This was the first modular soft synth I ever bought, and honestly I still think it is the best. I recently bought Reaktor, which is indeed very nice and strongly supported, but SynC Modular's ability to do DSP primitives all the way down the simple math - and do so with surprisingly good performance - is unmatched.
Quite literally, you can do almost anything in SynC Modular.
Programming it is relatively complex, not even counting the fact that DSP programming itself is a black art. I have no way to judge how it compares to Reaktor in this sense, but my opinion is that SynC could have benefited from some UI improvements.
Alas, SynC is no longer supported. NI, in a brilliant move, hired Dr. Sync to work on Reaktor, thus killing the one product that really could have made a dent in Reaktor's market.
There are not as many publicly available ensembles for SynC Modular, which is a shame but is understandable given there will be no further updates to the program. So, if you want out-of-box experience, you probably will be happier with Reaktor. If you want to be able to prototype literally any DSP algorithm in a visual language, SynC is the tool for you. It's for the hardcore DSP/synthesist enthusiast, not really the general artist-public.
SynC is still my favorite soft synth, bar none. Reaktor 4 made a dent in SynC's position, but SynC still outshines it in my view.
Reviewed By Wine [read all by] on 2nd April 2002 Version reviewed: 2.x on Windows
This is a really good modular synth and deserves continued development. Unfortunately this doesn't seem likely as the principle developer is now associated with NI. The VSTi is extremely flexible but can be a little confusing if you are not already familiar with modular synth construction/design. Because of this the quality of the GUI is really important but is let down on this level.
The quality of the sounds is excellent and the available ensembles are of a very high quality. For what you get for your money, it is an extremely worthwhile purchase.
Reviewed By IIRs [read all by] on 10th December 2001 Version reviewed: 2.08.004 on Windows
This software is fantastic value... Provides Reaktor-like interface, but is classier and simpler in concept in several ways (eg.. to add ninth input to eight- way add in Reaktor means deleting module, creating 16-way add, and recabling all 9 sources. In Sync you just right click module, and change input no. from 8 to 9) Also, editing goes much deeper than in Reaktor; Filters can be opened up and tweaked, or designed from scratch; in fact almost anything is possible if you know the maths! Unfortunately some important features in Reaktor are missing from Sync; Chiefly the audio inputs, multiple audio outputs, and support for MIDI Clock (although workarounds are possible for the last one) In my own opinion, if those last three features were added, I would buy Sync in preference to Reaktor even at the same price! Finally, Sync has a great user support network: I have learnt lots by studying the work of some of the Sync Gurus... 10/10!
This thing is a steal for the money. I don't regret buying it. I wish there was as many users as there are for Reaktor. This thing sometimes acts strange in Orion Pro. I don't really use it at all anymore. I got it for the dx 7 emulations. If you want to create your own synths get this. If you want to start to play right out the box, and have all of your knob tweaking recorded in Orion I would not recomend this.
Reviewed By x_bruce [read all by] on 14th November 2001 Version reviewed: 2.08.004 on Windows. Last edited by x_bruce on 14th October 2002.
A deep and musical sounding modular synth. Similar to N.I. Reaktor but a bit more complex. Great if you have the time to dig deep and still worthwhile because of the terrific user base and user synths. Rich sounding pads, impressive capabilites at modeling sound and a decent visual presentation. For the $49 USD there isn't competition. It's a shame there will be no further development. Still, SynC Modular is like a great instrument, it has lots of capabilities that make it worthwhile.
Pros: fairly low CPU useage, excellent sound and effect capabilites Cons: no longer in development, fairly steep learning curve
Reviewed By [read all by] on 9th November 2001 Version reviewed: 2.08.003 on Windows
I met SM at its own very beginning on the net and I've found it useful again on its competent VSTi implementation, good considering the present VSTi hosts on the market. As a tool for constructing synths on the same mood as Reaktor it's an endless world of possibilities. My rating considers it as a product itself and tries to be fair to the present standard. Considering that it has been completely developed by one person I should rate 10 in all categories. Nevertheless anyone wanting to use it should consider that making synths is not so easy (creating virtual electronic it has been hard at times for me, but it means the same difficulty than Reaktor). Since its creator abandoned its development to join NI almost a year before results a bit outdated especially compared with Reaktor3. All in all, its price makes it an unbeatable platform and the results (first class sounding synths) worth to have a try on today's 2Ghz Pentium world. The support list is great with good free synths to try.
Reviewed By Adaerus [read all by] on 4th November 2001 Version reviewed: 2.08.004 on Windows. Last edited by
on 13th December 2001.
Sync Modular is a very useful tool for creating sounds. If I have the need of a certain sound for a VSTi or stand alone synth, ruther than waiting for one to be released and buy it I just build it myself. Although SM doesn't come with the full potential of synthesis in the included examples, the Sync Modular forum and the links at the home page reveal a very good user base and variety of synthesys types: from FM and subtractive to wavetable and acoustic emulations (almost impossible for to do in Reactor). SM goes very deep in the structure, from the very basic building blocks, allowing user configurable oscilators,filters, EGs, LFOs, sequencers etc. If you don't like something in an ensamble just go in and modify by adding or removing objects or just deconnecting modules. Even though the SM development has stopped, the user support is more alive than ever before and as of this writing the user base is growing also.
This is really a great piece of software. A bit difficult to dig in, if you want to start from scratch. The sounds it generates are wonderful, the CPU load is almost always low, if compared to Reaktor, for example. It doesn't come with many presets, but, if you join its mailing list (populated by some synth guru) you can get plenty of sounds; some of them are really astonishing. The development is now canceled, bugs will be fixed (I've never had a problem...) There must be a reason if NI hired DrSync for their softsynths... Read more
Reviewed By Jim M [read all by] on 11th September 2001 Version reviewed: 2.08.04 on Windows
A terrific modular softsynth, not for absolute beginners. A good basic idea on how to construct a synth is included in the tutorial, which can be a bit thin in its explanations of module function. Some of the more advanced "basic" modules are pretty esoteric and some DSP knowledge would be more than helpful. The users' group creates truly adventurous instruments on a regular basis, and although now an NI employee, Dr. Sync always lends an informed mail list hand to designers. Very CPU conservative compared to Reaktor when used as a VSTi. CHEAP AND POWERFUL! ($49) Read more
Reviewed By Illusionist [read all by] on 10th September 2001 Version reviewed: 208b.005 on Windows. Last edited by Michiel
on 7th December 2001.
Discontinued. Remains downloadable here (beware, the first link of the second column is wrong, use the link "SynC Modular Page is DOWN again." located at the bottom of the first column) and here but can't be used for other than personal experiments.