Korg Radias by lavadisco
The Korg Radias is a hidden gem in the digital synth world. It sometimes gets a bad rap because the presets on it are awful, and those not inclined to go beyond them will not understand the true sonic capabilities of this synth.
The raw character of the oscillators has a sort of "hifi" sheen. This is great in and of itself if that's the sound you're going for, but learn to program this synth well and you can get aggressive, full-bodied basses and pads with a ton of presence. The key to this lies in using different combinations of the multiple unison modes with detune, and the waveshaper which can add punch and a sub-osc.
It can do a fairly convincing emulation of analog basses and pads, but not so much when it comes to analog sound effects. It's great for highly digital sounds too using VPM osc modulation, comb filter, and the onboard bit reducer in the waveshaper section.
The Radias is an amazingly full-featured synth. Here's what it has PER PATCH:
- 4 timbres
- 2 step sequencers
- 1 user-programmable arpeggiator
- Global "super-unison" mode
- Master Effect
And within each patch, here's what it has PER TIMBRE:
- Osc 1: VA, Formant, Noise, Synth PCM, Drum PCM, Audio in
- Osc 2: VA
- Noise source
- Osc modulation: Waveshaping, X-mod, Unison, VPM, ring mod, sync
- Filter 1: Continuously variable LP12, LP24, HP, BP
- Filter 2: LP, HP, BP, Comb
- Filters can be routed serial, parallel, or individual
- 2 LFOs
- 3 EGs (loopable)
- 3 motion sequencers (can be used as LFOs/EGs or even sequence pitch)
- 2 Insert Effects
- 6-slot modulation matrix
I used to have a Korg Trinity, and loved the drum samples in it. The Radias, in addition to being a virtual analog synth, also has PCM samples of many of the Trinity drums (32 kits) so you can use it as a fully-knobbed drum machine. Run a drum beat through the comb filter, a little drive, and some fx and then tweak the knobs in real-time - you are in heaven! There are also very usable electric piano sounds in it.
And don't forget the vocoder, which is awesome. I like to run my Novation Bass Station II through the Radias as a filter/effects unit as well. You really can't go wrong with this synth. Paired with an analog monosynth, all the bases are covered.