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Any other synthesists out there?

Hey! Anyone else on here who works a lot with synth programming / synth sound design? What is your favorite synth? Do you prefer software/digital or hardware?
I work with designing patches on both software synths and my analog synths, though I prefer the analog sound. Recently got a Prophet V to use in the studio.


Good idea to open this topic, I had the idea to make one titled something like “What’s your favourite gear?” recently.

I work with VSTs only because I wouldn’t be arsed to buy an expensive synth even if I had the money for it, and God forbid I buy Behringer knock-offs :joy:. I get that it’s less immediate and not as fast as having the real thing before you, but a MIDI controller can bridge that, and the comfort of having it all inside your computer, without the need to have recording equipment or play back things if you’re DAWless, is simply priceless.

I’m good at subtractive synthesis, meh at additive, bad at FM (I’d just wing it by switching algorithm for the presets on something like a Yamaha DX7 or CX5M, surprisingly I still haven’t learned how to use it properly. To me it’s the least intuitive of the three, not for complexity but use-wise).

My fav synths are:

  • Roland SH-101. I emulate it a lot as there’s various plugins for this one, free/paid/official. It’s also out in a new updated version, the 01A, which has 4-note polyphony and pitch/modulation strips at the left.
    Great interface, makes ultra-danceable or distinctive leads, good bass, and some people even use it for analog drums - not that I would because it’s beyond its intended capabilities, but it’s noteworthy.
  • Harmor, which is a VST by Image-line. It’s basically prepackaged additive synthesis, you don’t add stuff, you just filter it in or out. Incredibly powerful. Then it has a ton of built-in effects, resynthesis, a spectrogram analyser for when you make sounds, etc… and a literal clone of itself in itself. Whew. Anyways, I use it for complex pads.

More recently, all the newcomers from Korg (the Volcas and Mini/Monologues) sound great. And that is just my list. Honourable mentions: the Prophets, the ARPs, the Moogs, etc…

Fav drum machines: again, almost anything by Roland such as the R-8, TR-727, TR-909… and of course the 808.

Other stuff: I like the sounds from Korg M1/Triton/other workstations because they’re pretty historic, kind of like the R-8 cards and 727 whose sounds became insanely popular soundfonts on chips. Ever played any Nintendo game from 1989 to today? Exactly. It’s the McDonald’s of music, in a positive sense.

I’m tagging @benedictrm because he surely has just as much to say. :grinning:


Oh indeed I do :wink:

I started with hardware, moved to VST, tried hardware again, and dumped it as fast as I could. Sound is sound is sound is… How it gets there does not matter. I know many music types who get off on real knobs. I know lots of mixing types who get off on owning lots of plugin compressors. While they play with and talk about their gear a lot, they rarely make great music.

Great music is all that matters.

I also have the advantage of having made some of my own instruments and effects over the years using SynthEdit. So I have a greater than average understanding of how the different methods work. What they can and can’t do (due to laws of physics).

I used to be afeared of FM. Now I find it fascinating. It is an Additive method only using a process instead of adding & moving harmonics by hand (which is great but a PITA). The DX-7 was hard to program because it had to use the limits of the affordability of hardware at the time. The designers knew that most users would use presets - and boy did they ever. Once you get the nature of how FM (or more accurately Phase Modulation) works it is amazing and can do so, so, sooooo much. Like lots more than what people assume when they only think that the DX-7 could do FM Piano 1, Lately Bass, 80s Brass, Pan Flute, and a funny clanky slap bass sound like Seinfeld. FM is like what you wanted to do with a Moog Modular but was too hard.

As for my fave synths: well that is Europa, Thor & Subtractor in Reason as they are so flexible and fast for me to work with (and I have been using Reason for over 12 years now). I best like synths that let me change direction mid-flight. If I started in a Model D kinda frame then hear some FM parts I want to add, I don’t want to have to change devices. I want to keep what I have and add. Europa & Thor are wonderful for that. Europa is similar to Harmor mentioned above in that you have a front for altering an Additive-style structure under the hood. It can sound clinical or Moogy as well as pseudo-real strings, brass etc. If you know how it works, you can get there.

As noted I can move faster with these synths than anything else I have. The more I use them, the faster I can go whilst widening what I can deliver from them. I have a single-panel modular synth ready for release called Janus IV but while it is immensely capable it is slower to use than Europa or Thor.

Here is a 7 min film I just made with my 9 y.o. daughter and it was totally silent so I made everything you hear. I used Europa (in Reason) for everything. If you think you hear birds, nope synth. If you think you hear a waterfall, nope synth. Strings, nope, synth.

But never do I want to pretend these things I create are “real”. That is a thing I loathe in synth users who try to pretend their orchestra samples make an orchestra. Synthesis is an instrument in itself. I use it as such.

So after all of that, to answer the OP: Yes. I am a pretty hard-core synthesist.


Wow that is really cool! I love the sound design in that video. I can agree with that last point…while it’s nice to take inspiration from various sounds, such as orchestral sounds, I like to appreciate the synth as it’s own instrument.

Also thanks for mentioning Synth Edit! I’ve been wanting to design my own synth from scratch, and this seems like a good starting point to further familiarize myself with the internal workings without having to have much technical electric or coding knowledge


Great question. I wish I had some hardware synths (Prophet 5 or Juno 106 would be amazing). Right now I’m 90% using Serum, which has a super easy interface and clean sound. But for that analog sound, I actually recently purchased Analog Lab from Arturia… some really good sounds in there taken from the analog synths.

Btw - I’m thinking about opening a new subcategory for synth patches/sound design. What do you guys think?


Sounds great! There’s so much to be said on those topics


I’m more of a soft synth guy :slight_smile: I can’t afford the real thing and maybe it’s not so necessary with the quality of VSTs these days.

I really like all the Arturia emulations of the classics, they sound great to me and I’m sure the average listener couldn’t tell if we use an emulation or the real thing :slight_smile:
I do admire anyone though that can twiddle those knobs and build a sound that they have in their head from scratch.


Hi synths lovers :kissing_heart:

I mainly use the synths included in the AKAI Force workstation, so nice-sounding to me. And of course, make my own sounds fiddling with all the buttons.

What is really good with this machine is that there is also the possibility to work with samples and to make custom keygroups, the old AKAI sampler way.

Without forgetting that it is a hardware DAW that can do without a computer.

If you want to listen What i do with my synths


Yes nice subcategory :+1:

Nice synths use. May I ask how do you insert your Youtube video in your post? Thank you. (EDIT : it’s ok @imagination7413 told me)

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First, you can use the @ to tag people, rather than reply to individual posts with (+1), since you’re limited from posting multiple times in a row. Second, you just post the direct link on it’s own line, and if you’re a forum member (which it looks like you are), it should show the vid in-post.

I’d say go for it, though it might not get much traffic. The #fiverr-music-audio category itself has been up for just over 2 months, and has 12 conversation threads. Though it does seem to be warming up. You guys running traffic/activity expectations?


@imagination7413 Thank you for your information :pray:

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@teramangala I see you got your video sorted. Not what I expected from talking Akai and Meditation. I assumed (wrongly) it would be some Techno (early Trance) sort of thing. this is more in the Drone sphere. That may make it a bit hard to get traction in the New Age space as I found most of them want only the safest of safe sounds so even my stuff gets the swerve. You could get interest for sure in the Dark Ambient and Drone space for sure - assuming any of them ever buy anything.

@fvrrmusic I have never used Serum but I can’t see why it can’t be made to sound as analog as anything. After all Both Serum and Arturia V Collection synths are all just 00111000110111001110101. It is in understanding what movement you want how & where. Mostly if you move Osc tone & tune, Filter tune, Env times, and use Saturation carefully (Softube Knob is great) then you can make anything “analog”. This video talks about a great way to make patches more organic and shows Europa which is similar to Serum in some ways.

As for making a Patch/Programming section - in my experience in other Forums, this ends up only being used by people wanting to be told (always for free) how to clone some sound in a song they like. And sadly never say thanks after. I have made quite a lot of in-depth (I am The Thinking Guy after all) vids on synthesis if they are of interest. Otherwise it a thing I do professionally.



I’m a true analog synth fan. I bought a Novation MiniNova as a Christmas gift for myself. That was the best way to spend my money

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Hey Fiverr Synthesists! I wanted to write here and update you all that we just opened up a subcategory just for synth patches and presets. You can check it out here:

If your gig was moved there, be sure to update it with new pricing factors/metadata. If you feel like your gig was moved there incorrectly, of course let me know and I’ll have it moved back!

Let me know if there’s anything else in this subcategory you might want to see - looking forward to seeing all the awesome sound design you guys do

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Thanks. My Gig is updated

I upped pricing as starting at $5 only brought people expecting the impossible and not willing/able to do their half of the work. Many don’t seem to realize that much of an “amazing” synth sound is the playing/programming so if I don’t have the right performance the sound will not work like they think.

The silly low price also brought scavenging resellers who make skill claims in their Gigs when they have no such abilities and trade on the expectation people like me will honor their silly promises, only for a fraction of the absurd price they made client-facing promises at. Not cool.

I must say Fiverr has an awfully limited sense of who might want/use synths in their music. Lucky Jackson Browne, Journey, Tangerine Dream, George Strait, Alan Jackson… are old/dead or they may feel discriminated against seeing there is no sense of Rock, Country etc in allowable genres. Hopefully that changes soon.



Yeah there’s a bit of a lack in the genres! Myself I prefer to work with sounds for new wave, rock, or a bit like the sounds on Blade Runner (the original). Although I am open for various genres and I think synths can show up in a variety of ‘unusual’ genres like you say. Heck, even Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis would feel left out in addition to the ones you named. Though i don’t know many modern jazz artists using synths
Rn I am actually doing synths for a prog rock / metal guy. So you never know who has a desire for them

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I tend to use Harmor and Sytrus a lot. I honestly have no idea what I’m doing no matter how many manuals I read, and it comes out cool in the end regardless. I will (on rare occasions) use Toxic Biohazard. I purchased the full liscence for FL Studio, so I’m gonna use it all!

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I work a lot with my Roland System 1, I consider it the most powerful “traditional” synth, if you just want oscillators and filters like in the 70s. There’s a lot that can be done, from catchy pads to powerful basses. Anyway I’m a synth enthusiast in general, my first synth while “not traditional”, was the M1 Korg. Since then I bought Korg and Roland gear, they are my preferred brands.

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