This is a review of The Legend, a Minimoog emulation by Synapse-Audio. The software version I have is 1.06.
The low end has "oomph" without sounding boomy, and that filter sounds beautiful. She screams in extasy when you crank that resonance knob. There is an indescribable "dirt" to the sound I haven't heard on any other softsynth, which I personally like a LOT. As I've never played a real Moog, I don't know if that's supposed to be there, or if it's just part of the "Synapse Audio" sound. Either way, I like it.
These new analog emulations sound much warmer, dirtier and "alive" than what was available 10 years ago. Case in point: The Korg Legacy synths. LMAO! That company isn't serious about producing VSTi's, otherwise they would have stepped up their game a long time ago, either making a major update to overhaul the sound, or releasing brand new software. I love their MonoPoly and MS-20 plugins, but enjoy them strictly for what they are - modern synths for modern hip hop/dance music, with vintage looking GUI's slapped on them. The Korg VSTi's sound very plastic and cold compared to today's analog emulations.
EASE OF USE:
VERY easy and immediate. Legend has a more modern style interface that doesn't confuse like those purist GUIs often can. I would highly recommend Legend to people who are still new at creating their own patches and want to become proficient at the basics. You can just get creative and have fun with it without any extra clutter getting in the way.
Personally, I like complexity and all the extra "clutter" mentioned above. Legend's feature set is more limited than the other Moog emulations I've played with. Like a real Minimoog, it isn't even velocity sensitive (yet?). You have monophonic, polyphonic and unison modes. The original Minimog was purely monophonic, so these extra modes are a welcome addition. You have 3 oscillators, 1 filter, and 2 envelopes. If you want an LFO, you have to use the 3rd oscillator instead of a dedicated LFO parameter. This allows for filter and oscillator FM, though, which is great for adding a rough and edgy character to your sound.
You get delay and reverb as onboard effects. I've asked the developer to add a vintage style chorus effect, which would be great for thickening up polyphonic sounds such as pads and keys.
This is oldschool territory, and for the most part, the factory soundset sticks to the 70s/80s theme. You also have a folder with chord stabs, which have a strong deep/oldschool house flavor. A bit of self-promotion, but I have Legend soundset available at Xenos Soundworks, called 'RetroMania'.
There's some tough competition out there, and each Moog emulation has it's own unique sound. 2 things really jumped out at me with Legend compared to other Moog emulations:
1) It's available in Reason RE format, and allows Reason users to fill that analog niche. The synths in Reason, while good in themselves, all have an obvious 'modern' quality to them. Legend is the perfect choise for Reason users seeking to add a retro flavor to their rig, especially when patching it up with Reason's included effects (chorus, phasing, etc).
2) The workflow is just perfect. On a more personal note, this was one of the few times a new plugin has _EVER_ inspired me to crank out a commercial preset bank in less than a week. There's just enough of a feature set to not feel constrained, yet it's limited enough that it really forces a more childlike and whimsical approach than with something like Massive or Serum. On those more advanced-level synths, there's always that "paralysis by analysis" factor which potentially slows things down.
Legend is my favorite Minimoog plugin, but that is only personal choice and preference. It is entirely up to the user to demo the various choices themselves and pick what they like best. There's also DIVA, Arturia Mini V, Minimonsta and Native Instruments' own Reaktor-based emulation (can't remember the name lol).
It's very different than Diva. Diva is a kind of Swiss Army Knife of synthesizers, and with that you get a lot of flexibility and added features, like polyphony, but at the expense of sound quality when doing audio rate modulation. Both are great for different tasks.
You are wrong my friend. "ADS" does not mean that there is no "Release" but that it is hidden, that is, the "Decay" pot controls the "Release" stage as well. In a real Minimoog you use one hand to play the keyboard while with the other one you move a single pot that controls "Decay" and "Release" at the same time: there is no way to do that using this plugin. If you use a real Minimoog you will quickly realize the great difference that exists when modifying the envelopes while playing the instrument.
Definitely not a deal breaker for me. For the price and no need to do maintenance, etc. I'm perfectly happy with Synapse's offering. And yes...why not just MIDI assign those 2 parameters to a single CC knob?