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Ideal first analog synth vst

What would be your choice for the best cheap (say under $50 dollars) or free analog synth vst, maybe as an introduction to such synths that combined a great beefy, detailed analog-ish sound (Diva-like if possible), and a clear, attractive easy to learn GUI, not too complex?
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
I’d say Vital and Surge would be great free picks. Maybe not necessarily “analog” (no VST is, arguably) but with a simple to follow subtractive signal path and a great UI. Also have a look at the free U-he alternatives and TAL (Togu Audio Line) offerings. DiscoDSP’s free Oberheim OB-Xa emulation is another good one.

Cheap synths: Synthmaster One. If you want an affordable, simple yet cool sounding emulation of a vintage hardware synth: Cherry Audio DCO106.
 

Pier

Senior Member
I'd say look into Cherry Audio synths. Memorymode is on sale now at $39.

If you check on Knobcloud you might find bargains for:

- Synapse Audio's emulation (The Legend, Obsession)
- TAL emulations (SH101, Jupiter 8, Juno)
- U-He Repro

When one appears it goes out very quickly as these are very sought after synths.

You might also look into Odin which is free and can sound analog.

As the Doctor pointed out, Vital is an excellent free synth too. It can sound somewhat analogish given you know what to do with it.
 

sostenuto

NKS Fan !
Plugin Alliance runs a sale where a lot of plugins are $30. BX_oberhausen is a pretty cool emulation of an Oberheim SEM. Cherry Audio have another “version” of the same called Eight Voice. That one does seem to punish my CPU.
Like TODAY ! First day of any for $29.99 (excluding typical newer ones). BFD1-2999
 

Sunny Schramm

Senior Member
Synth1 is for free, got a lot of great free soundbanks (BigTone´s for example) and its an excellent rebuild of the Clavia Nordlead-Synths. OK - its not so pretty and if we take it very serious it imitates an "virtual"-analog synth...but who cares when it sounds wonderful and is free ;)


Later you can upgrade to U-he´s "DIVA" (179€ with 25% off at the moment if you do a survey) which imitates a lot of real analog synths in perfection with high-end sound. I also recommend "The Legend" and "Obsession" from Synapse Audio (both $99 and amazing presets) if you want an specific sound seperate like Moog or Oberheim for a little less money.
 
Softube' awesome Minimoog inspired - Model 72 is under 50$ now. So much character in that one. I returned Moog Minitaur, because I managed Model 72 to sound indistinguishable and even better.
U-he Repro 1/5 has very diversified palette of sounds from vintage to modern to cinematic - and contains a lot of presets with 3-rd party presets not being short of. And it could easily be one stop solution for all synth needs.
 
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applegrovebard

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Thanks everyone for suggesting some great value for money synths. I have to say as a first synth some of these would likely be baffling/overwhelming to a newcomer- eg Surge and Vital also neither of these are particularly analog sounding to me. Some are too expensive eg Repro, The Legend. Maybe the closest to my specification are the free U-he synths, Tal, Ob-x, and Cherry audio offerings. And I'll check out the Softube which I know are rated for their rich sound. I realize there's some debate about describing any soft synth as analog sounding but some analog-inspired synths like Diva, Repro, Monark to me have a raw sound (without effects) that's satisfyingly beefy and complex- compared to some other synths that like early vsts are rather thin, generic (tho they can be great with added effects).
 

rMancer

just some words on a screen
Personally for a first synth, I'd shy away from the more complex stuff for sure. And there's definitely some quality stuff in the freeware realm. I've been having fun with the Cherry Audio Surrealistic MG-1 Plus freebie. It's got pretty simple architecture, and not a ton of controls, but can still do some funky sounds if you really dig into it.

Getting into a bit more complicated emulations of older synths, Full Bucket Music has some nice variety for free. I find the GUIs a bit on the small side though... maybe that's just my failing eyeballs.

DiscoDSP has a free Oberheim OB-X (OB-Xd) emulation that might be fun. Check the license though... I think it might be free for non-commercial use only.

U-He TyrellN6 is pretty solid too... nothing overwhelming, but still flexible and sounds great (as to be expected from U-He).

TAL makes good stuff, and their free Noisemaker got a facelift not too long ago. It might be a little more complicated than something like their free UNO-62, though (though the free version no longer supported).

Also, regarding the recommendation for Vital ... that's a wavetable synth. It's not even attempting to be a virtual analog at all (though as pointed out, it can sort of do those sounds too, but that's not really where it shines in my opinion). That said, it's pretty rad. That developer does also have Helm, which is a free virtual analog that might fit your needs without all the extra spectral warping, vocoding, sampling engine, fx rack, and wild modulation potential of Vital.

Of course, if you want something to occupy you for a few lifetimes, frustrate the hell out of you with its learning curve, and overwhelm you with its thousands of free modules, you can always dip your toes into the free VCV Rack, and follow the amazing tutorials by Omri Cohen. That guy's channel alone took me from "modular synth? what's that?" to "I'd better cut up my credit card..."

Synths are like string libraries though... it's good to have at least a few of them on hand for different purposes.

Edit to add: If you're just getting into learning synthesis, maybe check out Syntorial. It's a combination synth/training-course that teaches you the basics of (virtual-)analog synthesis in small, manageable chunks.
 
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applegrovebard

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Personally for a first synth, I'd shy away from the more complex stuff for sure. And there's definitely some quality stuff in the freeware realm. I've been having fun with the Cherry Audio Surrealistic MG-1 Plus freebie. It's got pretty simple architecture, and not a ton of controls, but can still do some funky sounds if you really dig into it.

Getting into a bit more complicated emulations of older synths, Full Bucket Music has some nice variety for free. I find the GUIs a bit on the small side though... maybe that's just my failing eyeballs.

DiscoDSP has a free Oberheim OB-X (OB-Xd) emulation that might be fun. Check the license though... I think it might be free for non-commercial use only.

U-He TyrellN6 is pretty solid too... nothing overwhelming, but still flexible and sounds great (as to be expected from U-He).

TAL makes good stuff, and their free Noisemaker got a facelift not too long ago. It might be a little more complicated than something like their free UNO-62, though (though the free version no longer supported).

Also, regarding the recommendation for Vital ... that's a wavetable synth. It's not even attempting to be a virtual analog at all (though as pointed out, it can sort of do those sounds too, but that's not really where it shines in my opinion). That said, it's pretty rad. That developer does also have Helm, which is a free virtual analog that might fit your needs without all the extra spectral warping, vocoding, sampling engine, fx rack, and wild modulation potential of Vital.

Of course, if you want something to occupy you for a few lifetimes, frustrate the hell out of you with its learning curve, and overwhelm you with its thousands of free modules, you can always dip your toes into the free VCV Rack, and follow the amazing tutorials by Omri Cohen. That guy's channel alone took me from "modular synth? what's that?" to "I'd better cut up my credit card..."

Synths are like string libraries though... it's good to have at least a few of them on hand for different purposes.

Edit to add: If you're just getting into learning synthesis, maybe check out Syntorial. It's a combination synth/training-course that teaches you the basics of (virtual-)analog synthesis in small, manageable chunks.
Thanks rMancer- that's a nice survey of relevant options. I will check out the various Cherry Audio and Tal offerings. To clarify, I was wondering about a best first synth for a friend- I myself am reasonably familiar with a range of more complex synths.
 

TheUnfinished

Senior Member
U-he's TyrellN6 is the best free analogue-modelling synth imho. Plus, it's nice and easy to use and learn programming with.

If you're fast, Softube's Model 72 is super cheap right now in their Black Friday Sale and is a very good MiniMoog emulation.

Or you can use that Plugin Alliance code mentioned further up to get either Knifonium or bx_Oberhausen.

You'd be pretty set with any (or a combination) of them to begin with, before moving onto the stellar u-he stuff. :)
 

muratkayi

Active Member
Komplete Start by native instruments is free and contains Analog dreams which has no learning curve at all.

As a preview of Kontakt content it also contains Vintage synths which also have next to no learning curve.

Both of these are sample based, but nobody will notice if you keep it a secret.

It also contains Reaktor blocks base which is a free modular environment. Its main advantage is that in this version it hardly contains any modules and you need to find out how to make it sound any good. Learning curve, but also learning benefits.


And just as a little aside: the question made me wonder, what was my first virtual analog synth, actually? And then I got dreamy eyes and had to think of the countless wonderful hours I spent in ReBirth.
 
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applegrovebard

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First virtual synth I bought about 20 years ago- Vaz+. It sounded awesome to turn the filter knobs and hear this buzzing and screaming beast being released from my computer.
 

FlyingAndi

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Super 8 is not too complex either. It's even on sale at the moment.
But if you intend to buy KOMPLETE some day, Super 8 will be included, so you're probably better off to start with one of the free options.
 
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applegrovebard

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Super 8 is not too complex either. It's even on sale at the moment.
But if you intend to buy KOMPLETE some day, Super 8 will be included, so you're probably better off to start with one of the free options.
Yes, I've heard good things about Super 8, but will wait till I upgrade my version of Komplete.
 
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