In 2011, I got my first taste of a Melda oscillator and what a tease that was! Melda released the free effect MOscillator, a "test tone" plugin. I instantly fell in love with the sound of the oscillator and emailed MeldaProduction begging for a synth that used this oscillator. The developer replied that this was already on his long To Do list. I loved the sound of MOscillator so much that I ended up using it as a synth a few times (Playing the test tones via MIDI and adding flavor via external effects).
Fast forward to 2014 and MPowerSynth is released: An extremely powerful subtractive synth with an interesting topology and select FM and Additive capabilities that enable it to excel in the creation of a broad range of sounds. Version 9.10 used for this review:The synth offers a Global section with Global parameters, 3 "daisy chained" oscillators, a noise generator, 2 filters with many different types of high quality filters available and the most featured effect section of any synth that I know of in terms of quality, quantity, and modularity of the effects.
MPowerSynth offers options a plenty, many of these options accessible via separate windows and menus that offer a multitude of additional parameters. There are tabs, tabs within tabs, tabs within tabs within tabs, but there is a method to the madness and these additional modes and parameters offer a much higher level of tweak-ability than the great majority of soft synths. In my opinion, it is well worth the reasonable time it takes to dig deep into the manual (95 pages) while experimenting with the various options to remember where they all are and what they do. Once you go there, you won't look back.
Superb sounding anti-aliasing Oscillators with extreme level of customization. Highly tweak-able. Users can also import/convert single cycle waveforms and can even create new waveforms by blending existing ones with imported ones. In addition, users can essentially draw their own waveforms.
Oscillator topology allows for Unison on OSC1 and enables OSC2 and OSC3 to be set to one of eight unique modes that determine how these interact with/are affected by the previous oscillator in the chain (eg: To achieve Frequency modulation, ring modulation, sync..)
29 oscillator waveform "transform types" which allow PWM and AM, for instance.
Customizable shapes for Modulators.
Harmonics mode for the Oscillators.
You can resize the GUI and customize it by changing the style/colors used.
Customized Glide shape/behavior.
Polyphonic arpeggiator with many available options as well as a smart randomizer.
6 harmony generators.
Morph up to 4 separate patches (A, B, C, D)
Save and load presets for an OSC, Filter, FX chain, Modular shape, Velocity shape, etc..., within the plugin. So you can re-use any presets created in any of these sub-sections in any patch.
Effects parameters are modulatable.
Step sequencer available as a modulator, in addition to LFO and Envelope.
Many different high quality filter types. An assortment of flavors between Clean and Distorted, including classic low/high/band-pass and shelves, formant, comb, diffuser, polymorph filters.... A sound designers dream.
Large quantity of high quality effects presented in a modular topology.
Many of the separate sections within the synth have a Random button (only randomizes parameters in that specific section) in addition to the global preset randomize function.
A separate Transform shape for each one of the parameters in modulators.
Multiple Undo/Redo of actions taken by user.
Up to 16x oversampling.
1500+ included presets (some better than others, but lots of great ones)
Scroll over to any of the toolbars within the plugin and hit F1 (PC) for info about that section and a description of each option.
The developer implements feature requests when he agrees with a suggestion and does it in a very short amount of time. Also, rather than forcing the user into 1 way of doing things, the developer leaves it up to the user to decide by providing new options that each user can set as he/she sees fit. Often these options are available via a right/click or additional window as to not overbear the main UI with additional parameters and options.
You have to double click to load a preset in the browser. I would prefer single click. Come to think about it I will make a feature request about this.
No simple "modulation Matrix" to quickly modulate a user defined destination by a certain amount using a user defined source. This would be great as a simplified option for modulation when one does not wish to dig deep setting up/using the very in depth modulator functionality that is already provided.
Note: CPU can get high depending on the quality settings and options used. Be mindful of what you use, the settings that you choose and how much you chose to modulate as well as what you chose to modulate. You may need to compromise in regards to Sound vs. CPU. Overall though, CPU is on par with other soft synths and lower CPU patches generate awesome sounds regardless.
PS: I never give a 10 as a rating. 9 is the highest I am willing to go for any review. There is always something that can be improved. MPowerSynth is a very solid 9.
this is a very potent instrument. it's interface is quite off-putting initially (was for me anyway), but there is a real powerhouse here with many more options than serum. serum is more intuitive 'out of the box' what with most of the editing in a single screen.. they are both very good, but i would find Mpowersynth much more rewarding over time in terms of options..
Hi, I downloaded the demo of MPS and own Zebra as well as Bazille. All of the, are not comparable - however if we talk about synthesizer plugins only one thing counts - sound.
I know that many users like MPS because of the feartures - I don't like the sound at all. They have plenty presets (more than 1000), but all of them are poor, not really usable.
Instead of MPS I would go for Serum and Spire. Zebra is different and certainly one of the best sounding plugin. Bazille is great as well. I you go for U-he you will not fail. Please check the review videos on youtube - you'll get a good impression.
Hi. Thank you. I now use the synth for a long time but mainly I use MSoundfactory, a modular synth environment in which MPS only is a small part of the whole system. I absolutely understand you concerning the preset situation. The presets are totally boring often lifeless and generic and I have absolutely no clue why Melda does that for showcasing such an amazing synth as MPS is in fact.
You really have to program that beast by your own and you will see where it shines and how much literally endless sonic options it provides. I do own every U-he synth and I love them all. But comparing the pure sound engines of the Melda synth, MPS and MSF, I like the quality of the Melda better than ZEBRAs engine. Both are fantastic synths in my opinion.
Thanks a lot for the replay. I just downloaded the trial version of MSoundFactory and, to be honest, I am a little confused. I don't understand the preset browser, in fact under root I have only four subcategories I can choose - and the sounds there are horrible. I looked at the manual and there you can see plenty of options (keyboards, bass, etc. you can choose), all this I am missing (I don't know if it is the limitation of the Demo - but why than publishing a demo?).
Coming back to the sound: It is very digital, for this kind of sounds I use Nemesis from Tone2 - which is very cool.
Regarding MPS and Zebra: I think they are different, for me Zebra sounds warmer and is more for different genres. MPS is positioned by Meldaproduction more as an EDM - machine - which is not my music. On the other side there are many opportunities to manipulate and modulate the sound, thats the reason why it is a good synth and many people like it (by this reason I took a look).
Like you I own all synths from U-he - they do fantastic products. I use them in almost all productions together with Spectrasonics, UVI, Tone 2, Gforce and some plugins from Steinberg, Arturia.
I would like to give Melda a chance, but so far I did not unterstand the hype:-). I wrote the customer support, we will see.