I agree with the previous reviewer that this soft synth deserves greater recognition! Perhaps this soft can best be described as a function generator in the disguise of a synth; at it's core, it's an exceptionally powerful wave-shaping engine that extends the oscillator and envelope toolsets in bold and beautiful ways. And it sounds fantastic! Some may not like the GUI because of the lack of eye-candy (no knobs, for one thing); but I found Straightliner's GUI fast, easy, fun, and very readable causing no distraction as I manipulated the synth's parameters. The waveform displays provide the user with immediate feedpack to adjustments made to many of the oscillator parameters; and there's a large osc parameter list to work with! It really does feel like you're playing with pieces of string that directly represent the oscillator waveforms; I would guess that with enough knowledge and practice, you could make almost any waveform shape that you could think up! It should be noted that Straightliner uses flac and XML file formats which are well known and widely used.
Yes, indeed, this is the golden age of the soft-synth industry-many of the soft synths that we all know and love are produced and supported by micro companies like rs-met.
Bottom Line: Straightliner is a found treasure, a jewel. It won't capture you with a gadget-filled, breath-takingly gorgeous GUI-it doesn't have one of those; But what it does provide the user with is complete, and noteably the oscillator and envelope toolsets are superb; really well though-out. And to repeat for emphasis: The sound of Straightliner is excellent!
Most underrated VST synthesizer- just listen to the demo sounds at the rs-met site. One of the handful of software synths that does not need to be hyped with effects to keep up with real acoustic and analog sounds in the mix, or need these sounds to be watered down. But easily toned down to smooth padding if that is what you need because its strong presence is not due to harshness, but to clarity. Very expressive envelopes, smooth filters. Countless waveform possibilities. Far more sound design possibilities than first meet the eye- the envelopes and osc. parameters under "more" are key.
Great no-nonsense GUI. In fact, a no-nonsense synthesizer. The price is a mere token, if you are familiar with the prices of instruments with quality sound.
Only the lack of a true noise source keeps me from giving Straightliner a 10.
My first experience playing synthesizers in a public concert was with an Arp Odyssey- and it was not a "vintage" synth at that time. I still have hardware, including the original discrete analog Vermona monosynth and a Moog Theremin. Primarily I use Csound and acoustic instruments. Straightliner is the only VST synthesizer I still use, after trying and owning many, since VST first began.
thanks for the review. as for the missing noise-source: one of my own most wanted "feature-request" is to allow for arbitrary samples in the osc-section, not just single-cycles. so we may as well load a noise-sample then. at some stage, we'll hopefully see that.
hmm - free-running oscillators? really? do you want that? i must say, that i am personally very concerned about exact reproducibility of the output. i don't really like when every note has a different pseudo-random attack transient. i mean, technically, it would be easy enough to implement but i'm sceptical about the desirabilty.