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Old Sep 4, 2010, 06:49 AM   #1
MorphingDragon
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Best Software Synthesizer?

Being a student, I can't afford one of the nice Korg Synthesizers (I would buy one if I could).

What would be (in your opinion) the best Software based synthesizer?" Garage Band is very limited for my needs. I have cheap MIDI Casio Keyboard I use with Sibelius.

EDIT: I was having a look at Xils 3, can anybody comment on that?

Last edited by MorphingDragon; Sep 4, 2010 at 06:54 AM.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 10:46 AM   #2
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It all depends what your budget is really. You could go from Logic Express which contains some of the synthesis modules from the full Logic Studio, right the way up to something like Propellerheads Reason. As you mention Korg specifically you may be interested in their Legacy Collection, which is now finally Intel Mac compatible.

Which is "best" is very subjective. Your best option may be to go down your local music shop and try out the software on their demo rigs.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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The new NI Komplete 7 Elements looks a bargain for only 79.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 11:25 AM   #4
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i can get what i need to from Reason.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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Another vote for NI's stuff here.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'l probably go with Komplete as it looks good value for money, and the University offers a student discount .
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Old Sep 6, 2010, 03:04 AM   #7
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I have the Native Instruments Komplete 6 package and I am happy with it and the synths are great. I like Battery a lot...

But the best synth I have ever used is Omnisphere by spectrasonics. I never heard such sounds from a synth. Check it out, it costs a little but it is worth every cent. In the end you decide what you like best I love synths
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Old Oct 2, 2010, 10:33 AM   #8
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Another vote for Komplete

Finished installing Komplete 7 to use with Logic. It's a bargain at 499. I'm a little disappointed in the piano samples though.
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Old Oct 8, 2010, 08:06 AM   #9
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Best Software Synth, Softsynth Mac OS X

I'm currently doing lots of research of soft synths for Mac OS X running snow leopard with logic 9.

I've discovered these synths and they all have demos.
Sylenth 2
Gladiator 2
ReFx Vanguard
Uhe - Ace
Uhe - Zebra
Refx - Nexus 2
Spectrasonics omnisphere
BIg Tick - Rhino
Camel Audio - Alchemy
Virus Powercore
Massive
Rob Papen - Predator, Sub Boom Bass, Albino 3
Waldorf - Largo
Arturia - Analog Factory
Fxpansion - DCam Synth Squad.
Virsyn - Poseidon, Tera3
GForce - Imposcar, Minimonsta, Oddity
Image line - sawer, toxic biohazard.
Audjoo - Helix

The more I look at synths the more I realize that you can never really have quite enough synths, as every company has a unique approach to synthesis. It's awesome how many choices you have to pick from. Actually quite a daunting task just to choose one greatest synth.
FOr me, It has to be Virus Powercore ATM. and prob ES2 on Logic Studio 9.

I'm guess it will take me close to a month just to give each synth a good demo - and more keeps popping up everyday. Exciting times indeed.

Good luck with the choice you make and have fun making music.

Regards
Josef Horhay
Mixing Engineer
www.acoosticzoo.com

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Old Oct 20, 2010, 08:53 AM   #10
D'Illusion
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Omnisphere is killer. Might not be to everyone's taste but I love it.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 02:05 AM   #11
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If you're a student, best bang for the buck is Camel Audio's Alchemy w/ the 50% student discount. I have way too many soft synths but these days I rarely use anything besides Omnisphere, Alchemy, and Zebra. Alchemy will give you a lot of different types of synthesis to explore, sample mangling, preset morphing, incredible built in effects, bazillions of different oscillator and filter types, as many modulation options as one could ever really need, etc. The morphing is really intuitive, easy to use, and immensely powerful. You also get a great library of presets to get you on your feet. Alchemy is without a doubt my desert island soft synth.
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 07:50 AM   #12
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there are a lot of synths listed here that i've either not tried nor even heard of. anyone game to post some songs/samples and indicate what s/w was used?
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 12:35 PM   #13
Cycom
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NI Komplete
Omnisphere
Uhe Zebra


the top 3 IMO.


Nexus is cool but with all the expansions it's a bigtime ripoff!
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 04:27 PM   #14
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NI Komplete
Omnisphere
Uhe Zebra
I've become a fan of Applied Acoustics http://www.applied-acoustics.com/
If you are looking for a generic soft-synth they have a product called "Ultra Analog". The one I like is call "Lounge Lizard" and for simulating electric piano. You can download demo version of all their products and try them.

In your case, you only have garage band, look at Logic Express. Inside Logic are a couple very powerful synthesizers, EXS24 is Apple's sampler, Spulpure is a string synth and can model strings of all kinds, piano, violins and all. and they have a very good "standard" subtractive synth too. The Logic package gives you a wide range of capability and then later you can buy specialized upgrades, for example Logic's e-pianos are so-so but the Applied Acoustics e-piano is dead on near perfect but does only one thing,
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Old Nov 4, 2010, 05:10 PM   #15
Cycom
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I've become a fan of Applied Acoustics http://www.applied-acoustics.com/
If you are looking for a generic soft-synth they have a product called "Ultra Analog". The one I like is call "Lounge Lizard" and for simulating electric piano. You can download demo version of all their products and try them.

In your case, you only have garage band, look at Logic Express. Inside Logic are a couple very powerful synthesizers, EXS24 is Apple's sampler, Spulpure is a string synth and can model strings of all kinds, piano, violins and all. and they have a very good "standard" subtractive synth too. The Logic package gives you a wide range of capability and then later you can buy specialized upgrades, for example Logic's e-pianos are so-so but the Applied Acoustics e-piano is dead on near perfect but does only one thing,
+1 on Logic's bundled synths. They're top quality.

Though Sculpture is technically a physical modeling synth, not a string synth.
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 11:17 AM   #16
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you can do pretty much ANYTHING in Reaktor.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 12:39 PM   #17
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+1 on Logic's bundled synths. They're top quality.

Though Sculpture is technically a physical modeling synth, not a string synth.
You can see what all of Apple's synths look loke andhear some samples. Go to the URL below and scrool down to "Studio Instruments". Click the bottsa in the graphic and see some screen shots. they are not live but there are lnks to samples at the bottom.
If tyou like it then download the user manual. There is a chapter on each of the synths.
These are will worth the $199 price for Logic express

http://www.apple.com/logicstudio/plug-ins/
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 01:57 AM   #18
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Just use the build-in synths of Logic. They are more than good enough, also for commercial top 40 tracks.
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 07:29 PM   #19
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i use reason 5. has all the synths and everything i need as well as a daw. yes it is a daw...if you can sequence your tracks its a daw. some people love to get caught up in the argument that reason is not a daw, when it is.

but anyway. some people hate reason some love it. but i can tell you it is a great piece of software regardless of anyones tastes. also you dont have to worry about plugins and such. reason is very very cpu friendly unlike some programs with synth plug ins.

so that is why reason is perfect for me and my lil 2.26ghz uMB
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 09:34 AM   #20
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i use reason 5. has all the synths and everything i need as well as a daw. yes it is a daw...if you can sequence your tracks its a daw. some people love to get caught up in the argument that reason is not a daw, when it is.

but anyway. some people hate reason some love it. but i can tell you it is a great piece of software regardless of anyones tastes. also you dont have to worry about plugins and such. reason is very very cpu friendly unlike some programs with synth plug ins.

so that is why reason is perfect for me and my lil 2.26ghz uMB
Reason is a great MIDI workstation, but it technically is not a DAW because it doesn't record/edit audio as far as I know, only MIDI (which generates audi via the Reason synths & samplers). They have a separate product called Record that is the audio recording part.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 07:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by wilycoder View Post
you can do pretty much ANYTHING in Reaktor.
++

Reaktor is a synth building environment - plug blocks together like lego... and make use of hundreds of synths written by the Reaktor community.

If you really want to learn how synthesis works - this is the tool to get!


Be careful with stuff like Komplete Elements... does the Komplete stuff include all the editing capabilities of the underlying synths or is it just canned sounds (in which case, you won't learn much).


Also - do you have an iPad or a Nintendo DS? Korg has released a couple of nice analogue-emulated synths in these environments for almost no money - could be a good thing to play around with.
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 10:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happle View Post
i use reason 5. has all the synths and everything i need as well as a daw. yes it is a daw...if you can sequence your tracks its a daw. some people love to get caught up in the argument that reason is not a daw, when it is.
Have you actually used a DAW before? Reason is not a DAW. Propellerheads Record is much closer to the mark, but even that doesn't quite qualify as a DAW either.

Digital Performer, Reaper, Logic, Cubase.. Those are DAW's.
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 03:35 AM   #23
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Linplug/Rob Palpen ALBINO is absolutely my favourite - fantastically organic, musical and really quite inspiring to work with - beautiful interface.

Also check out Sonic Charge Synplant - great fun to work with and produces some absolutely fantastic sounds!
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:58 AM   #24
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Is Propellerheads' Reason still NOT a DAW?

Last edited by L!veW!r3; Dec 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 01:55 PM   #25
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U-He Zebra 2 as a flexible, main go to synth, hands down imo.

I have big issues with NI's practices, complexity, bugs stability, and for all the time ive lost over my career working through issues in their software and installation.

That said, you get alot of bang for your buck with Komplete.
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