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Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
Gear Addict
Originally Posted by richmondjames
My soft-synths list has shrunk over the last few months.
Now I only use the following:

Native Instruments: B4, Absynth, Reaktor, FM7, Pro53
Rob Papen: Blue, Albino
Spectrasonics: Atmosphere, Trilogy
Access Virus TDM
Korg Legacy Bundle

You can cover an awful lot of ground with these.
I still use a lot of hardware synths, but I find installing fewer soft-synths is better for creativity and stability.
I think these were some words of wisdom without doubt! Great synth collection right there.

The Korg legacy bundle (The analog edition!!!) is a given! This gives you the MS-20 with as a good an analog bite as any softsynth could at this point. Plus there's more to it, but I won't go on about it here. In any case, an absolute bargain, and comes with cool little controller that replicates the original. Some say this is a bit of a toy, but for getting your hands dirty and shaping sounds it's really useful. You can then just use a full size midi controller to play the part into your sequencer.

Native Instruments are rockin' it as well. Reaktor 5 gives you unlimited scope, and there's a great community for new Reaktor synths that give you endless options. For pads, Absynth 3 is the ultimate, and Kontakt 3 (their sampler) gives you real power to manipulate sounds and achieve results in a sampler environment.

Rob Papens Albino is awesome! Really easy to get great results, and Spectrasonics are great for a huge range of sounds right out of the box.

I think this collection right here is an amazing soft synth collection! That's what I'm aiming at (minus virus coz I'm not on Pro-tools) and it covers all bases. Obviously personal preference plays a big part, but you can't question any of the above for their potential.

As stated in the quote, you wouldn't want too much more than this, or it just knots up yor creativity and you get snowed under with all the options you have. It's better to know 5-10 instruments really well then have 20 you can't use properly.

As to a controller, the 'Novation Remote SL' series... end of story. Can't be beat IMO if you're looking for synth and sequencer control and you play mainly ITB.

You're question on the Norld Lead 3 is a whole nother story. Obviously an amazing synth, but many like the Lead 2 better (different design team - more raw sound). This is just personal preference though.

It is pricey as well (though good value at the same time), but remember this. It has no on-board effects, which means you need to buy good outboard effects or great plug-in effects as well! There's no point having a Nord lead, and then ruining it by using crappy plugin effects.

I think, go with soft-synths, and use the money you save for Good Studio Monitors, some room treatment (not foam - go the DIY path), and maybe some outboard gear you can use to run your soft synth signal through using the RME converters you already have (eg EL Fatso Jr, Culture Vulture) or whatever works for you.

Sorry for the huge post/diatribe. I got a bit carried away there but I went through a long process of making these decisions myself over the past few months and this is the point I came to.

Cheers - Rez