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

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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Spencer Maddox
KVRian
762 posts since 19 Oct, 2017 from The Empire State

Post Mon May 04, 2020 8:38 pm

Okay, I hope this isint a mistake :hihi:

I’ve been making a lot of noise (or sometimes, if I’m lucky, somthin that resembles Music) during quarantine and I discovered a Gem I never knew I had.
Iris2. I bought iris 2 on a super sale along side “trash” a while ago but I was really only interested in Trash. I never even touched iris until recently when I downloaded the factory libraries onto my Mac and started playing with it.
Good Goodness! This synth is phenomenal. It’s niche. Very specific in its objective and sweetspot: but incredibly efficient, lightweight and flexible.

This is despite the fact that I’ve rarely heard this VST mentioned in any mainstream light. Isotope does not seem to prioritize it much when they are more of an effects company: and I don’t hear it often talked about on KVR. But it’s a Gem.

Anyone got any other gems? Hidden Wonders VSTs?
It can be either effect or instrument.

To add a bit of spice because I’m curious. On the FLIP side what VST do you see as overvalued. OverHyped and just don’t get why everyone likes it.

For me, and I know some of KVR is going to Crucify me for this, ZEBRA..
I love URS’s Stuff. Diva and Repro are absolutely 2 of the greatest plugins I’ve ever used and his modular stuff and effects are fantastic but Zebra...I just never enjoyed zebra.
Despite all the hype and it being the flagship product of the company I just don’t like it :shrug:

Discuss!
I want to get some ideas for extra GAS!
Because healthy financial decisions.
Last edited by Spencer Maddox on Mon May 04, 2020 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The post above this is likely bait, viewer discretion is advised.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
10359 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Mon May 04, 2020 9:28 pm

Of course, a lot of this will depend on what style of music you make but there are a few things I find invaluable that seem to rarely get mentioned by anyone else. Top of that list would be Soundspot's Union. Because it's cheap and because it's a bit weird, people seem very dismissive of it but I have been finding more and more uses for it lately. I almost didn't buy it because the architecture isn't the best - it's more like 3 single osc synths than one 3 osc synth - but it was cheap and it had a few OK sounding presets so I grabbed it, played around with it for an hour or two and then forgot all about for a couple of months. Then it got a couple of upgrades so I thought I'd have another look and I've been using it very regularly ever since. I think it's only $8 again at the moment so you have nothing to lose.

Another one would be Sugarbyte's Aparillo. It is a very different synth but when it works, it is absolutely unbeatable. You have to try the demo to get what it's about. It's another one of those synths I keep looking for excuses to use.

Last positive mention goes to TRK-01. It's a Reaktor ensemble but it works in the free player and the synth in it is fantastic. I find myself using the free Play version, it's simpler but has all the important bits. I think that comes in every Komplete bundle, even the free one.

As for over-rated, Sylenth 1 is my immediate thought. I just don't get it. It sounds no better (or worse) than dozens of other synths that are only half the price. Even when it came out I didn't think it had much to recommend it over Superwave P8, which was a free synth made in SynthEdit (that I also thought was over-rated). I don't even like using Sylenth 1 because it hasn't been well designed. e.g. If I add envelope modulation to filter cutoff in the mod matrix, turning it up to full doesn't completely open the filter, as you should expect. I just don't like that synth at all.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 (Core i7, 32GB RAM, RTX2060, Win10), UR44C | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, Vacuum Pro, Equator, Arcsyn, Pigments, Phase Plant, Union, Substance, TRK-01 | Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova.

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jeffb01
KVRian
955 posts since 18 Apr, 2006

Post Mon May 04, 2020 9:30 pm

Wiggle is underrated. I have so many vsts and none are quite like wiggle. It does really cool stuff. Sugar Bytes Cyclops, too. Sugar Bytes is pretty underrated as they make great synths.

It's hard for me to say what is overrated. There are so many synths I don't jive with, but then I usually don't take the time to really learn it if I don't jive with it.

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Spencer Maddox
KVRian
762 posts since 19 Oct, 2017 from The Empire State

Post Mon May 04, 2020 10:05 pm

BONES wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:28 pm
Of course, a lot of this will depend on what style of music you make but there are a few things I find invaluable that seem to rarely get mentioned by anyone else. Top of that list would be Soundspot's Union. Because it's cheap and because it's a bit weird, people seem very dismissive of it but I have been finding more and more uses for it lately. I almost didn't buy it because the architecture isn't the best - it's more like 3 single osc synths than one 3 osc synth - but it was cheap and it had a few OK sounding presets so I grabbed it, played around with it for an hour or two and then forgot all about for a couple of months. Then it got a couple of upgrades so I thought I'd have another look and I've been using it very regularly ever since. I think it's only $8 again at the moment so you have nothing to lose.

Yes it is. Funny I was in Plugin boutique tonight and noticed it was 8$ again.
I’ll have to check it out. It is very strange looking but the synth has potential.
BONES wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:28 pm

Last positive mention goes to TRK-01. It's a Reaktor ensemble but it works in the free player and the synth in it is fantastic. I find myself using the free Play version, it's simpler but has all the important bits. I think that comes in every Komplete bundle, even the free one.
Agreed! +1 on this one.
TRK is a gem. I don’t use the Kick part usually, but I have a lot of fun with the bass part. It was just silently added into komplete 12 hiding behind the big additions like Kontakt 6 and Massive X.
BONES wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:28 pm
As for over-rated, Sylenth 1 is my immediate thought. I just don't get it. It sounds no better (or worse) than dozens of other synths that are only half the price. Even when it came out I didn't think it had much to recommend it over Superwave P8, which was a free synth made in SynthEdit (that I also thought was over-rated). I don't even like using Sylenth 1 because it hasn't been well designed. e.g. If I add envelope modulation to filter cutoff in the mod matrix, turning it up to full doesn't completely open the filter, as you should expect. I just don't like that synth at all.
About “getting it” I...don’t know.
Sylenth1 is a anomaly. I personally still use it a lot and enjoy it. But I genuinely could not tell you why it’s so popular to this day when compared to the field.

I reach for it because It’s got low cpu usage and sounds Clean. And it’s has a really good unison. I think that’s a similar reasoning amount S1 users? (There was a large thread on the Sylenth1 hype if I recall)
But there really is nothing groundbreaking about the Plugin. Not surprised that name came up.
jeffb01 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:30 pm
Sugar Bytes Cyclops, too. Sugar Bytes is pretty underrated as they make great synths.
Bones mentioned them too. I actually have cyclops and Apparlio because they were suddenly added to EW composer cloud, who I’m a customer of. But I haven’t really begun teaching myself them yet. Cyclops seems like it would be really good for Aggressive and Hard sounding synths. Dubstep. Drum and Bass, Reese and Growl kinda stuff.
The post above this is likely bait, viewer discretion is advised.

revvy
KVRAF
1704 posts since 15 Feb, 2020

Post Mon May 04, 2020 10:15 pm

I think Sylenth is underrated.

Overrated synths? Not my concern really.

recursive one
KVRAF
5006 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Tue May 05, 2020 1:42 am

Spencer Maddox wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:38 pm


For me, and I know some of KVR is going to Crucify me for this, ZEBRA..
I love URS’s Stuff. Diva and Repro are absolutely 2 of the greatest plugins I’ve ever used and his modular stuff and effects are fantastic but Zebra...I just never enjoyed zebra.
Despite all the hype and it being the flagship product of the company I just don’t like it :shrug:
Same here. I like other U-he synths,have also Repro, Diva and Bazille and use them every now and then, but Zebra mostly stays unused. I like neither the sound nor the worklow. Sure, some decent sounds can be made of found in the presets but other synths give me what I need much faster.

It has glorious history and some power-users, i think because it was one of the first "supersynths", but as it stands I think it's indeed somewhat overhyped.

Another one is probably Thorn, it has eye-candy GUI and that cool glitch sequencer thing but frankly I don't quite understand why people like its sound, to me it has very unferifned digital quiality, not very pleasant and often borderline painful. I actually love edgy digital sounds and have many uses, e.g., for Serum but Thorn just does nothing for me.

I can agree that Sylenth probably has lost some of it's value and has a quite a few more capable competitors but I still like it and use it quite often. It just works. Sounds great, uses almost no CPU and perfectly fits some specific tasks. I still use it quite a bit in every project I make.
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chk071
KVRAF
25439 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue May 05, 2020 1:56 am

Regarding u-he's synths, they're just not my taste. Even something like Diva is just too nerdy for me, with those gazillions of fine tuning options for authentic analog behavior. I rather enjoy more simple layouts, like, something like Spire, Sylenth1, Massive X, even Largo. Are u-he's synths therefor overrated? Hm, not for that reason. Rather for political reasons. The synths are very good, technically, and, you get a lot of mileage out of them, feature wise, and, the update policies are great too. It's just that they don't fit my taste.

I couldn't tell underrated synths. They're underrated for a reason most of the time. Although I dunno why there isn't more talk about Waldorf's soft synths here. Especially Largo is sounding absolutely fantastic. Komplexer was awesome as well. Dunno why there's not more rave about them. Some of the most "hardware sounding" soft synths for me.

I could name some soft synths which I consider overrated, but, that would probably attract the usual suspects again, so I won't. ;)
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Reefius
KVRian
1080 posts since 7 Dec, 2013 from Earth

Post Tue May 05, 2020 2:04 am

The most overrated and overhyped synth award definitely goes to Genesis Pro.

recursive one
KVRAF
5006 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Post Tue May 05, 2020 2:10 am

Reefius wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 2:04 am
The most overrated and overhyped synth award definitely goes to Genesis Pro.
As well as the most underrated and misjudged synth award.

It's quite an acheivement to get both :D

I mean despite all the shit-storm and quite a few obvious flaws it's actually a useable synth for 1 Eur. But it was indeed questionnable to make all these pompous videos and present is as the second coming if all we get is a 32-bit old synthedit creation.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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kvotchin
KVRian
513 posts since 9 Aug, 2018

Post Tue May 05, 2020 2:29 am

This is all just my opinion, based on my own experiences and preferences. No offence intended. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, after all.

Overrated: Most U-He synths, Serum, V Collection, Pigments, most NI instruments.

Underrated: Spire, many freeware synths.
Last edited by kvotchin on Thu May 07, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hadrondrift
KVRist
99 posts since 13 Sep, 2013 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue May 05, 2020 2:39 am

Overrated: Serum, Pigments
Underrated: ArcSyn, Parawave Rapid

But the word "underrated" doesn't really cut it for me here. "Should be better known" is more accurate. There are countless weird Reaktor synths, practically unknown, but nevertheless great. Truly overrated is Genesis Pro. And of course this is a very subjective topic.

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gentleclockdivider
KVRAF
3217 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Post Tue May 05, 2020 2:43 am

Underrated : All TAL stuff ( commercial )
Overrated : All Waves stuff of the last decade
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BeeDog
KVRist
371 posts since 31 Jan, 2018

Post Tue May 05, 2020 3:10 am

Don't really care about mentioning overrated stuff, but for underrated:
  • SPC ArcSyn
  • Sugar Bytes Aparillo
  • Sugar Bytes Factory
  • accSone Crusher-X
  • Nomad Factory Garbage LSD (worth pointing out it's developed by Dmitry Sches)

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3933 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Tue May 05, 2020 3:24 am

Sylenth1 is a anomaly. I personally still use it a lot and enjoy it. But I genuinely could not tell you why it’s so popular to this day when compared to the field.
Sylenth1 may not be anything special these days, but it was exceptional back in the year it was released, which is 2006. For next 10 years at least it was everyone's goal to match or outperform Sylenth's sound.
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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
5508 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Post Tue May 05, 2020 3:26 am

Underrated: Respiro (https://www.imoxplus.com). The most amazing thing ever if you play a wind controller (which is amazing in itself). Fantastic dev too and great support, constantly improved.

Overrated: Wow, that would be a long list... won't go there ;-)

Cheers,

Tom
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