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Recommendations: U-he vs. Omnisphere vs. Rob Papen
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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7Wave's Avatar
Recommendations: U-he vs. Omnisphere vs. Rob Papen

I recently upgraded my music computer and I'm looking to buy some more software synths. I make mostly industrial music, synthwave, ambient/chill lounge, 90s style big beat, and some other stuff.

I currently have Reason 11 Suite, NI Komplete 12 Ultimate Collector's Edition, Arturia Pigments 2, and various East West orchestral packages.

I'm in the mood to learn some new software and I'm especially interested in the synth bundles offered by U-he and Rob Papen, but I'm also looking at Omnisphere.

U-he's 'All Synths Bundle' is kind of pricey at $887 (it includes Diva, Ace, Repro, and Zebra2, etc.), while Rob Papen's "Explorer 6" bundle is $499 and has Blade, Predator, and Blue, among many others.

And then there's Omnisphere, which seems very versatile.

Since Omnisphere costs as much as the Rob Papen bundle, I'm wondering which is the better overall value. Omnisphere seems to cover a lot of bases.

As for my budget, I was trying to stay at or below $1000. I could buy various synths individually, but when I pick and choose the synths I want most it ends up being over $1000 anyway since there's no bundle savings (and therefore no reason to buy more than one at a time). I might be able to stretch it to $1200 if I needed to.

A few scenarios I've been thinking about:

Scenario 1: U-he all synths bundle and nothing else. I could spend years programming and playing these, especially Diva and Repro, which looks like the best software emulation of the Prophet 5.

Scenario 2: Rob Papen and Omnisphere.

Scenario 3: Omnisphere, Diva, and Repro. No savings on Diva and Repro since they're not bundled. I suppose I could wait at that rate and just buy them one at a time.

Scenario 4: A mix of individual U-he and Rob Papen synths -- also no bundle savings, so in that case I could buy them one at a time as I work my way through.

More generally, I'm wondering if it really pays to buy bundles versus just picking individual synths.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Try out demos if possible. I've got 4 bundles, but only use a few things from each.

The flip side is that if you get a few things, the deals usually come out better to just get the bundle.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

U-He.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
Don't get bundles, you're just paying for stuff you'll never use. Rob Papen is ancient in the VST business, his synths do weirdness well but they're hardly workhorse synths that stand out, there's freeware stuff that does the same. Omnisphere is bloatware for people who don't like synths. U-he Diva and Repro would set you up for most stuff you'd care to do in the genres you mentioned, they sound good and are straightforward to program. Big hybrid synths with a million presets don't inspire anyone with half a brain. NI Komplete's FM8 and Reaktor synths will fill in the gaps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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EvilDragon's Avatar
In your case I'd go with scenario 3. Add Zebra down the road.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
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enossified's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
In your case I'd go with scenario 3. Add Zebra down the road.
Agreed.

The u-He stuff is fantastic, but do you really need two semi-modulars (A.C.E. and Bazille)? Diva and Repro are state of the art VA, beating anything you already have. Hive overlaps quite a bit with other instruments you already have. That leaves just Zebra 2 to buy later if you really think it's useful...you can mess around with the demo forever, you just can't save anything or record anything longer than about 15 seconds
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

For versatility start with DIVA. Its emulating components from 6 different analog synths.

If you put more value on emulation of the Sequential Pro-One and Prophet-5 go with Repro first.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
ACE is very different than Bazille. Totally apples and oranges. Bazille sounds absolutely phenomenal (organic, alive), and ACE is an excellent workhorse with quite juicy filters.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeWestSE View Post
Don't get bundles, you're just paying for stuff you'll never use. Rob Papen is ancient in the VST business, his synths do weirdness well but they're hardly workhorse synths that stand out, there's freeware stuff that does the same.
Blue 2 is an excellent synth that combines FM and subtractive with a few cool features. If you dig FM, it’s one of the best, IMO. Predator is a competent synth by any measure, and Blade (v2 is coming soon) is a really fun an novel approach. Their customer service is second to none and nothing in the freeware world actually comes close to any of them.

Quote:
Omnisphere is bloatware for people who don't like synths.
Statements like that are from people who’ve never used Omnisphere.

Quote:
U-he Diva and Repro would set you up for most stuff you'd care to do in the genres you mentioned, they sound good and are straightforward to program. Big hybrid synths with a million presets don't inspire anyone with half a brain. NI Komplete's FM8 and Reaktor synths will fill in the gaps.
The truth is, all the synths he’s listed are worth getting. I don’t have all the U-He, but Zebra, Repro and Bazille are staples in my arsenal.

If I had a $1000 dollars to spend on software... I’d buy a Prophet 12 module. Maybe an older Prophet 08 or even an Analog Four Mk2. Get some unique character that you won’t find in any software and leave your CPU free for other stuff. If that isn’t a possibility... I wouldn’t really buy any bundle. I’d probably buy Omnisphere, because it’s just so damn versatile. Falcon is great too, but more of a learning curve and the included sample library isn’t as interesting. Then I’d just pick up bits and pieces of whatever interested me. There’s quite a lot to really love these days. Repro, is great for a retro Sequential sound, bx_oberhausen and Obesssion are great for retro Oberheim sounds. Lion is great for heavily effect laden sounds. Bazille is like nothing else. Synclavier V and CMI V are both really interesting for retro digital sounds. I’d really just spend a month on KVR and see what people are chattering about and then try the demos to see what moves me.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
DSK
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DSK's Avatar
For analog sounding stuff that's easily programmable you can't go wrong with U-he.

For interesting complex and layered textures I'd go with Omnisphere or Falcon.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Nut
Rob Papen Xplorer and Omnisphere 2!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Bundles? Yuck. Bundles are a good way to waste money - use demos instead to learn what you want/like/need.

Uhe: Repro and Hive2, maybe Diva or Zebra. Repro, esp. for Repro-1 basslines, and Hive 2 for digital exploration.

Omnisphere.... I'd skip for now until you know more. It's HUGE, and it's basic synth capabilities are solid but I think, for example, Hive2 is better at being a synth... just not as capable in all areas, because Omni is vast, especially when you get to layering and samples etc. You can easily get lost for years without doing anything.

RP: solid synths for sure, and some unique ones... definitely try things out. For more "bread and butter" sound regardless of genre and I'd personally look elsewhere. For some strangeness, there's some possibilities here.

Do you have your drums sorted? If not, I'd direct some $$ that way.

For me, I'd go with Repro and Hive 2 and then something that can get even more digitally nasty, from Papen or DS Thorn (can often pick this up cheap in big sales) or something.

And, as Zerocrossing said, check out hardware. For example, the Roland SE-02 is $400 or less new, and the Erica Synths DB-1 and some Dreadbox synths are in the neighborhood, along with many others.

Go slower, take some time to demo and get what you want/need. Then spend some time learning that instrument before moving to the next one. Buying a bundle, or even Omni, can be overwhelming, unless maybe you have 8+ hours per day 5-7 days per week to spend on this.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
shortyedwards's Avatar
Agree on the U-He. Also agree on the non-bundle thing. I tend to go overboard and get more than I need before fully exploring the synth that is right in front of me. I would humbly recommend not following this approach.

Also, Rob Papen has a couple/few of Reason REs if you wanted to try them. Some people love them. I can't comment on them. Good luck.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

You have already covered most modern synthesis methods with Komplete+Pigments+Reason...
Maybe get a physical modelling -> Pianoteq and Chromaphone are good.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Ok I think option 2 has to be the best bet.

What you get with omnisphere and the papen stuff is the expertise of great patch programmers, loads of stuff ready to go.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I would just get Diva and Repro.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
M32
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If you want lush, flexible synth sounds, U-He no doubt.
Omnisphere is an endless source of material that easily goes beyond synth sounds. But for creating synth sounds from scratch U-He has a definite edge.

Rob papen's stuff is pretty good, but in these times a bit dated. The synths are original designs and well thought out, but the character of basic filters and oscillators has improved much since.

Blue is a pretty good synth though, with a good workflow/interface for an FM synth


Sonically FXpansion Cypher2 is pretty unique, and excells at simulating audiorate modulation and analog FM. Horrible interface though.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
Bundles? Yuck. Bundles are a good way to waste money - use demos instead to learn what you want/like/need.
That really depends on the bundle and the deal.

Take the current sale on Arturia’s V collection.

https://www.pluginboutique.com/produ...UaAmR-EALw_wcB

$249 is a steal, if you’re like me. It’s...

Synthi V
CZ V
Mellotron V
CMI V
DX7 V
Buchla Easel V
Matrix 12 V
Solina V
Synclavier V
And Wurli V
(I don’t care too much about the rest)

...for $25 each. Synclavier V alone is $199. So if you want more than two of the above, the bundle is the smarter move, even if you don’t install the plugins that you don’t want. Same holds true for a lot of bundles, like Komplete. If you wait until their on sale, it can be an amazing deal.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #19
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
That really depends on the bundle and the deal.

Take the current sale on Arturia’s V collection.

https://www.pluginboutique.com/produ...UaAmR-EALw_wcB

$249 is a steal, if you’re like me. It’s...

Synthi V
CZ V
Mellotron V
CMI V
DX7 V
Buchla Easel V
Matrix 12 V
Solina V
Synclavier V
And Wurli V
(I don’t care too much about the rest)

...for $25 each. Synclavier V alone is $199. So if you want more than two of the above, the bundle is the smarter move, even if you don’t install the plugins that you don’t want. Same holds true for a lot of bundles, like Komplete. If you wait until their on sale, it can be an amazing deal.
You’re a guitar player, how do these virtual instruments sit in a mix with your guitar or bass recordings? Acoustic drums? Do you find you’re having to adjust your traditional instrument recordings using amps and mics to sit in the mix with the software instruments?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
That really depends on the bundle and the deal.

Take the current sale on Arturia’s V collection.

https://www.pluginboutique.com/produ...UaAmR-EALw_wcB

$249 is a steal, if you’re like me. It’s...

Synthi V
CZ V
Mellotron V
CMI V
DX7 V
Buchla Easel V
Matrix 12 V
Solina V
Synclavier V
And Wurli V
(I don’t care too much about the rest)

...for $25 each. Synclavier V alone is $199. So if you want more than two of the above, the bundle is the smarter move, even if you don’t install the plugins that you don’t want. Same holds true for a lot of bundles, like Komplete. If you wait until their on sale, it can be an amazing deal.
I can see that. I'm not a bundle person really. I can see someone using it as a means of discovery, though. I'm very much a "research the F out of something and be as confident as possible in your purchase" kind of person - which other people can find annoying

I still think that buying a bundle without first trying everything in the bundle, or, at the very least, understanding what everything is and how you might use it in the bundle, is wasteful. Whereas if you know everything in the bundle and have tired it and buying them as a bundle saves you money, THAT's a worthy endeavor. But I also know everyone is different.

I just went against the GS grain here and recommended NOT buying everything - crazy talk, I know! Heh.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Pigments is so incredibly versatile that you have to be careful not to spend on synths that do not add new capabilities for you. For instance, apart from a gazillion presets, what do you want Omnisphere to do that Pigments cannot? (I’m sure it does something different/better, but is it enough?)

I would get something that fills a niche. That seems more like U-je among the options you gave. Personally I do not like the U-he GUIs, so I would demo them first. Also consider the Arturia vintage stuff.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Learning synths is a long path. So I’d go slow, buying one at a time, understanding each as deep as possible, and not only scrolling presets. I’m just a guitarist but I know what kind of synth sound I want. So I pick one at a time, based on reviews and demos, and testing myself I know almost immediately if they fit the job for me. I love Diva, which is an instrument. I have to buy Repro. I’m interested in Omnisphere, but my keyboard playing can’t justify the investment. Then you have extraordinary free synths like Spire or Uhe stuff. In Komplete, you can get great sounds from Monark (but I don’t like Massive’s signature sound). And finally, you can get Unify to layer sounds for cheap. But I wouldn’t go for any bundle.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I really like Omnisphere for its sample collection library, and presets are good too. However, if you want to create your own sounds and have bazillions of possibilities, then I would recommend MeldaProduction's MSoundFactory (wait for 50% sale). There's a drawback of having too many options and you need to work to get great sounds, but you can really go nuts with this thing. If you are DIY kind of producer, then try it out!
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