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Soft Synth suggestion?

Discussion in 'VIRTUAL SYNTHS: Omnisphere, U-he, Reaktor, etc.' started by axb312, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. wst3

    wst3 my office these days

    Apr 2, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Both Zebra and Avenger are beyond my reach right now (ok, I am buying a cool microphone, so I'll be ok<G>), but instead of buying something that won't quite do what I wish I've just put off the purchase for a bit. I understand that the OP is looking for a synth that meets their budget, but sometimes you need to be patient till your budget meets your synth.

    Then again, a lot of this comes down to personal taste!

    An excellent suggestion! No risk, no cost, spend some time with a bunch of different synthesizers and get a feel for what you can do with different techniques. You won't find an Alchemy, Zebra, Diva, or Avenger in here (I haven't yet) - but there are some pretty cool tools!

    Nothing wrong with using 3rd party presets, but for synthesizers I think there is much to be gained by learning to program, or at least modify your own sounds. Preset packs are a great place to start, but every synth I've purchased in the last 30 years came with factory presets. Often a great starting point.
    synthpunk likes this.
  2. lastmessiah

    lastmessiah Active Member

    Aug 20, 2017
    Pretty much any synthesizer is capable of this. If I were you I would consider the Korg Wavestation softsynth or just get a decent hardware sample library. If all you want is presets then samples are often the sweet spot.
  3. spektralisk

    spektralisk Member

    May 30, 2016
    Try to get secondhand license if possible or wait for sale (not so common for u-he stuff). I got Zebra for about 140usd on kvraudio marketplace afair and I saw it even cheaper like 100-120usd (that's rare but happens).

    Other obvious suggestion is Reaktor6 - it has a wealth of different instruments inside which will set you with everything from common stuff to utter weirdness. It's available pretty often on marketplace for about 99usd. (I even have one spare license but haven't checked yet with NI if I can re-sell).
  4. stixman

    stixman Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2014
    Xfer Serum rent to own $10 a month then you own it!
    rvb likes this.
  5. jcrosby

    jcrosby Senior Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Boston MA
    Beat me to this! Was just about to write the same thing ;)
  6. Chandler

    Chandler Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Synthmaster is a great synth. It has a ton of presets and it can do almost everything. It can do Dark Zebra type sounds and it's affordable. However it doesn't have Dark Zebra style presets and as I said its not the easiest synth to program. If you just want cinematic presets it may not be a good fit for you. If you don't mind a larger learning curve and want EDM and classic synth sounds it's great. Best bang for you buck IMO. The upgrade next year will also put it in the same league as the most expensive synths IMO.
  7. gsilbers

    gsilbers Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com

    there is plenty of competition in that area. for ambient id say omnisphere... since.. well.. its predecessor was called "Atmosphere" :)

    But the price is much higher.

    I like synthmaster. it has some nice feature. for me its more on the "synthy" side. More digital. but thats my own take on it. I like sometimes to have that sound sometimes.

    Zebra is great but takes a little while to get used to. its a little different other synths. which makes it cool in other ways.

    Maybe try another way. check out presets or libraries of the types of sounds you like and see what synths are assiciated most of the time. OR read up on what synth your favorite artists use. And there is also a ton of videos on line.
  8. S.M Hassani

    S.M Hassani Active Member

    Dec 30, 2014

    +1 for Serum rent to own! At $10/month I'd get that alongside anything else you're getting. Serum is very powerful and intuitive to program. It's not just an EDM/Cymatics synth. :P I managed to use it in some unique ways, for cinematic/orchestral work. I'm glad I took time to learn it. Raised my synthesis game all around.

    Another synth I highly recommend is Dune2 from Synapse Audio. It has a very powerful 8 part patch architecture (somewhat like Omnisphere in that regard). But above all it sounds special.

    Check out Kevin Schroeder's amazing Cinematic Sounds here:

    List price is $169 for Dune2.

    Best of luck,

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    jcrosby, Jaap and sekkosiki like this.
  9. nordicguy

    nordicguy Senior Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    To me, quality is about how the sound will fit the track.
    It sometimes quite a simple sound that'll make it.
    But about "carving the best out of a synth", I think you underestimate the programmer who are making factory presets.
    Developers understood quite long time ago how good/superior quality presets are important to get interest for them synths.
    They act accordingly hiring the right people to get the job done.
    It's not even talking about, i.e., huge u-he's community.
    There's some clever guys out there who contribute with great/original presets, lot of them already part of the ones coming with the synth.
    If you want to dig into some reverse engineering, you'r ready to go.
    synthpunk likes this.
  10. Jaap

    Jaap Yes that is an alto flute

    Another +1 for Serum. Great synth, loads of options and indeed as Hassani is saying here above, it is not just for the EDM kind of stuff. A very powerful synth with loads of options.
    S.M Hassani likes this.
  11. MisteR

    MisteR Senior Member

    Aug 7, 2014
    Serum is great but it's not an all-rounder. With its cutting sound I'd guess it's not much of an orchestral-blender either.
    synthpunk likes this.
  12. MisteR

    MisteR Senior Member

    Aug 7, 2014
  13. sostenuto

    sostenuto Senior Member

    Mar 10, 2017
    St George, UT USA
    A different shot at it OP ....... Carl @ Plughugger.com is a very helpful and talented guy; sometimes posting here.

    His total focus is sound design and has created for several different synths. If you go to his site, you will find the majority of his work is with Omnisphere, Diva, and (lately) Repro-1. With your budget constraints, perhaps Diva can be a decent 'compromise' starting point ? If you contact Carl, on his site, you will likely get some focused answers to some of your questions.

    ( I'm just a happy User, who pesters Carl now and then .... since he is so dang helpful :thumbsup: )

  14. ed buller

    ed buller Senior Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    ZebraHZ....finest softsynth in the known universe

    synthpunk and ckiraly like this.
  15. kurtvanzo

    kurtvanzo Capt. Zorro

    Synthmaster has a good range of sounds and works well (preferred over Synthmaster One, but I have both)... but please, don't pay too much for it. It goes on sale regularly for around $60-70. Also I don't know of many 3rd party packs for it. But it does have many presets and the ability to tweak. Zebra has better oscillators (especially for low end) but Synthmaster has a nice clean sound and the current version (2.8) is rock solid. Def worth it at sale price. :)

    There is a demo version (times out after 15 min) and a free player version (350 presets only) you should try first. The downloads are here:
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    synthpunk likes this.
  16. mc_deli

    mc_deli n trepreneur

    Feb 22, 2015
    I'll stick my neck out... I bought Diva a couple of months ago. Hmm... yes... it's my favourite music software I've ever bought, including all synths, drums, sample libraries, DAWs blah blah, hands down.
    synthpunk likes this.
  17. jcrosby

    jcrosby Senior Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Boston MA
    I disagree. With the ability to import wavetables Serum is whatever you make it... If you have a great set of Moog or Juno 106 wavetables it can vbe quite retro and cozy. Add to that the capability to render warp settings, resample its own output to create new wavetables, and a fairly substantial list of filter flavors and it's capable of being as cutting or smooth as you want it to be...

    It's a very well rounded synth, and has tons of easter eggs hiding under the hood...
    S.M Hassani likes this.
  18. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    Save more money and buy Omnisphere 2.
  19. S.M Hassani

    S.M Hassani Active Member

    Dec 30, 2014
    More on SERUM: Some months ago, I used it to make "orchestral augmentation" patches, which can blend with VI patches like SF's Albion series for example. The results were surprisingly organic. And guess what, I didn't even use a sample or a fancy wavetable.

    I might get an opportunity to reveal some of those methods in the foreseeable future.

    As for Dune 2, here's a selection of Cinematic sounds from the factory library:

    BTW a lot of them are one note multipart sequence patches. Great for inspiration or as cue starters. They're also easy to modify.

    I'm sure all the folks who -quite rightfully- praise Zebra2 have heard about a gentleman called Howard Scarr. ;) Kevin Schroeder from the videos I shared is Howard's sound design partner on several projects for U-He synths, like this one for Hive:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    calebfaith likes this.
  20. ckiraly

    ckiraly Active Member

    Feb 3, 2017
    You are sooo right. Just bought ZebraHZ...MIND. BLOWN! Should've done this a LONG time ago! Way too much inspiration now!
    Shad0wLandsUK likes this.

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