Looking For Nexus-like Vst

Hello all,

I have dozens of VST instruments installed, but I always run back to Nexus by reFX.
I like almost everything about Nexus:

  1. Its ease of use - not too many knobs, just the ones you need to tweak the voice
  2. Well categorized hybrid instruments
  3. Expandable (although it would be much nicer if there were user-generated content capabilities - we could have seen many free expansions)

And the arpeggiator and trancegate features are the best.

Is any of you aware of a similar instrument worth checking out?


I don’t like presets/romplers in general …
What you are looking for are sample cd’s etc …Maybe you’ de better try to program some sounds by yourself …layer a few ( decent ) vst’s ( like fabilter …u-he zebra stuff )…You’ll be rewarded in the end .
My 2 cents

Sampletank, Soniksynth, Manytone, Samplemoog, Ravity, Purity and Wusikstation (it has a bit of everything)

To me, playing with all the knobs of a synth is counter productive. I find myself trying to figure out how the synth is wired, and which LFO is doing what and what not, instead of focusing on putting the sounds together into a song. This is a job for sound engineers and “synthesists”.

Dont get me wrong - I like to play with well designed synthesizers - one that make a good separation between low level modifications and high level tweaking - I like interfaces like the one used in Glass Viper (by QuikQuak)

in Nexus, I like to go to a category, find the sound that is closest to what I need, and tweak it if needed or put Renoise DSP effects to tweak it more.

Zebra is terrible. I like the sounds, I hate the user interface so much that I deem it unusable for my taste.

thanks both for the references - I will check this list one by one.

Not a rompler, but you might like Firebird+ from Tone2, it’s also very easy to program and even suitable for beginners.


Looking good!
Their Gladiator also looks interesting - will definitely check them out.
Didnt know they are behind Slayer2 and PastiCZ and Vanguard - I love the first two.

I personally use Reason as an instrument and slave it to Renoise via LoopBE1. Using its Combinators with layered Thor synthesizers, NN-XT samplers and additional FX, I can build pretty much everything. And there exist many sample-cds (akai, rex2, nn-xt, etc) that can be used within Reason.

I also like Spectrasonics Atmosphere, and will definitely buy their coming Omnisphere synth when it’s released in September (which will also include all Atmosphere patches).

Reason enslaved by Renoise… :o)
Never liked Reason.
I like Atmosphere, but its problem is that many of its patches have a slow attack. I was never able to make their patches work well inside a song, but only as an intro/outro fill.

Omnisphere is just the next version of Atmosphere I presume?

EDIT: Transcender - are you the one behind Transcender synth? If so, I love it (and if not, I also love it!)

Check out the promotional videos to see how cool it is:


No, I’m not.

Not a rompler but Lennar Digital Sylenth1 is worth to check out if you’re into electronic music (alot of trance lead, pads etc like nexus).
It’s also pretty light on the CPU usage and easy to use.

Some cheap sounds from vstsoundbanks.com

Demo 1
Demo 2

a quick note here.

the developer seems to have gone underground,he hasent wrote in his forum on kvr in along time,and people have tried reaching him by email,but never got a reply back

i havent tried sylenth1 myself,but i was thinking on getting it,but i think i will get predator instead

Sylenth sounds excellent!
In fact, I am still looking for a synth/hybrid that specializes in sounds for Electro music. I mean I like the dance leads and those gated pads, but I am looking for more Electronica/EBM/SynthPop/FuturePop type of sound. Not much of that around.

I listened to some of the Predator demo songs, and I hope they are not representative. I was not impressed with the sounds or songs - but maybe they dont do it justice. They sound flat, but I dont know, maybe just me.

Yeah, Sylenth1 is pretty nice – it’s one of those synths that actually sounds quite close to hardware (another good one in that regard is Arturia’s Minimoog V).

Tonight I found this baby: http://www.audjoo.com/Helix.html

Helix is free, and I found it especially great for leads and such. Check it out if you haven’t done that yet.

yes helix is great,also check out oatmeal,starsynth free and ugo´s rez

You know, after playing with Helix for a few minutes, I must say I did not connect.
I mean I can totally understand the people who want their synth to have as many customization options and knobs and shapers and envelopes as possible, but thats not me.
I mean there are so many VST’s out there, of all types and shapes and I know that in most cases, professionals designed the sounds. So who am I to try and shape a new sound that was never heard before?

I dont mind playing with some of the basic stuff, like simple ADSR modifications, filter cutoff here and there, trancegates and arps, but if you enjoy breaking down the sound to its layers, and then assembling it all over again - you should be a sound designer / engineer, and not a composer.

What do you enjoy more - fixing the car or driving it? :)
I like driving - give me a double shot of Nexus, straight up!

P.S. - The synths that I do like, are simple and I think not less powerful - see Vanguard and Glass Viper. Love Glass Viper - ingenious interface.

I don’t really see why you can’t be both a sound designer/engineer and a composer. To me that sounds like a better deal.

Yes, that’s a good question. I must honestly say that after all these years, I like to have the control over my gear. Old 80’s analogue synths became like a goldmine to me once I understood how to shape sounds with them that I only heard inside my head as part of the composition process. But in a sense I agree with you, when I produce music it is more important to have original ideas and good compositional skills rather than having crystal clear ‘pro’ sound but a crappy song.

Yep, Nexus is a beast. I use it alot, especially the rich pads in the Big Tone expansion. One thing that you could try out, that showed out to be a real nice thing for me, is to use energyXT (version 1.4) inside Renoise and then layer Nexus together with other VST-instruments and VST-effects in a modular way. That way you can build complex instruments to be loaded within a second in other projects.

I didn’t really connect with Glass Viper or Vanguard (in fact, I think Vanguard sounds ‘boxy’ in some odd way, probably due to its internal reverb). But one will always develop preferences over time depending on what type of music you produce. If you want to produce those classic movie scores, then you’d be better off with EastWest products such as the Symphonic Choirs and Orchestra plugs. If you want to produce trance, then owning Vanguard and Nexus together with the sample libraries from Vengeance make a good ‘drive’.

Oh - nobody said you can’t. In fact, I envy those who can.

Yes. I see quite a few recommendations for energyXT - I may give it a shot, although this sounds more like a sound designers tool rather than a composers tool.

Yes, I second that. Vengeance is nice, although very trance/club oriented. Isnt there an electro oriented sound bank provider? Particularly drums.

Well, one cool thing you can do with energyXT is to split your midi keyboard into parts and then assign different VST instruments (with additional VST effect chains on each instrument…). You know those ‘Splits and Sequences’ sounds in Nexus? Being able to create your own splits is really great. Then add to it things like you can build custom chords and assign those to single keys in that split part. It’s very handy to have entire Nexus chord arpeggios playing with single key bass press-downs on your left hand, and nice leads with your right…

Ok - eventhough I never found splits useful (since I do not do live) - you got me all pumped up.
Im gonna try it (there is a demo I presume)

Out of all the stuff I got exposed to in this thread - so far, I like Firebird the best.
Its excellent for minimal house and stuff. The easy arpeggiator generates good ideas and the overall easy interface is making it simple to generate more tones.

You know - I have noticed that I like those synths that you can press “Random” (either the renoise button addition, or in the case of Firebird, inside the plugin itself) and the results are good. It generally means that no matter what you do, you cannot screw this up too much :)

Say - do you know of any external arpeggiator or simple step sequencer vst effect? I was trying to use the MidiBag from Tobybear, which looks really nice, but it did not work as expected - since I am assuming it is designed to do midi out and not sound out. Or myabe I do not understand how to setup Renoise to work with it.

I very much like the Nexus Arp and TG functions - they generate very good ideas for sequence leads or bassline. I wish there was an external plugin that does just that.




EDIT: no, make that http://www.energy-xt.com/download/VSTPlugin.zip – you need the VSTi version.