The Best Reason Synth?

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ab459
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Post 19 Feb 2021

zoidkirb wrote:
19 Feb 2021
but it's probably something I could live without.
Funny, filters self oscillation (I'm fan of) is the first thing that i started to test after launch C1, and immediately met the problem.

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zoidkirb
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Post 19 Feb 2021

ab459 wrote:
19 Feb 2021
zoidkirb wrote:
19 Feb 2021
but it's probably something I could live without.
Funny, filters self oscillation (I'm fan of) is the first thing that i started to test after launch C1, and immediately met the problem.
I'm starting to understand the appeal now :D . It's probably gonna bug me now.

Reminiscence
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Post 19 Feb 2021

It must be Thor for me. :geek:

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challism
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Post 19 Feb 2021

Mataya wrote:
19 Feb 2021
Right. Attention was low. Malstrom for sure then. Becasue the sounds I get from it are just so unusual often...and also, it doesn't have onboard fx, which I like, a and also cpu usage is low. But even Malstrom was made by Magnus from Soniccharge, so what's really a true Prop synth? :)
I would say, any synth RS owns the rights to, whether they commissioned the work or did it in-house. I suppose that rules out PX7 (formerly mis-branded Propellerhead).

Malstrom is definitely a strong contender for best RS synth. It's one of my top stock instruments, and it's still amazing after all these years. So is Thor. And so is Subtractor. It's hard to pick, but I would have to go with Thor for the stock devices. It's just able to do so much, not only as a synth, but also as a utility tool.

Stock synth: Thor

As for the RS REs, I know Complex-1 is way more amazing than I even realize. I haven't had time to really dig into it since I got it. I know once I do, I'm going to fall in love with it. So I'm going to have to reserve a spot for Complex -1. Also going to have to reserve a spot for Algoriitm. I have a feeling it's going to be a great FM synth, with that randomize button.... that's going to be so much fun.
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TritoneAddiction
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Post 19 Feb 2021

I'm gonna get flack for this but screw it. For me it's Scenic.
Ever since I got the R11 Suite it's been among one of my most used synths. Sure it may not be as deep as some other synths. I'm sure Grain is deeper. But that's the problem. I like things simple and easy to use. I don't want too much crap going on.
For me Scenic offers something different. What I get from it is a nice blend of natural and electronic sounds. It's somewhere in between those two worlds.

Let's just say a synth like Complex-1 isn't for me, apart from a couple of presets here and there. But actually tweaking that thing is a nightmare for a person like me.

Other than Scenic I like enjoy Europa and Parsec too. Big synths but still pretty easy to tweak existing presets with.

chaosroyale
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Post 19 Feb 2021

Subtractor. Hands Down the best-planned, best-designed, best-implemented synth in Reason, and for the first few years of its existence the best subtractive synth plugin in the world.

It only needs like 3 changes to bring it up to date, and none of them would change the look or feel of the device or break compatibility (*not that I care about compatibility, they already broke it when they removed line6, so move on already!!)

1. Oversampling switch
2. "ballistics" switch for each envelope (linear, logarithmic, exponential)
3. finer grained filters for automation.

Personally I would also love them to add an MSEG at the bottom of the device, but not a modmatrix, because that would take away the instant feeling - just give it 4 or 5 knobs to modulate various targets.

There is one more really easy thing they can do to power-up their synths: not just subtractor. This should really be a QOL update, because the power of reason is not in a particular device, it is how they integrate.

Make it possible to copy the combinator macro settings from one device to another similar device in the same combinator. That would be a huge advantage for users of the Rack in other DAWs too. "you want to make a huge sound - just copy paste 5 subtractors, 4 europas, whatever, then copy all the macros, a few tweaks, and boom - instant megasynth"

But I'm pretty sure they will never do it.

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Billy+
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Post 19 Feb 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
19 Feb 2021
just give it 4 or 5 knobs to modulate various targets.
Stick it in a combinator
And get programming your targets :thumbup:
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chaosroyale
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Post 19 Feb 2021

Well, firstly there is no standalone MSEG in Reason. I could use Europa as a CV generator, which is very inelegant and -as usual- annoying workaround. I am suggesting ways they could make Subtractor better, not the usual old workarounds that waste time.

*there may also be a technical problem there - using an MSEG via CV in a combinator will be limited by the CV bandwidth, making very snappy envelopes impossible, and - if I recall correctly - they will behave differently depending on your buffer size in the new rendering mode.

The great thing about Subtractor is how amazingly direct and easy it is. A single MSEG attached to the synth with a few knobs would be the optimal way to do it while keeping the design philosophy of Subtractor intact.

Anyway, as I said, the MSEG is a personal request, I think the other features I mentioned are more important.
Billy+ wrote:
19 Feb 2021
chaosroyale wrote:
19 Feb 2021
just give it 4 or 5 knobs to modulate various targets.
Stick it in a combinator
And get programming your targets :thumbup:

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dvdrtldg
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Post 20 Feb 2021

1. Europa
2. Parsec

.... and after a long time away, I'm starting to use Thor again. Very deep synth and fun to get lost in, for me it has the edge over Subtractor

teddymcw
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Post 20 Feb 2021

I've thought over an hour about this. It's between Humana and Klang.....

Ok, Klang it is you monsters!

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integerpoet
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Location: East Bay, California

Post 20 Feb 2021

Europa is the first synth I ever loved.

It resonates with my software engineer heart.


Threpus
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Post 20 Feb 2021

If we evaluate the value of a synth in terms of versatility- Jack of all trades- Thor is best. If best means the highest quality result for a given sonic function- however limited in the number of uses it might be- then it’s hard to beat Subtractor for thick monophonic stuff.

That being said, I have yet to get as much mileage from any RS synth as I do from The Legend. If I didn’t have access to The Legend, I could probably use some combination of Subtractor and Thor to achieve similar timbres.

Kevin Sunray
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Post 20 Feb 2021

I think speaking of which synth is the best it really depends. For me a good synth is always a synth that can get you a good sound pretty fast. So thinking of this I can say overall Thor but if Malström had the effects attached into it then Malström could win Thor easily because it's easier to use and you can create a lot of unique sounds fast while with Thor you need more time to get a good sound and I am talking about sounds that can be the LEADer of a track, not secondary/background or layer type sounds. Subtractor is great but alone is poor to deliver you a good sound without the use of additional effects.

Now Europa, because I am fairly new to it and I haven't played a lot with it yet seems to win all of them because you can actually alter the waveform however you want which is amazing and it has all the effects attached to it so you may not have to load tons of effects to get a good sound. Though I can not say it's the best because I haven't explored it a lot to do sounds yet.

chaosroyale
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Post 21 Feb 2021

Strongly agree that "fast" is a highly under-rated feature in itself, that goes for all plugins.

A little piece of advice which will give you big results: get used to using the external effects on your synths. Just save a couple of fx presets you like that give a a good starting place. One of the best things about Subtractor for me is that it has no effects, which keeps the UI simple and clear, and lets you use the much better external effects. The effects in Thor and Europa are very weak compared to what you can do with the ones in the rack.

Shameless self-promotion: if you want an idea of how powerful this can be, grab one of my FX packs (thread below) and try putting them on "dry" sounds from Thor, Malstrom and Subtractor (a simple drag and drop of the combinator after the synth will do it) and I think you will be surprised how deep things can sound.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7521040

Kevin Sunray wrote:
20 Feb 2021
I think speaking of which synth is the best it really depends. For me a good synth is always a synth that can get you a good sound pretty fast. So thinking of this I can say overall Thor but if Malström had the effects attached into it then Malström could win Thor easily because it's easier to use and you can create a lot of unique sounds fast while with Thor you need more time to get a good sound and I am talking about sounds that can be the LEADer of a track, not secondary/background or layer type sounds. Subtractor is great but alone is poor to deliver you a good sound without the use of additional effects.

Now Europa, because I am fairly new to it and I haven't played a lot with it yet seems to win all of them because you can actually alter the waveform however you want which is amazing and it has all the effects attached to it so you may not have to load tons of effects to get a good sound. Though I can not say it's the best because I haven't explored it a lot to do sounds yet.

Kevin Sunray
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Joined: 16 Feb 2015

Post 22 Feb 2021

chaosroyale wrote:
21 Feb 2021
Strongly agree that "fast" is a highly under-rated feature in itself, that goes for all plugins.

A little piece of advice which will give you big results: get used to using the external effects on your synths. Just save a couple of fx presets you like that give a a good starting place. One of the best things about Subtractor for me is that it has no effects, which keeps the UI simple and clear, and lets you use the much better external effects. The effects in Thor and Europa are very weak compared to what you can do with the ones in the rack.

Shameless self-promotion: if you want an idea of how powerful this can be, grab one of my FX packs (thread below) and try putting them on "dry" sounds from Thor, Malstrom and Subtractor (a simple drag and drop of the combinator after the synth will do it) and I think you will be surprised how deep things can sound.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7521040
Subtractor is just a very simple sound device, that is great to make some basic sounds and of course if you add external effects you can get great sounds.

Though in my post I am talking and comparing reason devices as is, without the use of external devices. A good device is a device that can help me make a sound fast without having to load many other devices.

chaosroyale
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Joined: 05 Sep 2017

Post 22 Feb 2021

I get you - but don't sleep on Subtractor! I was not joking earlier in the thread when I said it is the best-planned and best-designed synth in Reason. If they could update it with oversampling and those other features I mentioned, I would rate it alongside anything by U-He.

Inspired partly by your post, I made this free combinator:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7521984

It's an insert, so you can just drag it into the rack after a Subtractor or Malstrom. Takes 1 second, and you may find all those old Subtractor patches you usually pass over suddenly come back to life.
Kevin Sunray wrote:
22 Feb 2021

Subtractor is just a very simple sound device, that is great to make some basic sounds and of course if you add external effects you can get great sounds.

Though in my post I am talking and comparing reason devices as is, without the use of external devices. A good device is a device that can help me make a sound fast without having to load many other devices.

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ShelLuser
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Post 23 Feb 2021

For me it boils down to Thor, that powerhouse is amazing and has aged tremendously well over the years. I'm quite passionate about soft synths and I've always favored the stuff made by the Props, which is also why I own all synths (actually all RE's) which they released.

My home studio includes Komplete Ultimate, thanks to a really generous Native Instruments Holliday season deal I could also add several U-HE synths to my setup (mind blowing...) and despite all that potential I still keep coming back to Thor out of all synths. Other "old school" synths are awesome as well, I definitely share the love for Subtractor and Malstrom, but Thor...

And I dunno you guys... You mentioned the new synth they announced. I'm actually unimpressed with what I heard. I can't help shake off the feeling that Reason Studios (yech) are trying way too hard to be something they're not, and this feeling actually started when picking up on that U-HE deal and learning more about their stuff.

See.. I also own and love Complex-1, it's an amazing synth and provides tons of flexibility. Yah, sure... but... errrr. then I discovered Bazille (which I now also own). Notice any resemblances? ;) Of course this synth was around since 2009 (give or take) whereas Complex got released nearly 10 years later? And with all due respect to Complex-1 but.. after messing around with Bazille the only reason I still use Complex is for all my patches and the Reason workflow which I love and admire (even within the RRP). But all of a sudden I'm not that much impressed with Complex-1 anymore. I admire it for what it is but.... this wasn't very original.

Thor was game changing, so was Malstrom and so was Europe. But all these modern devices.. Scenic has many things in common with NI's Thrill and/or Straylight, Friktion heavily reminds me of Ableton's Live Tension (in both sound and interface), and there are more examples. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not being negative about this stuff, heck no. Sure, owning Thrill made me recognize stuff, but Scenic does an awesome job in itself and it's costs are but a fraction. Not to mention one very important difference: Scenic can be used for your own material as well.

No, my point is that I get the feeling ever so more that Reason is no longer in front of the pack (though.. a major exception would be their player devices, those are ground breaking here and there IMO) but they're also trying to mimic stuff that already exists out there.

Sure it's a very thin line and in the end everyone borrows from everyone, I know.

But when I hear that new synth I hear stuff I already know from Komplete, and I can't help wonder if we won't be getting some hybrid between a synth and the pattern mutator (their last player). Which would, once again, mean that there's nothing really new here.

Or maybe I'm just too cynical, could be, but I know one thing for sure: Reason isn't what it used to be. Heck, apparently we're not even allowed to share our love for Frank anymore because how dare we criticize the work of a real person when that person happens to be a woman....

.. and no: I'm not even referring to the removal of that thread here ironically enough.

</rant>
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Goriila Texas
Posts: 647
Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Houston TX

Post 23 Feb 2021

The thing that makes me come back to Reason is the fact most synths have an audio in, this is huge to me with sound design and creating hard to copy sounds.



ShelLuser wrote:
23 Feb 2021
For me it boils down to Thor, that powerhouse is amazing and has aged tremendously well over the years. I'm quite passionate about soft synths and I've always favored the stuff made by the Props, which is also why I own all synths (actually all RE's) which they released.

My home studio includes Komplete Ultimate, thanks to a really generous Native Instruments Holliday season deal I could also add several U-HE synths to my setup (mind blowing...) and despite all that potential I still keep coming back to Thor out of all synths. Other "old school" synths are awesome as well, I definitely share the love for Subtractor and Malstrom, but Thor...

And I dunno you guys... You mentioned the new synth they announced. I'm actually unimpressed with what I heard. I can't help shake off the feeling that Reason Studios (yech) are trying way too hard to be something they're not, and this feeling actually started when picking up on that U-HE deal and learning more about their stuff.

See.. I also own and love Complex-1, it's an amazing synth and provides tons of flexibility. Yah, sure... but... errrr. then I discovered Bazille (which I now also own). Notice any resemblances? ;) Of course this synth was around since 2009 (give or take) whereas Complex got released nearly 10 years later? And with all due respect to Complex-1 but.. after messing around with Bazille the only reason I still use Complex is for all my patches and the Reason workflow which I love and admire (even within the RRP). But all of a sudden I'm not that much impressed with Complex-1 anymore. I admire it for what it is but.... this wasn't very original.

Thor was game changing, so was Malstrom and so was Europe. But all these modern devices.. Scenic has many things in common with NI's Thrill and/or Straylight, Friktion heavily reminds me of Ableton's Live Tension (in both sound and interface), and there are more examples. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not being negative about this stuff, heck no. Sure, owning Thrill made me recognize stuff, but Scenic does an awesome job in itself and it's costs are but a fraction. Not to mention one very important difference: Scenic can be used for your own material as well.

No, my point is that I get the feeling ever so more that Reason is no longer in front of the pack (though.. a major exception would be their player devices, those are ground breaking here and there IMO) but they're also trying to mimic stuff that already exists out there.

Sure it's a very thin line and in the end everyone borrows from everyone, I know.

But when I hear that new synth I hear stuff I already know from Komplete, and I can't help wonder if we won't be getting some hybrid between a synth and the pattern mutator (their last player). Which would, once again, mean that there's nothing really new here.

Or maybe I'm just too cynical, could be, but I know one thing for sure: Reason isn't what it used to be. Heck, apparently we're not even allowed to share our love for Frank anymore because how dare we criticize the work of a real person when that person happens to be a woman....

.. and no: I'm not even referring to the removal of that thread here ironically enough.

</rant>

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adfielding
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Post 24 Feb 2021

If we're talking stock synths... that's a really tricky one! One thing I really like about Reason's synths is that they all have their own distinct character - I think I'd probably go with Thor because I have more of an attachment to it than any other Reason stock synth, but I'm not sure I could pick a personal best.

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miscend
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Post 24 Feb 2021

For me it used to be Thor. These days it's toss between Grain and Europa.

It seems Maelstrom has a few fans here, I think it was superseded when Grain came out and allowed you to load your own samples.

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utdgrant
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Post 25 Feb 2021

100% Thor for me. It's THE single best synth I've ever owned, be it analogue, digital, VA or soft-synth. I've been an owner of many hardware synths beginning in the early '80s and now I do everything 'in the box' in Reason. Thor is always my go-to synth when I'm coming up with new sounds or trying to replicate some hardware synth from my past. The modular layout, extensive modulation matrix and the paraphonic 'Global' section make it possible to come very close to capturing the essential character of many vintage machines.

One stand-out feature, which is of prime importance to me, is that in monophonic mode, the oscillators and envelope generators operate in the same fashion as a vintage monosynth. Specifically, if you release a key, and an envelope generator starts to decay towards zero, if you then press a new key, the attack phase will start at the point at which it had decayed to on the previous note. i.e. - it DOESN'T reset all the way back to zero (RTZ is something a lot of digital polysynths do by default). Also, the oscillators don't reset their phase on each new key press, allowing you to do that Minimoog 'continuous phased' sound with two slightly-detuned oscillators. This is something I rant about a LOT!

Subtractive synthesis is still my fave approach, but the FM, Wavetable, Multi-Osc and Phase Distortion oscillators are fantastic for making complex 'digital' sounds as a source for further filtering. I've owned a Casio CZ-101 and PPG Wave 2.3 in the past, and Thor can sound EXACTLY like them. It's great to have the PPG sounds available in a reliable and repeatable form - the original machine was very flaky! The different filter models are also great for replicating synths from different vintage manufacturers such as Moog, ARP, Oberheim, Roland, Yamaha and Korg.

Did I say I liked Thor? :-)
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miscend
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Post 25 Feb 2021

Yeah Thor is really great if you think about it. But could do with a few tweaks. If you play a simple detuned bass note in Thor then play the same note in either Monark or the Legend. The latter synths can sound a bit beefier. Maybe adding oversampling and zero delay filters will make it more competitive.

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kuhliloach
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Post 25 Feb 2021

Subtractor makes sense visually and it sounds great. Most of the others are beyond my understanding and wind up taking lots of my time trying to figure them out when I should have been making music.

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Heigen5
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Post 25 Feb 2021

Best stock synth in Reason? All of them. But if I'd really need to keep only one, I'd choose Europa.

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Oberlai
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Post 25 Feb 2021

Malström is one-of-a-kind in the WORLD, and I love it for that. I just wish they'd add more graintables...

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