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High end gear to supercharge Soft-Synths
Old 9th September 2012
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
High end gear to supercharge Soft-Synths


I'm just looking for some advice on options to get my soft-synths sounding a but more like my hardware synths.

at the moment i have been running them out of the DAW through a chandler TG2 preamp. it adds some mojo for sure and put some life into the old soft synths...

Just wondering what other people use, as I want to see if i can improve it even further from where I am at now.

I was thinking about trying out the Dave HIll Designs Europa as it has 2nd/3rd harmonic control.

There is also the Vertigo Sound mix Satellite which was another options but its VERY pricy @ (8,000 US) and I can't demo it anywhere or even watch a video or audio sample of it.

Anyone else got any recommendations?

I dont want to add ripping distortion, i just want to make the synths sound more like i a piece of hardware thats seen some real electricity!

I figured adding 2nd/Third Harmonics would do that nicely.

Pain in the but, cause i can't find a plugin that does this that runs on RTAS.
Old 9th September 2012
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Wouldnt it just be easier and cheaper to buy some hardware synths?!!
TL Audio valve stuff really adds some mojo to virtual synths without the price being too steep..
Otherwise check out Steven Slate plugins..especially the tape one...they run RTAS.
Old 9th September 2012
Lives for gear
Reamp the vsti's. Through a good tube gtr amp. Time align and mix with OG tracks.

See, this does what you want and more. If a good room is used, it adds depth and space, as well as getting the harmonics you are craving.

MUCH cheaper, more "real" sounding and as subtle or heavy handed as you want / need it to be.

Not too much of a Michael Jackson fan (more Quincy Jones), but there are stories of them doing things like running even cheap Casios via Marshall stacks, and miking the result in a large room.

Here, if somebody for example insists on using their keyboard for a B3 part or whatever, we often run it via a rotating speaker, and it immediately sounds more like the real deal.

For synth leads, we run those via guitar amps, and often distort them to get them to fit or cut through the mix of the other instruments that actually moved air and were recorded in a real space. This helps to put everything in a like "environment" in the mix. Plus, we get the added benefit of changing the tone via mic placement, and by using the sound of the amp as a creative tool in general.

All this leaves the impression and feel that you are listening to a band of humans, with real musicians, rather than something played in or by a computer.

Good luck,
Old 9th September 2012
Lives for gear
CJ1973's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Every tried "Sound Toys" plugins on VSTis? The Distortion and delay settings can add so much flavor and bring them to the front, give them an edge that can be controlled and automated as well.
Hardware compressors bring the synths or guitars into more focus.
Old 14th September 2012
Lives for gear
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Originally Posted by ajbianco ➡️

I'm just looking for some advice on options to get my soft-synths sounding a but more like my hardware synths.
Have some more look at different reverbs, those can really make soft synths come alive...!
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