A few years ago in my quest for some heavy bassline i bought U-he's Diva after reading all the positive reviews, when i fired it up in my DAW and played some of the presets i thought wow! the sounds are trying to jump out of my speakers, this is one mad moogy! i was well hyped up! so i programmed a sub bass then selected a dream synth patch and a lead for a tune i was working on, my poor pc didn't know what hit it! instant 100% CPU useage and the DAW grinds to a halt, i have upgraded my pc since that time but somehow still struggle to comfortably get more than 3 instances of Diva running in my tunes (Unless the sounds are very simple) i really like Diva, there are plenty of flavours to be tasted with it's module swapping ability (Love that feature!) Diva is definitely a top draw VST no doubt and i fully understand Urs stance on keeping it real with no compromise on sparing the CPU cycles to deliver good quality sonics, i haven't made a tune with Diva since i bought it but i want to now, i think the only way i can wing it is to stream out the tracks as WAV files, the bottom line is Diva is a beefy synth! i give Diva 9 and a half out of 5 stars (With less CPU useage it would be 10 stars).
Diva's virtual analog synthesizer is the best in the business.
I absolutely love the 5 different oscillator models, the 5 filter models, and the 3 ADS(S)R envelope models. They all help this monster to create amazingly beautiful sounds applicable across all genres. And if you're not feeling like designing your own sounds, their 1200+ factory presets will get your creative juices flowing.
I have Diva preloaded on tracks for everything from bass, pads, leads, keys and fx on my templates, and I can't imagine my life without it.
Diva is an analogue modelling synth that really captures the vibe of old analogue gear with some extra additions. It offers a flexible take when it comes to mixing and matching oscillators, envelopes and filters from a variety of classic machines. I personally found mixing FM into a Moog bass gives me some amazing EBM bass tones I can't get with anything else. It's sharp, snappy and full sounding. The sound quality is nigh on perfect...I'm not sure how you could really improve on this. We've reached the point where analog modelling is good enough to make it virtually indistinguishable from the real instruments. The UI is fabulous, it has a great preset system, it's possibly one of a very few synths that I think is in almost all senses, perfect. My only criticism would be that it's quite heavy on the CPU, so on an older system it struggled a bit running multiple instances but I've just upgraded to a Ryzen 3950X and it runs like a dream. I think it's just how things are going, you can have 'ok' and low CPU or you can have fantastic and higher CPU usage. This definitely goes down the later path, though you can enable eco CPU options (though you probably won't want to once you hear how it sounds). Sure, it's slightly pricey but you get a lot of swappable modules in terms of oscillators and filters so it carries a lot of flexibility with Moog, Juno and MS20 style options so sound wise you get a pretty broad palette. You can also dig under the hood on a per voice level and tweak the individual osc tuning which again, gives you a lot of scope to tune this to how perfect/wonky you want it to be. I like my synths a little wonky and characterful and it can absolutely do that.
All in, one of the best vst's you can buy, if not the best. It's been my go to bass synth since I got it. Absolutely great for anything needing a stand out bass sound, so great for techno or dance music or anything with classic analog character. The pads and leads are also great. Big selection of quality presets but being of the classic era, it's super easy to program your own from scratch, not to mention, actually a lot of fun. I think this will be right up there for most people as a 'go to' synth.
Fantastic analog emulations. Mixing and matching oscillators, filters and envelopes from several classic analog synths opens a tremendous sound design palette. Sounds fantastic in the mix. Can use a lot of CPU but if you work in draft mode and then freeze or final record in the high quality mode it's very workable. Great synth.
With my ear particularly attuned to analog guitar tone, and never quite satisfied with the boxy sound of the 90's era hardware synths and DAW plugins I'd used, I have leaned towards using high resolution samplers with no expectation of satisfaction with modeling devices. D.I.V.A. captivated my attention with a realism and presence that reminded me of being in a room with live acoustic instruments. Since working with it, I've been thoroughly impressed by the obvious heart that goes into keeping U-He instruments playable and cutting edge. And while I hope readers will pardon the superlatives here, I've found it life changing. Thank you.
Diva is the best sounding soft synth I've ever used. It has an incredibly musical sound.
It is good for analogue emulation to such a degree that I literally sold my analogue synth after buying it, as I couldn't see the point any more of hanging on to analogue gear. If you're looking for lush Seventies sounds, it's spot on. If you are looking for 80s stuff you can get there too, just about. Once you start trying to make modern dubstep basses and so on - no. Nor 303 sounds. But for anyone looking for Wendy Carlos, Vangelis or even Gong synths... you will be in heaven.
It is interesting that such a well known and loved synth only has three reviews here. Mine being the third. So many people have discussed it in the forums.
Well, it is fair to say that DIVA really changed the way we looked at soft synths. For me in fact this was significant. I was about to completely pack up my music making on the computer.
I was going to try to get hardware or nothing. DIVA came along as a beta so I tried it out. I didn't see what all the fuss was about at first. It sounded different but not very interesting to me.
It took me a while to realize just how detailed the sound is. Along came the OSC and I entered. I found DIVA to be dark and very difficult to mix. I still didn't think much of it by the time I'd submitted my track. I thought it was good, but still didn't see what the hype was about.
Finally, I don't know when, I began to get used to its sound and it soon became my favourate virtual synth, for the following reasons:
In a word, simple. Which I now realise is the most important aspect of a UI for me. Cluttered & confusing I don't want to know about it. Many synths are just not inviting. The knobs are small or scattered around, there are labels everywhere. It's too much. DIVA is plain and clear, and it is a nice size too, and if it was not you can resize it!
I found it to be very logical.
Exceptional. It is not just the Zero-Delay filters because even in draft mode this synth has character. The oscillators are fat. They are musical. When you add vibrato it sings, not just modulates. It has so many facets.
These are excellent, hi pass and band-pass are offered. I think MS-20, Juno and Moog types are there. I am hoping for SEM types too. They change character depending on the input gain. Very cool!
These are among the best I have heard in software, let alone on a synth. The flanger is one of the most usable around. The phaser is beautiful and makes any sound you put through it lively.
Here is where I wish there was more. No Arp, no extensive mod matrix. But having said that the features you do have are just enough to keep me happy. They are in-fact really cool. I love the modifier area. Being able to combine LFO's in different ways, quantize etc it is really fun.
The stacking feature made all the difference for me, when it was added I could finally make huge saw pads, fat basses and trance leads the way I liked them, because not only can you stack the voices but you can spread them in the stereo field.
Good! Lots of detail now. Its complete.
At $179 it is not cheap. It's intro price was great. Even so it is highly worth it. If you are like me you could happily use this one synth. Not that it does everything, like wavetables, but someone like me can get by just fine without them. For me it is the realism that matters, that musical sound we mostly associate with analog synths.
Very stable. I've never had any problems with it.
I think one of the reasons DIVA appeals to so many people is it has so much to offer, a little here a little there, JUNO sounds for one guy, moog for another, ms-20 for another, stacking for another. It is really rewarding. When you make a sound or a song on DIVA and then listen to it later you completely forget that it is your composition you are listening to, you just focus on the synth sounds.
Since DIVA came out there have been some good other synths released. Infact there have always been synths around, but you know not even all analog synths are loved the same. Some don't sound very appealing at all. So I won't say DIVA is the best VA synth, but it is the one I like the most. If I could only have one, it would be DIVA.
It reminds me of why I love electronic music. I am in love!
The fattest, thickest, most out-of-the-box analog synth of them all. One of my most trusted synths along with Minimoog and ARP-2600 from Arturia. Diva is the reigning Queen of the soft synth hill!
It's funny how you can go through life thinking you've reached escape velocity from digital sounding tracks only to realize when you hear the right synth that you've still been in orbit the entire time. Then the right synth comes a long and you blast in to outer space and across the solar system. This synth had that affect on me.
I can get really good results from lesser synths by using an analog-emulation chain of effects with half a dozen plugins, or I can just reach for Diva and be done with it. Plus, the built-in chorus effect may be the best I've ever heard. I wish it were also available as a separate plugin so I could use it on other source material!
I am ecstatic that the first update to this synth has focused acutely on improving CPU efficiency and stability. These are cherished improvements, and I appreciate the thought that went into it.
Diva is my favourite sounding VA and she's a real game changer in the world of soft synths...
The Spice emulations come at a heavy cost to CPU consumption,but the sound is absolutely sensational..
I have never heard a soft synth with this amount of dimensional depth and the soundstage is HUGE....
We are getting closer to "analog" in the digital domain and Diva has raised the bar and got us the closest yet...
In fact,with the increased versatility of the digital modelling,I would say that Diva has transcended the physical constraints of the analog world and surpassed it....
Now that's something for the analog snobs to consider :)
u-he is on a bit of a roll at the moment with a great development team and some 3rd party sound designers who know how to make these synths sing and things are only getting better all of the time...
I have all of the u-he synths and every one of them fascinates and inspires me...
Zebra and Rapture are my main workhorse synths,but Diva is quickly becoming a daily driver :)
There's some elements of great instruments that are intangible - a little difficult to define in exact terms... But every instrument - both soft and hard - have these elements... It's got nothing to do with specs and everything to do with tone,"feel" and touch....
Diva has a very "organic" feel - really seductive - and you feel like you are touching the heart of something very special when sounds are pouring out of her....
Diva is the most impressive soft synth I have ever played....
5 Stars and much kudos to Urs and the team at u-he for such a wonderful creation...
UPDATE : The v1.1 update has significantly decreased the CPU consumption by introducing a Multi core mode and other optimisations...The improvement is really noticable...Also - the "touch" has also been tweaked and is even better than before...Diva really is a very special musical instrument and anyone looking for something extra ordinary should put this one at the top of their list :)
Diva became my favorite VST synth almost immediately. The sheer number of awesome presets is staggering. I have done nothing but play it for the last 2 nights. I am trying to get 10 posts on here because I want to write a review of it. not sure what number I'm on. anyway, if you have any question about whether you should get Diva, ask yourself the question: Do you have $10,000+ to spend on analogue hardware synths? No? Get Diva.
More knowledgeable users have said it all already. Diva is an incredible synthesizer, and by golly u-he even made a native Linux version. Works like a champ here on a multicore system running Fedora 21 with a realtime kernel. Thanks a million, Urs .