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Why is Steinberg's Retrologue getting so little love?


New Member
Every now and then I play around with Retrologue, constantly waiting for something I don't like to pop up. But that never happend so far. Is it, because I don't know the really good ones (as Omnisphere, Serum, Zebra... don't have any of them) or is Retrologue just hugely underrated because it is a stock synth?


Senior Member
It is good, but there are so many great analog modeled synths of its kind that after a while I just moved on.

I got Lush 101, and MPower synth. I also got Zebra which all can do what Retrologue can do only more and better.

I am also looking into getting The Legend for RE (Reason). And, Diva is a great synth.

All the above mentioned sound better than Retrologue. I did extensive side by side comparisons and put Retrologue aside.

Omni, Serum are different breed of synths and shouldn't be compared to Retrologue. It would be unfair.

In the end, if all you got is Retrologue it will do plenty fine. Once you start pushing the limits though it will start to not sound as good as the rest.

I had a discussion with a well known synth programmer and asked him how you can tell the difference between whether a softsynth is good or not. He said if it sounds good at extreme settings then it's good. So I put a bunch to the test and it was very revealing. That's when I decided to put Retrologue away.


New Member
All the steinberg synths are alright. They can sound good alone, or even better, if you apply actual EQ and effects on the output of the synth, rather than within the synth, which often times can't really be done.


Active Member
I agree...the synths that come with Cubase are really pretty awesome all things considered. And the sound quality is there.

If one explored all the Steinberg synths (and those that come with Halion as well) you'd run out of hours in the day. They can get pretty deep once you start tweaking things.

I have the Cubasis app on my iPad as well, and the little Retrologue synth in there is just as great!

Glad I switched over to Steinberg products recently. Absolutely no regrets living in the Cubase and Dorico world. Solid stuff.


Tim Wells
Because I'm a tightwad, I try to use the stuff I already own rather than buying a lot of new stuff. The other day I was looking for some rhythmic tempo-based pads and was very pleased with the sounds I found in the stock Cubase synths. I've already committed to a preset called "Lovely" in Spector and will likely use Padshop, etc., in the song.


I think to be HALion is intended to be used as a layering instrument. It's not so much about the individual sounds IMHO as it is about putting layers together into a multi.

So you can combine sampled sounds, wavetable, granular, analog, organ sounds, filters into one big patch. You can add in a sophisticated arpeggiator, the FlexPhraser into any of the layers, and there's then all the usual filters and effects.

So a lot of people just look at the sampled sounds and find them inferior to the ones they have in Kontakt, and give it a pass. But it is extremely powerful and can give some amazing sounds when you put its components together. It's amazing with sound design, but equally good with one-person-band types of patches.

I think it has more in common with Falcon and the Multis in Omnisphere. I'm not saying that it has sounds as good as Omni, but it is easy to set up layers and complicated splits. And Omni just has samples of synths, while HALion contains real synths.

HALion is a beast if you unleash it.
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