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Reviews Virtual Synth


A review of Cakewalk Rapture Session

A Rapture on a Budget Recently, Cakewalk announced Rapture Session, a new member of its Rapture software-instrument family. It offers less sounds and no programmability, but it has the same synth engine as the flagship Rapture Pro and comes with almost 4GB of content. What makes it most notable, however, is its super-low price tag: $29.95. So is Rapture Session a great bargain or just a waste of time? We tested it recently to find out. read more…

A review of the U-He Hive virtual synth

Hive: Be Careful, It Stings! Hive, the latest instrument from u-he, does not claim the precision of Diva the richness of Zebra 2, or the modularity of Bazille or Ace. No. Hive looks and feels simple, is easy to use, and provides a fat sound. Mission accomplished? read more…

Applied Acoustics Systems Ultra Analog VA-2 Review

Ultra Ultra? AAS renews its virtual analog synth by adding VA-2 to its name. But that is obviously not the only change. Here's a detailed overview. read more…

User reviews on Virtual Synth products

Bugs and Malware in update (KV331 Audio - Synthmaster 2.x)

By Per Gunnar Merakerli, 02/11/2018
I had severeal problems early use of it, I reported it to Thomann, germany, the webshop I bought it, an exelant webshop , by tha way. But sounds drops out, and many times, in CUBASE after ooading a song, I have to manually go through one and one synt track, to reset, and so, start the sound again. Now, last thing that, forvce me to unistall the whole program, is that :
Porbram is suddenly, when I work in CUBASE, asking me to update to a new version. afteer a couple of days the program have messed up ALL the sounds, and tell me the " you are using a DEMO verison !!!.

this young rookies at this company, tried a little hard to earn some extras dollars. I wil now have to spend MANY days, recreate, the sounds with other synths. its unforgiveable. All they say to me " we see that you downloaded the DEMO version?!?!?!

Awesome sound value in sample libraries (UVI - Digital Synsations 2)

By jamie.smartypants, 30/08/2019
I use the UVI libraries on two of my PC’s. My main touch screen pC desktop, and also on my pc laptop. Since my laptop doesn’t have the largest hard drive, I keep all of my UVI sample libraries on a dedicated msata drive with 500gb capacity. Uvi has recently updated their download and installation process, which used to be really confusing and used to involve moving files into subdirectories, but they now are quite streamlined with a download and install manager that works great. I use it with iLok, but is also setup to use elicenser if needed. I hate elicenser and only use it for cubase. ILok is much better, more secure, and in programs that don’t offer multiple licenses, it’s easier to deactivate from one to move to another.

Most of the UvI synth libraries share a common set of parameters,customized graphics that suit the theme of the line of synths being emulated. There are exceptions to this, and unfortunately, not all UVI libraries share a common foundation where sounds are loaded in from a root directory. Fortunately, all three synths in the Digital Sensations V2 all share this feature. Apart from having a common way of loading sounds, this convenient method allows easy favoriting of your more used patches. With a library this large, it’s important to have this feature. Other uvi libraries, the sounds must be loaded in via the application, not the uvi player. A feature which I’d like to see normalized across all libraries moving forward, and preferably backward in an update.
Parameters are somewhat basic. You have some control over the basic sound with envelopes, lfo’s, and Multimode filters. Some rudimentary control over the sound source is available, but as it is a sample library, is limited.
Sound quality is pretty superb. I got addicted to these libraries for a reason. For one, I really enjoy vst clones of synths, such as arturia’s V collection. While th4 uvi libraries are not “clones” per se, they do offer an accurate flavor of the original synths at hand, and offer modern interpretations on what might otherwise be somewhat of a dated sound.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the UVI workstation (or Falcon), it is a stand-alone, vst, RTAS, or AAX platform where you may install individual sample libraries. While I am only ever concerned with UVI’s synthesizer libraries, they are not limited to such, offering string, brass, piano, EM, and even libraries of toys.
For my interests, I stick with the synth libraries. I presently use the Digital Synsations V2, Synth Anthology 2, Vintage Vault 2, UXV80, and UVPX80 libraries, with a few more I’m interested in but do not yet own. I find I buy one every month or two whether I need them or not. I’ve kind of become addicted.
The UVI player is your platform for your sound libraries, and while each individual library may contain their own unique set of subfeatures, the player itself will allow you to arrange any 4 sounds from any 4 libraries at any given time, and has sophisticated arpeggio features and additional built-in effects. Individual libraries may supplement these features as well.
The digital sensations 2 library is a bundle of three libraries sampled from the Kawai K5000/s/w/r, the Roland JD-800/990, and the Ensoniq
Now again, these libraries are not clones, but use sounds from each of these synths as the foundation sound source for each patch. The sample set is then manipulated with its own set of filter, envelopes, lfo’s, etc. I presently own a JD800 and have owned a K5000, and the essence of these synths is certainly there, but many sounds have been brought back to relevance with some wonderful programming straight from the factory. It’s kind of making my aging jd800 irrelevant.
Similarly to the IK Syntronik, each library features a unique GUI that resembles the respective synth, but in reality, these libraries share the same parameters. I haven’t deeply explored the effects or arp sections, but based on the presets, they are certainly powerful and flexible.
Now, so,e advise on purchasing the UvI libraries. Wait for sales. Each library I own I paid no more than half it’s normal retail price. Also, but bundles and not individual libraries. For the DS V2, I paid $149. Single libraries seems to run $49-79.

Faithful Reproduction of a Prophet Synth, and Way More! (Memorymoon - Messiah 2.0)

By Chuck_Cohen, 29/09/2019
These days in the Prophet 5 emulator market, you basically have the U-he Repro 1/5 and the Arturia Prophet V. The Arturia can emulate both the Prophet 5 and the Vector and even combine them as a hybrid, but the overall sound is not as detailed and fat as the Repro. Most go with the Repro as the standard for Prophet emulation, but the plug-in is way more computer resource-intensive. ...but wait, there is one more contender.....

Enter "Messiah" by Memorymoon, which was actually the first and original Prophet 5 emulator from 2008. However, version 2.0 arrived late-in-the-game in the fall of 2018, and not a whole lot of fanfare (marketing). However, Messiah is very different these days in that it has a whole new engine and lots of added features and sound banks (presets). Because of this, it rivals the sonic capability (sound) of Repro 1/5, but uses a lot less resources (this is important to me). Plus it has several features not found on the on Repro or Arturia (additional oscillator options and filter mods) and comes with close to 900 good useful presets.

Also, update version 2.1 is set to come out before the end of year 2019 and will introduce even more features, tweaks, and a slew of internal "choosable" MIDI map templates for various "external MIDI controller" boxes and synth keyboards (there is a template in there for the new SoundForce SFC-5 "Prophet 5 style" MIDI controller box). I was actually in the market and was planning on purchasing Repro, but after demo'ing Messiah, I changed my mind and purchased it instead.

News Virtual Synth

Messiah 2.1 is Almost Ready for Release

Published on 09/30/19
Memorymoon Messiah 2.1 has a lot of new features, including a new skin, sound bank changes, expanded Waveform Morphing, and onboard CC templates.

Feature Articles Virtual Synth

5 Top Soft Synths You Might Have Missed

Published on 11/24/15
5 Top Soft Synths You Might Have Missed
To help you avoid making music that sounds like everyone else’s, I want to tell you about some premium-quality soft synths you may not know about. Although none of these instruments are terribly obsc…

Control your software remotely with real knobs, buttons and faders

5 Free Vintage Synth Plug-Ins

Tips & Tutorials Virtual Synth

Audulus User Interface Briefing

Published on 07/16/12

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