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Must Have Virtual Instruments
Old 10th May 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 
tunesmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Must Have Virtual Instruments

Ok... so, I am pretty sold on VI's. I am putting together my mobile programming rig and it's all about sound design and nothing else. I have 60 gigs on tap here and another 80 a short firewire cable away and I am about to sell the Karma (never never never found it useful) and get about 4-5 new softsynths.

I would like to open the floor to discuss the merits of everyone's favorite Virtual Instruments. The discussion (as if what I say here has any bearing on reality) can feel free to roam over the entire spectrum of VI's, but for the record, I already have...

B4
Pro-52
Pro-53
Absynth
Waldorf PPG
Model-E
Atmosphere
Stylus
Virtual guitarist
Virtual guitarist EE


What are you guys finding useful out there? Which one's are turkeys? What's a great one that we never hear about? Anyone played with the Novation V-Station? The new Korgs?

Floor's open... gimme your $.02

p.s. I know the samplers are awesome, and an EXS24 vs. Mach5 vs. Kontakt vs. Halion discussion would be worthwhile, but shall we save it for another thread?
Old 10th May 2003
  #2
Mac Moderator
 
MCal27's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok,
My current favs:

Virsyn Tera: Waldorf like, mega versatile monster semi modular synth/sequencer.

Rob Papen Albino: This one took my by suprise. Comes with mainly Dance/house presets, but has loads of depth, and warmth even.

Reaktor: If its sound design you need. get this. Nearest thing to a Kyma without spending Β£3000!!! Waiting impatiently for the free version 4 download for registered version 3 users..

Oh, and while its not a VSTi.. you must get SFX Machine RT. New VST + AU version of the classic premier format plugin. Its been a staple source for sound designers for years..... essential.

Al.
Old 10th May 2003
  #3
Rab
KMR Audio
 
Rab's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You seem to have it pretty much covered. MTron is cool (basically a sampled Mellotron). If you're running ProTools, Virus is excellent - definitely a league above most VST synths.

There's also a few shareware synths worth checking out ... Crystal - surprisingly high quality (along the same lines as Absynth) and Claw (a 303-esque monosynth).

If you're doing sound design, I'm guessing you've already got GRM Tools and Sound Blender (the latter is TDM only) for FX.
Old 10th May 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
heinz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Reason 2.5 can provide an amazing amount of coverage.
Old 12th May 2003
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Anonymatt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I second the MTron suggestion. Wowee, it rocks.

FM7 is pretty neat too. Or, incredibly neat. Very fun sound design stuff.

That Novation thing is supposed to be a direct port from the HW version, right? The HW was kinda lame, if you ask me.

TC Works Mercury kicks ass. Goes places Pro-52/3 won't.

Lounge Lizard is pretty nice Rhodes, too.

But MTron, it's like $50 or something, and sounds like a frickin' Mellotron.
Old 12th May 2003
  #6
SC
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Yes indeed, tunesmith.

three I couldn't live without: Lounge Lizard, FM7, and Mercury. In that order.

I have also played with the Tassman demo, it may move to the top of the list. Darn thing is HUMAN.

One caveate: I still use aalog for bass, and that's not gonna' change w/ no stinkin' Virus plugin. not yet, anyway.

(OK, I like the virus plug, just not for bass.)
Old 12th May 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Kamurah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
:begin babble mode:

The Arturia Moog Modular V is the shizznit bomb diggity of the moment for me.

Seriously.

One of the warmest and most PLAYABLE softsynths around. You owe it to yourself to check it out.

Also...If you like the softsynth / hardware mix....you might want to check out Creamware.

The Pulsar system is pretty sweet and it runs off of the DSP on PCI cards (Like PT but a different approach). I have well over 40 different synths for my system and the instruments are all quite different sounding.

Wine Country Sequential sells Pro One and Prophet 5 devices for the Creamware system that (IMO) blow away Pro 53.

Downside: System runs better and has more support on PC. I just bought a cheap ($200) used Dell and slapped my cards in it and I run the whole shebang lightpiped into Logic on my Mac.

Tres slick.


I am also a big fan of the VI's in Logic. The ES1 and ES2 are really quite flexible and can cover a wide gamut.

Reason 2.5 is a player again as the new reverb, vocoder, and distortion modules are impressive for the small amount of CPU they take.
Also, drum programming in Reason is a snap...and Rewire has been working pretty good for me lately (knock on wood)

FM7 is a great addition and I will be picking that up as soon as NI releases it for AU.

Haven't heard the Korg plugins yet but it sounds like a cool idea.

Also haven't heard the Novation plug....but it could be a worthwhile 'flavor' to add.


I do almost all of my production work in software (and have done so for over two years).....except for one piece of hardware: the Access Virus.

I don't have TDM but if I did this would be a MUST HAVE plugin for me. There is just something about the sound of the Virus's filters that sits so well in a mix....even a densely packed one. It always comes through when I need a sound to fill out (or stand out in) a mix.


:end babble mode:

heh
Old 12th May 2003
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Jens's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sidmeister

Check out the QuadraSid at www.refx.net
A bargain at 59 USD.

/Jens
Old 13th May 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Stick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've been really getting into Spectrasonics Trilogy. Smokin' bass. Lots of synth bass, and incredible electric and acoustic basses.

My other standards: Virus Indigo (yeah, TDM), Atmosphere, EVB3 (I like it better than B4... more parameters to mess around with), EVD6 (clav emulator... lots of different type of sounds possible), EVP88 (rhodes/wurli). I've got a few others, but those are the ones I use most.

What a great way to work, eh? Drives me nuts when I have to got out to my 1080 or 760.

Later,
stick
Old 14th May 2003
  #10
Here for the gear
 
ctrl+alt+del's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
from the VSTi i tried :

+++ NI B4 - only good B3 emulation
+++ Absynth : one of the rare new sounding synth
+++ NI FM7 : good, rich, FM synth.
+++ GMedia Oddity : very good analog emulation (and the ARP filter is close to the analog one Huge sound, but bad default preset bank. There is a preset (HerbieBass) which sounds exactly like the Chameleon bass!!
+++ Moog Modular : very good analog emulation (but the moog filter doesn't sound like the real one)

++ TC Works Mercury for basses, but cpu hungry unless you reduce multi-timbrality.
++ Reaktor : it seems they improved their oscillators on v4. But too huge for me.
++ Lounge Lizard : good rhodes/electric pianos, but not as good as the EVP series of Logic, IMHO
++ Devine Machine. Brand new loop mangler, not completely optimized yet, but very innovative, and good for live. Worth a try!

+ NI Pro 53. good, better oscillators than the aliased ones of the Pro52, but still not fat, even in unisson mode. Listen to Creamware MiniMax, Pro One etc... and you'll see what i am talking about.
+ M-tron : good. unfortunately, i don't like mellotron

- Model E : horrible. when will we see a real MiniMoog emulation? For the moment, the only good one is the creamware MiniMax.
- Atmosphere : i don't like at all :o(
- Tassman : read good thing about it, but didn't like the demo i tried.
- Virsyn Tera : didn't like the sound neither.


tunesmith was also talking about sampler comparison. i lost a great link about the subject, but found this one . I'll post the other if i can find it.

--
Old 14th May 2003
  #11
Rab
KMR Audio
 
Rab's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by MCal
Rob Papen Albino: This one took my by suprise. Comes with mainly Dance/house presets, but has loads of depth, and warmth even.

Been checking this out over the last couple of days based on your recommendation... it's very good!!

Old 20th May 2003
  #12
Gear Addict
 
smoothmoniker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
tunesmith

you should dump all of your VIs and start hiring us real playa's.

especially the Stylus. You should uninstall that immediately, and give it to your production partner. He obviously knows how to handle something with that much hip.

-sm
Old 20th May 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by ctrl+alt+del

- Model E : horrible. when will we see a real MiniMoog emulation? For the moment, the only good one is the creamware MiniMax.

--
Just keep hearing rave reports about the Creamware synths. This month's SOS has a glowing review of the MiniMax....

I'd love to hear it / them.
Old 21st May 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
tunesmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lord...

Who let smoothmoniker in here?

This is a site for gearslutz. You're looking for www.goatslutz.com. It's close, but instead of gear we lust after, there it's goats. So, you should feel right at home.

Anyways, glad I could clear that up for you. If you should choose to also engage in conversation here, welcome.
Old 24th May 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
KBOY's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a lot of different soft synths and have always liked them until I started working where I work. So I now have my first real synth, a minimoog. Must say sat there one night trying to get the same result out of the model E plug. Can you say NOT..... But I have messed with an arp and can say that the newer emulations are getting amazingly close. The arp sim Oddity is simply amazing, as is the Arturia (moog modular) sim. I really want to get the creamware card and dedicate it to another machine.

Main hardware stuff
1. Mini Moog
2. Waldorf Q
3. Access Virus C
4. emu planet phatt
5. Roland Jv80 (controller)
6. Casio CZ 101 (very underated crazy synth)

Main software sims (vsti)
1. B4 (actually quite awesome)
2. The Grand
3. Fruity loops Vsti (use this mainly as a huge drum module)
4. FM7
5. Oddity
6. Pro53
7. PPG
8. Hallion
9. the Oscar sim (not out yet I think but really want.
10.Lounge lizard
11.Absynth


Peace
KBOY
Old 26th May 2003
  #16
Gear Addict
 
smoothmoniker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
kboy

the thing about VIs is that you can't treat them like the real thing. If you want a moog, you gotta go rent a moog.

What they are is a different source for creating a sound pallate. Without trying to recreate the original synth, the VIs can create some amazing source material in their own right.

-sm
Old 30th May 2003
  #17
Here for the gear
 
ctrl+alt+del's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
the thing about VIs is that you can't treat them like the real thing. If you want a moog, you gotta go rent a moog
well, i don't agree : some VI are new instruments, some other are emulations.

First emulations were not very good, but some are becoming really close to the original (minimax, oddity), or more exactely to ONE original, the one that was used for modelling :
once i had the occasion to try three mini moog mod D side to side : they were all sounding different, the older beeing fater (serial num ~1700, knowing sn started at 1100 on the mod D).

--
Old 3rd June 2003
  #18
Gear Nut
 
jobi7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've been messing around with Kantos lately. I'm not sure how useful it will be but it's been alot of fun to play with.
Old 3rd June 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 
TinderArts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
EXS24
EVP88
EVD6!!!

also
Pulsar VIs
Oddity
Stylus
Atmosphere
B4
FM7
Old 3rd June 2003
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
jimlongo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
GrooveAgent has got to be the most interesting thing i've heard in a while.


I think plugins like this will kill music eventually.
Old 3rd June 2003
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anyone heard the Plugsound volumes? Someone somewhere said the EP's in Vol 1 are good....
Old 4th June 2003
  #22
Lives for gear
 
tunesmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I think plugins like this will kill music eventually.
Man... I just don't know if that's true. I had smoothmoniker out to the place today to work on some writing and demo producing.

Now... how do I say this politely... smoothmoniker is not what you'd call the most accomplished electric guitar player in the world. (He is, to be fair... one of the more lethal keyboard players I know...) That said, him banging away at his nasty-ass tele coming straight in through a POD had a lot more soul then anything I have been able to get out of Virtual Guitarist (EE included)

Now, that's not to front on Steinberg. VG has bailed me out on several occaisions. But if I have to choose between a great sampled guitar part and a crappy real one... I go with the crappy one.

That's a compliment... sort of.

Tunes
Old 4th June 2003
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
That's a simple one.

There are about 14,000 different ways to hit a guitar string. There are only 127 Midi velocity steps. Zero comparison in the expression potential of a keyboard vs a guitar, when playing guitar sounds.

But OTOH, a guitar makes for a pretty lame way to play B3.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 4th June 2003
  #24
Lives for gear
 
tunesmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That's true. And as I said, I am not getting up in Steinberg's grille.

IN fact, I had a glowing moment when a guitar player asked me who laied down the parts on a song I had finished and I sheepishly tole him they were all Virtual Guitarist.

I think it's a creative and useful tool, but I think the virtual instruments are just that. They can never replace the real thing or, more importantly, shine up a turd of a song into a golden ticket.

Anyways...
Old 12th June 2003
  #25
Gear Addict
 
smoothmoniker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey tunesmith,

now that you've experience the russ miller RLP (real live player) plug-in, any thoughts on the Stylus? Wanna give it away yet?

Also, get the hells off my back on the guitar thing. I kick ass. Just look at my hair. How can it be that long if I'm not a bad-ass guitarist?

-sm
Old 12th June 2003
  #26
Lives for gear
 
tunesmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
lol

Uuuhh... yeah man. Come pick up the stylus and you should most likely take my new powerbook as well.

There's no doubt that Russ is tha man. You're tha man. You're all tha men. I have nothing to offer. I should retire. Don't I wish.

But seriously, I have been converted to the whole "live player" thing. It makes kick ass programming even more kick ass when it doesn't have to carry the whole damn thing.

tunes.

p.s. I had long hair too dude.
Old 12th June 2003
  #27
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Pluggo has great synths. All worship allmighty pluggo!

Old 14th June 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Kamurah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Talking

Got the MiniMax today for my Pulsar card.....

Holy smokes this F'ing thing RAWKS!

Easily one of the best souding softsynths currently available. Super easy to get great sounds too....now I need a better hardware controller.

I can't stop playing it!!!! My Virus is getting nervous.

Old 24th July 2003
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just demoing the TDM DUY Synth Spider, it's brilliant.
Shame it's so expensive, more than the Virus even.
They cover different bases and compliment eachother well these synths.
Compared to the virus TDM the DUY synth seems more beefy at the bottom and silkier at the top to me and has more usable presets. Pads weren't outstanding.
The auditioning facility with Virus is so bad... grudge

I wonder if the Pluggo stuff will do a similar job to the SynthSpider, must check that out.
Old 24th July 2003
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Edirol Orchestral

if your looking for orchestra sounds(horns, strings, pianos, flutes etc.) this is what you want. The majority of the sounds, sound better then my Korg Karma presets...

the other edirol stuff is cool too
Hyper Canvas
Super Quartet

I also love EXSP24(emagic sampler)
πŸ“ Reply

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