invest in a more quality synth vst.

I researched the usual such as massive, serum, omnisphere, et al. I assumed that these paid products would have much better quality sounding presets. But the more and more I researched I was coming to the conclusion that the cost (and high recommendations) seemed to be more for the many options in making or tweaking sounds, and not necessarily in more robust quality presets.

At this point making sounds and tweaking sounds is not my thing.
The tweakability and the number of quality presets are related of course. Without knowing Omnisphere I would think its aimed at two targets. The sound designers who create presets and the preset consumers who buy these sets. Some of the more capable synths have a less expensive player variant like synthmaster. Look for the number of commercial sound sets available for a given tool. Often there are also a lot of free sets around...
Demos of the synths will give you enough time to wade through the presets... Regarding presets its solely a matter of taste and not at all a matter of architecture or technology used...

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:35 am

JumboNewJack wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:59 pm
thanks all. Learned alot from this. It wasn't necessarily the cost I was concerned about as I was all ready to get Massive, Serum, or Nexus (though Kontakt or Omnisphere at over 400 seemed like too much for a synth noob) but whether what I was paying for was any better than some free VSTs when it came to quality of presets. I did very much like the DX7 sound idea and got Dexed and that has over 1000 presents off the bat that i've found to have quite a few good ones I like.
Since you have already discovered Synth1 and Dexed, those two outstanding freeware synths which have tens of thousands od available presets, you have subtractive (VA) and FM synthesis well covered.

You might enjoy exploring synths with other synth architectures, such as wavetable, additive, modeling, and sampling. At least just to see what they offer soundwise.

Already suggested earlier was the free Surge Synth, which is both free and currently supported. It does classic subtractive, but also FM and wavetable synthesis. It has a good number of available presets. Highly recommended! https://surge-synthesizer.github.io/

Loom is an additive synth that often goes on sale for a very low price. https://airmusictech.com/product/loom

Most of the synths from Arturia and AAS are based on modeling. Probably a good way to start here would be the Arturia Analog Lab. 6500 presets from all of their full modeled classic instruments. Limited tweakability, but the player offers some macro controls programmed for performance. Demo available. https://www.arturia.com/products/analog ... b/overview

For sampling, most of the content available on entry level and free versions is a small collection of free presets. Kontakt is expensive for the full version, and doesn't really ship with a lot. But Kontakt opens up the huge 3rd party world of free and inexpensive Kontakt based sample instruments. The best way to check this out is by downloading the free Komplete Start, with over 6 GB of instruments, effects, loops, and samples. It includes 2,000 sounds for free, the Kontakt 6 Player, and a few synths. https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... ete-start/

Another take on sampling is with the iZotope Iris 2 spectral filtering synth. Includes 11GB of samples. On sale right now for $24.36USD with code "group" in the cart at JRR. Intricate, evolving soundscapes. Patch categories include Bass, Keys, Leads, Pads, and Rhythmic. Audio sample categories include Abstract, Environments, Instruments, Objects, Synthesizers, Toys, and Voice.
https://www.jrrshop.com/izotope-iris

And almost forgot to mention. You can get the SynthMaster Player for $29USD, with 1800 factory presets. I have the full SynthMaster with all of the expansions, and love the variety of sounds that this synth can make! The Player is an excellent intro (plus there is an upgrade path)! http://www.synthmaster.com/synthmasterplayer.aspx
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

Kwurqx
KVRist
422 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:47 am

zzz00m wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:35 am
Loom is an additive synth that often goes on sale for a very low price. https://airmusictech.com/product/loom
Great post/reply from zzz00m. Just picked out a snippet.

Loom Classic (Loom 1) is allready very capable synth. And unique in it's synthesis approach. Loom 2 adds some more to all that.

Loom is not an additive synth as in the classic "per partial envelopes" approach, but it offers many unique features (and resulting unique sounds and modulation/controls). Also, it's been around for quite some time and has many presets.

Tip:

Check out upgrade deals. At times it's cheaper to buy the entry level (Loom 1) and upgrade to flagship (Loom 2). Same goes for some other synths/upgrades.

chk071
KVRAF
20861 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:49 am

Spire is a great allround synth. There's really not much it can't do, in high quality.

Kwurqx
KVRist
422 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:04 am

BTW

Music Radar has a recent (march 2019) overview of "the usual suspects".

The 25 best VST/AU plugin synths 2019: all the best soft synths you need in your DAW
https://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/th ... day-621799

Funny how the URL shows they probably first thought to include 50, but ended up with half that...

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:23 am

Remember the OP's initial request was for presets. He's not interested in programming or tweaking, as many of the best soft synths are voted for based on their tweakability. Although that tweakability might lead to incentive for more 3rd party programmers to design presets... :D
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:35 am

JumboNewJack wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:21 pm
Should I just stick with gathering a great number of presets for Synth1, or do the paid synth VSTs have better quality presets and I should go with one of those?
I forgot to mention earlier that there is an amazing piece of free software for Synth1 created by a KVR user named Neutrino.Sky. It is called "Synth1 Librarian VST Plugin".
https://neutrinosky.com/
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/synth1 ... utrino-sky
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=496615
Features:

Organises your patches into over 50 Categories
Uses heuristics to find similar sounding patches
Lets you reorganise your Patches, however you want
Random patch selection, to help find undiscovered sounds
Intelligently scans your entire zipbank folder for patches
Automatically excludes duplicate libraries
Create your own Categories and Banks
Save custom patches from Synth1 directly into your own banks
Apply colouring to any patch
Patch parameters can be adjusted/automated from the host DAW
I have over 16,000+ free Synth1 patches imported from the zip banks into this librarian, and I can surf the entire collection for any type of sound from this single UI. The presets can even be played from the librarian, because it acts as a wrapper for the Synth1 UI. But there is a one click button to open or close the actual Synth1 UI as needed.
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:00 am

Here is a single zip file with over 14,000+ presets for Synth1. Highly recommended!!!

https://veryrandomstreams.blogspot.com/ ... -free.html

That is what inspired me to check out the Synth1 Librarian. I love the "Pick Random" button in that!
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

JumboNewJack
KVRist
37 posts since 11 Mar, 2005

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:54 am

Ya'll have been keeping me very happily busy! zzz00m is correct in that I'm not (right now at least) looking for the tweakability or sound creation skills of a synth, but whether X free synth presets can match the quality of Y commercial synths. I really do get the recommendation of learning sound design to begin with, but learning oscillators, envelopes, LFOs, ASDR will send me down a rabbit hole which will take me away from my current spare time fun, making songs.

An example to better define my query. I've been demo'ing everything I can get my hands on. Two of my favorite presets; A Serum synth named Hypersawed Layered (I really do like how their presets are labeled in folders by type) and Massive's Oktavian. I love the richness and swirleyness(?) of those sounds. I have yet to find those in Dexed or Synth1. I'm in no way saying it can't be done or doesn't exist for those, just that after 500+ preset plays I haven't found it. I will though check out that Synth1 librarian from Neutrinosky. Better organization of presets might help my search alot better. thanks!

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:29 am

JumboNewJack wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:54 am

An example to better define my query. I've been demo'ing everything I can get my hands on. Two of my favorite presets; A Serum synth named Hypersawed Layered (I really do like how their presets are labeled in folders by type) and Massive's Oktavian. I love the richness and swirleyness(?) of those sounds. I have yet to find those in Dexed or Synth1. I'm in no way saying it can't be done or doesn't exist for those, just that after 500+ preset plays I haven't found it. I will though check out that Synth1 librarian from Neutrinosky. Better organization of presets might help my search alot better. thanks!
I was so impressed with the librarian from Neutrinosky that I asked him to consider making a version for Dexed, another synth that I get bogged down with in auditioning presets and dealing with duplicates.

He started down that path and discovered the number of available presets for Dexed was overwhelming and would require implementation of some new hi powered database code. Then he got pulled away by a new project for work and had to step away from that. But at least he is still maintaining the Synth1 Librarian!

Good luck with your quest! I think you will find that Synth1 Librarian will help you discover some new sounds that you like, especially after you organize 14,000 of them! In addition to the "Pick Random" button, the suggestions for "Possible Patches" gives you some presets that may be similar to the current one. So if you encounter one that is close to what you are looking for, you can play through that list and see if there is a better one. You can also add any preset that you stumble across to your "Favourites" list, so you can recall them at any time.
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:57 am

JumboNewJack wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:54 am
Two of my favorite presets; A Serum synth named Hypersawed Layered (I really do like how their presets are labeled in folders by type) and Massive's Oktavian. I love the richness and swirleyness(?) of those sounds. I have yet to find those in Dexed or Synth1.
Well those are two synths that I don't own, so I will take your word for it.

Rich and swirly to me sounds like something I hear in atmospheric, ambient, soundscapes.

It's usually done with the use of layers, modulations, and step sequencing in the patch to create motion. Some synths are better than others at making that easier for the sound designer.

But you probably don't need to invest in Omnisphere to have that. I like to use iZotope Iris 2 or Biotek 2 when I'm looking for that sound. And even some of the pads in the "Moving Pads" & "Action Pads" category in Hybrid 3 are good for that.
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

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Monkey Man
KVRist
30 posts since 28 May, 2019 from Australia

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:29 pm

If only he could make a Mac version of the librarian... and of course one for Dexed in "Mac format" too... :cry:

zzz00m
KVRAF
1885 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Advice on direction of synths

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:51 am

I don't think he has plans to any more than some minor bug-fix maintenance of the Synth1 Librarian for Windows code. https://neutrinosky.com/downloads/

The Dexed project was shelved, as the dev started a new business venture and had to go back to work in the real world. It was a nice idea, though! viewtopic.php?f=1&t=496615&p=7264331#p7264331

Fyi, he is now donating all proceeds from the Librarian project to charity.
I’m donating everything to charity https://neutrinosky.com/2018/06/03/im-d ... o-charity/
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

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