SONICALLY Best VST Synth

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KmV3audioME wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 1:14 pm
Sound Mechanics wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:56 am Roland Cloud and Korg Collection synths sound excellent and authentic compared to the hardware in most cases from what I can hear. I bought the Roland plug-out SH-2 and System-100 and have the legacy collection - Polysix is still one of my favourite sounding plugin synths. But sonically the best sounding is very subjective, although I've always thought synths like Dune and Zebra sound awesome in terms of clarity.
Yes, I believe sound quality is subjective. But Korg doesn't do it for me. It sounds like I'm listening to recordings. I'm trying the demos right now and you're having to turn up the volume on the majority of presets. On Triton, I have to turn up the volume by more than 10 Db on most of the sounds if not all of them.
The only Korg synth I have problems with is the Wavestation, the volume is way too low on most patches and needs a volume gain plugin. I don't know why they haven't sorted the issue. The Polysix, MS-20 and Odyssey seem ok to me.

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Diva is the opposite, it is sooo loud.

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Nicolau wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:15 am Diva is the opposite, it is sooo loud.
It certainly is :phones:

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EDIT: I originally started responding regarding the general subjectivity of sound quality, as mentioned in KmV3audioME's comment, but by the time I finished writing things, others had posted responses as well. This made my response confusing, and disjointed, because I forgot to quote the text. I'm adding this edit to clarify. :)

Sound quality is subjective, and there's honestly nothing wrong with that--an opinion that Korg doesn't do it for you is as valid as any other. I personally find so many synths sound "samey" to me--lacking enough character differences to justify buying them when I have other synths that sound similar. Little really stands out to me. The interesting thing, is that there are some objective factors that can be measured. There are definitely oscillators, filters, etc that are clearly superior to others. I'm most interested in synths with those objective measurements, or with overwhelmingly positive subjective votes as well. There may not be "just one" superior synth, but there are definitely those who rise and shine above others--even if only by popular opinion. I've seen people mention synths with superior oscillators and filters that allow the synth to shine without adding effects. My guess would be that those synths, along with superior effects would make "sonically" the best synths for the type of synthesis used. Of course, GUI considerations for synth component organization and user experience further enhance things to create a great synth.

Also, I'm finding that the character, and even the synthesis types included add to the experience. For example, of my current tool set, if I want smooth analog sound, I reach for Diva. To me, it is sonically the best for the job. However, if I want FM synthesis sounds, Diva is completely wrong for me. If I'm wanting those FM style bell or or mallet or piano or aggressive bass sounds, I want to use a highly regarded FM synth. The same goes for those granular synth sounds. For me, Audio Damage's Quanta 2 fits the bill nicely.

There are some who think threads like these are dumb, but if one discusses synths within these types of parameters, there is a lot of value to be had in discussions like these--even if the sound quality is subjective. :) That's what I value in threads like these. :)
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ANA 2, Spire, Nemesis, Dune 3, Diversion are the most MEMORABLE synths when I think of what sounds the best to me.
Pigments grew on me when I found interesting sounds; and the bells on Pigments are some of the best sounding to me. Anything U-He sounds great (Bazille is a masterpiece and tbh ACE sounds stunning)- I also love Falcon and can't forget Massive X which is a serious standout.

If I had to pick 3: It would be ANA 2, Massive X, and Spire with a honorable mention in Dune 3
Nemesis is pretty niche with the FM, and haven't heard a lot of sounds with Falcon but I do know
the ones I did I loved. Massive X is just an absolute gem but I really didn't enjoy the interface much, and there
really isn't anything much better to me than Spire.

If I had to pick 1: It would be ANA 2, because the quality
is just something that stands out to me. It can have a weird darker tone like Dune which I am not too big a fan of, and the glide a lot of the patches have, has that sound of like "slippery glass" or something (some have a weird glassy sound without the glide too), sounds incredibly odd to me; but, some of the well worked on presets have those nuances and little things that sound "alive" and different- give a very beautiful sound to my ears.

Oh, and the dance music presets are practically second to none, even though I don't make dance music. I have had some of the most fun in Avenger, and their dance sounds are fantastic too, but ANA 2 has a character that eeks that out to me. I also believe that wavetable utilized wubs and dance sounds, sound better in ANA 2 than Serum as well, which is saying a lot. Too bad most of the presets are just dance off of Sonic Academy's site, or the gosh awful slate street huge garbage load that comes with a subscription. Love the sounds on it, but not an experience I am yet to venture into.

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I keep coming back to Dune 3. Diversion sounds good but can be a bit of a CPU hog. Spire is a good one. ( There are too many - when I think about it I also love ArcSyn, NI Rounds)...

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Nobody has mentioned Newfangled Audio's Generate? The thing is an absolute beast of sound design. Can do smooth and airy, filthy grit and everything in between.

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I forgot that I really love the Synthmasters as well. They have a great sound. Very clean and good for mixes with fantastic character. More useability type of thing.

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Just to add to my earlier post,... I need to mention Pigments (as noted above), DX7 V and opsix, the latter two due to their crystal clear FM synthesis structure. Opsix seems to have this particularly refined lightness and clarity in its sound, even on the grungier distorted presets. I also demoed Massive X a while back and it sounded sonically very good, one that's on my 'to buy' list. I have u-he's analogue emulations but not Hive, but from what I hear Hive has a clear refined sound.

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twal wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:35 pm I forgot that I really love the Synthmasters as well. They have a great sound. Very clean and good for mixes with fantastic character. More useability type of thing.
Fully agree.

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twal wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 3:21 pm ANA 2, Spire, Nemesis, Dune 3, Diversion are the most MEMORABLE synths when I think of what sounds the best to me.
Pigments grew on me when I found interesting sounds; and the bells on Pigments are some of the best sounding to me. Anything U-He sounds great (Bazille is a masterpiece and tbh ACE sounds stunning)- I also love Falcon and can't forget Massive X which is a serious standout.

If I had to pick 3: It would be ANA 2, Massive X, and Spire with a honorable mention in Dune 3
Nemesis is pretty niche with the FM, and haven't heard a lot of sounds with Falcon but I do know
the ones I did I loved. Massive X is just an absolute gem but I really didn't enjoy the interface much, and there
really isn't anything much better to me than Spire.

If I had to pick 1: It would be ANA 2, because the quality
is just something that stands out to me. It can have a weird darker tone like Dune which I am not too big a fan of, and the glide a lot of the patches have, has that sound of like "slippery glass" or something (some have a weird glassy sound without the glide too), sounds incredibly odd to me; but, some of the well worked on presets have those nuances and little things that sound "alive" and different- give a very beautiful sound to my ears.

Oh, and the dance music presets are practically second to none, even though I don't make dance music. I have had some of the most fun in Avenger, and their dance sounds are fantastic too, but ANA 2 has a character that eeks that out to me. I also believe that wavetable utilized wubs and dance sounds, sound better in ANA 2 than Serum as well, which is saying a lot. Too bad most of the presets are just dance off of Sonic Academy's site, or the gosh awful slate street huge garbage load that comes with a subscription. Love the sounds on it, but not an experience I am yet to venture into.
Very good tastes.... But how about Avenger 2. If you don't have it, buy it now.
Don't bother answer, you buy !
:-D

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Sound Mechanics wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:17 pm Just to add to my earlier post,... I need to mention Pigments (as noted above), DX7 V and opsix, the latter two due to their crystal clear FM synthesis structure. Opsix seems to have this particularly refined lightness and clarity in its sound, even on the grungier distorted presets. I also demoed Massive X a while back and it sounded sonically very good, one that's on my 'to buy' list. I have u-he's analogue emulations but not Hive, but from what I hear Hive has a clear refined sound.
Hive2 sounds wonderful- can be ultra clean and precise, or with dirty grittiness depending on synth engine chosen. The included wavetables are some of the most useful that come with any wavetable synth imo. My only complaints are the delay always sounding "phasey" (this can be corrected with a modulation preset but its annoying to sacrifice a mod spot just for that) and an incredibly subtle reverb but of course external Fx completely negate that. It's probably the synth I use the most, light footprint and so easy to use.

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Maybe somewhat off topic, but I’ve been going though plugins with the idea that maybe something I already have could replace my Pulse 2. I like it, but I’m out of inputs so I’m running it though a Uno Synth Pro, and it’s sort of awkward. Also, I just have a lot of clutter at this point. Anyway, I’ve been going though plugins to see what ones can hold their own against it. So far, the one that seem to be best all the way up the range of a piano is the UAD Moog emulation. Just simplify playing a sawtooth and going up the keyboard is pretty illuminating. Most plugins, even ones considered by me to be very good, start to crap out and sound weak at the higher ranges, while the hardware still sound strong.
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