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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: Julio Di Benedetto on June 04, 2012, 05:40:39 AM

Title: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on June 04, 2012, 05:40:39 AM
Its been quite some time since Ive used soft synths....Generator, then Reaktor when they first came out.  Things have change and there are a lot to choose from.  I would like to add a few to my sonic palette.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Scott M2 on June 04, 2012, 11:04:00 AM
Hi Julio, Camel Audio's "Alchemy" is a powerful sample manipulator/player vsti that I would highly recommend.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: APK on June 04, 2012, 11:27:25 AM
I second Alchemy.

I'm also a big fan of the Native Instrument stuff. Their Komplete package is full of a remarkable variety of quality instruments and effects, and well worth the price ... especially when they have a deal on. Could be all a person needs.

U-He also has some fine synths, like Zebra and Ace. Also the new Diva.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on June 04, 2012, 12:30:44 PM
Thanks for the recommendations Scott & APK.....Alchemy is one I had my eye on and is any software based system complete without NI's Komplete.  There so much in there its almost overwhelming!

Not familiar U-He, but I will defiantly look it up.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: phobos on June 05, 2012, 03:18:06 PM
Zebra is great, Kontakt is amazing, you should also check out vsti from HG Fortune, there are some great synths on his web site
http://www.hgf-synthesizer.de/ (http://www.hgf-synthesizer.de/)
he provides free versions of most of his pro stuff, usual restriction is just reduced polyphony, so you can try them out and decide if you want to go for the pro version.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on June 06, 2012, 04:21:09 AM
Alchemy with the Luftrum: Ambient pack is very nice.

Don't forget Absynth. An oldie but goodie.

Another I use is Omnisphere, but it's more of a ROMpler with a synth built in. Despite that, the amount of control it gives you allows you to easily make your own patches without it sounding like Omnisphere. All in all, it's a very fun, easy tool to use.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: LNerell on June 06, 2012, 01:57:57 PM
Absynth and Korg's softsynth version of the Wavestation are two that come to mind. I also use a couple that came with Pluggo, but that's discontinued. Which brings up a point about Soft Synths that I don't like, most of them seem to loose support after awhile, so if you upgrade your system they will stop working and you'll need to find something else. Or, you have to keep buying endless upgrades to software that doesn't change much.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on June 07, 2012, 10:23:14 AM
I am not a huge fan of soft-synths, but then again I do like them  :P

Meaning I think they are a lot of fun and I love the ease of programing them, but I am not a fan of albums that are soft synth only so to speak.

Having said that I do own the entire NI Komplete, but the only synths I use out of it consistently are FM-8 and Kontakt (a sampler I know) and Kontakt is usually for organ and piano sounds and such when a client needs them in a pop mix.

The ones that show up regularly in my work are FM-8 and the Korg Wavestation and M-1. I guess what I am comfortable with are emulations of hardware synths I used to own and are digital synthesis in nature and not analog emulations. I also am a huge fan of physical modeling and I have been loving the new Chromophone by AAS.

Honorable mention goes to NI's Massive, AAS Tassman and G-Force Oddity as well.

I am however curious to upgrade to Cubase 6.5 as I have heard great things about their new padstation and a new ana-emo that come in the new version.

Paul
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on June 07, 2012, 01:09:54 PM
Thanks so much for the suggestions everyone....Im checking into them.

I think Komplete is too much for me.  I can see I would not use a majority of the software included.  might go for the Reaktor player as I like Prism, Razor, Massive and Sparks.  Perhaps NI will have one of those crazy sales on Komplete which are just too good to turn down!

Omnisphere.....I started a thread asking about this so it was well covered.......Im still trying to resist.

I should mention that I just upgraded my old G5 to a new Macbook pro so much of this new software has been out of my reach.

I loved my Wavestation when I had it.....the software version must be easier to create sounds on.  I will definitely look into this.

I remember AAS Tassman back from early Reaktor days, they sort of came on the scene around the same times.  I had forgotten about them.

HG Fortune's Synth Serenity is very special.

Once I get the new version of logic loaded up I will be able to demo some of your suggestions.

atb.....Julio


 
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Michael Allison on June 19, 2012, 08:55:21 AM
I love the Omnisphere. Also one of the more obscure soft synths I like is Tonehammer's Emotional Piano, which sounds really nice.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on June 20, 2012, 04:49:19 AM
Hi Michael......thanks for the link to the Emotional Piano.  love the warmth & tones of this.

Whats this Newbie status you have acquired......I remember chatting with you here in the early 90's.  We do tend to come and go from this forum over time.  Good to see you here again. 
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Michael Allison on June 20, 2012, 08:29:45 AM
Thanks Julio, actually it has been so long since I last posted anything I forgot all my login info  :D  so I re-registered.  Yes, I really enjoy the Emotional Piano sounds. They are very warm and quite realistic too. There is also something called Piano In Blue by Cinesamples which is actually samples from the acoustic piano used on Miles' Kind Of Blue album as well as many other classic's. The sound is gorgeous. Here's the link: http://cinesamples.com/products/piano-in-blue/ (http://cinesamples.com/products/piano-in-blue/)

Cheers,


m.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on June 23, 2012, 04:33:32 PM
Thanks again Michael for a wonderful piano recommendation......this is very cool.  Not just the piano that was samples but that they were able to use the original mics, consul & studio to sample this steinway is quite unique.  I know there are a LOT of piano sample libraries looking for attention.....you have point out a couple of special ones!
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: saulstokes on July 03, 2012, 02:44:04 PM
Hi, I have been playing with the OP-X PRO-II and I'm really impressed with the quality of this soft synth. I can't say I've enjoyed "playing" any other soft synth. Reminds me of back in the days when you would just sit at a synth and play. The OP-X II has a bunch of added trimmer pots that do some really nice things. It's definitely a Van Halen sounding synth but if start from scratch you can build some very nice organic sounds and they're incredibly warm. One of it's cool features is that it runs through a set of variations per key depressed. Easier to see on the website but it gives it a really natural feel.  When I play it I actually feel like I'm playing a hardware synth.

s

Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: LNerell on July 05, 2012, 09:48:01 AM
Hi, I have been playing with the OP-X PRO-II and I'm really impressed with the quality of this soft synth.

Last time I checked that was for windows only, has that changed?
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: hdibrell on July 05, 2012, 01:27:28 PM
Hi, I have been playing with the OP-X PRO-II and I'm really impressed with the quality of this soft synth.

Last time I checked that was for windows only, has that changed?
I looked on the website and found this [url]http://www.sonicprojects.ch/opxpro2/macversion.html/url] . It basically says that the OP-X Pro-II is a windows only plug-in , but that a package is available for it to run as a stand alone on the Mac. Sounds pretty interesting.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 05, 2012, 06:42:25 PM
Thanks for the post Saul......have to say that the Matrix demo bank on the OP-X Pro site had me going......so I fired up my Matrix 12 to check if what I was hearing was so.   Im impressed!  I have always been one for if you want analog get real analog,  software does not do it well, all the wavetable and sample stuff software is taking the lead over hardware but not analog.  Never listen to the Arturia clones, but this one really does have something.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: saulstokes on July 06, 2012, 01:10:21 PM
Personally, I like really simple softsynths with barely any hidden menus or items so i tend to gravitate towards things like the OP-X. I have Largo too which is pretty interesting. It's hard to pull a good sound out of it as it comes off bellish sounding to me.

:)
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: gain95 on July 20, 2012, 05:35:23 AM
Alchemy with the Luftrum: Ambient pack is very nice.


I second that, also some of the other alchemy-packs are very good for instance Analogica by Ian Boddy.
Also using Gladiator from TOne 2 as my second "go-to" bread-and-butter synth.
And Trilian for Bass...
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 21, 2012, 05:10:35 PM
Hello gain95.....thanks for your confirmation of alchemy.  Welcome!  I have the demo running now and the Luftrum presets include are some of the best.  What excites me about this app is loading up ones own samples and the possibilities that could come from that.

So far Ive purchased "The Emotional Piano & the virtual Wavestation which is just as quirky as the original hardware and way to small a gui for my 17" laptop, but hey.....somethings don't change.  I loved my hardware wavestaion while I had it and it was not really friendly as far as programming, menus and a tiny lcd etc.....this is sort of the same but still a much more programable interface, especially the wave sequencing.

What Im noticing as I demo the software discussed here is that some of the best have a tendency too take away a certain amount of the joys of layering sounds that is so crucial to ambient music.  I say take away because these virtual instruments do it for you in the most seductive manner. The people used to develop the sounds are just brilliant,  certainly better programmers than I and yet Im not so comfortable having all this handed to me...sure you can tweak away but it seems to me a subtractive endeavor......kind of mess up a beautifully crafted preset just to make it your own.   Why not just start out all by oneself and enjoy the journey of discovery.

Thanks everyone for your contribution!
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on July 22, 2012, 06:58:58 AM
What Im noticing as I demo the software discussed here is that some of the best have a tendency too take away a certain amount of the joys of layering sounds that is so crucial to ambient music.  I say take away because these virtual instruments do it for you in the most seductive manner.
This was a concern I heard voiced from a few artists when Omnisphere was released. I would say a quarter of the sound/sample sources in that library are too complex to use in useful manner. Most of these complex sounds contain built-in chord structures that severely limit their usefulness.
But the best part of excellent pre-made patches (built from simple and layer-able sound sources) is to deconstruct and learn from them.  :)
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: El culto on July 22, 2012, 10:16:27 AM
Hi Julio,

first of all I have to say Iīm not a fan of this fashion synths (Omnisphere, Alchemy) as there is a huge risk of sounding similar to others. Remember, if you like a Patch, 100xxx others may like it as well, especially if it is a workstation like Omnisphere :-) ( I remember this issue with Atmosphere - cannot count the releases using almost the same Sounds or Presets....terrible). For this reason, I always look for synths which arenīt hyped in the market. I can highly recommend "Chronox" by Linplug. You can use your own samples but has also a great library. It includes now the complete content of "Sophistry" which was before released as a separate Plugin, specialized for Ambient/Space. For my ears the sound quality is superb and it is very easy to use and tweak.

A lot of people may not know this Synth and you may ask why! There was an interview a while ago with the header and they ask him the same question. He answered something like this:

"we are not searching for the people like other competitive players do. Our interest is, people finding us and our products for the right reason" 

Have to say, I like this approach very much 8)

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 23, 2012, 08:01:33 AM
But the best part of excellent pre-made patches (built from simple and layer-able sound sources) is to deconstruct and learn from them.  :)

Good perspective to have Mike.....one can learn a great deal from master programmers like those over at spectrasonics.  On the other side it does inspires me to be a better programmer and start to think out side the box more, especially when I realized that quite often the source used for the samples are synths that one may actually own, or take your field recorder out for a walk and get creative. 

Hi Julio,

first of all I have to say Iīm not a fan of this fashion synths (Omnisphere, Alchemy) as there is a huge risk of sounding similar to others. Remember, if you like a Patch, 100xxx others may like it as well, especially if it is a workstation like Omnisphere :-) ( I remember this issue with Atmosphere - cannot count the releases using almost the same Sounds or Presets....terrible).

Thanks for joining in Tomas......this has always been a concern about presets and great presets like those in omnisphere..... sameness.   listeners who generally are not musicians probably can not identify a sound as an omnisphere patch, however there is still a risk of music having a homogenous feel to it.  Historically this was true with hardware synths like the Korg Wavestation & the Roland D50 who's sound was everywhere in film scores etc.....did the general public know this?

I will check out the Linplug synth.....I have heard of Rob Papins Albino synth. 
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: APK on July 23, 2012, 08:10:38 AM
Reminds me of the problem with a piano .... not enough presets, and people all start sounding the same  ;)
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: El culto on July 23, 2012, 11:28:17 AM
Quote from: Julio Di Benedetto

Thanks for joining in Tomas......this has always been a concern about presets and great presets like those in omnisphere..... sameness.   listeners who generally are not musicians probably can not identify a sound as an omnisphere patch, however there is still a risk of music having a homogenous feel to it.  Historically this was true with hardware synths like the Korg Wavestation & the Roland D50 who's sound was everywhere in film scores etc.....did the general public know this?

I will check out the Linplug synth.....I have heard of Rob Papins Albino synth.

Yep, this issue isnīt new :-) For the public issue - I believe in the old times it didnīt matter so much as there was not so much music spreading. But today people have Youtube an access to samples to almost each new release. Also the customer in today is much more advanced and concerned in this matter because of too much music around. By this, people comparing much more than ever before. Another point are the labels - the people behind are in most cases musicians or producers as well and they know the tools. So, for artists just using just one or several patches as they are or mainly one of the fashion synths to make an album it might have difficulties to find a "respected" label in a specific genre.

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: El culto on July 23, 2012, 11:35:02 AM
Reminds me of the problem with a piano .... not enough presets, and people all start sounding the same  ;)

Your example doesnīt work ;) By its nature (apart from some string manipulations) a piano has always the same sound. It is restricted in sound by purpose and the mechanic.

So, what about a Synth or Workstation?  ;D
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: petekelly on July 23, 2012, 01:20:51 PM
Julio,

I think Wusikstation is an interesting one, not terribly easy going (regarding the installation of /  figuring out what it can do) but it's quite unique.
The library that comes with it is absolutely huge - not in terms of size, but in the number of presets and I've had to do some heavy duty 'pruning'. For me, the most interesting sounds are the wave sequencing ones where you can start with your own sounds.

Slightly off-topic, but I've just bought a really interesting sample library, Orange Tree Sample's 'Lap Steel Guitar'
http://www.orangetreesamples.com/lap-steel-guitar (http://www.orangetreesamples.com/lap-steel-guitar)
still getting my head around it, but possible (unusual !) ambient usage, methinks.

APK, same with a Strat, just 3 (or 5) 'presets', what were they thinking ? :)

Pete
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: APK on July 23, 2012, 01:30:16 PM

APK, same with a Strat, just 3 (or 5) 'presets', what were they thinking ? :)


 :)
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: APK on July 23, 2012, 01:34:17 PM
Remember when the rom in a synth was just a small fraction of what it is now, and a rompler used just the attack portion of a sound, then envelopes and lfo's to create the patch?

Now rom/ram is not a problem and romplers have essentially become samplers that use huge samples. So even when you get back to the samples a preset is made from they can still be overly rich and distinctive.

On the other hand, synths like Omnisphere are great for getting non-musicians/players into the business of creating music. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I find it's nice to just use a good subtractive synth now and then, rather than these big-sample-based-pre-made-music monsters.

APK
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: hdibrell on July 23, 2012, 04:34:40 PM

I find it's nice to just use a good subtractive synth now and then, rather than these big-sample-based-pre-made-music monsters.

APK
I agree. I enjoy playing around with soft synths, but nothing gets me going like grabbing and twisting the knobs of a subtractive synth and making the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  8)
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: petekelly on July 24, 2012, 07:06:42 AM
I deleted a lot of the Wusikstation presets as they just seemed to be pre-made sounds in their own right, with no real means of manipulating them. I don't work that way, so they were of no interest to me.
I've never tried Omnisphere, but I find it bizarre when a synth is marketed as an 'ambient synth', as if we musicians don't have the imaginations to make ambient sounds from anything and everything (within reason) ! 

Time to revisit the ACE demo, methinks.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on July 24, 2012, 04:08:50 PM
I've never tried Omnisphere, but I find it bizarre when a synth is marketed as an 'ambient synth'...
To clear up any confusion, Omnisphere is definitely not an 'ambient synth'. It's a diverse library, and the sounds you can make with it cover a lot of ground.

Judging from the posts here (and I could be reading you guys wrong so tell me if I'm off base) but I sense a tad bit of elitism that personally drives me crazy. It's not just here, but on other forums as well.
Whether you use hardware or software, it really doesn't matter. Judge an artist by their tools, and you're missing out. Because that's what they are: TOOLS!

It's how you one uses those tools that make all the difference.

Sorry for the vent... straw that broke the camel's back and all that.  ::)
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 24, 2012, 05:55:45 PM
Reminds me of the problem with a piano .... not enough presets, and people all start sounding the same  ;)

Well said Anthony ;D......mind you we can't be far from having "The Steinway Artist Series: The Glen Gould Presets, with Humming" ::)

I think Wusikstation is an interesting one, not terribly easy going (regarding the installation of /  figuring out what it can do) but it's quite unique.

Does indeed look interesting Pete.....I see a mac version is coming out.

These past few days Ive been really enjoying NI's Massive demo.   Sort of overlooked it because of its name thinking it would be all about being Massive and analog emulating, Well it can be but its so much more.  I really like the sound, interface & drag and drop modulation.


I find it's nice to just use a good subtractive synth now and then, rather than these big-sample-based-pre-made-music monsters.

APK
I agree. I enjoy playing around with soft synths, but nothing gets me going like grabbing and twisting the knobs of a subtractive synth and making the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  8)

Absolutely......however the one environment that is a beautiful combination of software & hardware is the Virus TI.  I feel I can get much deep into the synth via the software gui than the hardware interface, that is until the Virus starts messing up my audio AD/DA interface and taking over core audio et el.....but all this is another story.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: hdibrell on July 24, 2012, 09:16:09 PM
I've never tried Omnisphere, but I find it bizarre when a synth is marketed as an 'ambient synth'...

Judging from the posts here (and I could be reading you guys wrong so tell me if I'm off base) but I sense a tad bit of elitism that personally drives me crazy. It's not just here, but on other forums as well.
Whether you use hardware or software, it really doesn't matter. Judge an artist by their tools, and you're missing out. Because that's what they are: TOOLS!

It's how you one uses those tools that make all the difference.

Sorry for the vent... straw that broke the camel's back and all that.  ::)
I hope I'm not the one that gave you that impression. I like soft synths . I play with them a lot. I do have a preference for my hardware synths, though. Every year , I think about selling off more of my synths. They are a pain in the ass to maintain and they take up room. I don't judge an artist by what tools they use. I do enjoy reading about the tools, however. If nothing else, artists that use different tools are releasing works. I'm just sitting around making noises and dreaming about my future releases. I don't think I'm elitist, so please keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: petekelly on July 25, 2012, 02:24:11 AM
Mike,

I didn't mean to say that Omnisphere is an 'ambient synth', as I said, I've never tried it. However, they are a number of synths out there that are termed as such and an awful lot of libraries, loops etc. that are described as 'ambient'. My point was that I choose to make my own sounds and I find it to be one of the most stimulating elements of ambient. When I was studying, I was exposed to electroacoustic music techniques and a big part of that is the sound design element, it's an 'anti-preset' music if there ever was one. I took this from the genre as it was probably the only thing that resonated with me in the whole 'eam' thing.

On the tools point, I flippantly referred to the Strat as only having three sounds - but it has a massive potential to use all manner of playing techniques to create anew these basic 'presets'. Saying that though, I've heard some synth presets that do sound great, but you know that because they have such instant appeal, they may well be used considerably - unmodified.

No problem with the 'venting', it's good to see more discussion hereabouts !
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on July 25, 2012, 04:18:21 AM
Heh, thanks for taking my spaziness with a grain of salt. It wasn't aimed at anyone in particular. I'll admit I was in a 'mood' yesterday evening and sort of regret the tone in my post. In saying that, it's still something that really bugs me.

I seldom let people know the tools I use to a make music, simply because I know some people would judge me by the tools I use, rather than the music I produce from said tools.
These same people generally don't give netlabel/free music a chance simply because they believe it to be somehow inferior to a paid product... and I think we can all agree: just because you paid for it, doesn't mean you're getting quality music.  ;)

And then those who will only listen to music on CD. Download only is somehow the devil...
Like I said: elitism. It drives me crazy! Aughh!  :P

Ok, sorry... I'm getting all worked up again. And off-topic. I'll stop now. I swear! ;D
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: ffcal on July 25, 2012, 11:03:01 AM
Interesting discussion here.  I just wanted to add that learning about how an electronic sound is put together has been a lot more fulfilling to me than simply using out-of-the-box presets.  I don’t see anything particularly elitist about learning to create sounds on your own.  It makes about as much sense to me as arguing against even a quasi-formal study of music and composition.  Why discourage learning?

Also, I  prefer CDs to downloads, too---sorry!

Forrest
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: El culto on July 25, 2012, 11:37:22 AM
Quote from: Altus
These same people generally don't give netlabel/free music a chance simply because they believe it to be somehow inferior to a paid product... and I think we can all agree: just because you paid for it, doesn't mean you're getting quality music.  ;)

I read this statement several times and still think it is a weird comment.

If i buy a CD or Download iīm sure I will get quality music as i have selected my purchase. What is otherwise the point to buy it? Purchasing just because of too much money?

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: APK on July 25, 2012, 12:37:08 PM
Like Tomas, I'm for buying really good music. CD or MP3 of high quality ... makes no difference.

I think the vast majority of finished pieces of music (especially in our broad genre) could be turned into 320kbs mp3, then back from that into wav file and put on a CD and no one would be the wiser. A lot of people sail under the belief that there is something special and inviolably pristine about the products artists turn out in their so-called "studios", such that something very important would be lost if it's converted to a downloadable format other than flac. (Heck, I've even head people complain abut flac !)  It's like thinking a single brushstroke can't be changed on a painting without ruining the whole work. Kinda misguided if you know how these things are actually produced.

APK
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on July 25, 2012, 05:39:45 PM
I don’t see anything particularly elitist about learning to create sounds on your own.
You misunderstood my incoherent babbling. ;) I have a deep appreciation for those who enjoy the art of making sound, especially from scratch (Saul Stokes comes to mind). I'm talking about listeners who don't give music a chance simply because an artist uses software (VSTs and softsynths) instead of hardware (synths, outboard effects, etc) to create their music.

Also, I  prefer CDs to downloads, too---sorry!
So do I, but that's doesn't stop me from enjoying music released through netlabels (which is download only). I'm talking about those who turn their nose up at free music because they assume it's all crap.

I read this statement several times and still think it is a weird comment.
You're right. What I meant was to say was:
Just because you can pay for it, doesn't mean you're getting quality music.

I hope that clears things up on what I'm trying to say. Again, this isn't an attack on anyone, just general venting.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: ffcal on July 26, 2012, 12:58:26 PM

 I'm talking about those who turn their nose up at free music because they assume it's all crap.


Yes, I agree that's a problem.  But it think underscores the need for more curators on the netlabel scene.

Forrest
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: APK on July 26, 2012, 01:40:22 PM
I think Forrest's point ("the need for more curators on the netlabel scene") is an important one.

For example: I can't tell you the number of times I've received demos over the years at DataObscura and have replied with where it needs some more work and what tracks are weak, only to see it come out shortly after on a netlable in the original and, in my mind, sub-standard form.

This is of course aided by having places where netlabels can host albums for free, like the internet music archive, or bandcamp.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: mgriffin on July 26, 2012, 04:28:52 PM
For example: I can't tell you the number of times I've received demos over the years at DataObscura and have replied with where it needs some more work and what tracks are weak, only to see it come out shortly after on a netlable in the original and, in my mind, sub-standard form.


A thousand times this! Every time I think I should reach out to some netlabel artist and say "Hey, I liked your album XYZ, do you want to consider submitting something to Hypnos?" I recall the experiences I've had similar to what APK describes above.

I worry that when someone is accustomed to releasing music with no gatekeeper, no obstacles of any kind between their "rough draft" recordings and a final released product, they come to believe there's no point in editing, reworking or refining in a painstaking way to come up with a recording that's the best it can be.

I think the netlabel mindset too often is, unfortunately, "fuck it, just stick it up there so people can start downloading and I can brag about how many thousands of DLs my release has."

There are exceptions of course and I don't mean to paint the entire scene with this brush.

And oh shit, I'm off topic.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on July 26, 2012, 07:28:15 PM
Yes, I agree that's a problem.  But it think underscores the need for more curators on the netlabel scene.
While I agree, I still think netlabels have a stigma they need to shake.
Curators need to be strict in what they'll accept, and not be afraid to turn someone down because it isn't up to their standards. There's no question you have to pick through the chaff. But like any label (record or net), once you find artists who have output you enjoy, you can just follow them.

And to repeat/add to what APK and Mike said, the other issue is where artists will release EVERYTHING they produce, resulting in mostly mediocre music. I think that's the quickest way for an artist to tire their listener base and lose them.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: ffcal on July 26, 2012, 09:39:20 PM
And to repeat/add to what APK and Mike said, the other issue is where artists will release EVERYTHING they produce, resulting in mostly mediocre music. I think that's the quickest way for an artist to tire their listener base and lose them.

Yes, absolutely.  I couldn't agree more.  I think that being self-critical and particular about what you release is essential to growing as a musician.  A little distance and perspective can help sort out whether that funky two-hour improv done two years ago really sounded that great after all.  Sometimes a demo is still just a demo.

Forrest
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: petekelly on July 27, 2012, 01:32:37 AM
I think this is a really valuable discussion, I don't wish to sidetrack Julio's original post, but it would be great if this was a separate topic.

Also, it would be great if other Netlabel owners and Artists contributed as well as Mike, to get a more balanced view on things. I've written a fair bit about these points in the past and I'd be interested to hear other people's views.

Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 27, 2012, 03:49:32 AM
Soft Synths.....Soft Music Labels, works for me.  Only reason to separate might be that threads like this can become great resources for others looking into software synths and this is so much better than the best of type threads. 

I agree with Pete that the net label does deserve its own thread.....important topic!
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 27, 2012, 05:24:23 PM
Ive been playing around with Absynth 5.......its sound design capabilities are staggering, The GUI is not my cup of tea, especially on a 17" laptop, sort of organic but not very friendly.  I do see that a stroke of a mouse or a Bamboo pen can be more efficient the turning a virtual knob with the same.  I guess it comes down to scale.  Also whats with those envelope generators.....I understand the sonic potential of having the level of manipulation, but not in a micro environment. 
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 27, 2012, 05:42:23 PM
Also as Ive brought up "scale" within the DAW environment....I want to mention how great it is within Logic 9 on the Mac within OSX 10.7.4 that all the native software synths/samplers like Sculpture
& ESX24 are all scaleable.....that is I can drag the corner of the GUI to fit the entire screen of my laptop.  Thats a 17" interface to work on and the resolution does hold up.  NO third party software does this.....not for me so far.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Altus on July 27, 2012, 06:14:43 PM
I agree, the GUI for Absynth is bizarre, but I love it the sounds you can get out of it. As I mentioned before, loading in presets and tearing them apart teaches you a lot very quickly. The only issue is it tends to have a colder, more sterile sound... nothing a few effects in the chain can't fix, of course.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 28, 2012, 04:03:27 AM
Yes....I did notice that Absynth was somewhat cold, almost brittle in sound.  Not necessarily a bad thing,
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: sraymar on July 28, 2012, 12:23:05 PM
I like VAZ Modular myself, there's enough in that synth to keep all of you scratching your heads for an eternity or two, it sounds amazing and its still very supported but its for Windows.

On another forum there's some talk about  iZotope IRIS (http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/iris), anybody tried it yet? 
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 28, 2012, 01:57:59 PM
iZotope, IRIS looks very unique....downloading the demo now. Their audio processing software is highly thought of.  IRIS sort of reminds me of U&I software's Metasynth.  http://www.uisoftware.com/MetaSynth/index.php (http://www.uisoftware.com/MetaSynth/index.php)

Thanks for posting about IRIS sraymar.  I remember VAZ, didn't that come on the scene around the same time as NI's first generation of Reaktor? 
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 28, 2012, 02:45:21 PM
IRIS is...... :) ;) :D ;D :o 8) :-* cant say I have ever come across anything like it.  Just can't find the words to describe what Im hearing so best to download the PC or Mac demo for yourself.  I will say that the visual editing use tools similar to what you find in Photoshop & Illustrator and this leads to some heavy manipulation of the graphically displayed sample.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: sraymar on July 29, 2012, 04:44:19 AM
Thanks for posting about IRIS sraymar.  I remember VAZ, didn't that come on the scene around the same time as NI's first generation of Reaktor?

I've only  checked out some videos for IRIS so far, seems pretty cool. VAZ has been around since '96 or so and it plays samples too. Now if you tweek a sample with IRIS then run it through a soft synth(like say VAZ modular) many new possibilities are available to keep you busy for a long time.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: petekelly on July 29, 2012, 05:20:30 AM
I have to say I founds IRIS's sounds a tad underwhelming - a very interesting concept and GUI, but it didn't really do it for me, sonically.

Just come across a free / Beta modular vst synth, which is pretty good in my view:
'Sonigen Modular'
http://sonigen.com/ (http://sonigen.com/)


Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on July 29, 2012, 05:29:02 AM
Come on Pete......making music out of Food Sample, underwhelming! ;D. Izotope is sell a library based on food :o.  I played with the demo a lot last night and I do like the sounds.  I drop some audio from older tracks and had fun warping them etc.   Came away with the sense that it could be a one trick pony.  A very good one trick but limited.  Still discovering though.
Title: Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
Post by: phobos on July 29, 2012, 05:44:09 AM
The Glass sound library for Iris is quite good