Best soft synth(s) for "soundtrack" cyberpunk/cinematic style of sounds/tracks?

Pier

Senior Member
New wavetable synth out by Audio Damage. $79 release price. Maybe give the demo a try?

https://audiodamage.com/collections/plugin-instruments/products/ad051-continua

I've been playing a bit with the demo of Continua and it's a nice little synth. It's not really wavetable though. It calculates the waveforms in realtime based on some parameters on each oscillator.

The procedural oscillators sound great, you can easily achieve stuff that I think isn't possible in Zebra. In Zebra you can morph between 2 waves but in Continua you have like 3 params that alter the wave and can all be modulated at the same time. Then of course in Zebra you have the oscillator spectral effects which are another rabbit hole but it's not the same.

Continua is versatile but OTOH it lacks a lot of expected features. For example in unison mode you have no control over the panning or the detuning of the voices. The effects are very nice but again only chorus, delay, and reverb.

Edit:

The other synth I've seen that does this realtime procedural wave thing is Waverazor by the devs that do the Tracktion DAW.

 
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Yeah tyrell is awesome. I use it. It's is amazing uhe has more free ones like podolski and triple cheese. If you wanna spend there is also Continually by audio damage. It is really good.
 

Rctec

Senior Member
I'm probably completely alone in this but I find Zebra to be one of the most immediate and easy to program soft synths. I can go from Init to something unique (or bread and butter) faster than I can in any other software or hardware and I'm hardly a power user.

I fully accept that this is probably just me.
Zebra is obviously my soft synth of choice. it’s super easy to use, truly endlessly inspiring, and I’ve used it on every film synth “The Dark Knight”. If you want to go Cyberpunk, get the Knifonium. The software version really is very, very good. I have both hardware and software Knifoniums.
 

Solarsentinel

Active Member
If i may give you an advice : choose the synth you re the most confordable with. Because even if the synth offers you more options, generally you ll return to the one that you know and who is easy to work with. I think if serum is the one for you go for it!
Furthermore you can do pretty everything with this synth. You cannot go wrong with it.
 
Yeah that is the main thing actually. I have analog lab lite. And I am really comfortable with it. I am gonna buy the collection soon, when I get enough money. I really like analog modelling. The next one I like is Signal by output. I use the free version. I find them very comfortable to work with although uhe are amazing, they weren't really my type
 

Ned Bouhalassa

Senior Member
I love the cyberpunk aesthetic. In keeping with the style, I would go with a past-future instrument, hardware more than software. If you don’t want to go vintage, Arturia’s MicroFreak and Dreadbox’s Typhon would be very appropriate.
 

vitocorleone123

Senior Member
Zebra is obviously my soft synth of choice. it’s super easy to use, truly endlessly inspiring, and I’ve used it on every film synth “The Dark Knight”. If you want to go Cyberpunk, get the Knifonium. The software version really is very, very good. I have both hardware and software Knifoniums.
I need to try Zebra again now that I have more experience (and have hardware synths like the OB-6, which really helped me learn what I'm doing with the 1:1 interface) - the one time I've tried it I think I was scared off by the depth. It seems like an instrument you need to be able to spend time getting to know, and I failed to do that. I think Zebra3 could be revelatory, and reflect all that they've learned in the intervening years.

To date, I'm using Hive2 for sounds in this direction (or Omnisphere). I just picked up DS Thorn, which is even more "crisp" sounding - I wanted something even more unabashedly digital to have on tap.
 

h.s.j.e

Hans Shenk
...And now I have to add Knifonium to my list.

If you're reading this post on the night I wrote it, you can grab Unfiltered Audio's LION for $20 with the Plugin Alliance voucher. In the early days of designing sounds and playing with it, I'd say it's suited for exactly this kind of thing.
 

Minko

Member
Thanks for the suggestions. I actually got a synth now. I might reconsider Omnisphere in the future, and I heard great things about Falcon, though I prefer something more intuitive, but it looks to be the best option for deep sound design and sampling.

I was considering Serum/Zebra due to my experiences with them but ended up actually going with VPS Avenger. It's pretty awesome and versatile and can do almost anything and has a nice interface as well.
That what I wanted to suggest. I actually love the interface and the ease of use. I hope they will go to a dongle licensing with v2.0 cause I don't like the current licensing solution they use.

But I wanted to ask. How is it working for you?
 

romanr

New Member
Zebra is obviously my soft synth of choice. it’s super easy to use, truly endlessly inspiring, and I’ve used it on every film synth “The Dark Knight”. If you want to go Cyberpunk, get the Knifonium. The software version really is very, very good. I have both hardware and software Knifoniums.
I'm usually more a passionate lurker here than an author but somehow I stumbled upon this thread because I'm recently working on some Cyberpunk-influenced tracks, too (but mixing them with orchestral elements). @Rctec definitely +1 for Zebra, Hans, couldn't agree more! I always find super inspiring sounds in the Zebra presets (and in some Zebra-packs by The Unfinished) that can provide any "hybrid" track with some very tasty special sauce. And even for me as a synth noob, basic tweaking is really intuitive. Also, thanks for the other hint, that "Knifonium" sounds awesome!

BTW @Arise if it helps: for the track I mentioned, I mainly used Zebra 2 (around 90% of the synths) and a tiny bit of NI's Massive. You can find it below in the "Spoiler". Have fun with your new synth as well of course, feel free to drop some samples of your work with it :)!

 

Daniel James

A Nice Guy
I ventured into this world recently and so from my own tests I found:

If you are going for 'Cyberpunk', and by that I mean like the music one would think when they think of the upcoming videogame Cyberpunk. The all the mentioned Serums, Massive...general wavetable nonsense, mixed with a synth that has balls like a u-he diva pinned underneith will get you all the filth you need for that sort of style. If this is the type of sound you are going for you can always consider things like re-sampling from 'loop packs' as found on Black Octopus or Loopmasters.... These kinds of electronic generes use very particular sets of sounds to be considered authentic to the genre, you can usually pick up a sample pack for like $30 that will have all the correct drums you could need, plus usually some one shot bass synth samples, which you should totally resample and smash together. Thats part of the genre!

Or as I see you mentioned more of the filmic, or synthwavy sorts of tones. You should definitely pick up a Juno clone, like the incredible one from TAL. It has 'that' sound you are hearing in your head. Its super easy to program, and the sounds are so clean they are really easy to sound design after the fact.
Anyways happy synthing!

-DJ