Please recommend a vst

Hi,
A lot of the music I play has several synth instruments in it.
Which would be the best vst for synths?
Thanks :slight_smile:

It’s not technically a synth (although it contains a few) but I’d be getting Kontakt while it’s half price.

What kind of synth? Are you looking to create tones from a wave generator module; or do you want a software version of a DX7 or Moog; or do you just want a bunch of generic ‘pad’ sounds…?

There are lots of electronic sounds that come with the HALion Player. Have you looked through those?

“What is the best” is very difficult to answer without knowing a lot more about what you want. Otherwise, it’s like asking “what is the best colour for my painting?”. :rofl:

There are lots of good synth VSTs. My favourites are Pigments, Serum and Omnisphere.

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Bass synth, Saw synth, Effect Synth, Mallet synth, Brass synth, Pad Synth - synths like these.

@a79hsm7f
Have a look at Omnisphere, Zebra2-legacy, Dune3 and of course the sounds that come with Halion
But also Model-D and Model-15 by Moog if you want some retro feeling :slight_smile:

Syntronik 2 has emulations of 34 classic synths at a pretty affordable price. (They have rotating sales pretty often too.) You could always start with the free version to see if you like it.

Why cross the creek for water? HALion, which comes with Dorico, contains hundreds of synth presets. I’d suggest exploring them first and if you can’t get the sound you want out of them, then look for other alternatives.

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This leads me to my next question, so thank you. :slight_smile:
At the moment I cannot see any way to change the automatically ascribed instrument source, so I cannot choose one I like. I know there must be a button to press somewhere, but for the life of me I cannot find it. I also cannot see the two soundfonts that I have loaded into Sforanda even though it is marked as allowed.
Help much appreciated!

At least I do it that way, quickly and spontaneously.

You can create templates and route everything much better, but to get by, I think and hope I have helped you in some way.

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Bear in mind that there is currently a bug in macOS Sonoma 14.4 (and 14.4.1) which crashes your whole computer if you try to open the HALion VST from the little ‘e’ button.

For the moment, you can still launch the standalone HALion app and browse through all the instruments there, and see if there’s anything you like.

Most other VSTs are not affected. Kontakt might be, though.

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Thank you, that was it :slight_smile:

Thanks all for your help. Much appreciated.

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It would be good to continue to explore Ben’s question though - about what you really want to do and why. You might start with the genre(s), period, location, or situations you want to write for. The sound of certain synths is synonymous with a genre or era, with Fantasy Trailers or Horror or Gospel… You can make a genre pretty easy or next to impossible with your VST synth choices.

And your working style. Is low drag/speed the most important thing or is it about getting into sound design / finding something unique? Just exploring, or you absolutely have to nail the feel of a certain cue?

Ok, I’m 72 next month and have not played a musical instrument since I was at school until 18 months ago I started playing the Theremin - that is progressing quite well. I play classical, folk, pop&rock, soul and whatever sounds attract my attention. I don’t want to be boxed into a particular genre or period. At the moment I like to play around with midis I have dowloaded to create a backing track to my theremin. Later I will probably try a bit of composing as well.
This is why I am looking for good synth sounds suited to what I am playing at the time. :slight_smile:

Good Answers! :slight_smile:

Arturia has a free subset of their classic synth anthology (analog lab). You will be limited to their presets, and I thought maybe that might actually be what you want; that you’re focused on your playing and don’t want to twist all the knobs or get deep into something right now. What you’ll like is that it’s a diverse collection, it sounds good, and a lot of the sounds will be very familiar. If you like it, you can upgrade it to a vast number of presets and dive deep.

I think Fred’s recommendation is probably great, maybe better. I just haven’t used that one. I’d avoid things like Serum, Omnisphere, Dune 3, etc. No knocks on those products, just maybe meant for a different purpose.

I use IK Multimedia’s Hammond B-3X a lot and think it’s great! They had a promo a while back for existing users to pick up Syntronik 2 for really cheap, so I grabbed it, but haven’t really had a chance to explore it much other than replicating certain effects. (There are over 5000 presets.) The Oberheim OB-Xa sim sounds pretty authentic though:


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Nice! How does one figure out the CC data to automate? I’m trying to check how one would do with Arturia, but I’m pretty bad at these types of virtual instruments.

One may have to read the manual for that information.

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Commonly you right click a knob or something on the synth, select midi learn, and adjust a physical knob, slider etc on your midi controller to make the connection. Then you can play it in or draw that CC# in. Most let you type the cc# you want to use for that knob as an alternative - say if you don’t have a controller. Arturia is like that. Most of the others I have are pretty similar.

Yah some are otherwise more complicated and I agree on the manual or a video.