Old 06-20-2020, 01:44 PM   #1
3mph
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Default Free stable retro-synths?

Hi!

I'm appearently in a retro-phase of my music-making self. I love making tracks with synths that sounds like they're from the 80's. The problem is that most of the (free) synth I use somehow makes reaper crash and totally destroys my workflow. I use:

SQ8L
Dexxed
Tone2Firebird
Synth1
Poly2106
U-NO-62

I get that plugins made with SynthEdit and SynthMaker doens't behave too well. So.. what do I replace them with? Or: how do I tweak my system for them to not cause any trouble? I mean.. SQ8L sound fantastic, Dexxed are soooo FM'ey, Poly2016 is.. yeah well.. they all just are so awesome!

Sigh..

Please.. what retro (free) synths can I stack two digit numbers of?
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:20 PM   #2
henry the horse
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You could try SQ8Rom. It's based on samples of the factory presets from SQ8L, and runs natively in 64-bit,so it should be more stable..

https://www.samplescience.ca/2019/09/sq8rom.html

Charlatan is another good freebie. Subtractive poly- or mono- synth. Great for 80's-style pads or keys:

http://www.blaukraut.info/
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Old 06-21-2020, 02:03 PM   #3
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U-he TyrellN6 --> one of the best freeware synths out there. If I remember correctly it is heavily influnced by the Roland Juno-60... This free VST is even better than some pay-ware...

I guess, if you got Dexxed and Tyrell you can probably cover most of the sounds you´re after...

#edit: and of course there is Surge... super amazing synth, also free. (made by an ex-ableton and now bitwig developer)

Also in the upcoming months there will be a new synth that will trend probably quiet a bit: Vital... an amazing open source project that will kick ass...
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Old 06-21-2020, 02:27 PM   #4
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SQ8L is GREAT!

But you have to be gentle with it. Nowadays it doesn't crash on me, I cannot remember when it last did. I run it as dedicated process with the GUI not embedded. The thing to be careful about is the loading of banks, if I remember correctly.

I have a fully functional ESQ-1, and I managed to download patches from it and load them into SQ8L. It works, not perfectly, but it works.
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Old 06-21-2020, 03:51 PM   #5
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Go down the page, pick up all the free ones:
https://u-he.com/products/

Have a play with these too:
https://www.fullbucket.de/music/vst.html
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Old 06-22-2020, 02:39 AM   #6
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Sanford Cobalt:
https://www.lesliesanford.com/vst/plugins/
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:17 AM   #7
Paul Eye
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Exakt Lite is a nice and simple (to use) FM synth
https://www.sonicbits.com/exakt-lite.html
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3mph View Post
Hi!

I'm appearently in a retro-phase of my music-making self. I love making tracks with synths that sounds like they're from the 80's. The problem is that most of the (free) synth I use somehow makes reaper crash and totally destroys my workflow. I use:

SQ8L
Dexxed
Tone2Firebird
Synth1
Poly2106
U-NO-62

I get that plugins made with SynthEdit and SynthMaker doens't behave too well. So.. what do I replace them with? Or: how do I tweak my system for them to not cause any trouble? I mean.. SQ8L sound fantastic, Dexxed are soooo FM'ey, Poly2016 is.. yeah well.. they all just are so awesome!

Sigh..

Please.. what retro (free) synths can I stack two digit numbers of?
SynthEdit synths work just fine.
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:50 AM   #9
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There was a trick to solve the stability problem with multiple instances of SynthEdit plugs by copying them to files with different names, so you never have a two instances of said plug with the same name. Sounds annoying - I skipped using the crashy plugs alltogether.

Personally I find it hard to believe TAL plugs or Synth1 might be unstable.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:31 PM   #10
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My fave free ye olde synth-emuly VSTs:
https://www.fullbucket.de/music/vst.html

Makes me miss my long lost PS3100 but at least I can get close to what I did with it.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-H View Post
SynthEdit synths work just fine.
They do, and there's amazing plugins out there. But when you have around 10 or more instances of different SE plugins things starts to get sketchy. But, uhm, sure, it could be me making wrong conclusions.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:28 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the GREAT suggestions! Just what I*m looking for.

Tyrell is totally my to-go synth for everything else, but to me it has a more modern sound (look ma, I didn't say "cold", LOL!). I guess I should rethink this placing all sorts of sound diminishing things like modulators, compressors and weird eq'ing on the master, haha!
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekat View Post
by copying them to files with different names, so you never have a two instances of said plug with the same name.
I didn't know that! Thanks!

Quote:
Personally I find it hard to believe TAL plugs or Synth1 might be unstable.
I use the TAL reverb often and have no problems so far. On the other hand I rarely use more than 2 instances of it. And yeah, Synth1 is just amazing. It's like it reads my thoughts when twisting knobs!
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekat View Post
Personally I find it hard to believe TAL plugs or Synth1 might be unstable.
TAL U-No-62 (the free one) crashes occasionally in Reaper (and FL Studio and Cubase, for that matter).

But then it's free, and the site said (IIRC) that it was kind of left in a 'beta' state, so the occasional crash isn't unexpected, I suppose.

It's very useful for re-creating those Juno sounds - loads of info/examples on the web for hit tunes from the 80s. Track with it then render for keeping.

So far I haven't had any crash issues with Dexed, Synth1 or SQ8L.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:56 PM   #15
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If you are not foreign to include x86 plugs check these out. Know that I can't write music for shit. I just play around making weird sounds so I don't do projects with hundreds of tracks or anything but these are fun and has been stable (for me).

The entire collection from ElektroStudio. They all sound great and this is a great set of vintage emulations.
ElektroStudio Collection

Two synts from SyntheScience.
A Moog Prodigy emulation called Prodigious.
A Juno 106/60 emulation called Poly2106.

An ARP-2600 and Moog Voyager emulation from Glen Stegner (Voltkitchen).
Tons of fun, sound great.
Arppe2600va & MiniMogueVA.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:02 AM   #16
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Get PG-8X!

https://sites.google.com/site/mlvst0/

and get sysex files from the net for it.

It's based on JX-8P. So there's your 80's stuff right there!
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:53 AM   #17
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You can't get much more basic than the original K1.

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=237898

Not tried it yet, but it could be retro-cool.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:32 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the GREAT suggetsions. Some of them I use and some are new to me. I just found out about the Kawai one too a few days ago, and I guess my next track will be build around this gem!

These days I experience no crashes at all, which I consider one of the biggest workflow enhancements at all :-)

These are the ones I've used for my latest 80's action packed chopper-featuring track - rock solid from start to finish:

A lot of RoughRider 2
A bunch of OrilRiver
TAL-reverb 4
A great number of ReaEQ, ReaGATE
Kotlnikov (2 instances, synthmaker)
Lots of Kjaerhus chorus, delay

Sitala for drums
Lots of synth1
Handfull of PG-8X
2 DJX10
U-NO-62
2 Dexxed

Again, thanks all, I'm looking forward to check all these vst's out!
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:42 AM   #19
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Also, there are E-MU and EmaxII libraries floating around the web. And Fairlight. Can't get much more 80s than that!
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Also, there are E-MU and EmaxII libraries floating around the web. And Fairlight. Can't get much more 80s than that!
Haha, no, I guess it doesn't. I've been told that Hammer did those Miami Vice toms with a Fairlight and a lot of tweakening the knobs.

When you say libraries, is that SF2 or do I have to get the original machines? I mean.. is that even possible these days? :-D
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Old 07-07-2020, 01:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Haha, no, I guess it doesn't. I've been told that Hammer did those Miami Vice toms with a Fairlight and a lot of tweakening the knobs.

When you say libraries, is that SF2 or do I have to get the original machines? I mean.. is that even possible these days? :-D
Good luck finding a working Fairlight these days!

The Emax libraries seem to be in SF2 and the Fairlight stuff in wavs. There is a decent emulation for a Fairlight but that's not free. Also there's an Emulator II vst but again, not free.

Edit: And a Kontakt library it seems for the Emulator II.
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:30 PM   #22
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If you want an actual (and free) Fairlight Emulator check this out.
It's an actual replica without added fluff like the CMI-V from Arturia.

https://adamstrange.itch.io/qasarbeach
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:20 AM   #23
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It's an actual replica without added fluff like the CMI-V from Arturia.
Yeah, like being a VSTi :-D It's very impressive and I'm sure enthusiasts or musicians who operated this in the past (or couldn't afford the III) will welcome this in its final state!

Thanks for the link, it was a good read!
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Yeah, like being a VSTi :-D It's very impressive and I'm sure enthusiasts or musicians who operated this in the past (or couldn't afford the III) will welcome this in its final state!

Thanks for the link, it was a good read!
It's quite a feat to write something like that. Haven't played with it much yet but it's impressive.
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