As often as this synth is mentioned in the "best free synth" discussions, you'd think that there would be more attention paid to it. It's been around for ages and here I am writing the first review.
I think one reason it's largely ignored is the face that it presents when you open it--a dizzying array of dials. The first time I downloaded it there were no presets and it did nothing but beep. I tried spinning a few dials and ended up trashing it. After some positive mentions on KvR boards, I downloaded it again and grabbed some preset banks. The potential was obvious once I heard a few choice patches.
The synth has a clean sound unlike almost any other synth. I don't know what sets it apart, but something does. Because of its clean sound, it's ideal for big chords--things just don't get muddy.
If it has a weakness in its sound, I'd say it's in the bass range. There are some good low sounds, but they seem atmospheric and dark. I couldn't get a funky rubbery base. 303 sounds don't seem to lurk anywhere within Voyager.
Its strength is in the high registers. Whistles and clear sine waves sound great up high.
The synth is incredibly organic. The multiple oscillators and lfos keep simple sounds from becoming repetitive. You can hold a note for several bars and it's a joy to listen to. You don't want to let it go.
The synth hasn't been changed in a while. I had denormal problems that ate up cycles on a weak Intel, but my new AMD shows no such problems. Arguru is on to paying gigs, I understand, so we'll probably never even see a new gui, which is a shame.
This is probably not your choice for trance music. There's no built in gate or arp. But if you're looking for crystal clear bright chords and sweet leads (with terrific mono and legato modes), this is it, baby.
Somehow, Synth 1 almost always lands somewhere in each new song or sketch I whip up.
The patch handling is done by Synth 1. This concerned me at first, but it's so well done that I now champion this idea. The patches are all there, waiting for me in each different host I use or try out. The initial presets are a gutsy attempt to show the variety of sounds that can be made, but this synth really got good when people started putting new banks out there. I think Synth 1 is going to have to go to 100 banks of 128 patches, instead of just 10.
Synth 1 never crashes or crackles. Like IBlit, Crystal, Vivaldi, Drumatic, Crazy Diamonds, and precious few others, this is a synth that just seemed to drop from heaven. I'm eager to see what comes next. No, not eager--impatient to a maniac degree.
I live in a small house, and about a year ago we ditched our big old organ for lack of space. I don't miss the old beast much anymore, thanks to Dirtbag. I love the sounds I can get--even some I can't get out of an organ.
There are lots of great organ plug-ins now. I'm not going to pick a favorite, but I have no complaints about this one. Top-notch on the customer service--the author bug-fixed and added features right before our eyes here on KvR.