Thursday, December 17, 2015


I know nothing about synths so I asked the guys over on KVR what the best synths were. chk71 gave me an amazing writeup which I've used here with slight formatting changes. Thanks chk71!

u-he Tyrell N6 scroll down past the two pictures to find the links. 
Tyrell does does a nice job on analog emulation really, the filter is nice and self resonant, sound overall is very fat and authentic.
Blaukraut Charlatan
Charlatan kind of hits the same spot, as does TAL-Noisemaker, but they're more on the tame side unlike Charlatan, which has some distortion in the filter. They're all rather simple synths, 2-3 oscillators, one filter, amp and filter envelope, 1 or 2 LFO's, no mod matrix or anything, limited polyphony, so more basic stuff really.

A bit more complex:
Synapse Audio Dune LE
Dune LE is a full blown synth with features you'd rather expect from a payware synth. It's actually the full version stripped off the effects section of the payware Dune. Unison on oscillator level, and also a global unison for all oscillators, so you can make huge sounds, and it offers a mod matrix where you can modulate stuff per voice, which is a nice feature which I'd wish other synths had too. The sound is OK, not the best I ever heard, but surely not the worst either.  

Ichiro Toda Synth1.
And then there's Synth1 which is still considered the best (probably in terms of features and sound) freeware synths nowadays, even though it's pretty old now, and for me lacks a bit filter wise. The sound is pretty good though, and feature wise it's not as sophisticated as Dune LE, but it has quite a few feature which lifts it off from being basic. 

Most complex:
Greenoak's Crystal is a gorgeous-sounding semi-modular masterpiece with three voices and 90 modulation parameters. Each voice has a sound source of synthesized or sample-based (sf2) waves. Each sound is shaped by two fully editable multi-stage envelopes for filters and amplitude, and all voices are modulated by six envelopes, LFOs (with swing!) and MIDI through a mod matrix. As you may imagine, it enables astounding evolving sounds. Those sounds are then sent to a mixer for chorus, flanger, delay, and reverb, filtered by frequency. If all that modulation makes your brain explode too, just pick a program out of 20 banks by top designers, Breed two patches to create a third with varying amount of Mutation, and go from there.
Thank to Michael L from KVR for the description.

PTV suggested Madrona Labs' Aalto Solo.

thecontrolcentre suggested Obxd and PG8X.

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