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Reviews Virtual subtractive synth

Native Instruments Monark Pro Review

The King Talks In the domain of analogue synthesizer emulation, the race for fidelity continues. The biggest breakthroughs have not necessarily originated from the top editors. One of them, Monark, is reacting with a promise of the most faithful recreation of an old analogue hero, the Minimoog. read more…

Arturia Oberheim SEM V Review

SEM Old Synth Arturia has been launching a myriad of products since early 2012. Among the new products you'll find an Oberheim SEM emulation with new custom features. Let's have a look at the beast... read more…

User reviews on Virtual subtractive synth products

Two Repros without reproach! (U-He - Repro-5)

By magnetoserge, 09/04/2018
Mastering a plugin requires time, and the time we can dedicate to music is rare enough (and the plug-ins that come with our DAWs numerous enough) to make the purchase of a plug-in a much thought out act – at least, that’s my approach of things, and perhaps it’s yours too. In the end, I purchase very little of them and download even less freeware. So, Repro is one in not so many, and there are good reason for that!

First, it doesn’t include one but two synths : a mono synth taken from the mythical Pro One, and a polyphonic synth derived from the legendary Prophet 5. Promising, ain’t it?

Then, using the Repro(s) doesn’t require spending long hours reading the user manual! The designs are indeed very close to those of the original models, and even for those who do not own a Pro One or Prophet 5 getting interesting patches will be done in no time provided you now at least the basics in subtractive synthesis. And if you don’t, well, the presets are already so inspiring that any of them can do… The preset bank is really well stocked and quality is there too, plus the preset manager is well done.

The happy owners of one or the other hardware models will be able to fill their lack by buying the bundle for the (relatively) low price of 149€ (it was available for 99€when first launched).

As for those (yes, some people do!) who own both original models and are not too much into a synth fetish, they can sell them to get other hardware legends (a nice Moog, a tiny Oberheim or Synthi), without losing the Sequential Circuits grain and while staying away from any possible breakdown from one of these aging synths, now in their forties-to-fifties.

As for those with a synth fetish (I know, I’m one!), they’ll either cry for not being able to part with their wonders, or will rejoice for not owning one of them (the good news is, I fall into this category!) while being able to access this sound nirvana thanks to Uhe’s beautiful emulations.

A third point: Repro comes with an arpeggiator/sequencer (for Repro 1 alone), and high-quality dedicated effects for the Repro 1 and Repro 5. These are from being mere gadgets and really take you far, far away from the synths’ original sounds. These effects sound beautiful and are well designes (especially the polyphonic distortion available on each of the channels with the Repro 5!).

Number four: the sound! You’d think you’re there! Rather than empty speeches, you can get your own idea on the question watching the following videos which compare both virtual synths with their original, hardware counterparts.

Repro 5 vs Prophet 5:


Repro 1 vs Pro-one:


As for technical specs, please look on Uhe’s website, you’ll find two very well done manuals!

As an additional info, my computer (which is not a real beast though quite acceptable: a 2012 iMac with 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 & 8GB of DDR3 ), I manage to run loops with 5 Repro 5 and 5 Repro 1 instances for a CPU consumption of 30 to 40%...

Enjoy, as they say!

PS : AudioFanzine features two different entries for a same product, as the Repro 1 ans Repro 5 are now available in a same bundle. Both synths have the same overall features and ergonomics (which to me is faultless in that it directly derives from the original models). Both synths could be enough on its own, but it’s a good thing that we get the both of them. So, this review would apply yo the Repro 1 as well! ;-)
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last (Acoustica - Nightlife)

By sidart, 13/09/2017
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Very complete for a freeware (U-He - Tyrell N6 v3)

By sonicsnap, 28/10/2016
Tyrell N6 is a substractive synthesis virtual instrument which is very complete for a freeware.

It features 2 oscillators (sine/tri/saw/square for the first one, saw/square for the second) plus a sub (square), plus a noise generator (white or pink). To modulate the oscillators, there are a vibrato, a “pulse width” (which only affects the squares), a soft sync (which only works if the oscillators are detuned), a ring modulator with feedback. Oscillator 2 can be detuned. There’s a portamento, and that of oscillator 2 can be set offbeat for strange results.

There’s a ringing filter that can be BP or LP/HP (you can get gradually from LP to HP using a MixSpread pot, providing unusual effect sounds in the in-between positions). Slope can be set to 12, 24 or 36 dB-per-octave. Great possibilities of filter modulation.

Then there are 2 LFOs which parameters themselves can be modulated, 2 ADSR envelopes (which can also be modulated) and a matrix. The latter allows to apply a frequency modulation from oscillator 1 to either oscillator 2 or the filter, and to route two controllers to a same parameter (with one modulating the other).
Finally, there is a single effect – a chorus, which is well enough. To finish with this overview, let’s mention that Tyrell can work in mono, legato, duo, poly and unison 2-to-8 (detonable) voices modes.
As far as I know, there’s no manual for Tyrell N6. I regret it as I would have appreciated some precisions regarding some, say, “original” functionalities such as the Drift (an analog model emulation perhaps?) and Fallrise (on envelopes, that has the sound back up after decay).

This freeware is very stable and never caused any problem on my old Mac Pro with Digital Performer.

All in all, we get a synth that’s quite powerful for a freeware. The ring modulator, feedback and FM on the second oscillator allow to get rather original sounds. But what makes this Tyrell interesting also are its modulation and control allocation capacities (by the way, all parameters can be MIDI-controlled using the MIDI learn feature). Hence, you can get beyond the “factory” 500 presets.

Tyrell N6 is one of the most complete freeware synths you can get on a Mac (but of course it also works on PC). Of course, if you already own Absynth, Massive, Predator, Gladiator or others, Tyrell may not bring you much. Still, even in such a case, there’s always use for a small, quick-to-program synth such as this of Elek7ro. Anyway, a penniless homestudist will always find such synths very useful as their quality makes them a really great deal.
By the way, Tyrell’s maker U-HE also offers numerous great products such as the Zebra synth or the great Uhbik plug-in series. As for Tyrell, it’s available here:
https://www.amazona.de/amazona-de-freeware-synthesizer-tyrell-n6-v3/
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News Virtual subtractive synth

Discovery Pro 6.6 released

Published on 06/06/16
DiscoDSP has updated Discovery Pro to version 6.6, introducing VST3 support and a new Mac Standalone version.

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