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Recommended keyboard/synth VST plugins?

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    Recommended keyboard/synth VST plugins?

    So I've been wanting to add synth and keyboards to my music for a while now (well, to my personal music outside of my main band, since my main band has a keyboard player who is a pretty accomplished musician -- If you're wondering why I'm asking in this thread and not asking for his advice, it's mainly because the kind of sounds I want to use are different from the kinds he uses in our music), but I've always just kind of put it off and focused on the guitars, bass, drums, vocals, etc.

    Well, I just bought a MIDI keyboard and I have some of the more standard keyboard / synth VSTs, but what I really want to use are the more... "metal" ones. I guess that's way too vague since "metal" covers a pretty huge range of styles with keyboards that sound like 1970s prog, 1980s pop, classic piano, and so on. But I really want VSTs that fit that keyboard sound found in industrial metal, melodic death metal, more modern "edgy" electronic music, and so on. If it sounds kickass and is really useful, doesn't really matter whether it's free or costs money. The kind of music I've been writing lately is pretty crushing extreme metal with a rather hopeless and desperate, dark feel, so I'm kind of going for those kinds of keyboard sounds that sound mechanical/industrial, artificial (I guess I could see using a grand piano sound here and there, but those kinds of VSTs are easy to find).

    #2
    I've used the OB-Xd plugin (based on the Oberheim OB-X) a lot lately. Very 80's sounding, so maybe not what you're looking for, but since it's free I thought I might as well suggest checking it out.

    https://www.discodsp.com/obxd/

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      #3
      Originally posted by Valtteri View Post
      I've used the OB-Xd plugin (based on the Oberheim OB-X) a lot lately. Very 80's sounding, so maybe not what you're looking for, but since it's free I thought I might as well suggest checking it out.

      https://www.discodsp.com/obxd/
      Thanks for the link. Although I don't know if I'd use that in the music I'm writing lately, I do like how it sounds and I do listen to a lot of electronic rock, which heavily uses this kind of sound. And it does have sounds that resemble old-school industrial, which I could see using.

      I do feel a bit cautious about installing it, though, since it gets way more warnings than typically (such as a message of "Windows protected your computer" and if I select "go ahead anyway," it warns me that it's an unknown publisher trying to make changes to my computer).

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        #4
        Originally posted by Naren View Post

        Thanks for the link. Although I don't know if I'd use that in the music I'm writing lately, I do like how it sounds and I do listen to a lot of electronic rock, which heavily uses this kind of sound. And it does have sounds that resemble old-school industrial, which I could see using.

        I do feel a bit cautious about installing it, though, since it gets way more warnings than typically (such as a message of "Windows protected your computer" and if I select "go ahead anyway," it warns me that it's an unknown publisher trying to make changes to my computer).
        Think I got some similar warnings when installing it on my Mac, which is weird, since they seem to have a paid iOS app as well, so you'd think they'd be a known publisher to Apple. Anyways, it does work perfectly on macOS at least, so I don't see why it wouldn't on Windows.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Valtteri View Post

          Think I got some similar warnings when installing it on my Mac, which is weird, since they seem to have a paid iOS app as well, so you'd think they'd be a known publisher to Apple. Anyways, it does work perfectly on macOS at least, so I don't see why it wouldn't on Windows.
          While the dual warnings did give me pause, I ended up installing it and yeah, it works great. Sounds exactly like expected.

          This, of course, is fun to play around with, and could be fun if I want to make some electronic rock or 1980s-sounding stuff, but I have difficulty imagining using this in extreme metal. I also downloaded Synth1 yesterday, and that is also super fun to mess with (and mostly sounds 80s and sometimes 70s as well), but most of it wouldn't work with the main stuff I want to do (though I also downloaded 14,000 presets, so there's no end of stuff to mess with there, but it does all sound like 70s-early 90s synths).

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            #6
            I pretty much just use Pigments for all of my synth parts now. A bit more modern sounding than the OB-xd, but not as much as something like Serum. https://www.arturia.com/products/ana...cs/pigments#en

            It's got way more features than I'd ever use, to be fair, but I've managed to replicate a few fully-modular setups with it. Plus it's got a decent bunch of patches and the ones that Arturia sell for it are relatively cheap.

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              #7
              Originally posted by tibernius View Post
              I pretty much just use Pigments for all of my synth parts now. A bit more modern sounding than the OB-xd, but not as much as something like Serum. https://www.arturia.com/products/ana...cs/pigments#en

              It's got way more features than I'd ever use, to be fair, but I've managed to replicate a few fully-modular setups with it. Plus it's got a decent bunch of patches and the ones that Arturia sell for it are relatively cheap.
              I was checking out some of Arturia's stuff yesterday, and I have to say that this sounds really good. I'll definitely keep this in mind.

              The one I've downloaded that, hands down, is the best so far is Surge. It has stuff ranging from the 1980s to very modern and actually has more of the kinds of stuff I've been looking for than any other VST I've checked out (with the exception of really expensive stuff like Omnisphere).

              https://surge-synthesizer.github.io/

              It's free, open-source, and everything in it sounds awesome. It also is way easier to use (in my personal opinion, at least) than any of the other synth VSTs I've downloaded so far (granted, I've only tried 6 free synth VSTs so far, but it almost feels like I could get along really well with just Surge and nothing else. OB-X, which Valterri recommended, is definitely more exclusively 1980s sounds, though).

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