80s Synth Brass?

Okay, let’s create a new topic to test Discourse :slight_smile:

I sometimes need typical Oberheim/Jupiter 8 brass sounds like we all know from Prince, Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder.

Has someone found the perfect plugin to do these sounds? I haven’t been very happy with the Arturia plugins (Analog Lab -> stability issues) and my favorite 80s plugin (Sonicprojects OP-X PRO-II) sometimes looses its preset data when recalling. Omnisphere (2) has some nice patches.

Any suggestions?

ummm, perfect? thats a tricky word…

U-he Diva ?

Besides all, thats why I still keep the real thing (Matrix-6R, Xpander and MKS-80)

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A couple of years ago I saw stability issues with Arturia’s Analog Lab, especially when I tried to tweak the patches. Now I frequently use the individual Arturia V-Collection synths and have never had a crash with those. The Mini V3 is great, and Jup-8, Prophet, SEM and Matrix-12 and Synclavier. I use the B-3 (with MeldaProduction’s MVintageRotary leslie effect which is outstanding) the Stage-73 and the Wurli on a weekly basis and no problems.

I am also a big fan of Omnisphere because the sound sources are so good and they provide lots of ways to modulate and layer them. Just watch out for patches with tons of effects – that’s when you run into CPU bandwidth issues. For me I layer a bunch of sounds and apply audio effects to the whole bus rather than to each individual patch.

A friend of mine loves U-he Diva but he says it uses a lot of CPU horsepower!

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You could give Syntronik from IK Multimedia a try.

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+1 for Diva, and all the U-he stuff, actually. Those are my “stranded on an island with one set of plug-ins” set. You can set quality vs. CPU for Diva. For Jupiter 8, I find the Roland Cloud by far the best one, and I have them all. It was an even worse CPU hog than Diva, but Roland just added a LowCPU mode, so for live it’s totally fine, and for my ears still better than Arturia’s.

For Prophet 5 (the quackier brass), the U-he Repro 5 is killer, too. I’m doing a Journey tribute, so both of those are getting a lot of mileage for me :grinning:

PS - For Prince, the OP-X is pretty great, but I’ve also had preset recall problems, so I avoid it. If you are on PC, there is a great sounding plug from Aly James that’ll get those Prince sounds pretty easily:


And his VProm 2.0 is a GREAT LinnDrum. Still waiting for him to port his other plugs to mac…


I like Syntronik for these types of sounds as well.

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Thanks for your answers. Haven’t heard of Syntronik yet.

That’s very interesting. CPU is one of the reasons I haven’t considered Diva for live usage yet. I’ll check it out.

Okay, I see, I should give the other U-he synths a try. I’m currently working with Zebra and Omnisphere which do 80% of the job.

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I agree, Zebra2 is by far the most used synth across all my projects. I haven’t run into many 80s sounds I can’t recreate on it. From D50 to DX7 to the “Fat and Fuzzies” I’m really impressed with Zebra, and I’d also say it’s the most forgiving on CPU hit. I have some patches stacking / layering maybe 6-7 instances of Zebra on a 2014 MacBook Pro, and it’s barely hitting 50%.

The others, like Diva, Repro 5, and Roland cloud, are more a luxury, and if I know a record was done with a certain synth, I can get there faster with those, but I’m certain with a bit more tweaking I could get there with Zebra. Omnisphere is awesome as well, so if you have those, yeah, you’re most of the way there.

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You should all check out Serum


I’ve heard nothing but praise about Serum…just DL’d the Demo…WOW…sounds great! Kinda reminds me of what would happen if Omnisphere and Massive had a VST love child :slight_smile:

For which kind of sounds do you use Serum?

I don’t use it live, just done some experimenting with it — it’s widely regarded as one of the best plugins out there.

Seems to me, you can make pretty much anything. I only played around with it a bit, but it has extensive waveforms from the standard analog stuff to several wavetables, and selectable filters. Those 2 aspects reminded me of how Omnisphere approaches it. It also has the draggable parameters to an extensive mod matrix, which is what reminded me of Massive. I can immediately see the endless possibilities.

The sound is clean and powerful, and the effects are great from what I heard. My current arsenal of plugins is pretty stacked right now. I’ve always wanted great clones of old hardware that I lusted after growing up, which I pretty much have now. So while Serum was fun to mess with, I’m not sure how soon I might get it. But it does seem to me to live up to the hype!

I find XPAND2 by Air Music Technology great for synth sounds - you can layer and split 4 sounds at once on the same or different midi channels. The only thing I’m having trouble with is getting the Pitch - Modulation to respond to Midi CC in GP. Anyone else using this plugin?

Yes, i do. I have once bought the complete collection.
What is the exact problem you have? I could give it a try at home…

Nice! Xpand2 looks like it might be a good bread and butter workstation vsti to replace synth sections like in Motif, Fantom, Triton. I’ll check out this one…

I mapped a the Keyboard Slider strip (set at CC 19 - shouldn’t matter, right?) to change the DEPTH of a Synth PITCH/MOD. What’s strange is that the Slider changes the Amount in the Mod DEPTH in E2 but it doesn’t “Warble”

Is there some other setting in Expand2 that I need to change?

Their plugins really are not too bad. :sunglasses:
Have a look at my posting in “Plugins”:

At the moment, there is a special price-action for AIR products!

Hi all,

for my real brass sounds I mostly use Native Instruments Kontakt Brass with layers of trumpet and trombone
and tranpose double layer by +12

And the eq from sonible called “smart:EQ live”, this sounds fantastic!

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I guess, you mapped the (hardware)slider directly to the VST (no GP-widget between)…
I tried this and at the first glance, i faced the same effect: The VST-slider moved according to the hardware fader, but it showed no effect to the sound.
I think you might do the same mistake than i did: You have to move the MOD-wheel to have the adjustments take effect - the left section is (as labeled) for the Mod-wheel and the right one for pressure (=aftertouch).
See also the screenshot.

If this is not helping you, then we have to dig deeper. :thinking: