Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
iSpiritus
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Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by iSpiritus » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:58 pm

Hey there, I am fairly new to music production but I have a firm ground that I am standing on as far as understanding the concepts of producing EDM. I have produced a couple of tracks that I am satisfied with using Ableton's stock plug-ins. I would like to start moving away from Ableton's instruments and expand my VST library. I am getting bored of Ableton's Analog and Operator synths and would like something with a little more power and customization. I am looking for something that is great for producing ambient pads and/or synth leads for Dubstep, Electro House, and Glitch Hop. My price range is around $200, I know about NI's instruments, Sylenth1, Zebra etc. but I would like some opinions and knowledge from experienced users about those or other synths before I drop a lot of money on a synth and become disappointed with it.

Idonotlikebroccoli
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by Idonotlikebroccoli » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:13 pm

Any of these ones you mention will do. People think very highly of them, and for good reason. Zebra seems really customizable, and I know several people who really love it. There's no way around just trying a bunch of demos, and see which one you enjoy the most.

My favourite softsynth for making sounds of my own is actually the legendary freebie Synth1: http://www.kvraudio.com/product/synth1-by-ichiro-toda - I'm still surprised at its versatility.

Have you tried layering Analogs and/or Operators on top of each other using Instrument Racks (ctrl+g)? Layering is key when it comes to powerful sound.
Please vote! Live 10's "multi" clip editing should allow selection+editing of multiple clips in one action:

(L10-SUG-0228) Multiple MIDI transpose

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=228094

Richie Witch
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by Richie Witch » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:21 pm

Looking for an EDM sound in that price range, I would recommend Dune 2 by Synapse Audio:

http://www.synapse-audio.com/dune2.html

In fact, Synapse offers two really great preset packs for Dune 2 designed specifically for EDM.

If you're looking for a sound that's a little edgier and more aggressive, I would suggest Circle 2, by Future Audio Workshop.

http://futureaudioworkshop.com/circle

I found it to be incredibly intuitive for creating your own patches quickly.
Win10/Intel i7 rig | Live 10 | DSI, Yamaha, Korg, and Novation synths, and 12U of Eurorack | various outboard gear | Dune 2, Circle2, Enzyme, Kontakt |

mihai
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by mihai » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:55 pm

i'd vote zebra all the way. it's my most used synth, it does most of what i need and i'd never part with it. on the other hand if you're looking for all the cool premade dubstep presets then massive is the synth you should be getting.

deva
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by deva » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:09 pm

Zebra is awesome... endless sound design possibilities

login
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by login » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:15 am

Wait for black friday deals, your 100 will be able to get more synths.

U.he never goes on sale nevertheless, so if you want to pick Zebra, pick it now.

iSpiritus
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by iSpiritus » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:20 am

Thanks for all of the replies everyone! I should mention that I am more interested in crafting my own sounds instead of using presets to keep my sound unique and separate from other producers.

iSpiritus
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:33 pm

Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by iSpiritus » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:27 am

Idonotlikebroccoli wrote:Any of these ones you mention will do. People think very highly of them, and for good reason. Zebra seems really customizable, and I know several people who really love it. There's no way around just trying a bunch of demos, and see which one you enjoy the most.

My favourite softsynth for making sounds of my own is actually the legendary freebie Synth1: http://www.kvraudio.com/product/synth1-by-ichiro-toda - I'm still surprised at its versatility.

Have you tried layering Analogs and/or Operators on top of each other using Instrument Racks (ctrl+g)? Layering is key when it comes to powerful sound.
Yeah I have done that. I still feel really limited with analog and operator though. It would be nice to have something to make unique sounds with something that has a little more customization options

poonti
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by poonti » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:05 am

There's a crapload of really good synths these days: http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/the ... day-621799

My recommendation is if you want one that sounds like analog hardware, pick: u-he Diva. Otherwise, research what you really want.

deva
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by deva » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:28 am

iSpiritus wrote:Thanks for all of the replies everyone! I should mention that I am more interested in crafting my own sounds instead of using presets to keep my sound unique and separate from other producers.
Because of its semi-modular structure, Zebra takes a bit more getting used to that some simpler synths... but then once learned, it opens a vast sonic landscape. It is a finely crafted tool and doing sound design, I have found nothing better for when I have a specific sound in mind and getting to it. I never feel boxed in with Zebra.

GeoSuPhat
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by GeoSuPhat » Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:41 am

Image

Gyu ??
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by Gyu ?? » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:04 am

deva wrote:
iSpiritus wrote:Thanks for all of the replies everyone! I should mention that I am more interested in crafting my own sounds instead of using presets to keep my sound unique and separate from other producers.
Because of its semi-modular structure, Zebra takes a bit more getting used to that some simpler synths... but then once learned, it opens a vast sonic landscape. It is a finely crafted tool and doing sound design, I have found nothing better for when I have a specific sound in mind and getting to it. I never feel boxed in with Zebra.
I think this is true for a lot of people.
Personally, I bought Zebra about 7-8 years ago and used it exclusively for a few years. I kind of learned how to program synths with it.
It can be complex but it doesn't have to be, If you just add one or two oscillators and a filter you've got a basic subtractive synth.
There are a lot of presets for it, and a great tutorial series on Youtube with Howard Scarr. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfgoQYV ... 60F7CF76BA
I recently fell back in love with Zebra when I got these skins from PlugMon http://plugmon.org/zebra-pokemod/
That said, most soft synths these days are great.
I second the advice to try the demos.
:)

DEEMUSIC
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by DEEMUSIC » Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:31 pm

Demo U-he Hive It's sounds like it might what you what for EDM and it's 149

Stromkraft
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:42 pm

Do yourself a favour:
  • Download demos of all synths you're interested in and all you currently own.
  • Add all of these to a rack and set a macro to activate one at a time. Then make 1 Raw Sawtooth patch with one oscillator only, nothing else, in each.
  • Save the presets and the rack now but make sure you now rename them all exactly the same thing. Make sure you hide devices.
  • Now record something fitting these simple patches you've made including short and long single notes and chords in different octaves and make use of velocity (ignore other controls for now). If you want to add a hardware synth and have it on hand you can add that to the rack as well.
  • With the rack now ready to use close your eyes and play back your recording while switching between the different synths on a MIDI controller preferably, so you don't have to look up. Listen carefully and with your full attention.
  • If you like a synth change the color of that rack.
You will likely quite soon find some favorites and you can investigate the candidates in more detail.

When I did this last spring it changed everything in my attitude to softsynths and hardware synths as well as my use of them.

At this point you can try again with other types of patches, like for example 1 patch that showcases one oscillator and one filter and anything else specific that you feel would be important. Just save these as new presets and a new rack name. Keep all synths as anonymous as possible and reshuffle the chain if you feel that helps.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

Stromkraft
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Re: Looking for a good VST Synth for around $200

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:48 pm

My suggestion is to look at: Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 which in my opinion is at the level of the hardware synths at my disposal (Juno, Trident, a Russian thing, Bass station II, Analog 4 and a few others). It's definitely a somewhat forgotten gem. It's a very rich synth that does Subtractive Synthesis, Frequency Modulation (FM) as well as Additive Synthesis and combinations thereof.

I can't see the price in dollars, but seems to be less than $100 currently.
I don't like any presets I've heard myself (I hate most in any synth), but the sounds I make with this instrument are exactly what I dreamed of.

Native Instruments Massive seems to currently be outside of the range you mentioned, but black friday might solve that. This is my second choice for myself.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Make some music!

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