What are your favorite instrument plugins?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRist
253 posts since 10 Feb, 2017

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:34 pm

mholloway wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:18 pm
Korg's Odyssey is really underrated / overlooked, IMHO. It's an absolute beast. The default settings use too many voices though, and make the CPU hit absurd. But if just change it from the default 16 to something reasonable like 6 or so, it's much less hungry.

The unison mode is absurd: Just monstrous sounding. I think all the added FX were kinda pointless, I'd much rather use external third party FX to process an Odyssey emulation, but the sequencer otoh is a welcome touch.

Using Odyssey for 'analog' sounds and Dexed for FM / digital sounds, you're pretty well covered with just two classic synths.
Is Oddity 2 any good in comparison

KVRAF
1788 posts since 11 Jan, 2009 from Portland, OR, USA

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:17 pm

twal wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:34 pm
mholloway wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:18 pm
Korg's Odyssey is really underrated / overlooked, IMHO. It's an absolute beast. The default settings use too many voices though, and make the CPU hit absurd. But if just change it from the default 16 to something reasonable like 6 or so, it's much less hungry.

The unison mode is absurd: Just monstrous sounding. I think all the added FX were kinda pointless, I'd much rather use external third party FX to process an Odyssey emulation, but the sequencer otoh is a welcome touch.

Using Odyssey for 'analog' sounds and Dexed for FM / digital sounds, you're pretty well covered with just two classic synths.
Is Oddity 2 any good in comparison
Oddity2 is good but the Korg version is much easier and faster to program. Oddity has weirdly slow / fiddly sliders; I don't enjoy programming it as a result. But it also has way more modulation possibilities. They are both good synths. I load up the Korg more frequently, though, simply because I find it much quicker to dial in good results with. Also, the Unison mode on the Korg is really kind of unique to that instrument (not Unison as an option, just the sound of its implementation).

THAT said, there is one problem with the Korg's pitch sliders -- they don't snap to whole semitone values. As you drag you get results like 11.54 and as such it can be very hard to hit 11 or 12. There's a modifier to get smaller results, but that just makes it even slower to get it where you want it to go. It boggles the mind why they programmed it this way; every other soft synth I own will land on full semi-tone values on the Coarse tune slider / knob.

So, I guess both have their quirks regarding slider behavior. On the Oddity2, it's that everything just moves slow at first, then ramps up as you keep moving -- it has *never* felt natural to me, even though I imagine Gforce thinks otherwise.
https://michaelarthurholloway.bandcamp.com/ - Noir-themed Dark Jazz
https://tvhwy.bandcamp.com/releases - classic IDM by TV HWY
www.dwifh.com - old-school industrial music by DEAD WHEN I FOUND HER

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KVRAF
3427 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:50 am

mholloway wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:17 pm


THAT said, there is one problem with the Korg's pitch sliders -- they don't snap to whole semitone values. As you drag you get results like 11.54 and as such it can be very hard to hit 11 or 12. There's a modifier to get smaller results, but that just makes it even slower to get it where you want it to go. It boggles the mind why they programmed it this way; every other soft synth I own will land on full semi-tone values on the Coarse tune slider / knob.
There are several synths that have that problem. Iirc even Diva, whose entire tuning mechanism I never liked.
On Invader2 the knob snaps to .12 semitones, i.e. you only get the precise semitone setting for 3, 6, 9, and 12 semitones.

I like it when there are three independent controls for octave, semitone, and cents.
If there is not enough space, I actually prefer the octave and semitone selectors to be in a single control, and a separate fine tune knob.

KVRAF
6575 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:34 am

Hive, Alchemy cover most of what I want.
"We're an Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune"

Dennis.

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KVRAF
9043 posts since 28 May, 2005 from Netherneverlands

Post Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:46 am

Oohh a personal favourite thread.. Let's keep it alive.

Ehhhmm.

Always looking for interesting new, better, etc. but I always come back to LinPlug Alpha and Sylenth1 for the basis of the song, because they are so easy to work with, good sounding, low cpu and lots of presets. And after that the basis is there, I go looking for little enhancements or changes from my personal synth arsenal, if needed.

So I guess Alpha 3 and Sylenth1 are my favourites. Although there are many more to love, like modulars and specific stuff like supersaw or acid bass specific synths.
If you can't beat it, sample it.

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GRRRRRRR!
12521 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:41 pm

I had a couple of LinPlug things, back in the day, and I always hated their filters - horrible squeaky things I couldn't get much out of. I thought they disappeared years ago but I see Alpha got an update in 2014. It says "no longer available" though and, honestly, it's hard to imagine anything from that long ago actually sounds good by current standards. VSTi sound quality in the last 5-10 years has gone through the roof. There isn't a single synth I had 5 years ago that I still use today.
BONES wrote:
Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:37 am
- JP6K sounds amazingly good and is so easy to work with
- Union also sounds great, although it's annoying to patch
- TRK-01 Bass is so much better than you'd think, given how simple it seems
- Korg's ARP Odyssey has an amazing sound that I find useful in all kinds of situations
- bx_oberhausen is another I find indispensible for the sheer ballsiness of its sound
- Hexeract is a synth I really like but it can be a bit flakey so I'd hesitate to recommend it
- Thorn is my favourite of all the more complicated synths, it's my back-stop
That was my list in June. My list just three months later looks quite different -

- JP6K, same
- Union, same
- bx_oberhausen, same
- Hexeract, same
- Concept 2, what a find! I love the breadth and depth of sounds this has
- Invader 2 sounds amazing and is an absolute joy to work with
- Saurus 2/3, between this and Invader I no longer need ARP Odyssey
- Olga has turned out to be way more useful than I expected, should have bought it years ago

I'm always looking for fresh inspiration and constantly trying different synths in different songs. Saurus, in particular, has turned out to be a really good buy. It's replaced ARP Odyssey in several songs where I realised that the Odyssey only sounded good if I stacked on the unison voices, which was a bit of a CPU killer at times, especially on my old Surface Pro. My new machine handles it OK but I'd rather be working with Saurus or Invader anyway, they are much easier to get what I want from. ARP Odyssey is that one classic that I always lusted after so I think I was biased about the VSTi, just because of what it was. But after a couple of years I'm a bit over it and able to be more objective about what it's really contributing, so now I think it's pretty much gone from everything I was using it in.

My next target is Pigments. I so want to love it but I just don't. I've only ever used it for generic parts so it will be easy to go through and replace it with anything else. Then I might start looking at where I've used Knifonium and see if I can do better with something else. There is nothing that annoys me more than a synth I only use in one or two songs.

A synth I want to find more use for is Model 84, Softube's Juno emulation. (Unexpectedly) I really like the way it sounds and it's simplicity makes it so easy to work with. I just have to think of it a little more often and use it more.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

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KVRAF
7530 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from Auckland, NZ

Post Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:34 pm

Ok! Let’s re-list them once again :hihi:

I’m in love with RP synths these days, but still proud of my love for NI classics (FM8, Absynth and Massive) and Reaktor synths/instruments. Also u-he synths, especially Zebra.
Those with Bitwig synths are the most I’m using these days. Not that much into analog emulations, but when I want some, I use the Legend, Invader2 and TAL J-8.

For drums Groove Agent 5, Battery, Drum Machines in Bitwig, Drum Racks in Live, AD2 and Maschine2. For piano and other instruments, still MODX is my main source :)
Cubase 11 Pro, Bitwig Studio 4 on Win10/Ubuntu Studio and R5800x with
US-4x4 HR, Keylab 49 MK ii, MODX 6, DeepMind 12D, KK M32 and ATOM.

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GRRRRRRR!
12521 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:52 pm

To be clear, Invader is NOT an emulation, it is a thoroughly modern synth.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

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KVRAF
7530 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from Auckland, NZ

Post Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:15 pm

No it is not. It reminded me (the layout) of the CAT synth (don't know about the sound). Anyway, it is easy to reproduce the 80's analog sounds I think.
Cubase 11 Pro, Bitwig Studio 4 on Win10/Ubuntu Studio and R5800x with
US-4x4 HR, Keylab 49 MK ii, MODX 6, DeepMind 12D, KK M32 and ATOM.

KVRAF
9302 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:20 pm

mholloway wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:18 pm
Korg's Odyssey is really underrated / overlooked, IMHO. It's an absolute beast. The default settings use too many voices though, and make the CPU hit absurd. But if just change it from the default 16 to something reasonable like 6 or so, it's much less hungry.

The unison mode is absurd: Just monstrous sounding. I think all the added FX were kinda pointless, I'd much rather use external third party FX to process an Odyssey emulation, but the sequencer otoh is a welcome touch.

Using Odyssey for 'analog' sounds and Dexed for FM / digital sounds, you're pretty well covered with just two classic synths.
Also the unison mode on the Odyssey isn't all that necessary. Get the free Multiply effect by Acon Digital and you can do much of the same thing for very little cpu.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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KVRAF
2318 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:53 am

Now I'm all about Repro (despite the weird 2nd layer of the GUI). I'm digging detuned, edgy/dreamy sounds it can make.

I still am messing around with Phase Plant quite a bit.

Chromaphone 3 has drawn me back to it for striated, stretched out textures and metal plate wobble kind of sounds.
"Have you ever noticed how anyone driving faster than you is a [jerk] and anyone driving slower than you is a moron?" - George Carlin

KVRist
217 posts since 9 Oct, 2020

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:06 pm

I find myself using effects more and more, but I am still finding myself turning to Padshop and Phase Plant still most commonly, and Harmor playing a few big roles from time to time, and besides that it’s LABS, Kontakt, and some drum VSTs. Pianos, flutes, strings, drums, brass... Still working on a few holes like woodwinds and a complete brass library, Damage 2... but I’m not yet convinced some of them need filling, yet.

I took advantage of a recent sale and got MXXX which has been the most amazing sound design experience, but now I truly must save for a computer. My CPU can not remotely keep up, like a bicycle on the freeway. Designing sounds in MSoundFactory has been incredible and I am trying to use it more and more, but so much of the time when things get exciting with modulation, my cpu starts exploding, and that’s before oversampling, and before effects... Yep. I don’t really have the CPU to toss much of Knifonium at yet either, likewise with Diva which I don’t yet own.

Not even sure a 5950x or whatever top of the line Intel is going to be enough CPU for the nonsense I’m getting into

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KVRAF
4541 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:46 pm

Reaktor
Zebra Hz
Tranzistow
Talmod
Abl3
Not a vst ..Supercollider ( still learning )
all the rest is just fodder and waste of hd space
Eyeball exchanging
Soul calibrating ..frequencies

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GRRRRRRR!
12521 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:47 pm

EnGee wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:15 pm
No it is not. It reminded me (the layout) of the CAT synth (don't know about the sound). Anyway, it is easy to reproduce the 80's analog sounds I think.
Whatever they are.
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:20 pm
Also the unison mode on the Odyssey isn't all that necessary. Get the free Multiply effect by Acon Digital and you can do much of the same thing for very little cpu.
I never thought to do that, I kind of keep Multiply for synths without unison. Thanks for the tip but I don't think it will stop me being over Odyssey, though, it's filters are just not that great. Interestingly, they seemed to get worse with each revision - the original one is easily the best of the three but still nothing to write home about.
E_Anderson wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:06 pm
I find myself using effects more and more
I'm the opposite. I still put a couple of things on my master and EQ my drums but that's about it these days. I do use a lot of on-board effects but very little else and I'm getting the best results I've ever been able to manage in almost no time at all.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRAF
1788 posts since 11 Jan, 2009 from Portland, OR, USA

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:48 pm

SQ-80 V is my new favorite. I'm an 80s-industrial-guy so this is the synth I've wanted all along (I'm a mac user so SQ8L was not an option).
https://michaelarthurholloway.bandcamp.com/ - Noir-themed Dark Jazz
https://tvhwy.bandcamp.com/releases - classic IDM by TV HWY
www.dwifh.com - old-school industrial music by DEAD WHEN I FOUND HER

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