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Old 14-01-2014, 08:02 AM   #21
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Reaktor. Because Reaktor.

It has a ton of ensembles to learn various types of synthesis on, and then when you're ready to move on... well, it's Reaktor.

But that's only if I was forced to pick just one forever

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Old 14-01-2014, 05:55 PM   #22
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

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Originally Posted by FTD View Post
If that's the case then I definitely wouldn't bother with FM8. Sylenth or Predator will more than do the job and probably what a lot of tracks you're listening to were made using. However what you are taking about isn't just synthesis but eq-ing, compression and lots of resampling. Especially the first wave of speed garage, UK garage, niche etc.
exactly! and I feel like the methods and secrets for making those basslines are closely guarded. I have made a lot of progress on my own, but I think just a few hours with one of these people in the know would save me a years worth of trial and error. There are no sources that I can find that focus specifically on this genre. Seems if you aren't into skrillex or terrible euro trash "edm" than you are on your own

I'm definitely going to be reading "How to make a noise" though.
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Old 14-01-2014, 06:35 PM   #23
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

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Id learn subtractive synthesis using Operator in Ableton and the BSII then worry about choosing a VST synth to master later. I highly recommend Welsh's synthesizer cookbook for basics, but that how to make noise website is good to.
Analog in Ableton for Subtractive, Operator is FM.


that said, in order to learn the fundamentals of FM Operator is great, FM7/8 are both easier to tackle once you've wrapped your head around Operator.

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Old 03-12-2014, 02:21 PM   #24
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

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Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
exactly! and I feel like the methods and secrets for making those basslines are closely guarded. I have made a lot of progress on my own, but I think just a few hours with one of these people in the know would save me a years worth of trial and error. There are no sources that I can find that focus specifically on this genre. Seems if you aren't into skrillex or terrible euro trash "edm" than you are on your own

I'm definitely going to be reading "How to make a noise" though.
Have a look at seamless's channel, LOTS of stuff about making all kinds of basses: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

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Old 03-12-2014, 11:00 PM   #25
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

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Originally Posted by scyn View Post
..... I know this is soft-synth talk, but having a physical hardware synth makes the process so much easier for me - especially when it's a knob-per-function.....
Yes! I feel I'd learn so much easier if I had a physical version to play with. Why are midi controllers so damn expensive?
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:21 PM   #26
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

use Analog and Operator, they are perfect for your learning needs.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:36 AM   #27
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

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Originally Posted by philc View Post
Yes! I feel I'd learn so much easier if I had a physical version to play with. Why are midi controllers so damn expensive?
Maybe. Maybe not. I think it doesn't take too long to get a pretty good grasp of oscilator types, envelopes, filters - the kinds of things that hardware synth tend to provide knobs and sliders for. However, if you break apart most of the interesting patches, chances are what makes them particularly interesting is tons of modulation and to set that up you most often have to menu dive. And it's a shitload times more convenient to do with a soft synth rather than having to scroll through pages and pages of stuff on a tiny screen. Just something to keep in mind...
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:53 AM   #28
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Ive barely used it but if you have to pick just one, im probably going to say Alchemy as well. It can do SO MANY things.

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Old 04-12-2014, 07:10 AM   #29
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

In my opinion, what also helps you to "understand" synthesis in a way, is to start with simple, well known sounds. The point of this is that simple sounding stuff let's you learn things like envelopes, modulation matrix, filters + other fxs etc. much easier, because you actually hear how the sound changes when you fiddle with the knobs. If you start by looking youtube vids for growl basses used in dubstep, yea you might get some cool stuff, but you still have no clue why it sounds like that. If you start with older, simple stuff like acid house basslines/synthesized 808s/drum & bass reeses/basic leads (really google is your friend) all the complicated stuff becomes a lot easier.

I think i've mentioned about this on some other thread too but I think that Pendulum/Knife Party (more specifically Rob Swire who makes most of their synths) is a really good example of this. In the early days of Pendulum they had mostly just simple stuff. Later they had more complicated basses and layered leads. After all the years they've been doing that stuff in Pendulum, all the harsh organic growls and weird screeching midrange synths they use in Knife Party songs sound much more musical and fitting than many other artists in the same genre.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:31 AM   #30
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Definitely start with subtractive synthesis. Although I would say that it's not going to take you long to pick up. If you picked a subtractive synth and spent a weekend during tutorials, you'd have a very firm grasp on just about all of the core features and functions of this type of synthesis.

In terms of what is the best to try and master, I would suggest Native Instruments FM8. FM synthesis can range from extremely simple to complex, and after 12 years using it (since FM7) I still haven't scratched the surface of its modulation potential. However, the more I learn about the FM8, the easier it is to work with any other synth. And when it comes to granular synthesis, having a grasp of the complexity of FM is definitely going to prepare you for the mindfuck that comes with granules.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:32 AM   #31
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Operator in Live is amazing to delve deep into. A real investment in time, but that investment is soooooooo worth the pay off. NI Massive though is, IMO, the best plug and play combines with versatility out there. It's a great soft synth to learn the basics on, and to get deeper into the finite stuff too.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:41 AM   #32
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Alchemy.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #33
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

I'd also go with operator (sounds GREAT as in i reaaaaaally like the sound comming from this vst) and analog. Both are fairly straight forward and once you get used to how the menu works they are very easy to use. And as said before operator is a great step up to FM synthesis.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:51 PM   #34
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Reaktor because then I'd be the God Of All Synth, and I could craft and play any synth

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Old 06-12-2014, 02:02 AM   #35
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

The one that i choose to use the most!...um yeah.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:37 PM   #36
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

I am quite a fan of Image-Line Sytrus. If you can get over the outdated (and outscaled) GUI, it is a very powerful synth with good sounding filters combined with PM and RM capabilities. It can do substractive, (basic) additive, and PM/RM synthesis so that's a bonus, but it also has a built-in waveshaper on the filter circuits and amazing multi-stage envelopes/LFOs. It was one of the first synths I had. Not the most beginner-friendly perhaps, but insanely powerful and versatile.

At this point I'd rather look towards modular environments though, but that's certainly not the beginner-friendly way.

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Old 07-12-2014, 06:10 PM   #37
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

I wouldn't master just one soft synth.

that said, to the OP, I do really love FM8, and having said THAT plus one for the Reaktor suggestions. Its endless.

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Old 08-12-2014, 01:50 PM   #38
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

maybe U-he Bazille
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #39
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

Yeah I vote Reaktor too.... though I'm not sure it counts (it isn't really a synth even though you can make them in it...)

If I only had Reaktor and nothing else I could still make great music (in theory).

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Old 09-12-2014, 06:10 PM   #40
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Re: If you were going to master one soft synth, what would you choose?

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Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post

So, like the title says, if you had to choose only one synth to do it all, that you wouldn't grow out of and that sounds amazing, what would it be?
Zebra 2. The best, and a swiss-army knife of synthesizer types.


As for your 'leaning toward FM8' .... that's a great synth and all, but you do realize it's an FM synth and focused nearly exclusively on FM programming.... if you are super into FM, then sure, that's a great choice. But given your interest in covering a lot of ground, FM seems a pretty narrow choice.

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