What is the must have synth(s) of the past three years.

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
1186 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from Kentucky

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:16 pm

I used to hang out here at KVR a LOT, buy a lot of VSTi's, and do a lot of reviews. Then something happened and I had to retire early, go on a budget, and stop buying. I stayed away from KRV to avoid GAS attacks. :)

Now I am ready to buy something, but am woefully out of touch with what is new and good in VSTi land. I have Komplete 12 and most of the U-He stuff. I mostly use Reason and Live. Oh, and after picking up a Roland MC-101 I got a free year of Roland Cloud. What has come along in the last three years that is considered "must have"? I prefer synths to ROMplers, and like to stay under $100. Oh, and I consider built in pattern creation to be fun. Lots of fun.
All I need to be happy is one more VSTi.

2118 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:55 pm

Vital is excellent, both the free version and the paid for versions.
Worth checking out at least:


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607 posts since 22 Feb, 2014

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:02 pm

I doubt you'll get any consensus on "must have", but here's a list of 25 to help you catch up.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/th ... day-621799

Of that list, I would say Dune, Sylenth1, Spire, Falcon, Pigments, and Serum gets the most buzz. (I'm excluding the u-he and NI stuff you likely have.)

If you're into modular and recreations, a lot of folks are liking Cherry Audio's stuff - https://cherryaudio.com

There's also some excitement around Vital and Surge which are FREE.

EDIT: Nearly forgot Plasmonic which is a brand new synth from the developer behind Absynth.
Last edited by telecharge on Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

47 posts since 9 Oct, 2019

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:14 pm

Pigments 2 and Vital are both amazing for creating complex sounds easily. And Vital is free!

27148 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:24 pm

Instruments are a very personal, subjective thing, so, I don't really know about "must have's"... Massive X is pretty cool though. But, you already have that (Komplete 12). Dunno if there really have been some "must have" synths in the past 3 years. The one from my arsenal which I would most notably consider a must have would be Spire. But then, I have no idea if it is for you. Plus it's more than 8 years old now. :)
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

6698 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:29 pm

For me, they are Massive X, CZ-V, Form and some analog emulations like Obsession. Anyway, I mostly use older synths (older than three years old), so I don't think you miss a lot!
My Setup: Windows 10 / Live 11 Suite / Reaper v6 / Mainly synths from NI, Arturia, u-he and Synapse Audio / MODX 6 / KeyLab MK II / iTwo interface, DT 990 Pro and HS7 monitors.

266 posts since 3 Jan, 2020

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:52 pm

MSoundFactory :love:

321 posts since 28 Jul, 2006

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:16 pm

Held wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:52 pm
MSoundFactory :love:
I never hear people talk about this. What makes it better than other stuff that's come out?

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18045 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:24 pm

If you like physical modeling, then Plasmonic is excellent!
Vital is worth picking up. If for nothing else than the text to wavetable function. Modulation is excellent. One of the best GUI's in terms of workflow currently available.

Both Plasmonic and Vital are deep and both support MPE if you are into that.

651 posts since 8 Mar, 2004 from Network 23

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:51 pm

Omnisphere, Vital, Diva, Surge, Dune, Massive X

I only have two of those. telecharge's not the MusicRadar top 20 list is a definite go-to.

You will get a lot of opinions in a thread like this. KVRians are passionate about their favorites for good reasons. Try before you buy, read quality reviews, and buy what you like.

More importantly, write music you enjoy with your personal favorite synths and above all, have fun doing it.
We shall see orchestral machines with a thousand new sounds, with thousands of new euphonies, as opposed to the present day's simple sounds of strings, brass, and woodwinds. -- George Antheil, circa 1925 ---

6232 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:56 pm

OP seriously has more than enough.
So the better question is back to the OP on what they feel is lacking with what they have now?

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5247 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:27 am

There is only one: Plasmonic... Everything else is covered by what he got already...
On a general note, if you don’t have money to invest, invest your time. As you have Reaktor, for example get into it and learn it deeply...

1527 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:47 am

The most interesting release to me has been Pendulate and Generate; chaotic oscillators with LPGs. It's not so unusual in hardware modular, but this is cheaper and much easier to manage and tune. (And polyphonic in the case of Generate!)

Also on the modular front, VCV's ecosystem has become ridiculously big in the last few years and a lot of it is free.

56 posts since 2 Jan, 2021

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:51 am

#1 Question: What kind of music do you make?

My personal Gear Acquisition Syndrome stems from buying everything anyone ever raves about anywhere, without first checking that they make music that is applicable to the kind of music I make

Has lead to some TERRIBLE purchases :dog:

266 posts since 3 Jan, 2020

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:03 am

briefcasemanx wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:16 pm
Held wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:52 pm
MSoundFactory :love:
I never hear people talk about this. What makes it better than other stuff that's come out?
I love it because it's so flexible and you can do pretty much any type of synthesis: subtractive, additive, FM, physical modeling... It doesn't have a dedicated granular module, but it gets requested frequently, so hopefully it'll show up soon.

It has super flexible routing and tons of modulators, both global and per voice. You can build your own simplified custom GUIs/instruments for an easier workflow and automation.

It also contains all the Melda plugins like advanced reverbs, delays and so much more.

It's not quite as capable as the most advanced specialized synths, but it comes pretty close.

The only downside is that all the options can be quite overwhelming and I needed to watch a lot of tutorials to wrap my head around it. There are a lot of built in sounds and instruments to get you started, though.

I especially like the modal filter for physical modeling. It's so much fun to play around with. Here's a basic tutorial that barely scratches the surface:

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