SOFTWARE: Sony ACID Pro, OpenMPT / ModPlug Tracker, GoldWave, Har-Bal, Celemony Melodyne, AnalogX SayIt, E-Phonic Retro Delay, SonicCharge Permut8, SonicCharge Bitspeek, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4, Kjaerhus Audio Classic Suite, Ichiro Toda's Synth1, AudioRealism Bassline 2, SonicCharge Synplant, Arturia V Collection, KORG Legacy Collection, Illformed Glitch 2, Antares Harmony Enginemore
what can I say? I dodged synth1 for years but finallyinstalled it because I needed some versatile VST power with a low CPU hit for dozens of instances doing draft seuqences for songs that are getting really dense arrangements.... between this and sforzando for Emu soundfonts I can build up a really good, really dense arrangement with a close approximation of what all the sounds will be apart from bass.... from there the good plugins and hardware synths can come out and I can really sculpt sounds and mix.... but Synth1 has been staying in place for some sounds that belong more 'in the background' -- Synth1 sounds very 'flat' and as a result fulfills this role well and is also great for densely layered, unison or harmonized parts against real analog synths like a moog....
anyway, this is just a no-brainer for me and I'm sorry I ignored it for so long
If you're new (and I mean VERY new) to creating electronic music, this is one of the best synths you can have. It's got pretty much all the essentials of subtractive synthesis (and more), so it's a great learning tool. It's also absolute amazing for creating a eurobeat brass. Honestly, if I didn't have Harmor, I could just use this because it's that good.
A very long standing and well known soft-synth in the production world comes in the form of Synth1 made by Ichiro Toda. Not to be confused with a piece of software with a similar name, Sylenth1, Toda’s magnum opus is a great tool for any producer’s workshop, especially because it’s completely FREE to download. Synth1 supplies users with two oscillators, FM modulation, ring modulation, and modulation envelopes. Its simplicity both visually and functionally makes it easy to pick up from scratch and I would recommend it as an amazing learning tool to use before making a jump to a more complicated product.
Many will agree that Synth1’s best quality is that it does an excellent job of mimicking the feel of a hardware synthesizer (it was originally meant to emulate a Nord Lead 2). You can achieve very clean and large sounds that some other synthesizers would have trouble doing without compression or internal EQing. Synth1 has very lacking effects panel compared to the newer software synthesizers, though it makes up for that in ease of use and still provides effective options (compressor, ring modulator, decimator, distortion, phaser). The interface itself, while rudimentary and in need of a visual update, provides a very good representation of working with an actual piece of hardware and allows users to become comfortable with the product quite quickly, myself included. Don't be put off by appearance though, Synth1 has a great personality and is very functionally sound. After personally messing around with Synth1, the presets provided seem a little bit outdated. Fortunately, however, the large Synth1 user base has developed an enormous databank of preset sounds if you’re looking for starting blocks in your productions.
Synth1 does a very good job of sticking to its strongest aspects. With a lack of content focused updates, the software has been able to hammer out all of the bugs over years of steady maintenance and careful attention. The built in arpeggiator and filter leave nothing to be desired and allow for automation in all DAW platforms. Overall, Synth1 is an amazing VST synth, especially for beginning producers or someone new to sound design. So far in my journey through the production world, I have yet to find a software synthesizer that provides such a straight forward approach to creating sounds and helping someone write music. If you can master Synth1, you’ve basically learned everything they would teach through a mid-level sound design class in most production schools.
what makes it so special is the number of bank patches with so different sounds, and when you use it as a multiple instances you can create almost any possible sound with some time effort.
If you're just starting producing electronic music, get Synth1. It works really well and has all the basics of synthesis - nothing to complicated, just enough to get a beginner started. Even though I'm not that much of a beginner, Synth1 can still make some pretty good sounds.
Elijah: "This is an amazing freeware synth. It's very useful if you're just starting out with electronic music, as it's got basic controls that you can apply to every synth out there, so it's a really good learning tool. That, plus the fact that it's free, makes it a must-own in my mind."