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Links to the Top 5 Best Lead Instrument VSTs below…
5. Jup-8V – Arturia: https://bit.ly/2YzHFPx
4. VPS Avenger – Vengeance Sound: https://bit.ly/2YCWNvo
3. Omnisphere 2 – Spectrasonics: https://bit.ly/3lpSzRK
2. Serum – Xfer Records
1. Hive 2 – u-he: https://bit.ly/3jdSb6O
In this Top 5 Friday, producer Tim Cant breaks down the Top 5 Lead Instruments VSTs. From vibrant plucks to powerful melodic textures, we take a look at which synthesizer proves the most versatile and vibrant out there.
5. Jup-8V – Arturia – https://bit.ly/2YzHFPx
The Jupiter-8 is a bona fide classic hardware synth, first released by Roland in the 80s, but now brought back to life by Arturia with some newfangled amendments.
The Jupiter-8’s two oscillators are here in all their glory, but now upped to 32-voice polyphony for this virtual version. The new onboard Galaxy Module lets you create custom LFO shapes to get a new level of influence over your synth sound.
A real Jupiter-8 will cost you thousands, but the Arturia Jup-8V is available for €149. It’s also available as part of Arturia’s V Collection, which can net you big big savings.
4. VPS Avenger – Vengeance-Sound – https://bit.ly/2YCWNvo
When soundware legends Vengeance-Sound release a synth, you know it’s going to be brash, bold, and packed with power. Avenger has eight oscillator slots, all of which let you pack in a huge variety of oscillator types: FM, wavetable, analogue shapes, sample playback, and even an entire drum machine can be placed as sound sources in a single instance of the synth.
Avenger allows you to choose which oscillators are routed through its filters, amps, arps and effects processors, meaning you can create a completely unique signal path every time if you feel like it. On top of that, you’ll find macros for controlling multiple parameters, a spectral filter, and loads more besides. Prices for Avenger start at £175, and bundles are available too.
3. Omnisphere 2 – Spectrasonics – https://bit.ly/3lpSzRK
Created by legendary sound designer Eric Persing – the man behind so many classic synth presets – Omnisphere is a synth tailored to getting the perfect, rich sound. It’s constantly being updated to offer new features, and currently contains over 14,000 sounds!
Omnisphere brings you control over the fundamental playback aspects of that huge collection of audio sources, and lets you use your own samples as well.
This beast costs $499 from spectrasonics.com, and it’s the only one in this round-up that’s not available from Plugin Boutique, sadface.
2. Serum – Xfer Records
Beloved the world over for its unfussy interface and gorgeous sound quality, Serum gives you plenty of controls for shaping its initial sound sources, including wavetable position modulation and ways to warp the waveform. There are also loads of ways to create your own wavetables, including by drawing them, importing them or even using PNG images to make them.
Of course, there’s more than just oscillators in Serum – the LFOs, envelopes, macros and even a fully comprehensive page of effects to run your signal through.
At every stage, Serum keeps things simple, and that’s probably what’s won it that reputation of being one of the best synths ever created. It’ll set you back £159.
1. Hive 2 – u-he – https://bit.ly/3jdSb6O
u-he are known for modelling analogue synths and effects in plugin form, with plugins like Diva and Repro getting love from producers all over the world. For Hive, their mission was to create a simpler but just as powerful synth, a bit like the beloved, but very old Sylenth1.
Hive gives you two wavetable oscillators with 16-voice unison, a sub oscillator, and modulation options as you’d expect. Hive 2’s modulation matrix is particularly handy, letting you do some unusual operations to the signal. Hive 2 comes with 2000 presets should you prefer to get playing right away, and it costs €150.