Old 02-17-2016, 10:28 AM   #1
Alma Mare
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Default Best synth to learn synthetisis on?

Howdy o/

I'm mostly a rock/metal guy who's been perfectly happy so far recording with amp sims and basic mixing tools (EQ, comp, reverb). I've been getting curious about synths lately and I'm a bit tired of being dumbfounded everytime I look at those interfaces with all the ADSHR and LFO and filters and shit. A screenshot of a Massive patch gives me a migraine :P

I kind of understand the very basics (start with a wave and modulate its parameters with other waves) but I'm looking for a synth that would allow me to try out the different approaches, tools and types of modulation in a logic manner. Baby's first synth, if you will. Something not too overwhelming.

What would you guys recomend? Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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Synth1- increase the GUI to maximum size for ease of use:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synth1
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:39 AM   #3
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Howdy o/

I'm mostly a rock/metal guy who's been perfectly happy so far recording with amp sims and basic mixing tools (EQ, comp, reverb). I've been getting curious about synths lately and I'm a bit tired of being dumbfounded everytime I look at those interfaces with all the ADSHR and LFO and filters and shit. A screenshot of a Massive patch gives me a migraine :P

I kind of understand the very basics (start with a wave and modulate its parameters with other waves) but I'm looking for a synth that would allow me to try out the different approaches, tools and types of modulation in a logic manner. Baby's first synth, if you will. Something not too overwhelming.

What would you guys recomend? Thanks!
Yep!! It all indeed looks very complicated. But if you start with one synth, learn it, you can use basically any other synth out there with a lot less confusion.

So if your going the free route use Charlatan. It's a synth with all the basics and sounds beautiful to me with some good patching.

If you want to pay for a synth I would recommend zeta2. The U.I might look a tad over whelming like massive but the reason I like it so much is because everything is perfectly layed out. There's the oscillator section, filters, envelopes, modulation, you name it. And it's all clearly separated so you can take one step at a time. Truly a beast for learning synth design.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:43 AM   #4
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Synth1
Another vote for Synth1. All controls plus effects nicely laid out and sounds great with big range.

Added advantage is that there are several tutorials for it on Youtube.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:51 AM   #5
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Well, looking at the screenshot my brain is trying to flee to the back of my skull, but I get it's really as bare-bones as these things go. Thanks, I'll give it a shot!

As I load it, I can't figure out how to disable OSC 2 and what half of those controls do. Youtube, here I go!
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:52 AM   #6
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Another vote for Synth1. All controls plus effects nicely laid out and sounds great with big range.

Added advantage is that there are several tutorials for it on Youtube.
Yeah synth1 is great. It's gui makes me want to throw up the ramen noodles I just ate though. Also if the op is going to use synth1 there are over 10,000 presets for it. Find a good preset and try to recreate it with anther synth1. That's the best way to learn imho
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:55 AM   #7
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Well, looking at the screenshot my brain is trying to flee to the back of my skull, but I get it's really as bare-bones as these things go. Thanks, I'll give it a shot!

As I load it, I can't figure out how to disable OSC 2 and what half of those controls do. Youtube, here I go!
Again the synth1 gui is pretty horrid. Charlatan will at least give you the organization that every other paid synth will give you. Also did I mention it's filter actually sound good!
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #8
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Does this one make the list ?? PG-8X
https://sites.google.com/site/mlvst0/
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:02 AM   #9
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I would recommend Brainstormer over the previously mentioned.

http://roazhondsp.storm-mastering.com

It has all the features and modulation routings of the stereotypic subtractive synth, very clear layout and complete manual.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:13 AM   #10
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Am I wrong to assume that addictive synths and subtractive synths are in practice mutually exclusive? I'd figure it was a matter of configuring the thing, or flicking a knob, but most I've heard about so far are strictly subtractive. Am I missing something?
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:27 AM   #11
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Am I wrong to assume that addictive synths and subtractive synths are in practice mutually exclusive? I'd figure it was a matter of configuring the thing, or flicking a knob, but most I've heard about so far are strictly subtractive. Am I missing something?
As the names suggest, they are polar opposites, but not mutually exclusive.

Additive synthesis implements the principle that every tone can be created by combining sine waves of the right amplitude and frequency. The interface for this functionality is radically different for normal synths, but nothing stops the designer from putting a filter after an additive oscillator- turning it into a hybrid.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:10 PM   #12
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A MiniMoog replica emulator is great to learn on. Basic and understandable classic subtractive synthesis.

Minimogue VA, CV-FreeMoog, Elektrostudio Model Mini for example.
Download from www.vst4free.com

Move on to more complex ones from there or even another type of synthesis. FM might be the next type to learn and if so, Dexed is good and free. It's a Yamaha DX7 emulator.

Another way to go is to get a modular synth. Kamiooka, Sonigen Modular for example.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:31 PM   #13
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I learned doing synthesis with Massive actually. I still haven't tried ding that in Zebra ( but it's about time ). Massive is not as hard as it seams at first. It is a very good sounding synth too. The only gripe I have with it, and a minor one, is that it doesn't have a even notes sequencer, and instead it has bars, which is difficult to set to even pitches unfortunately.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:37 PM   #14
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I learned doing synthesis with Massive actually. I still haven't tried ding that in Zebra ( but it's about time ). Massive is not as hard as it seams at first. It is a very good sounding synth too. The only gripe I have with it, and a minor one, is that it doesn't have a even notes sequencer, and instead it has bars, which is difficult to set to even pitches unfortunately.
If you understand massive you shouldnt have too much of a problem in zebra. Why wait?
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:39 PM   #15
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You'd be much better starting off on something like the free xoxos Clearsynth (the clue's in the name )



Quote:
A simple 2-oscillator synthesizer for students.

The first 42 patches progress through the features. The patch names should acquaint the user with a basic knowledge of subtractive synthesis
It's first on the list in the Synthesisers section of the following link :

http://www.xoxos.net/vst/vst.html
_
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:43 PM   #16
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You'd be much better starting off on something like the free xoxos Clearsynth (the clue's in the name )





It's first on the list in the Synthesisers section of the following link :

http://www.xoxos.net/vst/vst.html
_
That's awesome. For some reason I never saw the ui of clear synth. Definitely a good way to grasp the beginning concepts!
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #17
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You may want to try something like this...

http://www.syntorial.com/.

Enjoy.



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Old 02-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #18
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Without any doubt Syntorial.


It is design for learning !

The Ultimate Synthesizer Tutorial
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #19
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If you understand massive you shouldnt have too much of a problem in zebra. Why wait?
You right. Don't know why. I did try a bit. The interface is a bit more messy, maybe that's why.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:49 PM   #20
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What OPI said. Pick one, and pretend that no other synths exist until you know it really well. Charlatan does look pretty good to start with. Learn what it's parts are, how they interact, and make a bunch of patches with it - kicks, snares, hats, basses, leads, pads, whatever you like.

This is a good start for learning synthesis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atvtBE6t48M
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #21
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You right. Don't know why. I did try a bit. The interface is a bit more messy, maybe that's why.
Most likely it's the ui that's bothering you. I changed my zebra skin to the darker ui. A little less intruding. But I hear you
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:07 PM   #22
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This...



worked for me.

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Old 02-17-2016, 01:11 PM   #23
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This...



worked for me.
Very nice, but bit expensive, isn't it?
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:21 PM   #24
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You may want to try something like this...

http://www.syntorial.com/.

Enjoy.



That is a great idea.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:25 PM   #25
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That is a great idea.
Yep. I he said the first 22 lessons are free also. Would definitely be valuable to up-comers. I wonder if the guy ever though about doing an advanced version. I would definitely be interested.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:43 PM   #26
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Very nice, but bit expensive, isn't it?
It was about $1500 usd in '78 so, yeah, that was a lot back then for me.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:58 PM   #27
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This...



worked for me.
Free emulator:

http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?plugin=OR2v&id=796
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:13 PM   #28
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Another vote for Synth1. All controls plus effects nicely laid out and sounds great with big range.

Added advantage is that there are several tutorials for it on Youtube.
Try for example to follow the tweaks in this video using the same MIDI file:

https://youtu.be/u2JWJkINSzI?list=PL...zypx_82xkxzmsN
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:18 PM   #29
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first sysnth I had under my hands was the Korg MS-20. now that thing is expensive as hardware and costs money as software.

so I think that the MinimogueVA (free version of a MiniMoog) is the first thing that comes to my mind if I think of THE synth at all. its clear as the clearsynth and has all the standard features a synth has to have. and it sounds awesome.

http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?id=405
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:23 PM   #30
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first sysnth I had under my hands was the Korg MS-20. now that thing is expensive as hardware and costs money as software.

so I think that the MinimogueVA (free version of a MiniMoog) is the first thing that comes to my mind if I think of THE synth at all. its clear as the clearsynth and has all the standard features a synth has to have. and it sounds awesome.

http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?id=405
Minimogue VA is an easy synth to recommend for sure. All of Gunnar Ekornås's excellent synth's are easy to recommend, especially the newer Memorymoon synth's.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:38 PM   #31
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Trouble with Minimogue VA is the use of terms like 'emphasis' 'contour' etc, which is slightly outdated and will just confuse.

Other simple synths suggested here might be clearer at first glance, but will not make as cool and fun sounds and might make learning a chore so bear that in mind.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:50 PM   #32
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Minimoog and clones are fun synths but not particularly fun to program and like V'ger said, not exactly standard.

There's very little benefit to picking a very simple synth for learning. As long as the UI is clear and signal path conventional, a fully featured synth is a better platform to learning as you can use the same synth even after you've figured out what sustain does and how is saw different from a triangle.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:01 PM   #33
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You may want to try something like this...

http://www.syntorial.com/.

Enjoy.



This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Excellent software.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:14 PM   #34
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Start at the bottom and work your way up: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:15 PM   #35
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I'm looking for a synth that would allow me to try out the different approaches, tools and types of modulation
In fact there are lots of basic syntheses Algorithm. The most common (and supposedly what you have in mind) is "subtractive": [cyclic Oscillator] -> [Filter] -> [VCA} -> .

But there is completely different stuff like Wave-Table, FM (DX7), Karplus-Strong, ...

If you like you can do any of those directly in Reaper by writing JSFX a script.

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Old 02-17-2016, 04:09 PM   #36
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Trouble with Minimogue VA is the use of terms like 'emphasis' 'contour' etc, which is slightly outdated and will just confuse.

Other simple synths suggested here might be clearer at first glance, but will not make as cool and fun sounds and might make learning a chore so bear that in mind.
Hmm, plain English terms with explanation boxes too!
Self explanatory, especially when you play with it.
Contour in this case is merely referring to shaping the filter itself and loudness control. The filter being a classic ADSR used in pretty much every synth.
It is a classic subtractive synth set up. Cracking sounding synth too and CPU friendly. Sadly it doesn't come in 64bit flavour but plays nicely with Reaper when bridged. Anyone that likes classic analogue subtractive synths should have MiniMogueVA.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:12 PM   #37
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I would recommend Brainstormer over the previously mentioned.

http://roazhondsp.storm-mastering.com

It has all the features and modulation routings of the stereotypic subtractive synth, very clear layout and complete manual.
Damn, I was going to second Charlatan, but this one looks like the perfect learning synth indeed. Much more evolved than Charlatan, but super clear interface.
Plus it comes with a manual that's actually a full course in subtractive synthesis !

Last edited by lolilol1975; 02-17-2016 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:22 PM   #38
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Damn, I was going to second Charlatan, but this one looks like the perfect learning synth indeed. Much more evolved than Charlatan, but super clear interface.
I think the Charlatan interface is cleaner and would be less confusing for a beginner, having fewer controls and controls that are standard stuff. And it has sync and unison, which should be standard stuff on any synth.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:34 PM   #39
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I think the Charlatan interface is cleaner and would be less confusing for a beginner, having fewer controls and controls that are standard stuff. And it has sync and unison, which should be standard stuff on any synth.
Did I mention it sounds pretty good too? Here's a demo someone made all with charlatan from scratch.

https://m.soundcloud.com/oscillian/dark-dawn
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:10 PM   #40
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TAL Noisemaker is pretty easy to learn with.
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