Instrument and Effects true gems?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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killmaster
KVRAF
Topic Starter
2077 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Post Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:08 pm

I really think it's worth noting when something attains the "gem" level. For me this usually means meets a high level of competency and/or uniqueness and is also musically useful and something undeniably transcendant (so to speak). A real "whole is better than the sum of it's parts". There are probably too many of these to remember them all in one go and of course it kinda has to be subjective to a degree, but some that have attained that status for me:

Desktop:
Sonic Charge Permut 8
SPC Plugins ArcSyn
Rhizomatic Plasmonic
Dillon Bastan's Max4Live devices
EverythingTurns Reaktor instruments
Blinksonic Reaktor Instruments
Homegrown Sounds Kontakt instruments
Reaktor Cloudlab - Trevor Gallivan
FM8
Bazille
Reason Complex-1
Wolfgang Palm Wavemapper 2
NI Skanner XT
Forester (Max) - Leafcutter John
XLN XO
VCV Rack 2
Vital
there are some Twisted Tools gems
and some Glitchmachine gems

IOS:
Igor Vasiliev's Spacefields
Borderlands
ID700
Samplr
Spacecraft
TC-11

Would love to hear from others on this. I do think it could prove to be a valuable thread!

dark water
KVRAF
2603 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Post Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:12 pm

Too many to mention for me.

However, in addition to some of those you've mentioned above, nearly all instruments by Hollow Sun (RIP) and Synth Magic are golden imo.

Fraggle
KVRist
185 posts since 29 May, 2013 from Durham

Post Tue Apr 12, 2022 6:06 pm

Serum
Collision - Corpus (Ableton)
Zen

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jamcat
KVRAF
2087 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Tue Apr 12, 2022 9:58 pm

Oh boy! Another list thread! :hyper:

Here's my complete list of Gems:

Gem Comp76
Gem EQ495
Gem TAPEDESK
Gem EQ84
Gem Dopamine
Gem Sculptube
Gem EQ550
Gem Comp G
Gem ECHOSON
Gem Comp670
Gem OTD-2
Gem Comp LA
Gem Voice
Gem Modula
Gem EQP
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
13407 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Tue Apr 12, 2022 10:41 pm

Not all that many for me, really. Everything I use is worthy, but most of them don't really stand out in any way. The ones that do are:

Olga - for something that initially seemed so specific, I find it incredibly versatile.

Union - nothing sounds bigger and nastier. Nothing.

JP6K - this gets in because it does a creditable job as a Wasp replacement for us.

GR8 - for a freebie, this thing is amazing. Every time I use it, it makes what I'm working on better.

TRK-01 Bass - another freebie, this one is deceptively useful and I love the workflow/interface.

MonoFury - this is donationware but I think it's worth paying $20-$30 for. Great sound and really easy to work with.

There's nothing in my effects folder that I'd rate but that's probably because the effects in Orion were generally better, so having to resort to VSTs feels like slumming it. And also because I hardly use any effects these days.
Last edited by BONES on Sun May 15, 2022 6:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win11(64), UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, GR-8, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Olga, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, Thorn, Odyssey, Equator, VG Iron | Uno Pro, Uno, Rocket.

killmaster
KVRAF
Topic Starter
2077 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Post Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:05 am

BONES wrote: Tue Apr 12, 2022 10:41 pm Not all that many for me, really. Everything I use is worthy, but most of them don't really stand out in any way. The ones that do are:

Olga - for something that initially seemed so specific, I find it incredibly versatile.

Union - nothing sounds bigger and nastier. Nothing.

JP6K - this gets in because it does a creditable job as a Wasp replacement for us.

GR8 - for a freebie, this thing is amazing. Every time I use it, it makes what I'm working on better.

There's nothing in my effects folder that I'd rate but that's probably because the effects in Orion were generally better, so having to resort to VSTs feels like slumming it. And also because I hardly use any effects these days.
Thanks for this! Checking these out and was hoping you'd reply.

GR8 does sound amazing and is straight forward. Maybe I'll get to using this one.
Have had Union but not used it but going to give it another shot.

Olga sounds amazing and I do love the interface. I find I do better when there are not words I understand for the labels :). But how do you access or save presets?

JP6K is windows only so no go for me...

DJDJ
KVRist
40 posts since 8 Jan, 2009

Post Wed Apr 13, 2022 11:13 am

Some more gems in my humble estimation:

Instruments
Plasmonic
XO (agreed with OP on these)
DSP56300 emu (fairly obvious, but still...)
Sonic Academy Kick 2
Plogue Chipspeech
NI Razor


Effects & Utility plugins
Acustica Nebula 4 (particularly the Cupwise and Tim P libraries + Azzimov skins)
Output Portal
Output Thermal
Trackspacer
Audiodamage Other Desert Cities
Polyverse manipulator
Unfiltered Audio SpecOps
Plogue Chipcrusher
Fabfilter Pro-R
Polyverse Comet
IK Tapes collection
iZotope Tonal Balance Control
Logic Step Sequencer
NI Molekular

For me, each of these was a personal WOW! This is a game changer moment for me

killmaster
KVRAF
Topic Starter
2077 posts since 5 Oct, 2003

Post Wed Apr 13, 2022 11:53 am

DJDJ wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 11:13 am Some more gems in my humble estimation:

Instruments
Plasmonic
XO (agreed with OP on these)
DSP56300 emu (fairly obvious, but still...)
Sonic Academy Kick 2
Plogue Chipspeech
NI Razor


Effects & Utility plugins
Acustica Nebula 4 (particularly the Cupwise and Tim P libraries + Azzimov skins)
Output Portal
Output Thermal
Trackspacer
Audiodamage Other Desert Cities
Polyverse manipulator
Unfiltered Audio SpecOps
Plogue Chipcrusher
Fabfilter Pro-R
Polyverse Comet
IK Tapes collection
iZotope Tonal Balance Control
Logic Step Sequencer
NI Molekular

For me, each of these was a personal WOW! This is a game changer moment for me
These are great ones and I totally agree about Plasmonic. I mean to include that. And Molekular and Razor as well. Portal too!

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HAL76
KVRist
214 posts since 9 Feb, 2019

Post Wed Apr 13, 2022 12:37 pm

Plogue OPS7 is a gem, as well as Acustica Ultramarine.

MSpectraldynamics - and I didn´t even really think of it until I got the full license instead of LE that I bought on an dumping-sale.

Maybe BC Patchwork.
The rest is just classy. But ok - the underestimated MChorusMB maybe. It really surprised me since it can sound completely different than all the 20 others.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
13407 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:33 pm

killmaster wrote: Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:05 amOlga sounds amazing and I do love the interface. I find I do better when there are not words I understand for the labels :). But how do you access or save presets?
I save my Olga presets into Studio One. It's not ideal but it works well enough.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win11(64), UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, GR-8, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Olga, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, Thorn, Odyssey, Equator, VG Iron | Uno Pro, Uno, Rocket.

worldfever
KVRist
239 posts since 13 Oct, 2015

Post Fri May 06, 2022 12:12 pm

great thread, right up my alley. i wish twisted tools still made new stuff

Dencheg
KVRist
395 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Fri May 06, 2022 1:04 pm

It's a good thread.
I won't list u-he, Synapse, TAL, NI and some others who are a gem, but well known.
(Yes, NI as a gem, cause I stay on Komplete 11 on purpose, occasionally getting new stuff. Ok, I'll list the new stuff)

Gems, which are a bit less known (or known, but possessing less momentum than the former)

Plasmonic
Viper by Adam Szabo
REFLEX-PRO-X by stw-audio - that's an amazing delay factory
ArcSyn - hope it will get more love by the dev (word on the street he's making something cool)
Dagger - please Beepstreet guy, may be you can update it or something for the sake of those who legally got it, as it's a great sounding (roaring) monosynth. Rumor has it he won't ever get back to the desktop
Noire and Straylight by NI are gems

Caliburn by Kuassa and F-59 by Fuse Audio are gems.
Recent models done by Audiority are gems.
Last edited by Dencheg on Fri May 06, 2022 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Weapons of choice (subject to change):
Godin Redline, Kuassa, Fuse Audio, Audiority, Roland A-500pro, Dune, Dagger, ANA, GForce, Reaper

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
13407 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Fri May 06, 2022 4:42 pm

I left one thing off my list that absolutely should be on it - TRK-01 Bass. It's really different and exactly the same all at once. I really like the GUI and workflow and it sounds fantastic. It's one synth I really don't think I use enough. I'm going to edit the original list to fix this unacceptable oversight.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win11(64), UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, GR-8, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Olga, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, Thorn, Odyssey, Equator, VG Iron | Uno Pro, Uno, Rocket.

jjpscott01
KVRist
167 posts since 17 Jun, 2012 from East Coast US

Post Fri May 06, 2022 6:03 pm

VI's Gems would include:

Complex-1 by Reason Studios
Antidote by Synapse Audio
Sektor by Initial Audio
Algoritm by Reason Studios
VirtualCZ by Plugin Boutique
Glass Viper by Quick Quack


As far as effects, these are staples:

Spline EQ by Photosounder
TCS-68 by Fuse Audio Labs
Scream 4 Distortion by Reason Studios
Gain Reduction by JST
Magnetic II by Nomad Factory
Kaya by Fly-Fi
Sweetone by Sonimus
MV2 by Waves
Windows 10 PC. Reason. Cubase. Waveform. Reaper. Epiphone Les Paul Pro II. ESP LTD TE-212. Nektar Panorama t4. Yamaha RBX Bass. Faderport. Eris E5 Monitors. SS2 Interface. Audient Evo 4. AKG C214. Aston Origin. MXL 990. Simmons SDX E-DrumKit.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
7108 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Fri May 06, 2022 9:22 pm

All Madrona Labs, all Unfiltered Audio

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