Softsynths & FX Thread


Since you mention it, I kinda have mixed feelings about Falcon. It’s great for layering different oscillators and effects, but for me, it wasn’t the end-all synth I hoped it would be. For instance, it’s more clicking work to add modulation as compared to some other synths, but what disappointed me a bit is that I would really like some more morph options for oscillators and modularity and crossmodulation between oscillators, like using FM or PM between the wavetable or granular oscillators, but from what I used, different oscillator types are like parallel layers, like the wavetable oscillator only has an internal FM source and no other morph options IIRC. Some great oscillators and effects though in any case.


Pursuant to a conversation @metaside and I were having in another thread, I downloaded the free version of Vital tonight and gave it a try and I am very impressed. It does seem to do stereo modulation/signal routing throughout. And I whipped up a preset that will probably be a song in 30 minutes. I didn’t even bring in the wavetables, just used saws and then was able to figure out enough of the osc editor to make myself a passable sine. The warping is very fun and usable. I’m a little bummed that I can’t make the effects per-voice as I found myself using a keytracking flanger and wishing I had one for each note, but hey this thing is free and it got me farther than I ever got when I tried Serum.


VITAL AUDIO … this vst sounds very good … fair price


My thought is that you should be able to fake anything like that like faking MPE functionality in Ableton with an MPE controller by sending different MIDI channels to different instrument racks.

And yeah, Vital is def a cool synth!


Oh, you mean just run an instance for each note in mono? I actually forgot I used to do that sometimes. I’ll give that a try and see how the CPU and my patience like it.


Yeah, with an MPE controller you can play in poly and just send the MIDI information to alternating MIDI channels.


Live 11 is now MPE capable …


Yeah, a bit late to the game imho, I think it’s not even released yet and it’s not free but a part of an expensive upgrade instead… At least they finally managed to implement it… Probably gonna get it at some point, since MPE + Capture seems like a very fine combination, but it took them sooooooooooooo long I already got used to Bitwig. My baby son only knows Bitwig so far since that’s what he plays his LinnStrument with lol…

However, for the thing WN is writing about, I think you would still need the workaround.


i’ll skip this update … way too expensive indeed … 200 bucks for just a few stuff … i have enough spending 200 every 2 years or so … it’s just my opinion


Yeah, it’s 160 rn with 20% off, but I completely agree that that’s a lot of bucks for not that much functionality. The list of new features is not very long and I really think the only thing of interest to me would be the MPE integration…


Comping (finally) is going to be big for a lot of people, I think. Some of the new effects looks really fun.

But yeah, $200 for a handful of features (some of them that should have been implemented ages ago) and a effects seems steep. I’d like to think that they spent their time upgrading things under the hood, but if they did I think they’d tout that to pad their fairly short list.

This is probably a good time for me to finally get around to upgrading to Ableton 10 :smiley:


I would brag about FL Studio’s free updates for life, but I didn’t know when I bought it that to update you basically back up your install/projects, delete everything/uninstall, and then install the new version and dump your backup data in. Before I learned this I installed several plugins in the folder structure of FL, and I don’t want to deal with breaking all those. So in practice I update like every couple of major versions (I had 10, skipped 11 and 12, got 20 but have not updated since June 2019). I might bite the bullet and reinstall all my stuff if they added MPE so that I could get that without having to wrap my mind around another DAW.


Yeah, that sucked with FL, I remember (still have it installed but have not used it in years.). I must say Bitwig is pretty good on this front. the updates come in, you install them, it works. Similar to what Meta says though…BWs subscription model is also expensive for my taste ( read: I am a cheap bastard). I skip every other year on their subscription so far.
Vis-a-vis updates again, Mixbus is also pretty cool in that for major revisions it can install in parallel so you can keep working your old projects but start new ones in the newest version. I don’t recall any of my other DAWs being able to do that.


Well that’s strange - I don’t have that problem at all with FL Studio… Every update goes smoothly and all my file structures remain the same without having to backup anything first :thinking:


Not a softsynth but I just picked up Brainworx BX_Masterdesk for 49USD. Its kinda like the Izotope all in one mastering VSTs. A lot going on behind the scenes (supposedly) but simplified controls on the surface. I don’t ever pay full price but Brainworx stuff is all pretty kick ass IMO.

I played around with it a little bit and re “mastered” one of my recent tracks using just Masterdesk. It sounds pretty good. However even though its an all in one I think may just integrate it into my chain. That’s just my first thought. Will have to give it a thorough work out and read more in the manual about what is happening behind the scenes.

It is on sale at Plug In Alliance until the end of April 26 California time. This is the coupon code I got to take it from 99USD to 49USD MAS-TER-3999


I think integrating something like that in the chain is the way to go. I have and use Ozone, basically as a cleanup tool near the end of my chain just before I get into limiting. But, I have dedicated filtering, EQ, saturation, and compression that I use before I get into Ozone, even though those are all modules in Ozone. And then I usually do my limiting elsewhere too.

Ozone, then, makes a great catch-all. If the drums still aren’t sitting just where I like them, maybe a little compression is needed, or maybe the highs are cutting a bit too much and I need to roll them off a bit. Whatever the issue, Ozone is going to have the tool to do what I want, I just don’t want to master in there 100%.


Why not?


I don’t have the full-fat advanced version, so I don’t get the vintage modules.

So, I have a few choices of separate saturation emulators that I like if the occasion calls, a nice analog-styled EQ with no visual feedback just for broad tone shaping, and I really really like TDR Kotelnikov as a transparent compressor when the occasion calls for compression on a whole mix (still would use Ozone for multiband). So it’s just a matter of having a few tools that I think are more specialized for the specific things I find myself doing in mastering.

And then, as far as limiting goes, IIRC 3/4 are both very good, but IIRC 3 is broadband, and IIRC 4 is multiband but not very transparent (and I mean that in the sense of it’s not good at telling me what it is doing to what parts of my signal) in what it does, and I find I often need to do more EQ after the fact because it skews the balance one way or another.

So these days I use Newfangled Elevate for final limiting because that is a 26-band limiter with user control of gain, release speed, variable release speed, and transient emphasis for each band, and has a graph that tells you exactly how much gain is being applied to each band. And it has a pretty good clipper at the output stage too. It is just plain scary how much gain you can push and how easy it is to hide any distortion. I regularly ask for 6-8db of gain and it just handles it. And if you do hear anything funny, you can solo each band and hear exactly what’s going on.

So that was a really long way of saying that I think a really good dedicated tool is better than a module in Ozone. But don’t get me wrong, I still use Ozone on every master I do, just more as a surgical toolbox for fixing particular issues I have. I use dynamic EQ, M/S modes, the stereo width tools, the multiband saturation, all the time.


Yea. I get that. I have some specific VSTs I use on the master bus for my ghetto masters I dont want to give up just bc Im using an all in one… surely they can work in unison.


Interesting, I basically slap Ozone on and let it figure things out!
But I also don’t know anything about mastering.