Softsynths & FX Thread


Yeah, u-He synths are great, enjoyed working with the free Beatzille for the 1Syn compi and also love the Uhbik effects. Might get Bazille and/or Zebra at some point…

Yeah it’s a nice wavetable synth. What is really cool is that you can go crazy with FM, PM, PD and wavefolding on the wavetables at the same time. Most wavetable synths still allow only for one or two of these additional morph options to be used at one time - synths such as Serum and Icarus have way more options in this regard, but you can only use one or two at the same time. I think Avenger was the first and is still the only one I know of that allowed for way more parallel morphing options (FM, AM, sync, formant, excite and more) on the wavetable osc level. What i did not like about Pigments was that I did not see options to generate or modify wavetables apart from the morphing and that I only had 3 “function” modulators to really play with as compared to 8 multipoint LFOs in Serum and 8+ multipoint envelopes in Avenger. And while the sound was good, i wasn’t blown away by it or the patches I tried. I think it’s a good wavetbale synth, but not better than either Serum or Avenger, at least from what I have tested. It is clearly more flexible than Icarus though with regard to modulation options, but I think it lacks the great resynthesis and wavetable generation and modification options if I haven’t missed something. It’s highly user-friendly, though, which should be a big bonus for people getting into wavetable synthesis.


Sytrus fl stock plugin because I don’t have enough money…although it’s lesser version of some others I find that there is a trade off between all inclusive features and learnability/cpu usage, Im not sure I’ve learned more with less and doing everything manually with stock plugins as opposed to diving right into these some of these softsynths


You on FL20?

Syrtrus is actually a super capable softsynth. It gets a lot of unnecessary hate for some reason but I’ve used it quite a bit over the years for different things.


Seamless loves it and prefers it over FM8 for FM stuff. He definitely gets great sounds out of it.


nope still using 12, i don’t keep up with al the upgrades and all the latest fancy shmancy new vsts cause i’m lazy… also i agree with you sytrus is super capable if you know how to use it, honestly i’ve seen vids of guys using 3xosc to make dat phat neurofunk bassline its not the synth its how you use it…


Sytrus is awesome, was the first synth I could get cool sounds out of when playing around with it at a friends place. Loved the sequencing options for everything, you can get some deep sound design done in this thing.


I don’t know how I feel about NI Massive anymore. I’m not sure if it’s interface design is just a little out of my understanding, but I’ve used it for a couple years now and starting to feel like I’ve exhausted it’s design options… in terms of achieving something radically different than it’s normal range/feel.

A lot of it has this unexplained “thinness” to it, rather than something robust and experimental. Maybe I just haven’t delved into it’s advanced features enough, but normal sound shaping just isn’t doing it that much for me anymore. IDK.

Anyone else have a lot of experience with Massive that can give some tips? I honestly got more satisfied use out of Nexus than it.


It’s been quite a while since I have worked with Massive the last time - the only NI thing I have is The Mouth… but it seems there is an interesting update coming very soon:


I heard about Massive X, unfortunately from what I gather it’s not exactly an “update” though, like I can’t get it for free for owning Massive (kind of a bummer, because I originally paid like $300 for it…)

And shit! I forgot about Absynth. I used that quite a bit many years ago. Wonder how it’s been developing, I think had version 3.


Yeah, it’s a completely new synth, not patch-compatible afaik, but there might be a reduced update price or something like that…


TBH massive was pretty fully superseded by serum. It doesn’t have as much or as complex modulation, and the sound is objectively not as good.

Sorry, this guy is kinda annoying sometimes, but he does know what he’s talking about, and he usually does a good job of demonstrating it. Massive was a big deal at the time, for sure, but I don’t think it was the first to be able to do the things it does, just the first to make them so accessible. And, it wasn’t the last or the best to do the things it does. That said, I can’t get on with Serum either, but I definitely have no love for massive. I think massive is for when you want the exact sounds from “Scary monsters nice sprites”. Also, Fez, most of that soundtrack was done with massive, but niche market there again. I think it’s always going to have a spot on the list of most influential plugin softsynths ever made, but Massive’s best days are behind it.

That said, check out the interview with Disasterpiece on doing the FEZ ost, he did stuff that I never thought was massive until I saw it, so that could take you new places in the chiptune/lo-fi realm.


This is how I always felt about Massive. It had some nifty features such as the LFO/modulation sequencer thingamajingy and macro knobs. At the time of release it also had a GUI that could best be described as remarkable. But it never sounded particularly good by itself. You could get a good sound out of it by massaging it with FX - there was definitely plenty of modulation and movement in the sound to feed distortion for instance, but without external effects? Bleh.

The low point has to be the filter. It just doesn’t sound good.

Serum sounds cleaner, but I would definitely dispute if not having artifacts is an objective improvement. A lot of the sound of the dubstep craze at the time was a result of those, after all. Having unharmonic peaks also leads to much more complex distortion sound.

Serum is objectively better engineered. That just doesn’t always lead to a better sound. If it did, no one would bother using analog synthesizers for anything anymore.


I agree Sometimes Artifacts can lead to a more interesting sound when resampled


I’d never been that interested in Serum, but I am interested in checking out Massive X for sure. Will agree that it seems much more like an Absynth 6 than a Massive 2, but that’s probably why I’m interested.


If you are looking for something tjat sounds pretty vintage in VST world I cant recommend Uhe Repro enough…it defo has a sound but is fantastic. You get bith Repro 1 and Repro 5. Great on board FX but they are CPU eaters. Repro 1 is soo soo goood for acid lines


Serum and Avenger are highly flexible, which is why I’m a fan. I’m still eyeballing UVI Falcon though because more of everything is obviously better, right? I want a DAW in my DAW so I can produce while I produce.

But on a serious note I want to definitely mix all of my shit together before it hits the DAW of course


I get plenty of use from Majken’s Chimera and Imageline’s Morphine ,especially good for atmospheric pads and textures. Sytrus has a steep learning curb but very rewarding once you get it’s layout.


Anyone here using any soft synths by Native Instruments (other than Massive)? If yes, any thoughts on these?


I used a TON of Absynth (3 and 4) for a lot of years, I haven’t used 5 though. Created some really fantastic pads and evolving sounds. I never really used it much for leads, or bass, but it had a lot of potential to craft those types of sounds. The mutator that is built with it is the prime reason to use it, great for atmosphere.


FM8 is a native instruments soft synth. I went on a little rant about it earlier in this post.