Sharing Synthmaster2 experiences

Hey guys,

maybe some of you using synthmaster2…? I tried this beast now in one project. It’s capabilities are so awesome, the flexible envelopes, the distortion. Very nice stuff. I love it’s flexibility, it’s a real workstation synth, it comes close to my korg m3.

But one point is puzzling me totally: It seems that all my synth master sounds will sound very/too much “brillant”, so playing with multiple instances will result in a painful high frequencies sludge… The most sounds in synth master are so fat itself played solo, that it’s hard for me to fit them to the mix. Of course I eq-ing / filtering lots, but I cannot get rid of that harsh high frequencies. The filter in synth master doesn’t seem to be so good at all to me… But maybe I use it the wrong way. Don’t have such problems with other vstis.

The second problem is the stableness of the sound: If I use sm’s ensemble feature, the sounds tends to be very unstable in volume. Of course this is normal for kind of unison effect, but that much? Also the quality settings (why do I need to bother about quality modes anyway?), if you compare draft to hq, draft will have evil bass frequencies, while hq seems to sound a bit “boring”.

So my question is, what are your experiences with sm? Does it work successful for you? Do you have some example song published? Do you think there is a good replacement synth available (OSX)?


I am completely convinced now by Synthmaster, since v2.7. It has been extremely improved again.

You are a.k.a. Hans Meyzer, right?

So, as you might know, there has been an OSC round featuring Synthmaster2 about three months ago.

You will find 54 exclusive Synthmaster tunes on the respective page:

I experienced SM2 as a pretty well-sounding, sonically balanced, ultra-flexible and feasible synth, especially when compared to the usual OSC-synths, that most commonly originate from the freeware domain.

As with any other synth, be it lo-fi or fidelity-wise cutting edge like Spire/Serum/etc., you won’t get around using EQs to get rid of unwanted frequencies not suitable for your specific mixing/mastering scenario.

I think SM2 is actually pretty tame and rather neutral when it comes to sound coloration by a synth’s own engine. Usually it’s the usage of filter resonance and a bad filter design which makes sounds unbearably harsh.

Check out “Digits” VSTi for example, i think i didn’t even have to use the very bad filter in order to have severe high frequency overload.

But if you have the chance to and are willing to pay some serious $$ on a new VSTi, give Spire or Serum a go - both are exeptionally well sounding (wavetable) synths.

Keith, thanks for your suggestions. I will look into spire and serum. Completely forgot about these osc tunes (think I also voted haha). I also really like uhe hive, did you test it in osc ?

Did you get used with the distortion in the filter section? Find it quite difficult to get some good results with it. If I compare it to radias, the difference between pre- and post filter will be much more obvious there, also the radias has some kind of fm distortion (but it’s not simple multiplication or a ringmod), where some sine, triangle or similiar will be added. That mode sounds so wonderful, never found a synth in vst with this capabilities. And it’s very easy to use. For example the bias parameter is completely not understood here.

There’s now an iOS version of Synthmaster also. The nice thing is that the presets (purchased or created) of the VST version work with the iPad version as well (they don’t need to be purchased again). It’s just €5 for the “pro” version. Quite fun to play with, though the interface (of the app) is … well, they said they will improve it. :slight_smile:

Synthmaster sounds awful in my opinion. Harsh, cold, metallic, the definition of bad-digital. When I demo stuff I rarely find plugins that put me off in an instant or make me feel amazed. Recently, just to test Renoise compatibility with few things, I cross-checked it with Serum and Zebra. Zebra I know well and therefore was using it as a reference point. From compatibility I went to just playing with stuff, looking for lowest common denominators and comparing their sounds. Synthmaster sounded so cheap and lackluster to both Zebra and Serum that I quickly gave up on testing it.

On the other hand, I was absolutely blown away by Serum! Didn’t expect much as I read similar words to those that I just wrote about Synthmaster and it is indeed digital-sounding, but it’s divine in how it makes it anyway :smiley: Everything saw-y that comes from this synth makes any other VST sound so weak in AB tests.

Another thing that’s so great about it is how visual it is with all the signal clues, but obviously that’s mostly helpful for beginners which, judging by the amount of your posts, you’re obviously not. Still, it’s nice to look at nice things :wink:

Two Serum drawbacks are: Serum is not as flexible as Synthmaster, though it’s still very capable. The other thing is the CPU use - very high. A simple loading of a different wavetable can take few seconds on weaker CPU. Very poor optimization in this department and a big no-no for people with a combo of older CPU and complex music arrangements (the latter probably means 100% Renoise users).

The sheer sound quality compensates for whatever shorthcomings Serum has though! Guys from Noisia love it as well, what better recommendation for a synthesizer? Synthmaster could do all the modular things in the world and then some, its sound makes it useless anyway.

Hey thanks a lot for taking part here and sharing your thoughts, I find this quite interesting.

I now tried to convert one favorite sound from radias to synthmaster. The digital filter sounds quite close to the m3, but I never reach the same sound. And I tried the ensemble feature, and now concluded for me that with this feature almost everything will sound not good. So if I want to reach the same fatness as in the radias (which has a. An unison feature and b. unison at oscillator level (only seen in uhe hive so far), and c. And extremely smooth stereo chorus (think it has two mono choruses for left/right)), then I have to use the real unison feature of synthmaster which is just a plain multiplication of the voices, no mip mapping or other CPU saving stuff here… Well, and then this synth already consumes 45% of my CPU while playing 5 notes… And still sounds not so good. So I guess this synth will become unusable in complex projects.

You guys suggest to try serum. I will do that now. Do you know if it features real oscillator sync (syncing no.2 with 1) or just some kind of sync waveform? Same question for ring mod, can I cross ringmod two oscs there?

I would prefer an radias as software plugin, but I guess korg will never do that.

Synthmaster sounds awful in my opinion. Harsh, cold, metallic, the definition of bad-digital.

matter of perspective.

coming from serum, you’re right

coming from 99% of the available freeware synths out there, i can’t agree.

for the sake of participating in contests i’ve been using a bunch of freeware synths on a daily basis throughout the last year and i can only say that compared to synths like “digits”, “ragnarok”, “eclipsis” etc., synthmaster was a true RELIEF in terms of sound quality, flexibility and functionality.

there’s always a better and a worse, but i just thought that “awful” should be reserved for something at least twice as worse than synthmaster :wink:

i have BIG trouble here :

i have buyed Synthmaster 2.8.10 and it works in Reason 9.5 and FL Studio 12, but if i try it with ReNoise 3,1 i only get a Error message that the Plugin can not be Initialized !

Any Suggestions ?