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edpdx
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 193
Location: Portland, Or United States
 
Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 02:39 PM CST

I am shopping for a new Synthesizer and want to know about your favorite Synth.

Thanks!
edpdx
michael2
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 3094
Location: Los Angeles, Cali USA
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 05:02 PM CST

not sure what kind of music you want to make (I'm at work and can't check out your stuff right now), but here's some stuff I love the sound of. these all get a lot of use when I'm recording. The ones I have listed are pretty much subtractive based (except for Alchemy and Rhino). If you have any questions let me know, I use a lot of synths and they all have their quirks and specialties. THere are a lot of great freebies too, so check out this thread:
http://www.macjams.com/forum/viewtopic.php?forum=3&showtopic=171475

and here's a list of my current faves:
Alchemy: costs about $150. uses samples as waveforms. comes with a bunch and you can load your own. I love it. there is also a free "player" version that will load their sample sets but not yours. it can get pretty in-depth, but if you're using their sounds it's simple and beautiful sounding. You can use up to 4 different samples at once, and blend them together for unheard of sounds. can produce quite a CPU hit though, so make sure your computer is up for it.

TAL: they make some nice free analog synths. my faves are Elec7ro and Noisemaker.

Reaktor: there is a free version that uses their soundsets and a paid version which is much more in-depth and flexible. is good for sound sculpture and percussive sounds. I will often do drums with this.

XILS3: is a software version of Le Synthe. good for spacey, noisey lo-fi sounds (think Eno in his early days).

If you have Logic the ES2 synth is capable of some wild stuff and some more standard sounding patches (and it has a randomizer button so you can come up with sounds you may not have thought of and then tweak them to perfection). Actually I use all of the Logic synths quite a bit (and I have quite a few 3rd party synths).

Rhino: FM synth. I use it quite a bit. there is a free version that came with Computer Music magazine a few months ago, you can probably track it down online.

Cableguys Curve: analog style emulation, but whats really neat about this synth is that you can draw waveforms in and get some interesting sounds you may not be able to get with other synths. There is also a free Computer Magazine version.

AAS Ultra Analog: great sounding "analog" style synth. you can get a lot of sounds out of this one. if you're not comfortable programming your own sounds, there are a ton of preset banks for this one.

AAS String Studio: modeling synth. great for weird alien instrument sounds. Models "blown" instruments, "plucked" instruments. and tapped sounding percussion sounds.

Zebra: really impressive, powerful synth. good for everything from vintage sounds to current electronic/pop/dance/hip hop sounds. not cheap though. I use the freebie that was on Computer Music magazine and although it's very flexible, it's nowhere near the full blown version (I made the mistake of trying out the demo once and now I want it realllly bad).



VicDiesel
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2818
Location: Austin, TX
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 05:06 PM CST

Software? I think u-he's Zebra is still the cat's meow. Extremely powerful, and there are many good free or commercial soundsets for it.

Victor.

-- My CD. Use coupon code "macjams" on BandCamp.
Bubowski
Forum Full Member


Registered: 12/10/04
Posts: 1197
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 06:15 PM CST

For software you should check out the deliciously analog sounding Diva by U-He (the same guy who created Zebra that VicD mentions.) It is processor hungry, but it sounds great. Another pick is Cakewalks Rapture, a really under appreciated powerful softsynth. And of course there is Omnisynth which is thoroughly mind-blowing.

Hardware totally depends on budget and style. The Korg Kronos workstation synth is pretty ficken' amazing, but pricey. But there was some cool sht at NAMM this year. The Arturia Minibrute looks pretty amazing:



Not too expensive and sounds awesome. The other cool synth in this class would be the Dave Smith Mopho. There's also the MicroKorg which is a cool little synth.

Or maybe a nice iPad 2 and Animoog!

Anyway, there's about a billion choices so have fun!

Graham Metcalfe - Information Architecture and Art Direction
Please visit my portfolio site at www.ghmetcalfe.com.
VicDiesel
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2818
Location: Austin, TX
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 06:21 PM CST

Quote by: Bubowski
For software you should check out the deliciously analog sounding Diva by U-He (the same guy who created Zebra that VicD mentions.) It is processor hungry, but it sounds great.



It is *horribly* processor-hungry. And frankly, having bought ACE and in general loving and buying anything that Urs comes out with (MFM, Zebra, Filterscape, Uhbik) I'm giving this one a pass. This fetish with sounding more analog than analog holds limited fascination for me.

Victor.

-- My CD. Use coupon code "macjams" on BandCamp.
dimm witness
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 1361
Location: , california
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 06:51 PM CST

if I had the money I would get a minimoog

if I had less money, but money I would get a moog little phatty

if I had less less money, but money I would get a moog slim phatty

I am moving away from softsynths Wink and so-called digital analog hardware as much as possible Smile

btw I have never paid for a softsynth -- there are a ton of free options there. modern hardware digital-analog hardware can be had for under 3 bills korg and akai now

I will recommend the tal after using it in the challenge last year, for a softsynth it is awesome, and entirely free! if that's the route you're looking for.

moog mg-1s like i have go for $600-700 on ebay refurbed. not a bad deal at all Smile
Bubowski
Forum Full Member


Registered: 12/10/04
Posts: 1197
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 07:43 PM CST

Quote by: VicDiesel
Quote by: Bubowski
For software you should check out the deliciously analog sounding Diva by U-He (the same guy who created Zebra that VicD mentions.) It is processor hungry, but it sounds great.



It is *horribly* processor-hungry. And frankly, having bought ACE and in general loving and buying anything that Urs comes out with (MFM, Zebra, Filterscape, Uhbik) I'm giving this one a pass. This fetish with sounding more analog than analog holds limited fascination for me.

Victor.



Running Diva on a dual core processor would probably be a non-starter...pretty much the same issue for Quantum Leap Orchestra and Omnisphere as well. For a quad or greater it's very nice even running at the non-"Divine" mode. It's about the most analog thing I've heard (and no it's NOT a fetish!) I think if I had to go to only one, it would probably be Omnisphere.

Graham Metcalfe - Information Architecture and Art Direction
Please visit my portfolio site at www.ghmetcalfe.com.
Daugrin
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 960
Location: , Extraverse
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 07:46 PM CST

Check out the "Omnisphere" option. The production work on youtube appears to place this product at the head of the class. It's way lighter, cheaper, and more powerful than the "real" synth as well...

Daug
edpdx
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 193
Location: Portland, Or United States
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 08:28 PM CST

Quote by: michael2
not sure what kind of music you want to make (I'm at work and can't check out your stuff right now), but here's some stuff I love the sound of. these all get a lot of use when I'm recording. The ones I have listed are pretty much subtractive based (except for Alchemy and Rhino). If you have any questions let me know, I use a lot of synths and they all have their quirks and specialties. THere are a lot of great freebies too, so check out this thread:
http://www.macjams.com/forum/viewtopic.php?forum=3&showtopic=171475

and here's a list of my current faves:
Alchemy: costs about $150. uses samples as waveforms. comes with a bunch and you can load your own. I love it. there is also a free "player" version that will load their sample sets but not yours. it can get pretty in-depth, but if you're using their sounds it's simple and beautiful sounding. You can use up to 4 different samples at once, and blend them together for unheard of sounds. can produce quite a CPU hit though, so make sure your computer is up for it.

TAL: they make some nice free analog synths. my faves are Elec7ro and Noisemaker.

Reaktor: there is a free version that uses their soundsets and a paid version which is much more in-depth and flexible. is good for sound sculpture and percussive sounds. I will often do drums with this.

XILS3: is a software version of Le Synthe. good for spacey, noisey lo-fi sounds (think Eno in his early days).

If you have Logic the ES2 synth is capable of some wild stuff and some more standard sounding patches (and it has a randomizer button so you can come up with sounds you may not have thought of and then tweak them to perfection). Actually I use all of the Logic synths quite a bit (and I have quite a few 3rd party synths).

Rhino: FM synth. I use it quite a bit. there is a free version that came with Computer Music magazine a few months ago, you can probably track it down online.

Cableguys Curve: analog style emulation, but whats really neat about this synth is that you can draw waveforms in and get some interesting sounds you may not be able to get with other synths. There is also a free Computer Magazine version.

AAS Ultra Analog: great sounding "analog" style synth. you can get a lot of sounds out of this one. if you're not comfortable programming your own sounds, there are a ton of preset banks for this one.

AAS String Studio: modeling synth. great for weird alien instrument sounds. Models "blown" instruments, "plucked" instruments. and tapped sounding percussion sounds.

Zebra: really impressive, powerful synth. good for everything from vintage sounds to current electronic/pop/dance/hip hop sounds. not cheap though. I use the freebie that was on Computer Music magazine and although it's very flexible, it's nowhere near the full blown version (I made the mistake of trying out the demo once and now I want it realllly bad).





Wow! I am going to be busy checking all of your recommendations.

I have tried Alchemy the free player and you are right, it takes a lot of CPU power, but none the less is a great one.

I have also been buying Computer Magazine for their banks of free sound libraries and every now and then they give away free software.

In years past I have composed Ambient stuff, but I want to explore different sounds and more vivid styles without departing to far out from what I like which is more like Vangelis and the likes.

VST plug ins are great but a little bit of a hassle when you try to work on the fly or when inspiration strikes, so last year I bought an Alesis Micron. This little keyboard is great but has some limitations on the ease of use and the lack of an bank editor.

Surfing the internet I found the M-audio Venom, this keyboard has a lot of great features and has a patch editor that seems easy to use.

Thanks Michael for the feedback and I will check your all the software that you have mentioned.

edpdx
 
edpdx
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 193
Location: Portland, Or United States
 
Re:Your current or favorite hardware synthesizer!
Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 08:40 PM CST

Quote by: Bubowski
For software you should check out the deliciously analog sounding Diva by U-He (the same guy who created Zebra that VicD mentions.) It is processor hungry, but it sounds great. Another pick is Cakewalks Rapture, a really under appreciated powerful softsynth. And of course there is Omnisynth which is thoroughly mind-blowing.

Hardware totally depends on budget and style. The Korg Kronos workstation synth is pretty ficken' amazing, but pricey. But there was some cool sht at NAMM this year. The Arturia Minibrute looks pretty amazing:



Not too expensive and sounds awesome. The other cool synth in this class would be the Dave Smith Mopho. There's also the MicroKorg which is a cool little synth.

Or maybe a nice iPad 2 and Animoog!

Anyway, there's about a billion choices so have fun!



The Korg Kronos is amazing but it is cost prohibited. I have messed around with the Mopho at GC and is awesome, I am putting it on the list.

Thanks Bubowski!