Spire Synthesizer

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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KVRAF
3107 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Sat May 15, 2021 2:38 pm

Examigan wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 2:06 pm
e-crooner wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 12:12 pm
chk071 wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 12:06 pm
I never tried it, but, the other FX (I think I tried Chorus, Phaser and EQ) on Sylenth1 are really mediocre, to put it mildly...
I actually liked those three, but the reverb sucks.
Well, I no longer use Sylenth1 these days, completely replaced by Retrologue 2, which has very nice effects :wink: Reminds me, I still need to sell S1...
Besides the effects, why would it completely replace it? I never hear much mention of Retrologue 2 here on KVR.
Because, frankly, I find Retrologue 2 superior in almost every way.
Especially the sound quality of both the synth as such and the effects, not to mention the resonator section, do this on S1 :hihi:

https://app.box.com/s/m7hqavsoszv7jrbn99nzxvgjyzd3di06

It only cost me 10 dollars because a lot of people get it for free bundled with Cubase lite when they buy a Midi controller, so they sell it cheap here on KVR. But frankly, when S1 is still officially 140 bucks, Retrologue 2 should be 250 :wink:

No idea why R2 is never talked about. Maybe because it is often considered a Cubase stock synth. And the GUI does look a bit old-skool and bland, which might deter some people. Not me, though :D


Anyway, back to Spire, here is a little audio, where the first half is Spire, unless your ears are broken, you can hear the grinding noise that is missing from the second half (Retrologue 2). It is a fairly simply pad derived from the init patch...

https://app.box.com/s/7zk5lge0d77vqx1fz07smxek0jlsojfo

KVRAF
28440 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat May 15, 2021 2:47 pm

You probably left Spire on the Perfecto filter, which adds some saturation when you set the oscillators too "hot" in the mixer. Try the Infecto filter, that one doesn't saturate.

Regarding your comparison Sylenth1 vs. Retrologue, I don't agree at all. I find both Sylenth1 and Spire sound a lot better than Retrologue. But, I guess that's arguing about taste. Doesn't seem my taste is that off though, when, as you say, there's a lot more talk about those synths than about Retrologue.

Retrologue isn't particularly bad, it's just not very good either. Still one of the better DAW included instruments. For the lack of some serious competition.

If you like it better, hey, no point in arguing about it. :) I think the architecture of the synth is pretty nice, apart from the absent control over the oscillator stereo spread when you use unison.

BTW, if you think what can be heard in your sound example is "grinding noise" then you would be totally horrified by some of the sounds in modern electronic music. :D I think that's some mellow and subtle saturation, not "grinding noise".
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
3107 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Sat May 15, 2021 3:03 pm

chk071 wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 2:47 pm
You probably left Spire on the Perfecto filter, which adds some saturation when you set the oscillators too "hot" in the mixer. Try the Infecto filter, that one doesn't saturate.

Regarding your comparison Sylenth1 vs. Retrologue, I don't agree at all. I find both Sylenth1 and Spire sound a lot better than Retrologue. But, I guess that's arguing about taste. Doesn't seem my taste is that off though, when, as you say, there's a lot more talk about those synths than about Retrologue.

Retrologue isn't particularly bad, it's just not very good either. Still one of the better DAW included instruments. For the lack of some serious competition.

If you like it better, hey, no point in arguing about it. :) I think the architecture of the synth is pretty nice, apart from the absent control over the oscillator stereo spread when you use unison.

BTW, if you think what can be heard in your sound example is "grinding noise" then you would be totally horrified by some of the sounds in modern electronic music. :D I think that's some mellow and subtle saturation, not "grinding noise".
Whatever it is, I hate it.

Odd, I thought the perfecto filter would be the clean one, judging from the name.
The other one is indeed clean, but it is a 2-pole filter.

Funny how different people perceive the same thing so differently :)
Now that I am used to R2, I don't like to hear S1 anymore, it sounds harsh in comparison.

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KVRian
1376 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Sat May 15, 2021 3:09 pm

Tip of the week:
You can also grind sounds with a gate. Crank the treshold up until it slightly begins to affect the content. Then put a lot of delay on it. You will probably end up with "guitar switch noise" when the content decays, but hey who cares about such subtilities? Obviously things are going to sound more awesome when you put a chorus on the synth first and experiment with different delays and reverbs. End up with a tube effect to get a warm sound.

KVRist
142 posts since 8 Jun, 2019

Post Sat May 15, 2021 3:53 pm

Every synth has its strengths and weaknesses. I love Retrologue, but I wouldn't say that its detune feature is very good, for example. Spire isn't the same kind of synth, so it's hard to compare. I would put Spire in with Sylenth1, Thorn and other modern synths that follow the subtractive signal flow but add in complex oscillators and other extras. Retrologue is more a Diva type thing.

KVRist
54 posts since 4 Apr, 2014

Post Sat May 15, 2021 4:04 pm

The key to (big) success of Sylenth 1 and Spire is their ability to produce sounds WHICH MIX QUITE EASILY. I didn't use S1 much, it always sounded a bit "incomplete" to me. But Spire, that thing sounds complete.

You can play that MEGA-GIGA-PRESET in your Diva, Retrologue, Legend or whatever the whole day, but once you start arranging multiple elements TOGETHER... It needs much more time and work. With Spire, if the patches do not fit instantly, it's just a few knob twists and you're good to go.

So, I don't care much about Wav/Wavetable import in Spire. The oscillators, filters and fx are now harmonized in greatest possible extent. Me using custom Waves could often imply worse sound quality and worse "mixability" :tu:

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KVRAF
3107 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Sat May 15, 2021 4:21 pm

biscuitdough wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 3:53 pm
Every synth has its strengths and weaknesses. I love Retrologue, but I wouldn't say that its detune feature is very good, for example. Spire isn't the same kind of synth, so it's hard to compare. I would put Spire in with Sylenth1, Thorn and other modern synths that follow the subtractive signal flow but add in complex oscillators and other extras. Retrologue is more a Diva type thing.
I don't remember Thorn, but Sylenth1 has simpler oscillators than Retrologue, no xmod, no sync, no pwm...

Detune, well, I actually like it on R2. You merely have to keep the interaction between the number of waves and the detune in mind:
At 2.0 waves you can detune up to about 35 cents and it sounds very good, but as you increase the number of stacked waves, you have to decrease the detune. At 8.0 waves I don't like to go beyond 8 cents, frankly. But at 5 cents it sounds very nice and fat to me :) Although, frankly, I don't have any use for such dominant sounds in my music, but just for playing around, it is fun.

I like how the synth opens up from about 2.5 waves upwards in multi mode.

But I would say that it is not made for EDM, it is indeed more of a classic analog synth.

KVRian
520 posts since 18 Feb, 2004

Post Sat May 15, 2021 5:37 pm

Interesting. What about Spire makes it fit a mix better than other synths? Big sounds are big sounds regardless of the synth and those big sounds take up a lot of space. Thats why we have EQ ;) But what type of sounds are you talking about? I find it hard to believe that you can grab any sound on Spire and just throw it in a track without needing to do anything with it.

KVRist
142 posts since 8 Jun, 2019

Post Sat May 15, 2021 5:53 pm

e-crooner wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 4:21 pm
I don't remember Thorn, but Sylenth1 has simpler oscillators than Retrologue, no xmod, no sync, no pwm...
That's true about Sylenth. Not good for this example. Thorn has a lot of osc options though.

KVRist
54 posts since 4 Apr, 2014

Post Sun May 16, 2021 1:15 am

rezoneight wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 5:37 pm
Interesting. What about Spire makes it fit a mix better than other synths? Big sounds are big sounds regardless of the synth and those big sounds take up a lot of space. Thats why we have EQ ;) But what type of sounds are you talking about? I find it hard to believe that you can grab any sound on Spire and just throw it in a track without needing to do anything with it.
LOL... Of course you can't "grab ANY sound on Spire and just throw it in a track". That's YOUR fantasy.

So, you don't trust Jean Michel Jarre, or Armin van Buuren, Corsten, Hardwell, Otavianni, M.I.K.E, etc.
You're saying the testimonials on Reveal Sound website are just plain advertising, and that every synth is basically the same? That TOP VST lists are a joke? You just apply EQ and that's it.

Perhaps Ottaviani summed it up:
I’m a hardware guy and I like to use it as much as I can in my studio but all my productions start on a laptop and Spire is the go-to synth. It’s so good that most of the times I don’t need to swap it with hardware or even touch it at all and in the end it takes part of every track I produce. Simply the best one in the business for me.
All you need to know about Spire.

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KVRAF
5366 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Sun May 16, 2021 3:54 am

Retrologue is not bad, as a VA synth even pretty good. Unfortunately Steinberg didn't have such a good reputation in the past regarding their own plugins and _that_ is perhaps the main reason why many rarely or never use them. With similar functions and comparable sounds, most VAs already sound quite similar. I can imagine that in a blind test many would even be surprised.

KVRist
54 posts since 4 Apr, 2014

Post Sun May 16, 2021 5:30 am

4damind wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 3:54 am
Retrologue is not bad, as a VA synth even pretty good. Unfortunately Steinberg didn't have such a good reputation in the past regarding their own plugins and _that_ is perhaps the main reason why many rarely or never use them. With similar functions and comparable sounds, most VAs already sound quite similar. I can imagine that in a blind test many would even be surprised.
Don't forget, blind tests don't mean much with things involving subjective (aesthetic) perception. You might choose 70s Moog sound over Spire sound simply because in that particular moment you like it better. The next time you'll make the opposite choice. This doesn't tell you anything about the usability of the instrument within the real situation (i.e. arranging & music production).

On the other hand, comparing two microphones with respect of accuracy of sound recording in blind test would make much more sense... One provides more acoustic information, the other less. It's not about what one "likes" better. Of course, even in this case it's difficult to eliminate subjectivity.

Concerning Spire, that Oxygen re-work example is very interesting. When you listen to individual elements, there's nothing "spectacular" about them. But when put together in a mix, you're almost fooled that you're listening to a recording from 1976. Many would be surprised how plain and "cheap" the elements of their favorite tracks sound when played individually.

That's because MUSIC is not a mere "sum of its parts" - it's harmony/coherence. Individual elements don't mean nothing in music. I suppose that's why Pros like Spire, they can create a sense of harmony quickly and easily. But what do I know...

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KVRAF
2326 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Sun May 16, 2021 7:10 am

I don't want wavetables in Spire, or granular.

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KVRian
919 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Sun May 16, 2021 7:57 am

Well, this is a silly argument. Regardless of which plugin you use, if you need a fat sound to fill out a mix, you choose a fat sound. If you need a sound that plays well with others, you choose a thinner or more lightweight sound. Regardless, you're going to be touching everything with an EQ anyway... :hug:

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KVRAF
3107 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Sun May 16, 2021 8:00 am

- I noticed that when Boost is off, there is little bass and the synth sounds a bit flat, which might benefit mixing, though. It's almost as if there were a subtle HP filter along the signal path.

- I don't know much about saturation, but since it was said in this thread before that in my audio example the grinding is saturation, how come it is gone when the only thing I change is setting the second oscillator's semitone parameter to 0 like on the first one? Same volume etc. Shouldn't the saturation either be there or not there regardless of tuning?

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