Softsynths & FX Thread


there is a ton more free shit out there right now:

Also on the iPAD I heard there are a ton of free music apps, but as I don’t have one I cannot be arsed to go back and find the links

JRR shop has a short (I think) 20buck sale ont he PSP plugs they were doing one a day sales for…grab yourself some Nexcellence or an EQ or Comp or something. You are worth it.


Nother freebee


Arturia iSpark | Free until March 30


Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but Synth1 is really decent for freebie. Easy to figure out, lots of presets available online, and it really excels at old school Blade Runner-y sounds.


Are there any new good soft synths? I really want a synth that nails that mellotron sound. I primarily use hardware and Omnisphere and Reaktor these days, but I’m open to something good. I especially would like a Mellotron sounding synth that isn’t too cheap like a lot of the ones I have heard.


There are some really good and interesting new synths out there such as Tone2 Icarus and PPG Infinite (both Wavetable, second one is a bit esoteric) or Bitwig The Grid and PhasePlant (both offer a lot in terms of FM- and PM-type modulation and similar), but for nailing a specific oldschool synth sound the situation is a bit different. I remember GForce M-Tron from ages ago which was a cool plugin and I think it got an update at some point, or maybe UVI Mello or Arturia Mellotron V would be ideas.


For mellotron, I think you’re looking at UVI or Arturia. The only other thing I could suggest is Keyscape, since you already have omnisphere and you can load the keyscape libraries into it. I don’t think there’s a mellotron in keyscape, but I could be wrong.


2nd recommendation for Arturia


Re: Arturia - they’re having a 50% off sale on their stuff that ends May 7th :wink:

From them I have Pigments, DX7 and a lite version of Analog Lab. Not gonna lie, was disappointed with Pigments (I don’t really like the way it sounds) but DX7 and the Lab do sound superb!


I downloaded a bunch of synth and plugs made on Juce programming environment
Pretty cool sound they have.
Helm vsti,





hm, I was actually quite taken with Pigments, esp the granular bits. I may just end up getting The Mangle for that, as it is really awesome, but Pigments seemed like it had a great sequencer too and the mods are easy to use and understand. What about the sound did you not like?


Yeah, this is a strange one. I bought Pigments because I like the UI feedback and I got it cheap since I got a few of their free plugins. I didn’t believe people who wrote that it was bad, thought that maybe they only were using some bad presets and I wanted to just make some good patches for it and prove people wrong. But I just couldn’t bring myself to like it and work with it at all. I know there are some people who like it, but imho it’s just no comparison to a good wavetable synth with editor functions such as Serum, Icarus or Infinite. And seriously, never heard a factory preset collection that was as boring as the one shipping with this thing. Have been thinking about selling it for a while, but I kinda still want to make some really good presets for it just to show ot myself that it can be done lol.


IDK what it is about Pigments. I SHOULD love that thing, because Diva is my favorite softsynth ever with it’s analog goo-iness, and Pigments should have similar character with more powerful modulation and effects. But… nope. Every time I have a cool idea that I feel like should be doable in Pigments, I’m an envelope short, or the filters don’t route the way I expect, or something other tiny oversight.

There are some good things, like the ability to set the triggering modes on the LFOs and envelopes is about the most comprehensive I’ve seen. The sampling/granular engine is nice, almost always can make a good background/pad layer to sounds with it.

But, I haven’t yet had any happy accidents with it, and it’s been 4 months. I’ve been using Diva close to 5 years and I can’t stop having happy accidents with that one. I always can pull up a cool sound from almost any starting point. But Pigments, I constantly lose control and have to start over. And, somehow, it uses way more CPU than Diva. The filters aren’t on the level of Diva, and that’s where most of the CPU budget should go, so what gives with that?


This ^^^

I could almost have written the exact same thing! Got it cheaper due to having other Arturia products, watched videos and the GUI seemed user-friendly and rather intelligent, made me want to play with it. The presets are rather lackluster, which does suck because I hardly ever create presets from scratch. My POV is: there are professional sound designers that create killer presets that I won’t even be able to come close to, so why spend hours making a passable preset when I have tens of thousands to play with across various synths, when I could be making, you know, music instead.

I need to try this synth again but it’s gotten near the bottom of the list so that may or may not happen anytime soon.


In addition to my reply to metaside, I seem to remember that synth sounding metallic/cold, hollow, weak (if that tells you anything?). Kind of the opposite of a warm u-he synth, for example.

Now, some people will love it exactly for how it sounds and it’s fine - taste is very personal.

It just really fell flat for me and that bugged me, because yes, the GUI is pretty cool/user-friendly when you’re not a synth expert (and I’m certainly not one!).

With all that said, the more I write about Pigments, the more I think I need to try it again now, ha! :slight_smile:




I didn’t look to see if anyone has tried this yet. It gets mixed reviews for a buck. Maybe it’s too CPU-intense?


Thanks for reminding me of this, I just grabbed it and will try this weekend, most probably.

You’re saying that people are bitching even though it’s sold for 1 euro…??? Humanity, I swear.


Watching the first preset video, it has an elephant preset. AN ELEPHANT PRESET.

Man, I love it already :laughing:


so this is not a synth per-se (although it has one, I have not even looked at it) but a multi-track spanning idea generator. It has a chords module, arp module, bassline module and Melody module. I am trying it out right now and compared to other midi generators I think this thing is pretty nice. I for one am no keyboardist, and fucking around with midi dots just takes a lot of time if you are trying to generate ideas. I like this thing but am curious why you gentle folk think of it. or of midi idea generators in general.

the chords it can create go into the quite complex, and it has a ton of progressions built in.