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Native Instruments FM8 Software Synth (Macintosh and Windows)

FM synthesis has played a huge role in music culture over the last few decades. The FM8 picks up where its award-winning predecessor, the FM7, left off taking FM synthesis even further. FM8's emphasis on ease-of-use brings a high degree of simplicity to the otherwise intricate process of FM synthesis. The powerful new audio engine delivers unsurpassed quality, generating a livelier, more energetic sound than ever before.



Tweak:  The video depicts some excellent fm8 sounds.  I really liked the FM7 better.  They added too many bells and whistles to the FM8 in my opinion and its not a stable.  The FM7 I really felt like I was working on a Yamaha DX7.  The FM8 can make many more sounds though and has the Kore engine inside to keep them organized.  So if you are a preset kind of composer you'll get an amazing variety of DX7-ish sounds, which every serious synth composer needs.


Korg Ms20

Korg KLCAE Legacy Collection Analog Edition Software (Macintosh and Windows)

The popular MS-20 and Polysix from the original KORG Legacy Collection are now joined by the all-new Mono/Poly in this powerful production package. The Legacy Cell software synthesizer plus MS-20FX and MDE-X effect plug-ins are also included.

Tweak: I have a hardware ms 20 and i can vouch for this soft synth authenticity.  I wrote a review on it.  It used to come with a toy controller, but they got rid of that.  Korg did a wonderful job here.  If you want the gritty, buzzy sound of a 70's era modular synth, want to experiment with modular cable routings all in the software domain, this is a fantastic addiion tou your plugin aresenal.

Korg Poly 6


Korg KLCAE Legacy Collection Analog Edition Software (Macintosh and Windows)
The popular MS-20 and Polysix from the original KORG Legacy Collection are now joined by the all-new Mono/Poly in this powerful production package. The Legacy Cell software synthesizer plus MS-20FX and MDE-X effect plug-ins are also included.

Tweak:  I never owned or played a poly 6 but its got a big fat polyphonic sound and a nice arpeggiator.  Comes with the MS20 in the analog collection. 

Korg Wavestation

Korg KLCDE Legacy Collection Digital Edition Software (Macintosh and Windows)

Introducing the Korg Legacy Collection -- Digital Edition; stunning software versions of 2 Korg digital synthesis masterpieces -- the M1 and Wavestation -- plus the MDE-X multi-effect plug-in. Now you can get the classic sounds of these 2 ground-breaking synth legends updated for the 21st century and ready to rock your computer, in VST, Audio Units and RTAS-compatible formats!

Tweak: I had a Wavestation SR, the rack of the original Wavestation and I used this synth till it finally died.  Not to worry.  The plugin version sounds stunningly authentic.  I could not tell if you blindfolded me, unless it was loud enough to hear that low level noise in the hardware.  One advantage of the software is that you get the entire set of expansion card's sounds. 

Korg M1

Tweak: I could never afford the M1, but when it was in the stores, its was the HOTTEST synth around. The M1 was slugging it out against the Roland D50 both using small PCM samples as part of the sound.  This is the synth that gave birth to the Trinity, then the Triton, then the M3.  My M1 version which is part of the digital edition of the legacy collection now, also threw in a a T3 emulation.  The T-series was the high end version of the M-series and offered a ton of expansion cards.  You get all those presets.  Its a huge library.


Back to the UberView

While with all software models, you can tell some differences when compared exactingly to the hardware synths.  Usually this is a good thing.  All these old synths had a high noisefloor when compared to today's gear.  The plugins do not have noise when doing nothing, so the sounds are in much greater relief.  That is a good thing.  Hey if you really need the crappy sound of hiss and hum just connect any old garbage preamp and turn up the gain to taste on an open channel.

Another good thing software lacks is electronic and tuning instability.  He-he.  I am imagining if I had all those old vintage beasts here and tried to make a song.  I'd be running back and forth to each synth every 10 minutes to fix something that just went out.  Probably would never get a track done!

On the negative side, and analog filter is a voltage controlled circuit.  A digital model will generate it the same exact way every time the parameters match.  On a real analog synth the filter had some instability and the sound was never the same.  Resonance has a sweet whistle that broke up like  a melting iceberg, not an annoying whine of a drill going through your head.  LOL.  Ok that was an extreme metaphor, the difference is not that great, but there is a difference.


So who sleeps better at night?  Its the dude with the vintage hardware.  You'll never end up making a song with that much old gear.  Its just too flaky now.  The dude with the Virtual vintage studio, however, might never sleep with all the sounds to create and songs that can finally made with incredible craft thanks to hi powered computers and stable vintage sound sources. You want sleep?  This is the wrong hobby. 

I hope this has given you some ideas about what to add to your virtual synth collection.  Have fun in the VV-world.  That's the Virtual Vintage World my friend!


I remain,



June 2009

Tweak's Articles on Software

Software Synths and Samplers INDEX
Understanding the Virtual Studio
What is a Software Sampler?
What is a Soft Synth?
What are Software Processors?
Spectrasonics Omnisphere
Spectrasonic's Trillian
Superior Drummer
My Favorite Vintage Soft Synhts
Stylus RMX
Battery by Native Instruments
Albino 3
Guru Review
StormDrum Review
Korg Legacy MS20
Garritan Personal Orchestra
Altered States
FM7 and FM8
NI's Komplete Bundle
MOTU's Ethno
Are Hardware Samplers Obsolete?
Antares Filter
Logic's EXS24 Sampler
Kore 2 Review
Kontakt 3
Waves Gold and Platinum
Software Plugins Price List





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