The Most Overrated and Underrated VST/AU (Effects And Instruments)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
sircuit
KVRian
806 posts since 15 Jul, 2016

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 9:07 am

Tonal Balance control is in a unique position: is underrated/discarded as gimmick by the people that don’t know how to use it properly. And then overrated by the people that use it, but still don’t use it properly.

Imho it’s a very complex tool that shows (at the very least) the interdependence between bands, dynamic range and loudness of the band. A band over or under the guide can mean that the problem is with that band or with the other ones. Ears are needed for proper disgnostic. Is not a simple fft with a large detector window and slow ballistics.

Ploki
KVRAF
5029 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:16 pm

What i’ve used it i fail to see what it is if not an fft with a long window and slow ballistics
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jamcat
KVRian
1233 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:33 pm

Overrated: everything you use.
Underrated: everything you've never heard of.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
12595 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:11 pm

Ploki wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:58 am
re: hive not having sound quality - i won't even address that :lol:
Yeah, obviously it doesn't matter enough to you, even after I had specifically criticised that aspect of Hive.
recursive one wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 3:20 am
Bones, I think sound quality in Hive is amazing, and I'm apparently not the only one who thinks that.
I thought that, too, until I tried to use in in songs, alongside other instruments. And I bought it from someone else, so obviously they weren't impressed enough to keep it. I got it as we were about to start re-making our last album in Cubase (having already finished a version of every song in Orion). I was quite enjoying it so I tried using it in half-a-dozen songs and the only place we ended up using it was where I had to double up two instances to get it to hold its own. Everywhere else we tried it, it kind of dragged the song down, which really surprised me at the time.

OTOH, I picked up Thorn at around the same time and we found uses for it in 5 or 6 songs, because wherever we added it, it made the song better. So it was that contrast between Thorn and Hive that formed my opinion of it. Of course, it doesn't help that U-He synths get hyped through the roof, which creates high expectations, whereas nobody really has much to say about Thorn, so expectations there were far more modest. Maybe that made it easier for Thorn to impress?
Erisian wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:12 am
I think Synth1 was extremely overrated. I never understood what the fuss was all about.
It was pretty amazing when it first appeared, in 2002 or 2003 (I think), for free. And it was the first VSTi I can recall with a customisable or resizable GUI, so its reputation early on was well deserved. By about 2010, though, its sound quality was well behind expectations.
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.

morphex
KVRian
529 posts since 30 Oct, 2003 from Pacific NW, USA

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:31 pm

I really enjoy programming synth bass on Newfangled Audio's Generate. I keep reaching for it when I need deep bass with a bit of character. The Chaotic Generator page provides some very unique options for creating unsteady or ‘woozy-sounding’ pads, noisy retro synths, and strange sound effects with serious vintage vibe. I like how it can be somewhat unpredictable and it has a Randomize button for generating preset settings if you run out of inspiration. Very cool synthesizer!!

STW-AUDIO’s Reflex-Pro-X flagship multi-delay plugin is one of the more versatile delays I’ve used. There are several instances of it throughout the signal chain in one of my Cinematic Logic Pro X templates. You can really dial in some massive delays and reverbs with four individual stereo delay channels with inter feedback and extensive modulation capabilities. It also provides four identical Arpeggiator/Trancegate modules as modulation sources with various run and sync modes. All of it’s customizable effects and combinations means hours of exploration and very high-quality sound.

Unfiltered Audio’s Zip is a unique dynamics processor I bought just recently. I’m finding it has some creative ways to solve different mixing challenges. I’ve been able to program some quick, down and dirty filter sweeps and it adds new life to my drum mixes. I could see this being a useful tool for adding detail to styles of music with a lot going on or a ‘busy mix’. I like that it’s very easy to use and dirt cheap when it’s on sale… a winning combination!!

Ploki
KVRAF
5029 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:38 am

BONES wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:11 pm
Yeah, obviously it doesn't matter enough to you, even after I had specifically criticised that aspect of Hive.
no, because you're wrong.

BONES wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:11 pm
I thought that, too, until I tried to use in in songs, alongside other instruments. And I bought it from someone else, so obviously they weren't impressed enough to keep it. I got it as we were about to start re-making our last album in Cubase (having already finished a version of every song in Orion). I was quite enjoying it so I tried using it in half-a-dozen songs and the only place we ended up using it was where I had to double up two instances to get it to hold its own. Everywhere else we tried it, it kind of dragged the song down, which really surprised me at the time.
maybe your songs suck ass and hive doesn't fit because its too good for them? :o
Or maybe you're just really bad at handling synths and were unable to make it work in your song?

Maybe nothing is wrong with either you or Hive, maybe the stock preset offering simply doesn't fit your production style and its all very subjective and personal. :roll:

i had used u-he synths almost exclusively for some time as my 3rd party plugs (+ chromaphone) so Hive was used in a lot of my productions.
I could've used something else but it would very likely take me more time to get similar results. (I would probably get to the results as quickly with Thorn - i really like its workflow).

I've also bought Thorn and as i said in another thread: Workflow reminds me of hive - and that's why i bought it. It has its own character, but i can't say its better (or worse) than hive.
BONES wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:11 pm
Of course, it doesn't help that U-He synths get hyped through the roof, which creates high expectations, whereas nobody really has much to say about Thorn, so expectations there were far more modest. Maybe that made it easier for Thorn to impress?
U-he get hyped because first and foremost - they sound great, have great preset community support, have great preset browsers, great modulation workflow, are coded well and updated in timely manner.

Thorn on the other hand is sold by plugin Walmart - unfortunately that's on Dmitry and because majority of walmart customer base is now boomers who sub for n-tieth emulation of some dumbass EQ, they simply don't care for the gem that is Thorn.
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recursive one
KVRAF
5576 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:04 am

BONES wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:11 pm
OTOH, I picked up Thorn at around the same time and we found uses for it in 5 or 6 songs, because wherever we added it, it made the song better. So it was that contrast between Thorn and Hive that formed my opinion of it. Of course, it doesn't help that U-He synths get hyped through the roof, which creates high expectations, whereas nobody really has much to say about Thorn, so expectations there were far more modest. Maybe that made it easier for Thorn to impress?
Thorn is one of the most aggressive sounding synths out there, knowing some of your music I see how Thorn may fit it better than Hive.

I've bought Hive a year ago and it does appear in each my track since then, often playing some of the main leads. As for Thorn, I own the full version only for few days so I'm yet to see if how well it will hold up in my tracks. So far I think I'll be using it for some "special" kinds of sounds but not as the main synth.

I kinda get what you say about UHe in general, they do make great stuff but this doesn't mean any their synth would fit everyone. I never really got along with Zebra, I owned it for almost 10 years never used much. Every so often I think I need to give it a chance but often end up with replacing it with something else. When it makes it into my tracks it's some background pad or some sfx kind of stuff.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

Ploki
KVRAF
5029 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:06 am

Agree re: zebra, its by far my least used u-he synth. I even use Bazille more.
Frankly i use bazille more than the repros.
Image

recursive one
KVRAF
5576 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:27 am

Ploki wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:06 am
Agree re: zebra, its by far my least used u-he synth. I even use Bazille more.
Frankly i use bazille more than the repros.
Bazille is a seriously underrated one, IMO. I suspect most people see it as a weird sfx generator.

Not sure Urs would like this idea, but I think they could release few preset packs for Bazille with all these usual EDM sounds, or just more typical synth stuff and that could probably make the synth much more popular
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

https://soundcloud.com/recursion-loop/s ... travels-ep

EnGee
KVRAF
7611 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Post Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:57 am

recursive one wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:04 am
I never really got along with Zebra, I owned it for almost 10 years never used much. Every so often I think I need to give it a chance but often end up with replacing it with something else. When it makes it into my tracks it's some background pad or some sfx kind of stuff.
I felt this way before, but recently Zebra is clicking with me! I begin to like it more and more actually and some users were right when I criticised Hive for lack of fm and sync between oscillators. They told me to check Zebra instead. So, I bought it but haven't played with it for several months as I didn't feel it that time, but now it is from my favourite synths! Together with Bazille and ACE they are my go to synths these days :)

Well, regarding the underrated u-he synths. I think ACE is the more underrated synth. It is a great synth and I wish that Urs/u-he team make a nice analogish sequencer for it (like the one in ARP 2600 V ).

Another underrated synth I already mentioned, is Diversion by DS. I remember the plucks have very nice character. I don't like the demo though because of the noise, so mostly I will buy it without demoing it again when there is a discount.

There are also the synths of Reaktor, both the included ones and the non-free ones like Prism, Kontour, ...etc. The included synths sound great but they need graphic update which I don't think it will happen!

sircuit
KVRian
806 posts since 15 Jul, 2016

Post Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:14 am


Using small test because we go offtopic. your typical FFT spectrum analyzer will not show MORE mids and highs if you cut the lows, isn't it? But TBC shows exactly this, because among others, it shows the balance between bands. As I said, a deeply missunderstood tool.

Ploki wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:16 pm
What i’ve used it i fail to see what it is if not an fft with a long window and slow ballistics

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Spring Goose
KVRAF
2547 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:58 pm

BONES wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:11 pm
Ploki wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:58 am
re: hive not having sound quality - i won't even address that :lol:
Yeah, obviously it doesn't matter enough to you, even after I had specifically criticised that aspect of Hive.
recursive one wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 3:20 am
Bones, I think sound quality in Hive is amazing, and I'm apparently not the only one who thinks that.
I thought that, too, until I tried to use in in songs, alongside other instruments. And I bought it from someone else, so obviously they weren't impressed enough to keep it. I got it as we were about to start re-making our last album in Cubase (having already finished a version of every song in Orion). I was quite enjoying it so I tried using it in half-a-dozen songs and the only place we ended up using it was where I had to double up two instances to get it to hold its own. Everywhere else we tried it, it kind of dragged the song down, which really surprised me at the time.
I'm surprised that you think Hive doesn't have sound quality. I'm interested to hear what you say about this, the main riff is Hive:

<removed>
Last edited by Spring Goose on Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
12595 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:11 pm

To me that sounds totally generic, the kinds of presets you hear in every synth you demo. And is the "main riff" the bassline or the other part? It doesn't sound ;particularly good on my cheap headphones at work so I'll have another listen on my monitors tonight, when I get home from band practice.

If you want to hear where I've used it, it's playing the bass pad and the S&H bit at 3:28 in this song -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKB0QKW ... kILL-Topic
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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Spring Goose
KVRAF
2547 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:19 pm

BONES wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:11 pm
To me that sounds totally generic, the kinds of presets you hear in every synth you demo. And is the "main riff" the bassline or the other part? It doesn't sound ;particularly good on my cheap headphones at work so I'll have another listen on my monitors tonight, when I get home from band practice.

If you want to hear where I've used it, it's playing the bass pad and the S&H bit at 3:28 in this song -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKB0QKW ... kILL-Topic
the main riff is the lead mate

I wouldn't say it's generic. It's a euro sound like for example DJ Quicksilver which was popular in the 1990s and a bit in the 2000s. It totally isn't what i hear everywhere i go anyway!! It might be i have discernment which is possible depending upon which sort of sounds "you" like.

I enjoyed listening to your song btw, although it isn't what i usually listen to.

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digitalboytn
KVRAF
2279 posts since 8 Dec, 2008 from Global Cowboy

Post Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:59 pm

recursive one wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:04 am
Thorn is one of the most aggressive sounding synths out there...
There is so much more to Thorn than just aggressive sounds...

That was the marketing angle and it can deliver some serious dirt,but it can also be as clean and pure as a castrato choir....

With balls :wink:
No auto tune and iLok free...

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