VAC’s take on software vst synths.

December 28th, 2013 by Hexfix93


For as much as I really really want to, I just cannot fall in love with any of them. I tried. I like some of them, but love none of them. Some of them are worth the price, most of them are not.

Native Instruments:

Where to start, oh how i hate battery and how it cut of my initial transients on my samples that I paid big bucks on. This was battery 2 and 3, have not tried 4. I do like kontakt only because of how seamless it loads my akai sample lib that i had from the old days. But that is it. Massive sounds like a plastic toy. Pro 53 is meh, FM8 and 7 were decent, Absynth is meh because it aliases so bad, reaktor is good prb it takes to many licks to get to the center of the tootsie pop. Razor is kinda cool. Their sample Libs are pretty good tho, i mean like the pianos, i like the bosendorfer NI thingy. But over all is komplete worth getting? Maschine? I find the sounds uninspiring. Machine is a daw made by company who makes blah. Why use that when i can use groove agent one in cubase or renoise?


Samey same. All the plugins have this samey same sound no matter what. The osc never seems to have character, and the filters barely have any usually. It sounds so sterile. Sure with some compressors I can make them more lively, still it seems like a lot of work to get them to sound good. Arturia has their bundle on sale, but i still don’t think its worth buying. I just think the envs and the high end sounds strange, the mini moog is fat but it has this wrong shape to the sound, the envs are just whack.


Decent but still kind of sterile. Guru and geist are kind of cool but kind of a pain in the ass and not easy to figure out. They are having a sale now and I would say now is the time to buy their stuff, its priced right, with out the sale it is not.

Adam Szabo:

jp6k is 25 euros and worth every bit of it. This is a must buy.

Spectrasonics: The best, and I mean the best plugins to have, they sample really good analog and digital synths. Omisphere and trillion are brilliant and I cannot recommend these enough. worth every penny.

U-he: Over Priced. Again I try to fall in love with all the hype, then i get the stuff and try it, Ace, I can never get it to sound good in a mix. Diva is an elephant and the envs and osc sounds strange and mushy. Filters are ok, but the envs and osc are blah. Zebra bores me. The only thing they made that I liked is free and it is called Tyrell Nexus 6, to me it sounds like the mks 80. This thing is a beast, sharp sounding and cutting, and the osc and filters sounds good, i like the envs as well. So save your money, just get Tyrell Nexus 6.


Alchemy. I wanted to love you, then I got a korg micro-X and Kronos and just could not love you..

Lennar Digital:

Sylenth 1, in my opinion the best VA VST on the market. Killer built in fx, very nice sounding osc, and a great filter. Killer on leads, arps and plucked sounds. Great pads as well. Very cool arps. Like it so much it is very Roland sounding. Musical and vibrant and cuts through the mix very well. Kind of sucks at fat bass though. Worth Every Penny.

Christopher Gill:

Superwave Trance Pro, I love it, its not the best sounding, but love it for arps. Jp8000 emu, but it cannot do pads and strings as well as the real jp8000. Still so cheap and worthy every penny.

Ohm Force:

Minimosta: Sounds like a boxy minimoog, has more character than the arturia stuff, but still seems flat against the creamware stuff or the real thing… Pass. Buy a slim phatty or a Sub Phatty.


Op-x pro II is the fucking bomb. THE BEST SOUNDING VST on the planet. Sounds so Vintage and does amazing strings, pads, leads and bass, and the filter sounds great. It clobbers Diva…. Its on sale now for 75 euros. GO BUY IT before dec 28th..

Synapse Audio:

Dune synth. This is OK. Not great, not bad. A lot of usable sounds. For the money it is pretty good, 99 usd. I recommend it. Still there is no VST bass monster besides trillian.


This shit is the bomb, and its free, the Uno 60 is pretty damn good for a VST, it sits in the mix well, no its not super vintage, but kinda close. Tal Noisemaker is AMAZING. Free, go get them now. I also discovered the U-no_lx, its 60 bucks and they nail the juno 106 sound, cept the bass is not as fat, but the character and tone is on the money.


Gladiator. I must say that I do like their stuff. Gladiator is ok. not stellar, but not crap. Very good sound set, but the sound is kinda meh. I think its worth about 70 dollars they are very much over charging for all of their products. Esp when tyrell nexus 6 and Tal noise maker are free and kick the shit tone wise out of this stuff. Saurus sounds ok, and i really like Nemesis, They are all over priced. If they had a bundle with Saurus, Gladiator and Nemesis for 250, I would buy it. Lower your price and I will endorse you products, they sound better than arturia, and native instruments, but not as good as tyrell and TAL or OPX.

Xils Labs:

Syphinx: Where’s the beef? That seems to be the problem with all these high end VA things. But, the multimode filter on this thing does sound bad ass. Still wish it was $100 and no dongle, I hate those things so i say forget this and get the OPX, or use TAL noise maker or Tyrel Nexus 6.


Legacy Analog and Digital. Analog lack presets, breaks up when you play it high, and lacks any low end punch. Digital, flat, and boring. The MDE-X Fx are grandiose though, simply amazing for ITB fx.

So bottom line. For me Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Trillian. Superwave, Jp6k, Tyrel Nexus 6, Tal Noisemaker, Uno 60, Sylenth1, Are the must use VSTs. I can make an LP with just these and a DAW, Cubase or Renoise. Still I need hardware. I need a real analog for bass, love my slim phatty for this. A power house VA like a virus TI, C, B, or a Nordlead 2, or 4, and a couple of Korg Workstations for ambiance general sounds.

Most VST plugins are a joke, they sound like thin plastic. They all have this samey samey sound. The ones that succeed are the ones with good built in fx, great sound programming and decent tone. Only a few cut it in my opinion. Hardware is still a must. There are some VSTs that are great though, and those are the ones that sample hardware :) And a couple of VAs that are cpu hogs that are free.

For Drums, its Renoise build my own kits inside it. Or Cubase Groove Agent 1, works better than battery and kontakt. Build my own kits in Groove Agent 1, and use pre made kits in halion 1 and groove agent.

FX: Love waves API bundle. Love Duende Bundle, Love Sony Oxford Limiter. Love Korg MDE-X, Love Lexicon PCM. All worth owning.

I wrote this up after many years of using them, and really getting to know them all.

Category: 02-VAC NEWS | 9 Comments »

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9 Responses

  1. P.A. Packard Says:

    I have to agree with you on software instruments not being a head over heals love affair. I spent 1,000 bucks on Komplete 5 about 6 years ago thinking it was going to be the solution to my performance needs. Found it to be fun at first but killed my CPU power, and loading times with latency drove me nuts. A year later I bought a Korg Radias rack and it blew my mind how powerful it was. So I started collecting used rack mount synths. Bought a used Virus C for 1,000 bucks last year, NOW THAT’S SOMETHING TO FALL IN LOVE WITH. Hardware junky all the way now except for sequencing and recording. Thanks for the reviews though, it’s awesome to hear the truth about this stuff from someone with years of experience and know that their not being paid to say a product is great when it’s really shit!

  2. David Else Says:

    I agree with much of what you say. Was quite surprised you disliked Diva so strongly. I agree there is something a bit funny about the sound, but I can’t quite put my finger on what.

    Maybe ‘mushy’ is a good term :) I certainly would not look to it for punch or powerful bass. I bought it, but have not really explored it properly yet. I am pretty sure it will be good for some things, but the ‘fanboy’ factor has got out of control.

    I mainly came here to say, have you given NI Monark a proper try?! I won’t tell you what I think, but would be *very* interested in what you think of the sound. So hard to get an opinion from someone who knows what they are talking about AND is not connected to the company in some way. Its the age of viral marketing! Sometimes I don’t even trust myself, LOL.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Have you tried Aalto?

    It’s one of the only softsynths that I actively enjoy the sound of, rather than just tolerate… for reference, my hardware includes a TR-909, FutureRetro XS, Octave Cat, etc.

  4. Matt Says:

    I’d love to hear your take more on hardware, and synths! I myself have gravitated more toward modular stuff. Once in a while, I hear stuff that sounds sort of modular in VAC, is this true?

  5. Isabelle Says:

    You are right – of course. I find it great that you share your knowledge about stuff; because I am not so experienced and I am making music with VSTs. It is a pain in the ass to find out what`s good and what not. So thanx guy! I will go through that and try out some of what you thought is ok.

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