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tecknot

Best soft-synth?

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Hello everyone,

I know the answer is subjective, but I want to ask you all, "What do you think is the best software synthesizer?"  I'm not looking for emulations or orchestra per se, just the most sources of synthesis, i.e. wavetable, sample, subtractive, additive, FM, virtual analog, etc.  I've read a number of reviews, but with so many out there, I may have overlooked one or two.  I have listened to some sound samples and hope to find something inspiring.  Tell me what synth inspires you and what about the synth that stands out the most.

Kind regards,

tecknot

P.S. Thanks in advance.

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The best soft-synth is the one that attaches to your key-chain and makes cool phaser sounds...

Pweeooo, Pweeoo!

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Posted (edited)

I think "best" is not only subjective but will vary based on a number of factors like your skill in sound design and end goals. If your goal is to get out of the box sounds used in modern hit pop songs, Omnisphere is a strong candidate . Serum also goes in that category but will be even more dominant among EDM producers who prefer designing own sounds as opposed to great presets.  If a more vintage sound is your goal, one of the many quality emulations of classic synths may be up your alley.  Right now my go to synth is Pigments 3. It does everything Serum does and more.  Another quality candidate is Vital, which is free and similar to Serum. Another great free candidate is Surge. User interface is kinda blah, but it packs a lot of capability. Bottomline is that best synth is one that is most useful to you.

Watch some videos of creators making the type of music you make and see if there is a common denominator.  With that said, just because the same products come up often does not mean you must use them to get good results. Experiment and best of luck.

Edited by dubdisciple

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If I were to pick my top two synths, it would be Omnisphere and Synthmaster 2.9. 

Both synths have a learning curve, but both also have a wealth of presets, so it's not too difficult to take a preset close to what you want then tweak it.  They both have multiple synthesis types.

No.3 on my list is Cobalt, which is a free VSTi similar to the Korg DW8000 / Kawai K3.  
 

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When asking a question like that, you must realize that the answers are based on what people already have. Absolutely nobody will have all soft-synths available, so they can’t really compare to anything but own subset of synths and their personal rating of other people’s subjective opinions.

Having said that, UVI Falcon is the best. And I do like Thai food. :)

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NI Reaktor is the best soft synth used in conjunction with their free user library.

All those types of synthesis + 100 more you never heard of or forgot about or are just being developed now.

Synths, drum machines, effects, basics like compressors, modular style with blocks or the older already fully built ensembles.

Don't like the panel - change it.  Want to chain a few together - build it.  Too much going on and you just want certain parts - cut it down.

See a shiny new soft synth or effect say to yourself "I can patch something similar in Reaktor and it will be my unique sound".

 

 

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Part of the best is also easy to use, don’t forget.  As to my favs:

alchemy, rapture/dimension, kontak, massive x, synthmaster and falcon.

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If you are not really looking for sampled or modeled instruments, I would go to Pigments 3 or SynthMaster 2.9 first, because of their multiple synthesis  types. For ease of programming, then definitely go Pigments! They also include many presets that can be used as is, or use them to learn the synth and create your own.

If you would consider a virtual modular synth with unlimited possibilities, then I would go to to Cherry Audio Voltage Modular Core (with 105 modules). Comes with various vintage modules, but from the module store you can add FM, Wavetable, Granular, and with mix and match filters, envelopes, arps, sequencers, FX, etc.

So you can build almost any synth you can dream of with Voltage! https://cherryaudio.com/voltage-modular

I have dozens of other soft synths, but I would consider most of them only good for one or two things. The 3 above suggestions should cover almost anything for me, so they would be the best synths for everything. The rest of my synths are to be used as needed based on their individual strengths, or specific types of music.

But sampled and modeled synths are also sitting fairly high on my list, so I don't exclude those possibilities 😉.

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Thank you all who had positive feedback.  I greatly appreciate.  From my research and your opinions, it appears that Omnisphere and Synthmaster seem to be consistently listed as "best" synths.  Pigments is also widely mentioned with Sylenth and Serum getting nods.  Other synths:  Zebra 2, Falcon and Vital show up often. 

Since Synthmaster is currently on sale, I will swoop on it and keep my eyes on Omnisphere, if it ever goes on sale (that one heavy price tag).  Pigments is a strong contender for it's position in the list as well as it's sale price.  I just might bite on this one too.

Kind regards,

tecknot

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3 hours ago, tecknot said:

Since Synthmaster is currently on sale, I will swoop on it and keep my eyes on Omnisphere, if it ever goes on sale (that one heavy price tag). 

I got Omnisphere on sale at musicians friend during one of their 15 or 20% sales. I got it years ago. It seems like I may have paid for an upgrade once and I paid for a moog extension, other than that all the updates have been free. I think it was well worth the money, 

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Because my first keyboard was a Korg Poly 800 I love the fact that it is a free  VST plug in. That’s my go to when I need big fat pads  And because I spent 3 quality years with it all the perimeters make sense to me.  

I have also squeezed some good stuff out of the Roland groove synth and the Juno emulation 

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Odin2 is the one that don't scare me away if i want to make some own presets.

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currently, my fav is Massive X, even though it is tough on my CPU & it's browser kinda stinks (unless you open it up in Maschine or Komplete Kontrol where it then has a great browser. go figure).

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