Circle Synth

not a bad sounding soft synth. i like the simplicity of it. it’s a nice change from the work i’ve been doing in max/msp lately lol.

see for yourself, check the demo:

I’ve been waiting for this demo for quite a while now!

First impressions - very simple to use, great oscillators, no aliasing whatsoever.

However, quite a CPU hog. For some patches 5 simultaneous voices overload the processor. I’m yet to try it on my dual core PC, but I guess more than one instance at a time will be out of the question.

Been waiting for this too , for a long time …but to be honoust I don’t think it is that revolutionary at all.who gives a flying shit that you have a visual representation of all the active modulators…soundqualitywise it’s ok
There are a lot of simmilarities with N.I. massive …but nowhere as near as far as modulation goes/ the wavetables are nothing more than single cycled waves … :( …ok you got the ability to morph bewteen them …like the goold old prophet vs …( hint to renoise developers for multiple oscilator instrument :)
The thing that thrills me the most is the clean and flat gui …but overall I am not that impressed…

Hey, thanks. I have been looking quite frantically for a synth that lets you do things visually rather than “knobly”… :)
So far, I have liked GlassViper for its design, but the sound was not aye aye aye.

As a matter of fact, I do and I think I am not the only one.
Havent you stoped and ask yourself, why does no other Windows application have knobs?
VST designers attempted to make software synths look like the hardware back then, so that producers will feel comfortable with the “transition”.

But a windows application can provide much more convenient methods to modify elements, and to see it.
When you have colored sliders, it is much more obvious and “standing out” what is the level of each knob/slider.

Maybe you are so talented that you can instantly know how each LFO influences the wave form, and how each knob affects the output, but for the rest of us, I think it is about time that VST developers, and perhaps even all the “synth maker” software developers start to utilize the full potential of the PC environment and ditch the “lets make it look like a hardware” approach.

Is there anything more intuitive than editing ADSR envelopes with… ADSR envelope? (line and handles rather than knobs)

Hmm… I’ll stick with Massive :P

NI has so many instruments…
I usualy stay away from NI because their instruments are too big (in hard disk space) to my taste.
Which out of all NI instruments is a pure synth? (and not some hybrid that requires “expansions” - which is a very convenient way to charge me more… :) )

Massive is a synth… a just plain godly synth… and it’s under 50mb … which I’ll admit is a tad bit in the large size for a synth, but it’s worth it. Out of all the softsynths I’ve worked with, it’s the one I keep coming back to. It’s easy to program, with powerful modular routing, and it creates whatever timbre you want… rich/phat/cold/analog/digital/airy/noisy/whatever.

… and Massive doesn’t need expansions to be useful… I’m not even sure if there are any aside from perhaps some preset packs.

Will give it a shot.
What about Absynth? also pure synth?
Its hard to tell from all their over commercialized website

Noppes for me it’s al about sound …depending on my ears , not on a visual representation…And let’s face , that’s the biggest sellingpoint of ‘circle’…For me It’s just another v.a. synth in a fancy gui …No real wavetables and such …

Sarcatsic mod: yiha …the blinking dot scans 20times a seconds …oh must be a lfo of 20 Hz…But I forget the destination I assigned it to …so this is where ’ circle 'comes in handy …blaaah
Tottaly agree with you about the hardware look on vst’s …I can’t stand it either …but there aren’t any real alternatives …it’s either a slider or a button …unless you prefer to enter values with the keyboard …shortcircuit is a verry good example
Anyway …I like the soundquality of the vst …but I think I’ll stick to fabfilter/zebra/surge etc…
Stupid me …it’s the first vst for deaf people …( ^_^ no offence to deaf people )

This guy deceirves your cash …an awwesome wavetable synth ( yep real wavetablescanning like massive )and the ability to create your own wavetables

Listened to some tunes on the site. Sounds sweet.
Will give it a shot.
Hated Zebra though. It had super nice sounds but the GUI is too much to bear.

There’s an alternative gui for zebra …zebra has it all , wavetable,fm; additive …an amazing synth…I love the dark horse gui…it really makes a huge difference compared to the original

One more vote for Surge. Much better than Cricle, imho. Haven’t played that much with Circle yet, I admit, but I remember how amazed I was with Surge the first time a used it. Circle didn’t impress me that much.

Hey Massive is not half bad!
This redeems NI a little…

I am not an expert “in the scene”, but it looks to me like NI occupies a good chunk of this market and are considered top dawgs.
No? Whos the second best VST developer?

i don’t understand? expansions? if you purchase the actual synths (Massive, Absynth, FM8, Reaktor, etc.) you do not need to buy any expansions…perhaps you are thinking of the Kore soundpacks? these are just extra sounds for Kore that you can buy (as kore comes with watered down versions of each synth that are not tweakable beyond the kore interface).

as i play more with circle, i realize more and more that this is nothing special. i already have massive so i couldn’t justify forking out the extra 200 bucks for this. although, i could see some use in it’s gui. i do agree with their vision to make a synth very simplistic. too many people get caught up in thinking “complexity proves more skill” and all that bs, when really is that what the music is about? my point is, i love working in modular environments, i love having no limits, but this synth could be a very powerful tool for the users that aren’t so hugely into synthesis. this synth could allow an ordinary “preset player” into somewhat of a programmer, and that can NOT be a bad thing for the music scene. sometimes it’s nice just to be able to do something quick and easily.

that being said, this is a huge cpu hog for what it is…

Serious ?
I 've got a softspot for independent developers …fuck N.I.
vember audio ( claes the developer now works for ableton )
Fabfilter…amazing stuff …Especially fabilter twin /timmeless
Audio realism …( if you need a damn good 303 vst )
Not so independant
g force software ( all their emulations are top notch and are joy to use compared to those hideous ,bulky arturia creations )

I know it’s all matter of taste … B)

i agree with you on all those guys, but technically he was just talking about who ran a good “chunk” of the industry…native instruments definitely are on top when it comes to the softsynth industry. they have been around for a long time. if you want to get talking about personal taste that is a different story.

it’s like saying kanye west is running hip hop these days. whether or not you are into that is a different story.

and dude, i’m looking for a 303 emulation…can’t decide between phoscyon and abl2…any thoughts? please be objective, rather than the typical “abl2 kicks phoscyon’s ass people”

best thing to do download the demo of both programs …I prefer Audio realism cause it’s the most realistic ( hence what’s in a name :) emulation …the phoscyon is<more of a souped up devilfish ; has a nice build in ditortion unit …but the filter is a bit weak in the low end .but you do have more control over accent .envelope parameters and such ( e.g. attack )
I’d say go for abl and use the amazing camelphatfree for some nice distortion .

checked the Circle synth demo and i dunno, but wow. very nice gui, simple , intuitive and OSC are free alias so the sound is like a knife cutting thru mix. i think it`s a musthave synth. “gotta go 2 get teh money” © jdilla

So after testing Circle for a couple of days, here are my thoughts:

Interface - Score 9/10
I like the interface a lot.
It is simple, structured and clear. The black background and bright control colors are a plus, the big fonts and big knobs are a huge plus.
It is quite obvious to me (although I may be wrong) that the interface design and concept was heavily influenced by the interface of NI’s Massive synth. There are many similarities between the two, only Circle seems to aim a little lower, to the less advanced users, which I like.

A couple of major improvements Circle has over Massive, is the visualization:
You select a waveform (or wavetable) from a visual table of available waves, and the various oscillators and enevelopes show animated view of how they move. It is very helpful and in my opinion, one of Massive’s weakest points.

Features - Score 8/10
Feature wise, I missed some elements that I got used to in Massive.
In Circle you have one insert filter, as opposed to two in Massive.
This single filter can be made to be a double filter, but then all sound sources are going through these two together (serial or parallel). There is no way to control the amount that each oscillator is sending to each filter. At least as far as I could figure out).
Also, there is no way to balance the amount of each filter. Massive has these two features, using faders on the oscillators and a cross fader on the two filters.

The modulation sources are nice (LFO, envelope, sequencer) and the attachment to targets is nice and easy.
One thing I am missing in this regard is sidechaining, as Massive has.

Sound - Score 7/10
I was unable to generate impressive sounds. The presets are not too impressive either, so I am guessing it is not my lack of trying, but perhaps the sound engine may be too simplistic. I think that if it had two filter slots, and we were able to control the amount of each sound source through the filter, the results could have been dramatically improved.

Performance - Score 6/10
This is a heavy one. It seems as heavy as Massive (at least) and caused Renoise to crash a few times on my computer. But the crashes may have been caused by my attempts to push it to some limits. Generally, it performs well, considering this was released recently.

All in all, I would love to see this synth evolve a little further. I like its interface and contept, and wish there were more like this.
My dream synth would probably be a combination of features from Massive, Circle and GlassViper.