Lists and charts, they are what the internet is for right? In a new episode of Top Five Friday, Plug-in Boutique asked producer Tim Cant to take us through his faves - and they are (in descending order
5. SynthMaster 2.9 (KV331 Audio)
Now at version 2.9, SynthMaster has practically every sound generation feature there is:
Wavetable oscillators, loads of voicing parameters, dual filters, multistage envelope generators and a modular signal flow – all times two with two synthesis layers. On top of that, there’s also four LFOs, an effects section including a Vocoder, and loads more.
4. Spire (Reveal Sound)
With an impressive range of oscillators and synthesis types, and an even more impressive range of third-party preset developers, one thing’s for sure: Spire is a versatile synth.
Choose one of 49 waves in a Spire oscillator, and you can morph it using the CtrlA and CtrlB knobs. What these two do to the waveform is determined by the synthesis type, which is selected at the top of the oscillator. And that’s without mentioning the dual filters, the four LFOs, the four envelopes and effects.
3. Avenger (Vengeance Sound)
The word Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe Avenger. It’s got eight oscillators, which host classic analogue shapes, samples, a choice of digital wave cycles and wavetables. There’s FM and AM options, and each oscillator can be run through a unique combination of filters, amps, arpeggiators and effects, meaning that you could make an entire track in one instance of Avenger. Elsewhere, there’s a spectral filter, macro controls, and far too many features to even namecheck.
2. Diva (u-he)
With Diva, you could pair a Minimoog oscillator with an MS-20 filter, and then pipe the signal through a Jupiter-6 style envelope, or swap out any of the elements for any other. Diva’s also got two LFOs, two effects slots, a Modifications tab to make advanced tweaks, and a kickass oscilloscope visualiser.
1. Serum (Xfer Records)
Serum’s two wavetable oscillators are actually superweapons, with 3D wave morphing, additive synthesis, wavetable interpolation, wave cycle morphing, and loads more complicated-sounding powers. But the trick is, in reality, every one of Serum’s features is completely straightforward to use, and there are countless third-party preset packs available that showcase its incredible potential.
The philosophy of designing organismic instruments