Best NI Synth for Drum & Bass

Discussion in 'General Production Forum' started by Iain Allsop, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Iain Allsop

    Iain Allsop New Member

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    Hey fellas

    Just a quick one, I am using NI products now in Reason9.5 as VST plug ins.

    I have been really happy with the sounds I have got through massive but want to buy another one to play with, what would be recommend?!? - I have been looking at Absynth, but I thought I would ask before spending any more hard earned cash.. any recommendations from you guys who make D&B? - cheers

    Iain
     
  2. Uwe303

    Uwe303 NI Product Owner

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    6,492
    Massive is a really good synth i use it 95% for my synth sounds. Absynth is a good choice but a look at razor is also worth it.

    Uwe
     
  3. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

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    2,062
    ...Massive, Absynth and FM8 are my go-to synths for that. I use Absynth and FM8 also as effect units - you can do really cool things with them. Noisia and Icicle seem to use FM8 a lot, Absynth has been very popular for DnB, when it came out and I think, I have even seen a very cool DnB soundset last year (so, it's still in use by others, I guess). In my opinion, you don't need to go any further than these three.
     
  4. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

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    2,062
  5. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

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    2,062
    ...I remembered an indie soundset for Absynth - found it now:

    djdistance.bandcamp.com/album/essential-absynth-vol-1 (paste this into your browser - the forum software seems not to like links to bandcamp)

    ...the author also talks about his basics for Absynth here:



    ...a key element for a lot of modern DnB sounds seems to be "distorting" via FM - all three can do it at various levels and with the use of their modulation possibilities - the multistage envelopes in FM8 and Absynth or Massive's Performer as a simplified version of them - you can create a lot of crazy modulated things with them. Creating your own waveforms (or importing external ones) into Absynth and morphing between two is also very interesting for DnB.

    The other key element is filtering the sounds (the principle seems to be very similar to sculpting - i.e. roughening up something, then smoothening it). With the Absynth effect plug-in you can do parallel filtering and with the FM effect plug-in you can have some sort of morphing filter via the XY-pad. A shame that we never got a Massive effect plug-in, it would have been really cool to use the filters and routing options for external signals.

    However, if you're really into creating your own sounds, have a look at Reaktor and Blocks, there are some amazing things there for DnB as well. In the User library have a look at the Euro Reakt collection, the Infinite Phi collection and almost everything that Colugo creates. The Kodiak Blocks that have been released with the Reaktor Block 1.3 update yesterday are also very cool - especially the oscillator, the morph filter and the performer will be very useful for creating DnB sounds.
     
  6. Iain Allsop

    Iain Allsop New Member

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    that's some great information in there thanks very very much - has anyone used Serum or Omnispshere2 at all - both of them have been recommended too me
     
  7. Scott_Theory

    Scott_Theory NI Product Owner

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    I don't make dnb but Razor is tailor made for it.
     
  8. Uwe303

    Uwe303 NI Product Owner

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    6,492
    There are lots of great synths and i think all of them are good and you can create a wide range of sounds with every single one. In my opinion it's more important to learn about the synth, you will buy, as much as possible and create your own sounds. Thats a lot of fun.

    Uwe
     
  9. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

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    2,062
    ...Omnisphere certainly is a solid synth base for a lot of scenarios. However, buying it just for DnB sounds would be a bit overkill, I guess. And for that money I'd always buy Komplete first (it's about into which platform you're buying). Not sure, what modulation sources Omnisphere has - I guess, it's plenty, but I'm not sure if it has multistage envelopes and, if not, this can be substituted by its other modulation sources. You mentioned Reason, so you can always automate parameters via the host, but I don't know, if Reason allows curved automation.

    That's why I think, the three NI synths are very suitable for these kinds of sounds, as you don't need to worry about your host's automation features.

    Serum is very popular, but I have very mixed feelings about it. It can have up to 8 LFOs which can serve as multistage envelopes, if I'm not mistaken, but I'm not sure, if you can snap their points to a grid and the overall space on the GUI for that is tiny (though I've heard they might work on a GUI update). I'm not conviced by its sound (at least if you consider its CPU-load) and the results of resynthesising whole samples, even if you know how to do it properly, aren't that exciting to me - if you know what you're doing you can do the same & more with traditional synthesis. I'm not sure about its development as well, as the resynthesis algorithm has been done, I believe, by someone from Ohm Force, and most or maybe even all of the filters are older ones licenced from Cytomics. You can rent to buy Serum for $9,99 a month at splice.com, but, personally, I'd wait to see the GUI updates or if there's a version 2.
     
  10. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

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    2,062
    ...this might give you an idea what you can do with FM8 for DnB. Though in that video he's adding some additional plug-ins, you can enhance the sound in similar ways using FM8's own effect section.



    ...and to give you an impression of how FM8 can sound without any additional effects, have a listen to this soundset.

    http://aslsoundlab.com/format/fm8/atom-for-fm8

    This site offers soundsets specifically for DnB , so you might get some other ideas what synths to try (e.g. Harmor or Sytrus), but, generally, I agree with Uwe, that it's more about learning your synths.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  11. Iain Allsop

    Iain Allsop New Member

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    thank you very much fellas for taking the time to help me out and give me some guidance. :)
     
  12. Iain Allsop

    Iain Allsop New Member

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    I have just invested in Razor to have a play with that, far more preferable to 500 dollars for Omnisphere :)
     
  13. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

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    ...tbh - quite an odd choice for my taste :D, but I hope, you'll have lots of fun with it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good synth, but a bit limited compared to the others.

    Anyway, should you be interested in Absynth or FM8 at a later point, you could find them most of the time for about half their original prices at the kvraudio sell & buy forum. Usually around these NI sales like the current summer sale people seem trying to get rid of their single licences, as they buy into Komplete. Check out the feedback thread to see, if a seller is trustworthy.
     
  14. kcearl

    kcearl NI Product Owner

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    1,710
    Massive is their best synth for just about anything imho...its their most overated yet underated product too. Its one of the few softsynths I own that still get used with hardware and has been for years
     
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  15. puzzlefactory

    puzzlefactory NI Product Owner

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    2,270