Icarus vs Serum & Avenger (Wavetablewise) (maybe Electra2)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Caine123
KVRAF
6790 posts since 5 Aug, 2009

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:40 am

hmmmm im somehow intrigued by ICARUS but dunno if im convinced by the sound yet and the mangling it offers.
why would you get Icarus if you already got above mentiones vsts already? or a part of them?
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Spencer Maddox
KVRian
768 posts since 19 Oct, 2017 from The Empire State

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:59 am

I prefer Serum out of the 3. But to be honest of all the Wavetable synths I find myself using Falcon most of all. Only Vex being that you can create your own Wavetabes with it...
As for Icarus Its definitely cool, but if you have the others you mentioned I wouldn't necessarily buy it. Thats Just me, I tried it and never got behind its workflow, I might try again but I'm not really in the Need for it currently. That and I am saving up for A.N.A 2 :hihi:
Last edited by Spencer Maddox on Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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wagtunes
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20717 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:59 am

Caine123 wrote:hmmmm im somehow intrigued by ICARUS but dunno if im convinced by the sound yet and the mangling it offers.
why would you get Icarus if you already got above mentiones vsts already? or a part of them?
Because the sound engines of each of those synths is completely different.

Case in point. I create a wavetable in Serum. Exported it to Falcon (not one of your synths listed, yes I know) and then duplicated all the patch settings for each as closely as possible, given the architectures are nothing alike.

The patches, while similar, did not sound the same. In some cases, having done this numerous times, I liked the Serum patch better and in other cases I like the Falcon patch better.

Just because two synths have wavetable functionality doesn't mean they're interchangeable. In some cases, the differences can be night and day.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
20919 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:59 pm

Caine123 wrote:hmmmm im somehow intrigued by ICARUS but dunno if im convinced by the sound yet and the mangling it offers.
why would you get Icarus if you already got above mentiones vsts already? or a part of them?
I don't have Avenger, so cannot comment on it...

Serum does not have a parameter to blend between waves in the wavetable. So you have to import a wave, then thin it down to significantly fewer waves, then you can morph between them to create a smooth result when modulating through the wavetable.

Icarus has a fade parameter so you can import a sound and make a smooth transition using it. So importing the same sound leads to different results. I prefer wavetables in Icarus.

Warp in Serum is called Morph in Icarus. They both have some similar types, but Icarus has a few that Serum doesn't that give some pleasing results. I prefer Icarus morph over Serum warp.

Using the sample based noise oscillator is often necessary to create some noisey, fizzy, shimmery tones. The FM warp mode in Serum can add some nice noise to a sound, but most of the rest of them sound too damn clean (sterile)

Icarus it is easier to create such sounds.

Also, Icarus has 2 filters to the one for Serum. This is a big deal for me. I also like the set of filters in Icarus better than those in Serum. I think Icarus is way better for lots of ambient and textural sounds.

Serum has its very high fidelity sound quality. It can have a really sharp clear tone even with significant modulation. Icarus cannot match that.

Modulation is better in Serum.

They are rather different sounding. I find Icarus more expressive and musical overall. However, there are things you can do in Serum you cannot in Icarus. IMO they are different enough that neither is redundant if you have the other.

chk071
KVRAF
30702 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:07 pm

Out of these 3, i'd go with Serum, if you want to have a wavetable synthesizer. And, i'd stay off Electra2 in that regard, because it is very limited in its capabilities as a pure wavetable synth. It's rather a sample/resynthesis synth, than a wavetable one (or rather... a jack of all trades, which can do a bit of everything). The morphing alone is already a bummer, when you're used to smoothly interpolating wavetable synths.
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Ingonator
KVRAF
12522 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:53 am

I got all 3 synths here and they are all different in terms of feature sets and overall sound.

Even if i load the same wavetable in all 3 (which is possible as all 3 can handle WAV wavetable files) i am able to get diffeernt results. This is even more obvious when using specific features of one of those like e.g. the FFT filter in the Oscs of Avenger.

It is very simple to exchange wavetables between Icarus and Serum and also use WAV wavetables from those in Avenger with the wavetable resample feature (those then have to be re-saved with the synth specific Avenger wavetable file format).

Anyway from all those Icarus overall is my favorite synth (which does not mean it could fully replace the other 2 in terms of sound and features), especially with the latest v1.5 update which also allows doing FM and AM between the 3 main oscilators and not just with an additional "virtual" oscillator/operator with a fixed waveshape.
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egbert101
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2397 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:06 am

<delete>
Last edited by egbert101 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<list all your stupid gear here>

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wagtunes
KVRAF
20717 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:15 am

egbert101 wrote:People just have too much money on their hands, which I guess makes developers happy to make new synths that are similar (but different enough) from each other.

If you're rich, buy them all, and so each instrument has its strengths and weaknesses. And then you can show off to everyone just how many expensive products you have. But then, if people keep buying everything, the market will just keep producing more of the same (but different enough) products.

For me, I have Synthmaster One for wavetable stuff (wavetables no longer fascinates me) which I got for free because the developer is over generous. I much prefer the more subtle sound of wavetable morphing, such as in Predator 2, which only has a ridiculously limited 8 samples per wavetables, but it kinda makes sense once you take morphing into consideration.

My advice to people is to resist as much as possible the urge to buy new gear for the sake of it, and just focus on what you really need. Do you need yet another wavetable synthesizer, when all you're going to do with it is yet another EDM track?
Cynicism much? :hihi:

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egbert101
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2397 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:18 am

<delete>
Last edited by egbert101 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<list all your stupid gear here>

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wagtunes
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20717 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:19 am

egbert101 wrote:
wagtunes wrote: Cynicism much? :hihi:
Cynicism or just wised up. :hihi:
Eh, not all of us do supersaw, wub wub, weeeee, drop, thud, thud, thud.

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egbert101
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2397 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:31 am

<delete>
Last edited by egbert101 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<list all your stupid gear here>

deastman
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7548 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:19 am

So basically, spending money on synths is bad, spending money for entertainment or based on desires instead of needs is bad, supporting a cottage industry of tiny companies is bad, and we are all talentless hacks making cookie cutter EDM. Got it.
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Caine123
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Topic Starter

6790 posts since 5 Aug, 2009

Post Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:39 am

for bells, leads eetc. i got better sounding synths for my taste, icarus is interesting for evolving pads, atmos, and drones i think, or for my desires :), i guess this is a good tool for that.
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backagain
KVRist
43 posts since 30 Dec, 2012

Post Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:58 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Caine123 wrote:why would you get Icarus if you already got above mentiones vsts already? or a part of them?
Because the sound engines of each of those synths is completely different.

Case in point. I create a wavetable in Serum. Exported it to Falcon and then duplicated all the patch settings for each as closely as possible, given the architectures are nothing alike.

The patches, while similar, did not sound the same. In some cases, having done this numerous times, I liked the Serum patch better and in other cases I like the Falcon patch better.
Excellent point.
At these low prices, especially for Icarus and Serum, why not get two or all of them? I purchased Icarus yesterday at AudioDeluxe: $126.00 US with their seasonal fall specials almost 26% off.

I'm a preset guy. I tweak existing presets from whatever synth that sounds right for the project, I don't care which. I appreciate the convenience and time saved.

In order of use in projects, I own Synthmaster, UVI Falcon, Sylenth1, Signal by Output, all the Air Music Tech stuff.
I also own but haven't used or explored yet: Fabfilter Twin 2, iZotope Iris2, Alchemy that comes with Logic Pro X

Today, I found a perfect preset on Icarus for a current movie project, an earthquake rumble that I didn't find ( yet) in Synthmaster or Falcon.

It's already paying for itself. Time is money.

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