My first and "the one" synth

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion

Which synth?

ZebraHz
36
40%
Falcon
19
21%
Omnisphere
34
38%
 
Total votes: 89

Igirl93
KVRer
5 posts since 20 Apr, 2019

Post Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:03 pm

NeoKortex88 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:21 am
Can Falcon sound analog like Diva?
I would also be interested in that.

@Jancivil: I hope i won’t be using one synth for the rest of my life. It’s more i don’t want to waste time learning one synth than finding out there’s something way better

Igirl93
KVRer
5 posts since 20 Apr, 2019

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:04 pm

generaldiomedes wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:02 am
Some may disagree, but Hip Hop and EDM really aren't Zebra's strengths. For that you would do even better with Hive if u-He is your thing.

Omnisphere is going to fulfill those genre needs much much easier, although for Hip Hop I'm sure you will also end up using a lot of samples which can be played in your DAW's sampler or audio track directly, no synth required. It also is a bit pricey. For that money you can get Komplete.

Too bad about Avenger on Mac, that would be my recommendation, although the packs are expensive.

Anyhow, years from now I guarantee you won't be using just one synth.
Do you think Rapid could replace Avenger?

nusound mind
KVRist
124 posts since 21 Jan, 2017

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:30 am

Igirl93 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:04 pm
...
For my first synth iam leaning towards Rapid now...And then get me Zebra3 once it comes out. But iam still undecided. Just Rapid sounds so good but I hear it goes on Sale a couple of times so might as well wait now.

Or just get me Rapid and ZebraHz and call it a day.
ZebraHZ with Rapid is one of my most frequent synth combinations. I find ZebraHZ has a darker, more analogue character; while Rapid is cleaner, brighter, more digital sounding, at least to my ears although that's speaking very broadly and generally.

Also have quite a few w/ Zebra & Spire but idk if that's as intentional on my part as Rapid w/ Zebra, as the latter combo I find tonally complimentary, or has been the case a lot of times. I'm still on ZebraHZ 2.7 however, if that makes much of a difference. You prob. demoed 2.8.

Don't own Avenger, Falcon or Omnisphere so can't call it on those.

generaldiomedes
KVRian
675 posts since 15 Apr, 2017 from Canada

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:55 am

Igirl93 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:04 pm
Do you think Rapid could replace Avenger?
They are similar. I own Avenger but only demo'd Rapid. From what I can tell Avenger has more wave shaping abilities, so it can do dubby sounds a bit better, but for trancey sounds they are probably even.

twal
KVRist
138 posts since 10 Feb, 2017

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:00 am

generaldiomedes wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:55 am
Igirl93 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:04 pm
Do you think Rapid could replace Avenger?
They are similar. I own Avenger but only demo'd Rapid. From what I can tell Avenger has more wave shaping abilities, so it can do dubby sounds a bit better, but for trancey sounds they are probably even.
Rapid is around 600 presets deep it says on site that ship with it, but that's not many. I know Predator 2 comes with over 6000 presets. Does Avenger come with whopping amounts or just over 1000 like it says on plugin boutique or do you have to get the expansions if you don't sound design

User avatar
Introspective
KVRist
106 posts since 12 Jan, 2004 from Boston, MA

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:32 pm

Zebra is a horrible choice for a first synth.

...It's one of the very best soft-synths ever, mind you, but NOT AT ALL what you should start with. The workflow is very weird, very particular. Very hard to learn out of the gate. Come back to Zebra when you have some grey in your beard, and it could be your LAST synth, but it really shouldn't be your first. It's getting a lot of love in this thread only because people really LOVE this synth (I do too... it's my go-to at the moment), but I don't think people are giving due diligence to the fact that this is a horrible, horrible *starting* synth. It's meant for veterans, not beginners.

Falcon is a fine choice. It's a versatile workstation that will cover all the ground you could want for "Hip Hop, EDM, or just whatever." That said, you will find very few videos on Falcon. You will read very few tutorials. You will find few people saying "I made this with Falcon and only Falcon!" ...because, really, Falcon is (RELATIVELY) uninspiring. It's very complicated, with lots of different engines, lots of layering, and a complicated interface. It's not as bad a choice as Zebra, because the workflow is more "normal," but it's still not a *great* choice for a first synth. It's fine if you just want to grab a preset and go, though. (Of course, the same could be said of Zebra, but...) It sounds like you're more interested in a least SOME sound-design, though, so I wouldn't make this your first choice. It's *fine*... just not great.

Omnisphere is a great choice. There are a bajillion presets to get you started, the workflow is GREAT (one of the best), so things are very tweakable, there are TONS of user-created libraries to tap into if you want to freshen up, and it's a delight to program from scratch. ...Of course, it's ... very expensive. And, yes, it's "deficient" in some areas for some specific sounds (I do not agree with the earlier comment that "it requires keyscape and trillian to be an all-in-one." ...it does not. It is *aided* by both, and both are *fantastic*, and you would eventually want to get them, but you absolutely *can* get a great bass or keyboard sound out of Omnisphere without them. Period. Of the three in your poll, this is--by far--the best choice. It also--in my opinion--SOUNDS the best of the three. It's right up there with Diva in sound-quality, when you A/B the two of them. (I didn't believe it until I tried it myself, but it's true.) It just covers a LOT more ground than Diva, so it's easy to miss how good those filters in Omnisphere really are, 'cause a lot of the patches don't feature them. (Okay, RePro sounds better. But it's very much limited in comparison and isn't up for discussion as an all-in-one.)

However, you add three more... I can't actually remember which three... It was ... Avenger, Rapid, and Dune?

Avenger is *awesome*. I honestly think it has the best workflow of any synth, so far. It's very diverse, with drums, sampling, granular, FM, and more, baked into a single interface (as opposed to Falcon, where each engine is really a different "module" that you use). That said, I don't find the sound-quality to be *quite* as good as the others. It's good! It's just not Diva/RePro/Omnisphere level good. It is, as the kids say, "digital sounding." Avenger is a great all-in-one and you could be very happy with it for a very long time, especially given it's half the price of Omnisphere. That said: Omnisphere is better, if you can afford it.

Rapid is also awesome. Less flexible than Avenger, and I have my niggles with the interface, but it's ... actually ... more FUN than Avenger. I don't quite know how to quantify this, but I find Rapid more inviting and friendly. There's less to it, and maybe that's all there is to say: it's more focused. I just enjoy using it more. That said, I think you'll find Rapid a bit limiting in the long-run, with relatively specific filter types. Again: "it's digital".

Dune ... Well... I like the way Dune SOUNDS, but I've never really taken to the interface. Other people love it, but I can't figure out why: things are really hidden; there's too many pages to futz around with, the oscillators need more depth, and I don't like the reverb. Spire is a much better synth, IMO. [shrug] I'm afraid you should take my opinion on this one with a grain of salt, though, as there sure are a lot of people who ADORE this synth, so I must be missing something. Still, I don't think it's a great choice for a FIRST synth, 'cause the workflow is pretty weak. (...all those pages!)

As others have said, I will echo: you will not stop at one. :) It's still wise to ask "which first?" And I would steer you toward one that is going to sound good, teach you the ins-and-outs of synthesis, and have enough flexibility to be something you will continue to use for a long time.

Sooooo... if you were asking ME... I would say ...

Diva, if you computer can handle it. (And it's important to point that out: it's very CPU-heavy, so you have to have a good modern computer to make Diva worth it.)

It's cheap, it's SUPER good-sounding, it covers a surprising amount of ground, it will teach you about five or six of the MOST IMPORTANT synths in synth history, which means you'll be able to apply what you learn in a lot of other places, and there are some really cool tricks up its sleeve which will keep you happy for a long time.

If your computer can't handle Diva, I'd probably point to Omnisphere next, if you can afford it. That's one that will let you write pro-level music right out of the gate, and yet you'll still be using it in 10 years, 'cause there's so much depth to it. It's expensive, though you get what you pay for.

If you don't want to shell that out, then... yeah. Avenger is your next best bet. It'll cover the most ground, it'll teach you the most about how synths work (though you're going to be really frustrated when you use other synths where the UI isn't as good), and it is SUUUUUUPER deep, so you'll get something out of it for years.

...Honorable mention, though, to V-Collection. The bang-for-the-buck there is ENORMOUS and all the things I said about "learning classic synths" applies tenfold to V-Collection, 'cause it's got ALL of them. :) It doesn't sound *quite* as good as the others, but the sheer flexibility and creativity that this collection opens up trumps that. They sound "good enough." ...but I think that's cheating your "one synth" limitation, 'cause it's actually a bunch of synths. ...You could argue that the Analog Collection could be your "one synth" and that all of the others are just "modules" that open up from that one, though, if you had to. :D

Sorry to be so long-winded. Hope that helps.

generaldiomedes
KVRian
675 posts since 15 Apr, 2017 from Canada

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:30 pm

twal wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:00 am
Rapid is around 600 presets deep it says on site that ship with it, but that's not many. I know Predator 2 comes with over 6000 presets. Does Avenger come with whopping amounts or just over 1000 like it says on plugin boutique or do you have to get the expansions if you don't sound design
It shows me 936 presets in the browser for the factory set. But its about quality, not quantity .. Avengers factory presets are def quality and cover a lot of bases (not to mention basses).

Hybrid 3 comes with thousands of presents .. but who cares about Hybrid 3?

Anyhow .. the latest Avenger expansion is simply amazing .. pfft that it doesn't sound as good as the others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnpqKZgU7AU

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
15951 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:50 pm

Introspective wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:32 pm
Zebra is a horrible choice for a first synth.

...It's one of the very best soft-synths ever, mind you, but NOT AT ALL what you should start with. The workflow is very weird, very particular. Very hard to learn out of the gate.
Funny how opinions differ... I think Zebra is one of the very best synths to learn synthesis on. I think Zebra is worth the money just as a learning tool it is so good.

PieBerger
KVRist
400 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:00 am

Igirl93 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:03 pm

It’s more i don’t want to waste time learning one synth than finding out there’s something way better
Welcome to the world of VSTs, thanks for joining us :party:
Always Read the Manual!

PieBerger
KVRist
400 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:10 am

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:50 pm
Introspective wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:32 pm
Zebra is a horrible choice for a first synth.

...It's one of the very best soft-synths ever, mind you, but NOT AT ALL what you should start with. The workflow is very weird, very particular. Very hard to learn out of the gate.
Funny how opinions differ... I think Zebra is one of the very best synths to learn synthesis on. I think Zebra is worth the money just as a learning tool it is so good.
I agree to some extent, maybe not a very first synth, something like RePro or one your DAWs bundled synths, just to get a handle of the very basics, but after that Zebra wouldn't be a massive step up imo. It's one of the easiest to use "big do-it-all synths" on the market, due to it's flexible/scalable wysiwyg, one-page (kind of) architecture. Simple VA patches are still very easy to setup, with minimal menu-diving and tabbing and because it's scalable you can ramp up the complexity at your own pace.
Always Read the Manual!

PieBerger
KVRist
400 posts since 23 May, 2012 from London

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:12 am

Also the Avenger UI and workflow is a car crash in my opinion, but different strokes and all :D
Always Read the Manual!

User avatar
Introspective
KVRist
106 posts since 12 Jan, 2004 from Boston, MA

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:57 am

PieBerger wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:10 am
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:50 pm
Funny how opinions differ... I think Zebra is one of the very best synths to learn synthesis on. I think Zebra is worth the money just as a learning tool it is so good.
I agree to some extent, maybe not a very first synth, something like RePro or one your DAWs bundled synths, just to get a handle of the very basics, but after that Zebra wouldn't be a massive step up imo. It's one of the easiest to use "big do-it-all synths" on the market, due to it's flexible/scalable wysiwyg, one-page (kind of) architecture. Simple VA patches are still very easy to setup, with minimal menu-diving and tabbing and because it's scalable you can ramp up the complexity at your own pace.
Oh dear. No, no, no. That's like someone saying "hey, I think synth music is cool, how do I get started?" and pointing them at a modular system. Overwhelming.

Sure, if they're in college or something and they have someone holding their hand, explaining everything along the way... sure. In a situation like that, Zebra's great, 'cause everything you need is in one place and you can get familiar with it and grow with it. Sure.

But for someone just starting out, on their own? No way.

Given the OP's tone, though, it sounds like he has SOME idea of how synths work, so I'm guessing he's at a early intermediate level (couldn't be much more than that or he'd own a few already). I was definitely making that assumption in my post. In that case, Diva or Omnisphere are still on top.

For someone *just* starting out, someone who may or may not even know what ADSR means... Zebra would be a nightmare. :) That doesn't seem to be the case here, but it's still an interesting question: which synth makes the "best" synth for your very first? Hmmmn. I dunno. I would lean toward the free ones, to start: Tyrell, Helm. I suppose if you REALLY have money burning a hole in your pocket, I would probably lean toward the V-Collection, just because of the diversity of it. It's probably the very best learning tool available, if you're just starting out, and will take you a long way.

Alas, the answer to all of these question is ALWAYS: "It depends."

User avatar
Introspective
KVRist
106 posts since 12 Jan, 2004 from Boston, MA

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:08 am

PieBerger wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:12 am
Also the Avenger UI and workflow is a car crash in my opinion, but different strokes and all :D
Ha! Perhaps. I do have my niggles with it. (...chief among them the weird way it manages wavetables or samples scanning; it's not obvious where that's controlled... like, "where's the sample start knob?") The intro videos explain everything, though, so after you sit through those ... it's a well-designed tool. (I would argue that there is more value in having an elegant workflow than having an obvious one, every time. Avenger's interface is elegant.) For me, at least (and, yes, this is always subjective), there is no synth that screams "tweak me!" as loudly as Avenger does, and it's a joy to just drag and drop modulations* and the MM is very clear and super-powerful at the same time. And, man, the bajillion ways that you can jiggle a waveform in VPS ... it's breath-taking. :D Single most powerful oscillator section I've ever seen, *ever*. I'm a fan. ...I just really really really REALLY (!) wish it wasn't marketed to the Tranceheads as this "dance-floor ready" megasynth. It's a creative tool, not another hypersaw-laiden Virus** clone! Infuriating.


* Yes, I realize there are other synths that do this. I'm not calling it exclusive here, I'm calling it awesome. ;)
** Okay, honestly... I love the Virus. :) But still.

User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
8807 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:18 am

Introspective wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:57 am
Given the OP's tone, though, it sounds like he has SOME idea of how synths work, so I'm guessing he's at a early intermediate level (couldn't be much more than that or he'd own a few already). I was definitely making that assumption in my post. In that case, Diva or Omnisphere are still on top.
If he his starting, then advsing him something as expensive as Omnisphere (which price can only be justified by the sample libraries in it, which he may or may not value) is absurd. In terms of synthesis, DIVA will offer him much more, with its "mix and match" system, where he can try several kinds of oscillators, several kinds of filters, several kinds of envelopes, etc. FOR LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE

He will have a very flexible synth and one which will probably grow even ore in the future. Omnisphere may have a good synth engine, but it can't compete with DIVA in that aspect. And is much more expensive.
Fernando (FMR)

nusound mind
KVRist
124 posts since 21 Jan, 2017

Re: My first and "the one" synth

Post Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:24 am

I'd say something to consider when deciding is; which synth, when you're test driving them- do you tend to like what you come up with the most? If it's all architecture and what's best on paper or even sound quality preferences maybe that's overlooking creative resonance and fit b/t artist & instrument. Maybe you give Repro a spin, for example, and suddenly you have the makings of an EP after only a few days of demoing. Obvs. that's not a synth that will cover all possible angles sonically, then again it could be just what the doctor ordered in terms of style and sound signature you happen to need or be partial to atm.

I think Omnisphere is a good choice, honestly, going strictly by the particulars of the OP question, though like I say I don't own it personally.

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