What can I say about the discovery? Some of the KVR members know how much I love this synth. It is easy to use and sounds incredible. The discovery is claimed to be a Nord Lead 2 emulation. How close it sounds to a Nord I have no idea because I never played a Nord Lead. But when I demoed the Discovery I just had to buy it. Building sounds from scratch is a breeze and most of the presets are excellent with little need for tweaking. I discovered how to make most of the sounds great by simply adjusting distortion, filters, chorus, phaser, modulation wheel options, and the amazing delay. The delay is simply one of the greatest delay effects I have ever heard. Not only is the base effect great but it tricks your ear into believing there is some reverb in there too. Oh and the modulation wheel parameters never get boring. You can sync the filter, fm amount, 2nd osc, lfo 1, or morph as many knobs at the same time using just the modulation wheel. Do you love arpeggiators? I do. The arpeggiator comes with all the basic up/down/random etc. modes which makes it boring right? Wrong! There is also a gate effect that will trick out the arpeggiator to whatever you want. Anything else? There are also four layers in the synth. You can morph one layer to another, layer four arpeggios together and morph them all at the same time, and do literally millions of combinations of non-stop synthesizer bliss with this gem. I've tried so many soft synths, but discovery is still on top for me because of its' ease of use and sound quality. It sounds great dry, and amazing with effects. If you need a synth with gut wrenching power and nuclear blast sound, look no further. But it can even be sweet too. Pad sounds are a challenge though. But for basses, leads, sound effects, and strings you won't be lacking. If you need a synth that is in a class of it's own, then discovery is what you've been looking for.
the preorder 2.4 offer makes me want to try this synth, i knew that this vst is a nord lead emulation, supporting the sysex import of patch from nord lead and a massive collection of 2500 preset. i was not very impressed by a VA synth with only 2 osc but when i tried this synth i was very suprised by the quality of the sound very warm and deep, usefull for any bass sound. the two facts that makes me bought the discovery is the layering feature, it is the possibility to layer 4 patch so it gives you a massive sound produced by 8 osc !!! this is not a little synth as the two osc feature lets you believe ! the second very cool feature is the morph possibility, it allows you to morph between two layers, i think it's the only synth with this feature, very great to produced evolving sound. the only drawback is the fact that it eats a lot of cpu but it should be considered normal when you use three or four layers. furthemore this problem should be resolved with the release of 2.4 it's a synth which deserves to be known and i hope that this review will help.
This is definitely one of the best VA synth plugins around. I wish I had tried it sooner.
UI: Well laid out. One complaint is that some of the toggle/ increments are unneccesary or annoying, such as having to click the tiny green led next to Gate or Delay to page the panel. Would be simple to allow clicking the title to perform the same function, and a bit more intuitive. Stepping through oscillator types is also a bit inefficent as well as being inconsistant. Clicking the led next to oscillator type does not switch to that type, which doesn't make sense considering how the Gate/Delay page button works. These are minor gripes, and once acquainted with these quirks, patch creation is a breeze. Morphing is extremely easy to use, and the way morph parameters are presented is truly an innovative approach.
Sound: Awesome! Absolutely no complaints here. It can range from soft and sweet to loud and grating, which is exactly what I had hoped for.
Features: Excellent array of features. Morphing is an excellent feature that Discovery does extremely well, and allows for great expressiveness in performance, as well as being eay to use and visualize. Being able to utilize up to 4 layers is a great method for creating complex patches. The morphable trancegate is awesome, and the filters are excellent.
Documentation: Covers the basics and includes bookmarks. Two thumbs up!
Presets: A vast array of presets are included with Discovery. The sheer number shows how flexible this synth is.
Customer Support: KvR forum exists.
Value For Money: Skip eating out for lunch 15 days in a row and Discovery can be yours. I'm extremely pleased with it, and would gladly buy another at the same price if it were hardware.
Last night I "discovered" DSP's evolving flagship synth aftera favorable review in SOS. I am very surprised there has not been more "buzz" about this synth, as it is excellent. Although nominally a Nord Lead emulation, Discovery has many timbres well covered in an extensive preset library. The bad news? It can be pretty cpu heavy. I've resolved to live with cpu hogs if they sound right, and the resampling in Ableton Live 4 makes this resolution easier to live with. Many patches come in at 5% on 3 ghtz cpu, but some take up to 25% and more. The Discovery is very stable, and the handsome blue gui is well laid out and the patches are reasonably easy to tweak. There are many great arp patches in the presets, but I haven't figured haw to program the arp yet. Highly recommended.
User Interface The GUI is a little plain, but very well laid out and easy to navigate. The new NL2 skin (official DiscoDSP release) brightens it up no end so that's worth investigating. The most notable aspect of the GUI is the setting of morph values for all parameters. Holding "CTRL" while adjusting a knob will reveal a second "ghost" pointer. More Later...
Sound If you like rasping growling VA antics, then Discovery delivers what you're after. One of my favourite sounds is that of sync'ed oscillators and Discovery offers a wealth of options for modulating the second oscillator for some seriously hard-edged sounds. There are a variety of filters on offer which all have their merits, particularly the LP24 which sounds warm and thick and the Formant24 which (as you might expect) uses formant filters to lend "vocal" timbres to the sound. FM of oscillators is available too, so tings, pings, bells and twangs are in amongst the sonic arsenal.
Features As mentioned in the GUI section , the morphing feature is thing that makes this synth really stand out. Without it, Discovery would be an excellent VA synth. With morphing, this synth moves to a whole new level. Each and every knob can have two settings applied. One main setting and a second "ghost" setting. You can then morph between these using the mod wheel or (my favourite) velocity. Since you can set the synth to ignore velocity on the VCA (ie no volume changes no matter what the note velo) this feature makes this synth come alive. Imagine filter cutoff, resonance, envelope level, oscillator sync depth and vibrato lfo amount all varying with velocity. Set up a sequence in your host, then play around with those little velocity bars underneath the piano roll that you normally just set flat (or ignore) and you can achieve some incredibly complex effects.
The second feature of note is that Discovery can have up to four layers (ABCD) with each layer being a totally independent, completely programmable version of the synth. A nice bell sound, with a low string fading in , all underpinned by a pulsing growling sync bass? No problemo! Admittedly this does make the synth a bit of a CPU hog, but if I'm honest, I rarely go beyond one layer - this synth is that good.
A tempo-synced delay, a dedicated LFO for pan (great feature!), 3 types of filter distortion, incredibly flexible modulation routing (although not as flexible as a modulation matrix, but nearly) all add up to a superb list of features.
Documentation A good PDF manual is supplied which is well laid out, clear and concise.
Presets This synth comes with a shed load of presets and you can import Nord Lead 2 sounds too.
Customer Support DiscoDSP forum on KvR is lively with regular input from DiscoDSP staff.
VFM Really excellent value for money, this synth. I wouldn't be without it.
Stability Never had any problems whatsoever. Never.
In summary? I really love this synth. It's sound and features are top notch.
This Synth doesn't get nearly enough recognition, I think that's all about to change now with the ultra low cpu consumtion.
User interface is set up quite well, making the synth an ease to use. The Discovery's GUI is large enough to see, that's always a plus. The red skin makes the Discovery a sexy music making machine, it gets that inspiration flowing a bit more. ;)
The sound is so thick and rich, often exactly what I need to complete a track. This thing can make killer basses, leads and pads. You'll love its full and luscious sound. I think the Nord Lead 2 patch imports are still one hell of reason to buy, there's like well over 1200 nord lead patches. You can't beat that, puts a smile on my face !
Stability is also great with this thing, never crashes! I had 9 instances open with my AMD XP 2500 Processor and a couple reverbs along with some compressors....everything went like silk. :) After the 2.4 upgrade, the cpu eating patches are no more...hardly noticed cpu consumption...with very high quality sound.
In my opinion the price is great for this fine machine. I mean just look and hear what it can do!
Features like Nord Lead 2 and 2X patch import, Layer Morphing, Arpeggiator, Built-in Chorus, Phaser , Panning and Delay effects...MIDI learn!!!! This feature list is a good reason why this synth is so usable.
As far as the docs go, I've never needed them for this synth....ease of operation. However if you did need them, you can find them inside the Disco folder you've installed.
Disco's Costomer Support is excellent, working out any problems or questions promptly...and in a very profesional way. Making my Costomer Support rating for the Discovery and Disco products an 11 (if it went that high). ...and it is much appreciated, thanks Disco!
Try the Demo!! If you get it, go to Patch Arena and get the free "Best of Nord Lead 2" bank (and others).
This is worth a the high rating, I'm very pleased. :)