i have 200 dollars. Should i buy an Abe inst or 3rd party?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Nick the Zombie
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Post by Nick the Zombie » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:20 pm

Machinesworking wrote:
Nick the Zombie wrote: With all due respect to Machinesworking, the improved workflow and simplicity have a LOT to do with the quality of the resulting sounds (for me, at least). I have tried lots of feature-laden synths that fell totally flat in the inspiration department.
The one thing I can safely say without it being lame ass bragging is that I'm a pretty advanced sound designer, so in the sense that if too many choices overwhelm you, the suite works, but it works not because of the actual sound design capabilities, but because for someone like you it makes sense.
I've been messing with synths for 20 years now, so I get instantly bored with a limited pallet, so I would MUCH rather use Absynth, Kontakt, or Zebra, than Analog or Sampler etc. Zebra is the most straight forward and powerful out there I believe. I like the lay out better than the Live synths. People get strung out on it when they don't think about it in simple terms and start small.
I've been using synths for half the time you have, which is still long enough to have gotten to a point where I don't feel strung out or overwhelmed when looking at a complex interface, and I consider myself fairly well-versed in sound design as well.

That being said, I think you are right to say that it really does depend on the kind of person you are. Also, you are absolutely correct in saying that the way you think about an interface has a LOT to do with how well you will get on with it. Modular thinking is important. Starting small with it and looking at the elements on their own as well as how they relate to one another is key. The opposite approach is to look at an interface as an insurmountable wall of complexity and interdependency, and then to immediately give up. This is NOT why I prefer Sampler to Kontakt, etc. I simply enjoy the interface more; the workflow fits my natural way of going about sound design. If I need more tools, I think modularly about the situation and use effects racks, etc. combined with Sampler to get the job done. In this way, I build up each instrument/sound design with only the parameters that are necessary for that particular application. It's not the only way to think about it, but it IS a viable alternative that deserves to be considered along with other "more powerful" pieces of software.

Again, it comes down to who you are. I certainly do not get bored with a limited palette as Machinesworking does. I get inspired by situations like that, figuring out how to make an idea work through limitations. Through that process, I usually end up with an idea that is strengthened by virtue of thinking through it in a non-obvious way.

By the way Machinesworking, you have clearly been at this for a much longer time than I have, and I respect that. I hope you don't take my difference of opinion as a veiled insult toward you. I just think it's useful for people to see different perspectives on this matter.

- Nick

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Post by leedsquietman » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:58 pm


I think many people would prefer the extra sound palette of Absynth, Kontakt and Zebra and that's fair enough.

But also remember that these synths at full retail price all cost significantly more than their equivalent Live counterparts. And for what it costs to upgrade to The Suite, you get 5 synths plud drum machine/drum racks for the cost of about 2.5 3rd party VSTS of the quality you mention.

You could argue that you get what you pay for. Well, fair enough if that's your bag, but you can do an awful lot with the Live Suite too for a reasonable price, albeit some limitations on parameters and/or GUI.

I think in an ideal world, you could have both. I have Zebra and Massive and I love them and do prefer them to analog, but Analog has some good qualities and sounds too and I do use it. Electric is as good an electric piano as there is out there, Tension is freaky deaky unusual with lots of potential, as displayed by the COvert Operators recent packs, and the old stalwarts, Operator is a class synth albeit with a not as nice GUI as FM8 and less good preset sounds included (nor does it have the arpeggiator or FX but as Live has an arpeggiator plug in and equivalents of the FM8 plugins, no loss there). Sampler is a great device and it's functionality is quite different from Kontakt. It costs half of what Kontakt does albeit without the big sample library.

I'd definately like to see Ableton team up to make a good sample library (better than the EIC) just for SAMPLER and for a reasonable price. importing other formats such as Kontakt files has not been a great experience for me, too much manual adjustment required and some things plain not working. Although Sampler wasn't really designed to be a sample player with some extra functionality, Simpler takes care of that.
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Post by rbro » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:13 am

Spectrasonics Omnisphere

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Post by jonny72 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:21 am

It all comes down to what you want to do, how you work, what sounds you want etc.

I've got Live Suite but don't use the instruments much, I mainly got it as it was cheap per instrument and I've got my money's worth out of it.

I've also got all the PureMagnetik packs and I use them all the time. They give me a massive selection of sounds which are usable for what I'm trying to do, but the best thing I find is playing about with the racks and seeing how they are constructed then playing about with them.

Admittedly, I seldom get anything constructive done but I have fun and it passes the time which is the main reason I got Live. I keep threatening to do something proper with it one day but the chances are minimal. I still haven't got round to sorting out a set to DJ with.

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Post by Machinesworking » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:47 am

Not disagreeing with much here, my original point was that while you can add to the Ableton synths to beef them up, you could do the same thing to a Synth Edit freebie and get similar results..... It's not that the plug ins are complex on their own, everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE who defends the Live plug ins relies on Live's inherent flexibility to make their point, when I could do the same thing with any plug in.
My beef isn't with people who like the Ableton synths, there's unfortunately still something to be said for embedded synths with VST and AU being coded by companies with agendas that don't always include what's best for Live, my beef is that Ableton announced a partnership with Cycling 74, then after the amount of time you would expect to see results (things like maybe a Max/MSP light Logic Environment style instrument and FX toolset in Live, OK I'm dreaming but...) released a bunch of cut down, Live embedded AAS synths............. :evil:

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Post by Machinesworking » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:55 am

Also, not to rub this in, but AAS is having a sale right now where you get all their plug ins for $349! This includes Tassman 4 which is like Reactor geared towards acoustic modeling. Personally I would rather own this than the suite, and I believe that there's some sort of bonus towards the embedded versions for owning the originals.


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Post by muthafunka » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:22 am

Just to add to the confusion you may want to try the Sylenth demo from LennarDigital.
Very, very fat synth, like...obese.

funky shit
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Post by funky shit » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:26 am

iZotope Trash is a nice VST.
Not a synth but nice for getting dirty sounds from drums, synths, anything actually.


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Post by anthroid » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:12 am

3 wavetable/granular/analog oscillators, 2 multimode filters, 5 distortion types, 14 multistage modulation envelope/lfos, filtered delay, free.......................

download/sound examples:

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Re: i have 200 dollars. Should i buy an Abe inst or 3rd par

Post by coupdetat » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:09 pm


Operator is a nice synth but in terms of sound creation it is less powerful than some 3rd party synths

in terms of work flow inside ablation operator is very good.

if you use more than one Daw however you may want to think about what your using the synth for.

You have to figure this out yourself as it really is down to you and how you produce and what you like. try as many demos as you can and look at + and minus and even score them then look at how far each synth can go in far of usability ease of use and what depth you can modify or tweak a sound.

Operator is a good introduction into Synths but until u have the moment of enlightenment with it you will wounder why people think it is good.

i would say Operator is a introductory level synth but with intrument racks and effecrts it gains more power but only within ableton live.

Absynth for instance is stand alone and can be used in most if not all sequencers but has a much steeper learning curve and is more about programming your own sounds.

if your just after patches and a little bit of tweeking get a sample library. But then you run the risk of sounding like a lot of other people.

if they could add samplers modulation and routing to Operator it would be insane

last man on earth
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Post by last man on earth » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:17 pm

I can't believe nobody has even mentioned Minimonsta yet - that thing is a go to for great bass, and has a bunch of nice lead presets as well, and it falls under your budget. They also have a bunch of extra presets made by users for download through their home site - if nothing else, worth checking out. yeah, it's not new, but I use that plugin on a ton of tracks, and it never fails to impress.


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Post by JJarvis » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:28 am

Just get a copy of max or reaktor. You'll never feel the need to buy a plugin again! :D
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Post by cdebari » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:47 am

Take the $200 and put it towards the suite upgrade then you have all the instruments.
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Post by Jekblad » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:54 am


Minimonsta sounds awesome! I LOVE randomize features and i read that it has that, and the online demo's sound mad wicked. I'm downloading a demo right now.

i wish i had monies...
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Post by leedsquietman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:57 am

You won't get max or reaktor for 200 bucks though. (Be great if you did and it was all legit).

And although you get a lot of flexibility and potential with those synths, if you're not into sound design, or modular synth programming, they are a bit of a steep learning curve.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

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