Best additive synth rack

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sleep1979

Post 29 Apr 2019

Can you guys name all the additive synths in rack extension form and tell me which one you think is the best .

I only know of spectra -parsec and zero

Cheers.

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Loque
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Post 29 Apr 2019

Obviously Parsec.

eXpanse would be my 2nd choice.

Spectra is rarly used by myself, but has some nice features, especially for DADSR for spectras. Noxius is quite interesting and has some uniqueness. I rarely use Vibro. Not sure if Revival and JPS can be called "additive".

I have no experience with AdditiveOscillator.

I am sure, i overlooked some synths...
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Auryn
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Post 29 Apr 2019

Loque wrote:
29 Apr 2019
I am sure, i overlooked some synths...
You sure oberlooked Oberon!
It's definitely my favourite, no competition
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sleep1979

Post 29 Apr 2019

Auryn wrote:
29 Apr 2019
Loque wrote:
29 Apr 2019
I am sure, i overlooked some synths...
You sure oberlooked Oberon!
It's definitely my favourite, no competition
Ill try that too are you the creator of the synthwave synth ??

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reddust
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Post 29 Apr 2019

For me it's also Parsec 2

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Loque
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Post 29 Apr 2019

Auryn wrote:
29 Apr 2019
Loque wrote:
29 Apr 2019
I am sure, i overlooked some synths...
You sure oberlooked Oberon!
It's definitely my favourite, no competition
Idd, i overlooked it. Does it allow access to the spectra partials? Maybe i missed something more here?
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Boombastix
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Post 29 Apr 2019

If you decide to venture out into the VST world you also have Harmor and Iris2.
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scratchnsnifff
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Post 29 Apr 2019

zero, expanse, parsec, and europa are my favorite additive synths! europa and expanse are definitely hybrid synths, but at the core of europa is an additive engine :)


parsec is fun because it has an easy style of additive synthesis i just wish you could load waveforms. i suppose europa is basically parsec 3. as a lot of the best features from parsec got implemented into europa. plus in europa they added even more!

def. try oberon, its another easy style of additive synthesis. but if you are looking for more advanced functionality go with spectra, zero or expanse. those are the top 3 advanced additive synths imo.
oberon sort of makes that list due to its modifiers, but the osc drawing is kind of wonky imo.
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eusti
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Post 29 Apr 2019

Noxious?

D.

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diminished
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Post 29 Apr 2019

I haven't tried it, but there is also JPS Harmonic Synthesizer.
:reason: Most recent track: resentment (synthwave) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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diminished
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Post 29 Apr 2019

diminished wrote:
29 Apr 2019
I haven't tried it, but there is also JPS Harmonic Synthesizer.
Edit: whoops, Loque already mentioned it.
:reason: Most recent track: resentment (synthwave) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

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JiggeryPokery
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Post 30 Apr 2019

Loque wrote:
29 Apr 2019
Obviously Parsec.

eXpanse would be my 2nd choice.

Spectra is rarly used by myself, but has some nice features, especially for DADSR for spectras. Noxius is quite interesting and has some uniqueness. I rarely use Vibro. Not sure if Revival and JPS can be called "additive".
Ironically, the "obvious" Parsec is the one you mention that isn't additive... from the GUI: you have no direct control over harmonic selection, they're only presets you can modulate in ways that, let's be honest, are faintly unpredicatable. So, under the hood it may be genuinely additive, but my view would be since the user has no access to the harmonics in order to shape them, it sort of isn't.

The Harmonic Synthesizer (and, to be scrupulously fair, Revival, and indeed any harmonic-control organ like a B3, and all those others you mention are absolutely additive synthesizers either entirely or, like eXpanse, with an additive harmonic edit mode), you can add harmonics*. That's the very definition of additive! Like Parsec, the HS also has preset harmonics of course, but unlike Parsec's they are fixed, so Parsec offers a lot of unique features here, this isn't dissing it; still, the Harmonic Synthesizer has 32 additive sliders, 16 per oscillalator, while Parsec has none, so really in practice, which from the users point of view is genuinely additive?

Also, I think the Harmonic Synthesizer is also the only additive synth in Reason with dedicated CV inputs for every harmonic it offers? Honestly, to paraphase Brian Cohen's mum, "How much more additive you can get!" :D

The big difference between the Harmonic Synthesizer and Spectra/Noxious/eXpanse's additive section, is while the others offer more partials, being based on 80/90s additive synths, the Harmonic Synthesizer is a lot easier to program, and because it's not—by default anyway—pure sines, so it's actually suprisingly rich in harmonic content even though it just has 16 "partial sliders" per osc (if that makes sense)!

I find the immediacy of playing and tweaking the Harmonic Synthesizer makes it a hell of a lot more fun. It's the SubTractor of additive synths, so actually it's a really good device to learn additive synthesis on, because it's not overwhelming in terms of hundreds of individual harmonics, and complex envelopes and mod routings etc. And especially with the new two-osc harmonic view, it's all there right in front on you, and not in buried pages of custom displays. eXpanse in particular I think is great, although it's way beyond just additive of course, but it's not an easy synth to work with. "Best" is subjective, but of course I'll say Harmonic Synthesizer is the best pure-bred additive synth because it is! ;)
______

* I suppose, by extension, if you remove harmonics, that doesn't suddenly make them, uh, subtractive synthesizers... ;) :lol: )

sleep1979

Post 30 Apr 2019

JiggeryPokery wrote:
30 Apr 2019
Loque wrote:
29 Apr 2019
Obviously Parsec.

eXpanse would be my 2nd choice.

Spectra is rarly used by myself, but has some nice features, especially for DADSR for spectras. Noxius is quite interesting and has some uniqueness. I rarely use Vibro. Not sure if Revival and JPS can be called "additive".
Ironically, the "obvious" Parsec is the one you mention that isn't additive... from the GUI: you have no direct control over harmonic selection, they're only presets you can modulate in ways that, let's be honest, are faintly unpredicatable. So, under the hood it may be genuinely additive, but my view would be since the user has no access to the harmonics in order to shape them, it sort of isn't.

The Harmonic Synthesizer (and, to be scrupulously fair, Revival, and indeed any harmonic-control organ like a B3, and all those others you mention are absolutely additive synthesizers either entirely or, like eXpanse, with an additive harmonic edit mode), you can add harmonics*. That's the very definition of additive! Like Parsec, the HS also has preset harmonics of course, but unlike Parsec's they are fixed, so Parsec offers a lot of unique features here, this isn't dissing it; still, the Harmonic Synthesizer has 32 additive sliders, 16 per oscillalator, while Parsec has none, so really in practice, which from the users point of view is genuinely additive?

Also, I think the Harmonic Synthesizer is also the only additive synth in Reason with dedicated CV inputs for every harmonic it offers? Honestly, to paraphase Brian Cohen's mum, "How much more additive you can get!" :D

The big difference between the Harmonic Synthesizer and Spectra/Noxious/eXpanse's additive section, is while the others offer more partials, being based on 80/90s additive synths, the Harmonic Synthesizer is a lot easier to program, and because it's not—by default anyway—pure sines, so it's actually suprisingly rich in harmonic content even though it just has 16 "partial sliders" per osc (if that makes sense)!

I find the immediacy of playing and tweaking the Harmonic Synthesizer makes it a hell of a lot more fun. It's the SubTractor of additive synths, so actually it's a really good device to learn additive synthesis on, because it's not overwhelming in terms of hundreds of individual harmonics, and complex envelopes and mod routings etc. And especially with the new two-osc harmonic view, it's all there right in front on you, and not in buried pages of custom displays. eXpanse in particular I think is great, although it's way beyond just additive of course, but it's not an easy synth to work with. "Best" is subjective, but of course I'll say Harmonic Synthesizer is the best pure-bred additive synth because it is! ;)
______

* I suppose, by extension, if you remove harmonics, that doesn't suddenly make them, uh, subtractive synthesizers... ;) :lol: )
Blow your own trumpet why dont ya 😂joke but thanks man i will download your synth , little expensive for me atm , but im looking for a additive synth one day in the near future 🙂

two shoes
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Post 30 Apr 2019

I know I'm gonna be in the minority here, but Spectra is where it's at if you actually wanna take a deep dive into additive synthesis in all its glorious minutia, as opposed to twist some knobs and get some neat sounds (Parsec, also great and hey look - there's two sound makin thingys at the same time - I've never seen that before!) or integrate some additive elements into your fancypants patches (Expanse is the current grandaddy of RE synths but I think it's more of a wavetable variant than an additive variant - is that even controversial?). Spectra on the other hand is the real deal - they made a hardcore effort to give the user as much granular control over every element of additive patch creation as they possibly could within the constraints of the sdk and had some brilliant ideas in the process. Spectra pushes the boundaries of a specific style of synthesis in a way that few other REs have even attempted - the handful of rack instruments that rival it in terms of depth and complexity are all hybrid synths with the possible exception of Viking 2 which is to VA what Spectra is to additive in a manner of speaking. The fact that they managed to keep the interface and programming style so thematically consistent on a synth with that level of depth to it just makes it all the more impressive. I think the more ambitious a software instrument gets the more crucial it becomes for there to be some visual and methodological boundaries in place to hold things together. An instrument like Parsec encourages the user to create sounds in a more proscribed and linear fashion that emphasizes specific decision points and controls as it's primary creative opportunities - not that there's anything wrong with that - it's a tried and true approach. Spectra takes more of a sandbox approach that dispenses with the guided tour in favor of hands on access to the raw materials. It's less efficient to be sure, and unless you know her backwards and forwards Spectra probably isn't the instrument to be reaching for when the goal is to create a usable sound quickly before a moment of inspiration slips away. But if you don't have any deadlines to meet or clients to impress and you wanna go a slip slidin' down the deep rabbit hole that is additive synthesis you could hardly ask for a more suitable vehicle. Whoever built this synth probably started dreaming it up the first time they read or heard someone say that there is no such thing as a sound you can't create with additive synthesis - hell, even the manual is a labor of love. Don't get me wrong, Parsec and Expanse are great in their own right, but do yourself a solid and don't overlook Spectra - it really is an amazing instrument.

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bitley
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Post 30 Apr 2019

Subtractor is the best additive synth.

Its wavetables are fantastic and it can do stunning Depeche Mode 1984-era PPG type stuff.

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bitley
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Post 30 Apr 2019

bitley wrote:
30 Apr 2019
Subtractor is the best additive synth.

Its wavetables are fantastic and it can do stunning Depeche Mode 1984-era PPG type stuff.
I'd made a few tracks demonstrating this so I've now released them to the world in my eyes.



"This Digital Single features three tracks created entirely with the Reason Subtractor (and a few drums on track two) and it's made to give an example of the digital synthesis / additive synthesis functions in the Subtractor, which actually is a wavetable synth in disguise. The music was inspired by the mid 1980s work by Vince Clarke / Erasure and also Depeche Mode around the same era."

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eusti
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Post 30 Apr 2019

Pretty cool, Bitley!

D.

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modecca
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Post 30 Apr 2019

two shoes wrote:
30 Apr 2019
I know I'm gonna be in the minority here, but Spectra is where it's at if you actually wanna take a deep dive into additive synthesis
Spectra took too long to be released for me. I was beyond excited when i first heared about it but 2 years later (i might be eggagerating) and as loaded with features as it is, I didn't like programming it: took forever to make a sound that i found interesting.
I think as far as Re's go Parsec and Oberon compliment each other well: both are a different yet produce immediate results for sound designers looking for quick results.
🤠

sleep1979

Post 01 May 2019

two shoes wrote:
30 Apr 2019
I know I'm gonna be in the minority here, but Spectra is where it's at if you actually wanna take a deep dive into additive synthesis in all its glorious minutia, as opposed to twist some knobs and get some neat sounds (Parsec, also great and hey look - there's two sound makin thingys at the same time - I've never seen that before!) or integrate some additive elements into your fancypants patches (Expanse is the current grandaddy of RE synths but I think it's more of a wavetable variant than an additive variant - is that even controversial?). Spectra on the other hand is the real deal - they made a hardcore effort to give the user as much granular control over every element of additive patch creation as they possibly could within the constraints of the sdk and had some brilliant ideas in the process. Spectra pushes the boundaries of a specific style of synthesis in a way that few other REs have even attempted - the handful of rack instruments that rival it in terms of depth and complexity are all hybrid synths with the possible exception of Viking 2 which is to VA what Spectra is to additive in a manner of speaking. The fact that they managed to keep the interface and programming style so thematically consistent on a synth with that level of depth to it just makes it all the more impressive. I think the more ambitious a software instrument gets the more crucial it becomes for there to be some visual and methodological boundaries in place to hold things together. An instrument like Parsec encourages the user to create sounds in a more proscribed and linear fashion that emphasizes specific decision points and controls as it's primary creative opportunities - not that there's anything wrong with that - it's a tried and true approach. Spectra takes more of a sandbox approach that dispenses with the guided tour in favor of hands on access to the raw materials. It's less efficient to be sure, and unless you know her backwards and forwards Spectra probably isn't the instrument to be reaching for when the goal is to create a usable sound quickly before a moment of inspiration slips away. But if you don't have any deadlines to meet or clients to impress and you wanna go a slip slidin' down the deep rabbit hole that is additive synthesis you could hardly ask for a more suitable vehicle. Whoever built this synth probably started dreaming it up the first time they read or heard someone say that there is no such thing as a sound you can't create with additive synthesis - hell, even the manual is a labor of love. Don't get me wrong, Parsec and Expanse are great in their own right, but do yourself a solid and don't overlook Spectra - it really is an amazing instrument.
Yeah i have this online friend who is really into additive synthesis and he is excited about spectra , i guess because he is a really good sound designer he goes deep into it and spectra would be that rack i guess ? I have this synth called fathom which does most all kinds of synthesis really well its a Bit over my head atm though thanks mate

sleep1979

Post 01 May 2019

bitley wrote:
30 Apr 2019
bitley wrote:
30 Apr 2019
Subtractor is the best additive synth.

Its wavetables are fantastic and it can do stunning Depeche Mode 1984-era PPG type stuff.
I'd made a few tracks demonstrating this so I've now released them to the world in my eyes.



"This Digital Single features three tracks created entirely with the Reason Subtractor (and a few drums on track two) and it's made to give an example of the digital synthesis / additive synthesis functions in the Subtractor, which actually is a wavetable synth in disguise. The music was inspired by the mid 1980s work by Vince Clarke / Erasure and also Depeche Mode around the same era."
Yea very cool bitley i guess your talking about this type of thing

https://www.reasonexperts.com/additive-subtractor.html

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moneykube
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Post 01 May 2019

great sound bitley !!!!!
https://soundcloud.com/moneykube-qube/s ... d-playlist
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dusan.cani
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Post 30 May 2019

JiggeryPokery wrote:
30 Apr 2019

Ironically, the "obvious" Parsec is the one you mention that isn't additive... from the GUI: you have no direct control over harmonic selection, they're only presets you can modulate in ways that, let's be honest, are faintly unpredicatable. So, under the hood it may be genuinely additive, but my view would be since the user has no access to the harmonics in order to shape them, it sort of isn't.
In Parsec you have direct control over individual partials. For example, "Partial envelopes" modifier enables you to draw attack and decay for individual partial of the selected spectrum. And there are also other modifiers which enable you to select a custom subset of partials and apply various cool modifications to them. And nearly all of the modifiers are predictable if you understand what is their function. But it's really easy to understand this, since you see on the modifier display what is happening. Which of those modifiers caused you the problem that you can't expect predictable results ?

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Creativemind
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Post 30 May 2019

eusti wrote:
29 Apr 2019
Noxious?

D.
Is what I was gonna say. That and Parsec.
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JiggeryPokery
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Post 31 May 2019

dusan.cani wrote:
30 May 2019
JiggeryPokery wrote:
30 Apr 2019

Ironically, the "obvious" Parsec is the one you mention that isn't additive... from the GUI: you have no direct control over harmonic selection, they're only presets you can modulate in ways that, let's be honest, are faintly unpredicatable. So, under the hood it may be genuinely additive, but my view would be since the user has no access to the harmonics in order to shape them, it sort of isn't.
In Parsec you have direct control over individual partials. For example, "Partial envelopes" modifier enables you to draw attack and decay for individual partial of the selected spectrum. And there are also other modifiers which enable you to select a custom subset of partials and apply various cool modifications to them. And nearly all of the modifiers are predictable if you understand what is their function. But it's really easy to understand this, since you see on the modifier display what is happening. Which of those modifiers caused you the problem that you can't expect predictable results ?
Ah, OK, I stand corrected to an extent - yes, I see what you mean now. I think that's a v2 feature and while I do have v2, I've not really used it since v1. ;)

That noted, I don't think it's doing what you think it's doing, so my comment likely stands: aside from the practical issue that the modifier window is tiny and it's hard to select individual "partials", I'd still suggest you don't have direct control over setting the level of individual partials as you're talking about the modifiers, "partial envelopes", the clue's rather in the name ;) . So which Generator offers you the setting of individual partials? Well, as far as I can see, none of them. You have preset partial groups, then some resynthesis options.

And then many of the generated sounds of Parsec are via the repurposed Thor "PPG" wavetables, i.e., they're not individually phase-locked sinewaves you can select. At this point I'll note I don't know what it's doing that it could envelope modulate individual partials of a fixed wavetable. So it can, presumably, generate sounds from preset groups of partials, which you can individually envelope modulate, but given those apply to the WTs too the partial envelope seems to be some kind spectral "partial frequency filter", for want of a term (unless again there's some kind resynthesis going on and the partial envelopes are individual amp envelopes rather than filter envelopes), rather than an amp level per partial, which if the case means you're not setting partial levels. But regardless of whether it's the original v1 presets or the v2 WTs, for example, if you set all the "partial envelopes" to zero, there's still a click. Well, if there's no partials, there should be no sound, right? But there is.

In terms of the preset partial groups, modulating them is cool, but I'd still say the results aren't entirely as predictable as simply adding or removing an individual partial as you can do in Harmonic Synth, Nocxious or Spectre, because it seems to me you're filtering them, rather than appying gain to them.

Please don't mistake observations, which may or may not be entirely correct ;) , or opinions for criticism, as the approach taken by PH there is not a bad thing, merely a different approach that has its own pros and cons: tens or hundreds of partials are tough to work with, with hence why additive synthesis—perhaps even more than FM—tends to be overlooked in terms of sound design, and has tended to be something of a relative failure in terms of commerciality.

Spectre has a superb custom gui, and looks to be based on Kawai's synths (I've got both the K5m and K5000W). The trick, though, is that 256+ partial synths are (and with twice as many sub-menu pages of controls ( :) )) bastard hard to program, and sadly that kind of showed through in many of the thin and derivative patches presented in the launch video, as if most of the designers being showcased didn't really understand or take the time to learn how to program it, rather banged out a few quick patches to quality for a free license. I do keep meaning to trial Spectre, it's right up my alley, but something that deep needs a deep dive, and I've never quite found the time I think it probably deserves to really dig in to.

dallasknight
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Post 13 Jun 2022

Do any of these additive synths allow you to create new waves by entering specific frequencies for individual partials? or do the partials have to be ratio's of the root frequency?

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