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Sound designing Discussion about sound designing with the Virus series synths. Share patches and your knowledge or ask questions.

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  #11  
Old 13.08.2015, 12:26 AM
TweakHead TweakHead is offline
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Wavetables are NOT just a cheap replacement for samples. It's way beyond that. And it's much more about your ability to quickly change the timbre, either gently or aggressively or in steps even - that's the whole point of it.

Sampling is a whole other deal. Even though this wavetables can be made of small samples. The ones in Massive, for example, are made out of 4080 samples each - which is a bit to short for most other sampling stuff, right?

With wavetables you can change the timbre just by scanning the wavetable position, changing the harmonic content of your sound, while maintaining it's pitch.

Both Serum and the Virus are great synths on their own right. It sounds great to my ears, not weak at all + even like it's oscillators quite a lot!!

Cheers
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  #12  
Old 13.08.2015, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mrdos View Post
It's true. There's a guy on YouTube who has done some comparisons of the Viruses waveforms into a scope vs soft synths and notes how the soft synths produce "perfect" (eg boring) waveforms, and the virus produces ones that are more slightly bent like an analog synth does. It's that DSP.
I found that's actually not the case. On the Init patches on the Virus, Analog Boost (in the Effects section) intensity is set to 40 by default. This produces something similar to the sawtooth waveform of a Moog.

Remove this effect entirely, by dialling the Analog Boost intensity to zero, and you get your so-called 'perfect (boring)' non-bent, digital waveforms. Click for close-ups:-



Saw ^



Square (50:50 pulse) ^



Triangle (Wave #2) ^

As Analog Boost is in the effects section, though, I can only assume it is a post-process - placed at the end of the sound chain - rather than something that distorts the raw oscillators before they hit the filter section, etc. This is confirmed by sending an external audio signal (for example a sawtooth from another synth) into the Virus audio inputs and through the Analog Boost effect, you can distort the signal in exactly the same way.

Seems Analog Boost is basically an EQ strapped across the entire audio signal after it leaves the filter stage.

However I have found you can use it to add a little beef and create slightly more convincing old skool C64 SID sounds, et al. I digress.
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PS > And another thing! Will the Ti|3 have user customisable/importable wavetables? A ribbon-controller or XY-Pad might be nice, too, please! Thanks!
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  #13  
Old 13.08.2015, 05:26 AM
mrdos mrdos is offline
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That's interesting. I wonder if the guy in the video either didn't realize it was on, or what the discrepancy is here (in the video I recall he had a scope running and was comparing it to Spire I think). The guy is pretty sharp and has a ton of videos doing pretty interesting stuff I just assumed it was right, but don't recall now really seeing the patch setup. It was before I got one, too.

I will say, I wonder if it is possible that analog boost is more than a "post-processing" sort of effect (if you think about DSP, it would be cheaper to simply output a different waveform, and this would be very simple considering the synth can output any type of wave, including variable wavetables). Also think about how additive synths like Razor do their effects–basically everything is done at the oscillator level–including the filters, reverb, etc. So often that is the mode of thinking with DSP.

Regardless, I will say, I guess it only makes sense that it outputs a "digital" waveform (at least having the option) because the whole reason I and most people use digital synths is for a digital sound... That's the style of music after all. Sometimes I want a certain analog sound (like for a few select things at the oscillator level, and definitely at the filter level, which personally I think both the Virus and Serum are among the best at, as digital synths go, along with the Nords).
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  #14  
Old 13.08.2015, 05:33 AM
mrdos mrdos is offline
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Originally Posted by TweakHead View Post
Wavetables are NOT just a cheap replacement for samples. It's way beyond that. And it's much more about your ability to quickly change the timbre, either gently or aggressively or in steps even - that's the whole point of it.

Sampling is a whole other deal. Even though this wavetables can be made of small samples. The ones in Massive, for example, are made out of 4080 samples each - which is a bit to short for most other sampling stuff, right?

With wavetables you can change the timbre just by scanning the wavetable position, changing the harmonic content of your sound, while maintaining it's pitch.

Both Serum and the Virus are great synths on their own right. It sounds great to my ears, not weak at all + even like it's oscillators quite a lot!!

Cheers
I didn't mean to say they are like cheap replacement samples now. I was saying, when wavetables were conceived, originally, back in the day, from what I understand (I believe Waldorf's predecessor, PPG, originated this in 1980), it was at that time a substitute for samples, because digital memory was way too expensive and slow. Remember what computers were like in the early 80s. 64K (kilobytes!) of RAM was a lot of memory and was expensive, and slow, so that wasn't enough to hold any audio, much less high fidelity sound.

And think about how they can still be used that way; you can make totally convincing pianos and stringed instruments and stuff with the right wavetables; so I think the wavetables back then were less about crazy digital sounds and more about emulating basic instruments.

But now, clearly, it has evolved into something else, and synths like Serum and the Virus have unique wavetables suited to a certain kind of music, and have a lot of granularity when it comes to movement in the indexes, etc. It's a great type of synthesis and my personal favorite; I use it to great effect on basically everything.

The only thing I have found that I think is better is modular, and that, so far, is really fun but really hard
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  #15  
Old 13.08.2015, 04:28 PM
MBTC MBTC is offline
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Regardless, I will say, I guess it only makes sense that it outputs a "digital" waveform (at least having the option) because the whole reason I and most people use digital synths is for a digital sound... That's the style of music after all.
I think what Timo's example illustrates though is that a digital synth can emulate just about anything an analog synth can do (with regard to what the human ear would be able to distinguish). Even to the point of getting somewhat randomized "flavor" to each oscillator to emulate what happens with unstable voltage controlled behavior.

Whether they do or not in practice is really a different story, because of course those kinds of features actually end up requiring a lot of processing power - this is one of the reasons newer analog modeling synths gobble up a lot of CPU.

Believe it or not, the Freescale DSPs that are in the Virus are not particularly powerful. In fact they are so yesteryear that I believe that lack of innovation in the chip line might be one factor holding back the Virus product line from moving forward. Supposedly Christoph Kemper cut his programming teeth on these chips (formerly Motorola 68 series), so basically he is deeply invested in them. This is perhaps one reason he decided to work on new audio related products that are based around this chip rather than to explore using alternative chips for the next generation of Viruses.

When I say they are not particularly powerful, I only mean that the CPU that is in your PC or Mac (hell, probably the chip that is in your phone) is capable of much more (including floating point operations). Now a synth DSP does have a lot of advantages, for one thing it does not have to juggle music making while running a general purpose operating system that might be also checking your email or refreshing web pages at the same time, and that greatly simplifies the tasks it has at hand. Also, I remember reading that these Freescale chips have specialized parallel filter processors, which might help explain what many regard as the Virus' most noticeable characteristic (fast/aggressive filters), and some could say that these chips are "designed for" audio algorithms in the sense that they may do things more efficiently from a power consumption standpoint, but in terms of overall processing power they are no where close to something like an Intel Core i7 or a modern gaming GPU.

If there is something holding soft synths back, it may be an over-reliance on mediocre open-source algorithms. I think sometimes plug-in makers may not have the background or knowledge to write all the audio processing code from scratch (nor time to learn it all), so they fall back on the same previously-written open-source algorithms that every other "quick and cheap" plugin maker is using, which often results in a dull, "same old" sound syndrome. This is why some plug-ins just seem to bring a better sound to the table, more talented programmers, more specialized algorithms, and just more time spent toward a finished product. It took the Virus many generations and years to get to where it is today, and I don't know how many plug-in makers are going to put in that level of dedication when a plugin only sells for a couple of hundred bucks a copy, one copy gets sold for every 500 copies that get pirated, etc.

Honestly there are times when I'm running the Virus side by side with Dune2 and I wish the Virus could sound as rich as Dune2. That said, Dune2 can gobble up a huge amount of CPU with a rich unison patch, and there are certainly some things the Virus does better.
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  #16  
Old 13.08.2015, 05:10 PM
mrdos mrdos is offline
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I think what Timo's example illustrates though is that a digital synth can emulate just about anything an analog synth can do (with regard to what the human ear would be able to distinguish). Even to the point of getting somewhat randomized "flavor" to each oscillator to emulate what happens with unstable voltage controlled behavior.

Whether they do or not in practice is really a different story, because of course those kinds of features actually end up requiring a lot of processing power - this is one of the reasons newer analog modeling synths gobble up a lot of CPU.

Believe it or not, the Freescale DSPs that are in the Virus are not particularly powerful. In fact they are so yesteryear that I believe that lack of innovation in the chip line might be one factor holding back the Virus product line from moving forward. Supposedly Christoph Kemper cut his programming teeth on these chips (formerly Motorola 68 series), so basically he is deeply invested in them. This is perhaps one reason he decided to work on new audio related products that are based around this chip rather than to explore using alternative chips for the next generation of Viruses.

When I say they are not particularly powerful, I only mean that the CPU that is in your PC or Mac (hell, probably the chip that is in your phone) is capable of much more (including floating point operations). Now a synth DSP does have a lot of advantages, for one thing it does not have to juggle music making while running a general purpose operating system that might be also checking your email or refreshing web pages at the same time, and that greatly simplifies the tasks it has at hand. Also, I remember reading that these Freescale chips have specialized parallel filter processors, which might help explain what many regard as the Virus' most noticeable characteristic (fast/aggressive filters), and some could say that these chips are "designed for" audio algorithms in the sense that they may do things more efficiently from a power consumption standpoint, but in terms of overall processing power they are no where close to something like an Intel Core i7 or a modern gaming GPU.

If there is something holding soft synths back, it may be an over-reliance on mediocre open-source algorithms. I think sometimes plug-in makers may not have the background or knowledge to write all the audio processing code from scratch (nor time to learn it all), so they fall back on the same previously-written open-source algorithms that every other "quick and cheap" plugin maker is using, which often results in a dull, "same old" sound syndrome. This is why some plug-ins just seem to bring a better sound to the table, more talented programmers, more specialized algorithms, and just more time spent toward a finished product. It took the Virus many generations and years to get to where it is today, and I don't know how many plug-in makers are going to put in that level of dedication when a plugin only sells for a couple of hundred bucks a copy, one copy gets sold for every 500 copies that get pirated, etc.

Honestly there are times when I'm running the Virus side by side with Dune2 and I wish the Virus could sound as rich as Dune2. That said, Dune2 can gobble up a huge amount of CPU with a rich unison patch, and there are certainly some things the Virus does better.
I agree with you for sure on a lot of these points, but I would add a couple of things for food for thought.

Sounds like you know your stuff on the tech side; and I have heard that story about the chips and the whole thing about Kemper wanting to stick with Motorola, etc. That might be true. But, I have some other thoughts.

I'm a software engineer (have been for about 20 years); I have seen some papers that suggest that specialized audio DSP chips are still superior to X86 when it comes to processing audio, and that is not on a mhz to mhz level. But I could not find many, when I looked some time ago. I don't know the speed or power of these chips in particular, but you can sort of do a comparison here... Take a very fast X86 PC, run instances of Serum on it, turn the unison up (to make 8 voice hyper saws), and start adding more instances and voices (or do the same thing with Massive). Most PCs will quickly crap out before the limit of the Virus, even Core i7 ones, and that is, as we know, with for the most part inferior fidelity. Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR-3Bn3Poz4 re voices. I have heard some great components here and there (for example I think Serum has great filters, but the effects suck, and the oscillators can be very useful, but sometimes lacking to my ear, in the mix; Massive on the other hand has very solid oscillators, pro-mix wise, but the filters suck–the Virus has it all, all the time).

Think too that when the Nord Modular G2 came out, arguably one of the most complex digital synthesizer design projects of all time, there was a software version demo, which could produce basically the same sounds, but limited to a single voice. I don't know if that says anything, but to me it says that these companies may be able to translate their stuff to X86, perhaps in draft form (unoptimized), but choose not to, because it would break their business model (and probably still because there is something to the hardware DSP sound that simply cannot be emulated, even if it is related to the components/converters).

But I agree that whether synths do this stuff in practice is all subjective and varies widely. I think, personally, one of the big selling points of the Virus is, as you said, software hasn't caught up in some areas... And I agree, I think it is for the same reasons you think it is.

I think there is an over reliance on open source frameworks. This contributes to all the plugins sounding, as the producer Flood has said of software-based audio, "samey". And that is my biggest criticism of software stuff. It all sounds kind of the same at its core; even when it's the most different. Hardware seems to be totally proprietary, and that is why hardware stuff are real instruments that can last forever.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZRBJNTCl9c skip to the very end; interesting A/B comparison of the same patch made in Sylenth and the Virus... No comparison).

I too think piracy really hurts plugins. Some years ago I stopped using anything I didn't buy, and that has improved my production; I always am at my best when I limit myself to a couple of plugins and learn them deeply, rather than downloading something new every week. So for me that's Serum, Massive, my Nord Modular G2, and the Virus. Oh, and I bought U-he Bazille, too. Those make me super happy Though the Nord frustrates me

I argue that DSP is superior for audio for various reasons, but mainly it is evident in the sound. It is more than just software running on a different platform, though software running on a *better* platform is part of it.

If you consider, for a moment, a couple of things:

1) Power efficiency: look at your iPhone/Android phone. That processor is a different architecture, and the clock speed is less than half of what your desktop/laptop is. It is optimized for a different use of power. It also heavily utilizes DSP chip(s) to handle the audio transactions... Why? Why not do it all in the main CPU? Because the DSP chip is so much more efficient per clock cycle, it saves a lot of power to do it that way. But that DSP chip is nowhere near the clock speed of the CPU.

2) Closed platform optimization: Again taking the phone as an example, the other part of the reason the iPhone in particular was so snappy and instant-fast early on (the first couple of iPhones had quite weak processors and little RAM) was that developers were heavily forced to optimize their code. I develop iOS apps, and this is actually still the case, though a lot of things have been eased as the CPU and RAM have grown greatly in later generations.

Another example is console gaming machines. Like Playstation/XBox. If you look at the lifecycles of these machines, relative to their PC counterparts, the same cross-platform games that come out on all platforms will require greater and greater specs for the PC version (because developers do not optimize the code; instead they let consumers buy faster hardware–it would not make financial sense to allocate resources into further optimization when consumers have demonstrated they will upgrade). Yet the console versions will, for the most part, look the same, due to increasing code/hardware optimization. and over the span of the console's life, as open and closed-sources libraries and optimization techniques improve, the graphical fidelity/performance will basically reach the level of the next generation of consoles when those are released. Hopefully that makes sense.

So my point is just that even though some of these synths may have old hardware, it may not be apples to apples. There is some objective stuff like voices/hypersaws that can be compared, which I think has merit, but there is a lot in the subjective sound quality area, as well, that can't really be compared... Though I would say that really, among other things, the filters, for example, of the Virus, are still unmatched by any other digital synth. Is that worth it to some people? It will be to some, and not to others. Can the listener tell? Some can, some can't. What is music, anyway?

Anyway, long post, but I think the idea that hardware should go away... Well, I think hardware still has a specific sound and purpose, and while I only have ideas as to why, it's all certainly very interesting to me.

I will say, I think they don't really need to change anything about the Virus, really... Sure, additional synthesis options would be great, but I think they would sell more if they would just improve on the TI concept... Eg, maybe Thunderbolt, or USB3, and transmit 16 simultaneous outputs, so you can just use the whole thing without having to record individual tracks, etc. Do that and add one new oscillator option or whatever, and you have the TI3! Done!
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  #17  
Old 13.08.2015, 07:35 PM
MBTC MBTC is offline
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I too am a software engineer (director of engineering by title, but still very hands on in coding), started programming in assembly in 1980. As an odd coincidence, I also develop iOS apps (but it's only one type of project I work on, not really my primary focus. Sadly I also have to do Android too). From that perspective I could relate to Kemper's bias toward the Freescale chips -- with lower level programming, it's not as easy as just recompiling for a different platform, I suspect this is true with the Virus code base.

I do think that a specialized chip is absolutely going to be better than a general purpose chip for the simple reason that it is dedicated to a single function and specialization is everything. It does not have to deal with OS task scheduling and all of the other things that come into play in a general multithreaded operating sytem. A specialized chip can focus on the single task it was designed to do (but that of course is different than saying the DSP is more powerful, because typically they are not). Just as a general idea in computing, I find that when dealing with smaller, specialized applications, things like latency become less of an issue, so it could be that filter latency is a big advantage? That's only a guess.

My experience with polyphony / total voices is quite different than yours. Currently I only have a Snow but I did own a Ti2 at one time. The total amount of polyphony I could get out of it was wholly disappointing compared to what I can get out of a single softsynth instance (take your pick, Massive, Zebra whatever). But it's important to keep in mind that A LOT of factors come into play here that makes that particular discussion perhaps not even worth comparing notes between one individual experience and the next. By that I mean there are things like the specs of the PC itself, which services or background tasks are running on that PC, the type of audio interface in the PC, the DAW software, the plugin software, how everything is configured, which audio driver version and what the buffer size is set to, the actual complexity of the sound being compared and the impossibility of perfectly duplicating the resource usage scenario on two separate platforms.... so on and so forth. Those can all dramatically influence how many voices you get out of a particular softsynth. I will say that in general with my particular setup, I can usually get the polyphony equivalent of maybe 5 or 6 hardware Virus Snows with a single softsynth. With minor tweaks someone could get a very different result.

I try not to read too much into the sound comparison vids I see, for example the Sylenth one which I had seen a while back. Sylenth is a decent plugin, but I wouldn't call it current-gen. Also that particular example really only shows what happens when one guy sets out to create one sound a certain way. It only shows what occurs when a knob with one purpose is turned a certain amount on two different synths (but really the implementation behind that knob can differ greatly). To some it stands to reason that if you start with the same wave, then turn the same knobs the same amount you should get the same effect, but really if it were that simple it would just be proof of the over-reliance on open-source we talked about. It's not an apples to apples comparison unless every bit of code behind each knob is identical on the 2 synths being compared. I'm pretty sure if I sat down and created some patches on Dune2, then handed them off to him and said "here, recreate these sounds on the Virus", the results would be quite different. I've also seen some vids where Virus vs. softsynth results were pretty much indistinguishable, so I think a lot of that depends on who is making the vid and what point they are trying to establish in doing so.

I definitely agree on the point about the the Nord softsynth. It's really not to the advantage of any hardware synth maker to produce a perfect replica software version, only to watch it get pirated into oblivion. The profit margins are higher if you can sell the hardware and the software together, and to some extent support costs are lowered because (in the case of the Virus) you don't have to support the basic sound engine every time a new version of OS X or Windows comes out, you only have to support the editor (Virus control)... or in the case of most hardware synths you just say screw it and don't have an editor at all. lol. Support costs saved.
But even beyond that, hardware has a sexiness and a musical allure to it that is hard to replicate, so honestly if I were Kemper and I had created a musical instrument like the Virus which not only was so influential to electronic music over the last 15 years or so, but has still maintained a certain mystique and respect, I certainly wouldn't look to toss all of that in order to produce a cheaper software-only equivalent, it would be like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Would not be a wise business choice.

Also, I've mentioned this before in other threads but I actually heard a representative from Moog say in an interview that there is nothing you can do with a Moog synth that can't already be done with software, but the real reason to buy their products was the inspiration to music creation they provide. I thought considering the source that was saying a great deal (and I thought he was right on both points, about the capability of software but also the inspiration hardware provides).
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  #18  
Old 13.08.2015, 08:53 PM
mrdos mrdos is offline
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I too am a software engineer (director of engineering by title, but still very hands on in coding), started programming in assembly in 1980. As an odd coincidence, I also develop iOS apps (but it's only one type of project I work on, not really my primary focus. Sadly I also have to do Android too). From that perspective I could relate to Kemper's bias toward the Freescale chips -- with lower level programming, it's not as easy as just recompiling for a different platform, I suspect this is true with the Virus code base.

I do think that a specialized chip is absolutely going to be better than a general purpose chip for the simple reason that it is dedicated to a single function and specialization is everything. It does not have to deal with OS task scheduling and all of the other things that come into play in a general multithreaded operating sytem. A specialized chip can focus on the single task it was designed to do (but that of course is different than saying the DSP is more powerful, because typically they are not). Just as a general idea in computing, I find that when dealing with smaller, specialized applications, things like latency become less of an issue, so it could be that filter latency is a big advantage? That's only a guess.

My experience with polyphony / total voices is quite different than yours. Currently I only have a Snow but I did own a Ti2 at one time. The total amount of polyphony I could get out of it was wholly disappointing compared to what I can get out of a single softsynth instance (take your pick, Massive, Zebra whatever). But it's important to keep in mind that A LOT of factors come into play here that makes that particular discussion perhaps not even worth comparing notes between one individual experience and the next. By that I mean there are things like the specs of the PC itself, which services or background tasks are running on that PC, the type of audio interface in the PC, the DAW software, the plugin software, how everything is configured, which audio driver version and what the buffer size is set to, the actual complexity of the sound being compared and the impossibility of perfectly duplicating the resource usage scenario on two separate platforms.... so on and so forth. Those can all dramatically influence how many voices you get out of a particular softsynth. I will say that in general with my particular setup, I can usually get the polyphony equivalent of maybe 5 or 6 hardware Virus Snows with a single softsynth. With minor tweaks someone could get a very different result.

I try not to read too much into the sound comparison vids I see, for example the Sylenth one which I had seen a while back. Sylenth is a decent plugin, but I wouldn't call it current-gen. Also that particular example really only shows what happens when one guy sets out to create one sound a certain way. It only shows what occurs when a knob with one purpose is turned a certain amount on two different synths (but really the implementation behind that knob can differ greatly). To some it stands to reason that if you start with the same wave, then turn the same knobs the same amount you should get the same effect, but really if it were that simple it would just be proof of the over-reliance on open-source we talked about. It's not an apples to apples comparison unless every bit of code behind each knob is identical on the 2 synths being compared. I'm pretty sure if I sat down and created some patches on Dune2, then handed them off to him and said "here, recreate these sounds on the Virus", the results would be quite different. I've also seen some vids where Virus vs. softsynth results were pretty much indistinguishable, so I think a lot of that depends on who is making the vid and what point they are trying to establish in doing so.

I definitely agree on the point about the the Nord softsynth. It's really not to the advantage of any hardware synth maker to produce a perfect replica software version, only to watch it get pirated into oblivion. The profit margins are higher if you can sell the hardware and the software together, and to some extent support costs are lowered because (in the case of the Virus) you don't have to support the basic sound engine every time a new version of OS X or Windows comes out, you only have to support the editor (Virus control)... or in the case of most hardware synths you just say screw it and don't have an editor at all. lol. Support costs saved.
But even beyond that, hardware has a sexiness and a musical allure to it that is hard to replicate, so honestly if I were Kemper and I had created a musical instrument like the Virus which not only was so influential to electronic music over the last 15 years or so, but has still maintained a certain mystique and respect, I certainly wouldn't look to toss all of that in order to produce a cheaper software-only equivalent, it would be like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Would not be a wise business choice.

Also, I've mentioned this before in other threads but I actually heard a representative from Moog say in an interview that there is nothing you can do with a Moog synth that can't already be done with software, but the real reason to buy their products was the inspiration to music creation they provide. I thought considering the source that was saying a great deal (and I thought he was right on both points, about the capability of software but also the inspiration hardware provides).
All very good points.

The only thing I will add/reiterate is on the Moog thing, I think this is true, but the way I read that is they are saying, these things can be done in software "at least theoretically". E.g., the power is there, but subjectively, tonally, it still has to be done.

What I am seeing in the market right now, while there are a handful of really stellar soft synths out there, the best synthesizer "software" is still housed in closed hardware platforms... And perhaps that is the natural economics of the situation, at least up until now...

That is, if you have the brains/maths/resources/etc to develop your own entire foundation framework from scratch, and make something really great, then people are going to (or at least would... this is changing, of course) pay for the hardware/instrument. I think that's why the Virus and the Nord Lead/Modular for example still sell, are still used so much, and why, to my ear, they still have a significant edge. You can push them in certain ways, they don't sound "samey"–they sound unique, and perhaps most importantly, they have a tendency to sit well and sound really "pro" in a mix.

We will see if things change.

Incidentally, I did find out that companies like Waves have their own proprietary underlying frameworks. But I think it's agreed that between the four synths that came out around the same time and are kind of similar (Spire/Serum/Massive/Codex), Waves's Codex is the weakest sounding of them all. So go figure.
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Old 13.08.2015, 09:10 PM
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I didn't care for Serum, the wavetable load time feels cumbersome even loading from a fast SSD. The visualizations are neat but probably a waste of computing resources, IMO. Spire sounded ok but not as good as Dune2. I haven't tried Codex.

I think Dune2/Serum emerged about the same time last year, but Massive has been around quite a long time (I'll guess 7-8 years?).

Of those we've talked about, Dune2 still sounds the best to my ears. Zebra remains one of my all-time favorites, but being semi-modular it is crazy versatile but not a rapid-workflow synth like Dune2.

The filters on Dune2 don't sounds as crunchy as the Virus though to my ears. Matters on some sounds, but not on others.

The Ultranova remains a very underrated hardware synth especially from a value standpoint. I don't know why it has been largely ignored by third party sound designers.
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Old 13.08.2015, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MBTC View Post
I didn't care for Serum, the wavetable load time feels cumbersome even loading from a fast SSD. The visualizations are neat but probably a waste of computing resources, IMO. Spire sounded ok but not as good as Dune2. I haven't tried Codex.

I think Dune2/Serum emerged about the same time last year, but Massive has been around quite a long time (I'll guess 7-8 years?).

Of those we've talked about, Dune2 still sounds the best to my ears. Zebra remains one of my all-time favorites, but being semi-modular it is crazy versatile but not a rapid-workflow synth like Dune2.

The filters on Dune2 don't sounds as crunchy as the Virus though to my ears. Matters on some sounds, but not on others.

The Ultranova remains a very underrated hardware synth especially from a value standpoint. I don't know why it has been largely ignored by third party sound designers.
Yeah I have heard only stellar things about Dune2. I need to try it out. People rave about Zebra too; though I played with the demo and it wasn't quite what I was looking for.

I really like the interface of Bazille, though I find the design slightly limiting... I kind of wish there were a cross between Zebra and Bazille. Regardless, I need to try out Dune2.

I have wondered about that Ultranova, too... On that note the Bass Station 2 is one of the best analog synth deals for the price, imo.

Oh, and yeah, it is crazy that Massive is still good, but so old.
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