Favourite Vst/synth

Hi all,

Because I haven’t spent money on a VST yet and I want to start soon, here’s a question…

If there was one synth/VST/effect that you couldn’t do without what would it be?? Even if it’s a free one, I want to know all your very favorite synths :) There’s probably been a thread like this before but oh well, let’s update!

I love the Arturia Analog Factory, though i only have, erm, a demo.

NI Massive is my absolute go-to synth. I “hate” downloading a lot of free vst’s and illegal payware stuff because I work with two computers (my laptop and my desktop computer) and I want to be able to work on a song on my laptop and instantly load it up on my desktop. Also, when I fist started out with music making I downloaded everything I could get my hands on. Every track I made had different vst’s and vsti’s (I didn’t have a laptop back then). At a certain point my computer crashed or I wanted to update my OS. You’re already guessing it; none of my songs worked and downloading every vst(i) I ever had was a tedious and almost impossible job. Since then I deceided to throw everything I made so far away (don’t worry, everything sucked anyway) and start over with just the basic stuff and start paying for the vst’s I really liked/needed.
I never struggle with plugins that won’t do what I want, I never have to reinstall demoremovers and my computers have never crashed and burned before my eyes after I installed some plugin. I see that kind of stuff happening every day at my faculty (around 70 music producers, sound/audio designers, composers, performers, etc) and everytime I’m just so glad those days are behind me. |]

I like NI Massive aswell, a loooot of people do.
Rob Papen’s Predator is my other favourite.

If i had to choose only one, that would be Reaktor :)

FM8 is my favourite hands down. You can do subtractive / analog style synths in Renoise natively but not so easy to do more sophisticated evolving sounds like you can achieve with this.

Battery 3 is also amazing and I should really use it more often, but I’m addicted to breaks for which Renoise is King-Ding-a-ling!

Sylenth1! :D

Zebra for synth

Reaktor for everything else!

I almost never use VSTi’s, but when I do it is mostly FabFilter Twin (or FF One). They sound pretty good, but are kind of confusing to “program” or “tweak” or whatever, but they have a lot of presets that sound good. I usually take one of those and mess around a little bit with them.

I wanna try this massive thing out though…

Ah nice answers, cheers :) So it seems that NI are generally quite popular!

Yes you’re right, i’ve been realising more and more recently that one of the reasons why professional production sounds so good is because pro’s have access to all the top-end software synths. Where possible it is best to invest money and get a better product of course but for someone like me, who is a long way off being able to make any money out of production, £150+ is quite a lot of money to spend on something which is essentially a very specialized piece of software. The only money i’ve really spent on software has been for Logic and a Renoise license which were both less than that (Logic on a student license), Renoise considerably so! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not adverse to the idea of spending money on software, just poor! And these days we’re lucky- native and free plugins are good enough to create amazing music if you have some imagination.

There are some options.

First - check out this article http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2011/08/22/bpb-freeware-studio-best-free-subtractiveva-polyphonic-synthesizer-vstau-plugins/
You can wait for one of these big sales (bought Reaktor for 100 euro during sale 2 years ago) - patience. You can also buy 2nd hand from here: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=43

Hope that helps

Edit: Whats wrong with ES2 - its great

What sort of synths are you looking for? Lots of presets, something quick and easy to use, modular monsters or analogue modelling etc? Quite often these threads turn into a long list of new and / or monster synths that are always mentions. So in that vein I’ll echo the suggestion for Zebra (which has a very good demo) and SynthMaster.

same here + ohm force and soundtoys effects

Best free would be Synth1! Ugly but effective. I always end up using this synth although I have dowloaded so many others…
Lots of user created patches as well. Easy to control in real-time from Renoise DSP: *Instr. Automation

Alchemy definitely. If I could choose only one synth for rest of my life it would be this. It does pretty much everything besides FM and it’s easy to use considering the huge amount of features.

NI Reaktor 5. You ca create your own synths! Sounds good to me.

the recent madrona labs aalto synth is absolutely top of my list at the moment. unique synth with an amazing UI.

u-he diva is the best bass/lead synth i’ve tried. so much analog sounding and phattness indeed
quite heavy on the cpu althoug but i’m a resampling kinda guy

Hexter is my favourite, it is a simple yamaha DX7 emulator but it sounds wonderful and it’s free.
Actually it is the only VSTi I use besides Synth1 which are both freeware even though I have a few, erhm, demos of professional synths. I like the control these two give, I can design the sound exactly how I want it with them.

But honestly, 96% of the time I use Renoise’s native sampler, it is the best for me and I am unable to achieve instruments and soundscapes anywhere near as good with other tools as when I sit down and design a layered xnri with a good dsp chain. The only problem is that since it is sampled based it can’t be automated and thus it ends up having a constant timbre which occasionally a bit boring on leads. That’s when I will reach for Hexter or Synth1 but I often use both renoise’s sampler and the VSTi on the instrument then.

When it comes to spending money for music related software, I try to make sure that its going to a company that shows some form of reflection to my personality/values and that there is some form of long-lasting relationship that can be built on.

With that said, I’m going to cheat a little bit and mention company names instead specific synths, but remain in choosing one as you have stated.

synth: SonicCharge
reasons: virtually “alias free”, and the purchase entry is low.

effect: Native Instruments
reasons: I was listening to “Mozart, Requiem in D minor, 1. Requiem/Kyrie” while trying to solve some problems regarding the subject of timbres. One of the questions in relation to this thread was, what one effect could take on the task of building an ensemble, and the closest synthesis type I could think of was FM synthesis. As far as I know, FM8 is the only synth that is capable of frequency modulating an input source. And oh yeah, purchase entry is pretty low during sale seasons or KVR license sales.

Notable mention for effects: Voxengo’s Soniformer

Ha! And on the ugly tip, I’m just starting to delve into the possibilities that Zynaddsubfx presents. There appears to be an awful lot to it :D