Music

Author: DerAndere
Here you will find interesting information on (electronic) music and music production.

Content

1      Review of interesting VST synthesizers
1.1   Foorius by DMI of Smart Electronics 
1.2   Icarus by Tone2
1.3   XSRDO_Patchwork
1.4   Lynx by Xenobioz
1.5   ZynFusion
1.6   TX16WX by CWITEC Music Software
1.7  sforzando by Plogue
1.8   Tal Filterby Togu Audio Line
2      Using Icarus by Tone2

1      Review of excellent free synthesizer VST plugins

The digital work station (DAW) I use for music recording and production is Reaper by Cockos Inc.. It has an unrestricted evaluation period. I would like to mention my favourite synthesizer VST plugins here:

1.1   Foorius by DMI of Smart Electronix

The Demo version is for free and you have to press a button every now and then to continue using it, but it is my second-to-favourite synthesizer VST plugin after Tone2 Icarus. 
- 3 Oscillators. When they are set to digital oscillators, they can load custom wavetables that can be edited inside Foorius by drawing waveforms. Alternatively, oscillators can be set for resonance sweep / predefined sweeps or for pulse width modulation or they can be set as noise oscillators with 3 different types of noise.
- Oscillator mix
- flexible filters 

1.2   Icarus by Tone2

My favourit synthesizer VST plugin. The demo is for free but you simply have to close and reopen the user graphical user interface of the plugin (not the whole DAW) every 10 minutes to prevent the Icarus demo from getting silenced.
- 2 wavetable Oscillators. It comes with poweful tools for spectral editing of waveforms and you can freely draw the waveforms to create custom wavetables.
- Additionaly wavetable sound can be shaped by waveshaping, harmonic content morphing,
granulizing, formant shifting, phase distortion, reversing, ring modulation, unison voices
- Wavetable index sweep
- Oscillator mix
- Pulse-width modulation (PWM), frequency modulation (FM)
- Decent filters
- All envelopes, LFOs and filters can also be drawn free hand

1.3   XSRDO_Patchwork Modular System by Sami Puuronen

- 25 modules can be chosen freely.
- Initialize up to 34 wavetable oscillator modules that can load custom wavetables and support wavetable index sweep
- Initialize up to 20 mixer modules for crossfading between two sources
- Decent standard filters

1.4   Lynx by Xenobioz

- 2 oscillators that can load custom (single circle) waveforms
- Oscillator Mix for crossfading between osicllators

1.5   ZynFusion

Powerful additive and subtactive synthesis. 
- 16 Oscillators with sequential modulation (FM, phase modulation, ring modulation)
- huge unison
- formant filter flexible but dificult to set up 
- Although in principle all imaginable waveforms can be produced for each of the oscillators, achieving the desired result is difficult (waveforms cannot be drawn free hand but have to be generated from standard waveforms by spectral editing)   
- Waveforms cannot be changed during sound generation
- MIDI learn and automation is not supported for all sliders
- The homepage offers prebuilt binaries for a Demo that gets silenced after 10 minutes
- Open source: An unrestricted version can be built from source code on www.github.org. For building Zyn-Fusion for Microsoft Windows, use the following instruction:

First download msys2 from here: https://www.msys2.org/ and install it in the system partition (usually C:)
Then open the msys2 shell by opening msys2.exe and type
pacman -Syu
If told to, restart the shell and then type
pacman -Su
After the update is ready, type:
pacman -S git
Now you can close the msys2 shell. Open mingw64.exe and type:
git clone https://github.com/zynaddsubfx/zyn-fusion-build.git
cd zyn*
./build-mingw64.sh

This starts the automatic cloning of the repository on http://www.github.org and builds zyn-fusion for Microsoft Windows which takes about 30 minutes. After the build process was complete and successfull, the msys2 shell can be closed. During the build process, a directory with a portable version of Zyn-Fusion is automatically created under C:\msys64\home\<user>\zyn-fusion-build.
Open that directory and copy the folder C:\msys64\home\<user>\zyn-fusion-build\zyn-fusion-windows-64bit-release. Paste that complete folder into the directory where your DAW is looking for (VST-)plugins.

1.6   TX16Wx by CWITEC Music Software

The VST software version of the Yamaha TX16W evolved into what is probably the most powerful free software sampler: Recording samples and producing own soundfonts in .sf2 format. Great for samples of real acoustic instruments, percussion samples, vocal samples.

1.7   sforzando by Plogue 

Free sfz player for playing soundbanks in .sfz format such as sophisticated soundbanks for piano, strings and saxophone.

1.6   TAL Filter by Togu Audio Line

TAL Filter (not to be confused with TAL Filter 2) is a great active 4-pole (24db/decade) lowpass filter with drive/input control and filter resonance (Q).

2      Using Icarus by Tone2

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