I've had Sonic Synth for about two months now and I think I come to appreciate it a little more every time I use it. I wasn't overly impressed with it when I first got it, and I still have to admit it's not my "dream module", but it has become one of my most used VSTi's.
I agree with pretty much everything that's been said in the previous reviews. You get a bit of everything here. It's like the swiss army knife of VSTi's. If you can't find a lot of sounds that are usable to you then I don't know what you're playing, but it probably isn't very musical or it's loop based.
Even if you already have a VST sampler like EXS-24 or HALion you probably don't have any where near as comprehensive a collection of sounds as you get with Sonic Synth (definitely not with EXS!). I use SS along with EXS. This way I get a big selection of general and regularly used sounds like pianos and drums, and then I can have EXS for the more specific or esoteric sounds that I'm after that SS doesn't cover, or doesn't cover as well as a sample cd dedicated to one instrument or type of instruments would.
As for the Sample Tank engine, imo it's kinda ugly and utilitarian, but it's simple and effective, no manula needed. Selectable skins, a less tedious authorization process and a few things like portamento, assignable ADSR, and some basic editing features would be greatly welcome. The built in effects are very good though and let you manipulate the presets quite a bit. I change the effects on nearly preset to my taste, particulary the eq.
For those that question the expense of Sonic Synth consider this. Probably the cheapest hardware "romplers" you can buy today is the roland JV-1010. that costs about $400 and comes with 16 megs of sample ROM. Sonic Synth on the other hand is $250 and has the equivalent of over 2 Gigs of sample ROM. If you could buy 2 Gig's of sample ROM for a JV-1010 you'd have to buy 250 expansion boards at $225 a pop, that's $56,250! You be the judge.
Very basic, monophonic, one oscillator and filter with only a cutoff knob, each with only an AR eg. No LFO or vol eg. There is a fun little arpeggiator, but that's really the best feature of this little thing. The sound is pretty good for such few features though. It's free, don't expect much. Now, here's the rub. This thing installs too much stuff for such a little vsti. What you install is Koblo's Tokyo Engine, which is the host for their bigger more advanced synths which cost probably too much ($595?). The way this works is you open up a link to Tokyo rather than the synth itself (like DirectConnect in Pro Tools), then you open Tokyo and its outputs are routed though the VSTi link. Too much hsasle. In Logic, I don't know about Cubase, Logic has to be the active program to transmit MIDI, which means you can't play your keyboard while Tokyo is active. Good thing they put a trigger switch on the synth so you can preview the sound. Get it, ok for simple bass and leads, not much else.
I've only used the Demo version which doesn't have all the instruments included, but I must say, it's worth the price for the ManyMood alone. The other instruments are very cool as well, especially the subtractive synths. The interface is pretty lackluster, but the sound and versatility make up for it. On the other hand, why does there always have to be something wrong with just about everything? Dynamo has one flaw that will probably keep be from buying it. You can't play a not more than once without either retriggering it or taking your fingers off all other keys. I want a mono synth to ot retrigger the filters until all keys have been relaeased. For example, you can't play a trill by leaving a finger on one key and quickly pressing and releasing another key, you have remove your fingers for each note in the trill with just the right timing to keep the filters from retriggering. It also makes playing fast mono leads awkward when you're used to real monosynths. NI, fix it and I'll buy
Not a bad little synth. You cetainly can't complain considering it's a freebie. Well, you can complain, and I will, just one thing mainly that I don't like about it, no portamento. Other than that I like it. Certainly nothing all that special, but it's low on CPU and can make some decent sounds. The interface looks good and is clearly laid out. It's a simple synth and is simple to figure out all the functions. Pretty much what you see is what you get, no hidden or cryptic functions to mess with. Thanks CM and Muon.
I downloaded the trial version and in less than a day of playing with it I decided it was the best VST synth I'd heard yet. It's not packed full of features but it does have pretty much what you'd find on an older analog synth. It's great for leads and basses and sound effetcs. I could totally see myself buying it in the near future except for to one big problem and one lesser problem. The first is the lack of a polyphonic mode. I know there are several good poly VST synths out there, but I don't use synth enough to want to buy more than one good one. The main reason why I won't be buying it at this point is because the thing has high note priority. As small a thing as that sounds it makes playing it very contrary to what I'm used to in a mono synth,. I emailed TC Works about this and asked whether it was switchable and they said no, it was modeled after a Moog synth with hi note priority (which one I'm not sure). They said they were considering making it an option in a future update.