Kris Anderson

Kris Anderson

November 25th, 2013

Hey there everybody. Kris here. Happy turkey week from us all at Studio 11. Today i wanted to talk about a few really cool and important Virtual Instruments that you can use for your next Hip Hop productions. I will start it off in no particular order, so lets hop to it.

1. Nexus & Nexus 2

Created by reFX, Nexus and Nexus2  are next generation ROM synthesizers. Nexus delivers complex, ultra-fat, contemporary soundstorms. A powerful and flexible architecture is the foundation that supports the immediately useful and spontaneously engaging design of the instrument. Every aspect of Nexus and Nexus2 was built to produce music of the highest quality, quickly, with the least amount of fuss.

Nexus2 features a 32-step arpeggiator with note-transposition, a 32-step trance gate, reverb licensed from Arts Acoustic, and a sophisticated modulation-matrix that will help you sculpt the sound. Nexus2 includes a comprehensive 6GB library of over 1100 sounds driven by a friendly internal librarian to find the exact sound you need in the heat of the creative moment. There are also an additional 60 expansion packs for Nexus 2 as well.  Features like search, favorites, and categorization are standard not only in the factory library but in all available expansions. Nexus offers an array of expansions covering a wide gamut of contemporary music styles and produced by the worlds top sound designers.

2. Lin Plug’s Predator

Predator is a “phat sounding” killer synthesizer that combines inspiring presets and first-class features to make this your ‘go-to’ synth for contemporary music production. The user interface has been designed so that almost all controls are visible on screen, making it fun and incredibly easy-to-use. And if you’re unsure about a particular synth function, simply right click your mouse to access the help screen. Predator is packed with powerful features such as Preset Quick Browser, Preset bank mananger, Preset Morphing, Intelligent Preset Variation, MIDI and Synth Controllable FX, Unison Detune, Chord Memory and an extremely versatile Arpeggiator. Included are over 4400 presets, collected in style banks: HipHop, Dance, breakbeat, various Trance styles, DnB banks, DubStep, Hardcore dance, House, SFX banks and last but not lease several artist banks. Last but not least, Predator also includes PredatorFX, allowing you to use the incredible filters, modulations, effects and vocoder as an FX plug-in within your music host.

3. Native Instruments Komplete 9 Bundle

Native Instruments KOMPLETE 9 bundle packages together 33 full-fledged instruments and effects, 12,000 inspiring sounds and over 120 GB of premium samples. It now includes  the new MONARK monosynth, the enormous sound of THE GIANT, BATTERY 4 drum sampler , and the ultra-playable SESSION STRINGS in addition to the  all-time classics like KONTAKT 5, REAKTOR 5, GUITAR RIG 5 PRO, the mighty MASSIVE, FM8, and ABSYNTH 5.

4. Gladiator 2

The award winning Gladiator gives you a groundbreaking approach to sound generation. Its exclusive HCM™ synthesis technique, covers new and unique aural territory, only possible with Gladiator. The innovative synthesis, design and unmatched sound quality, make this not only the perfect instrument, but also the best virtual synthesizer and go-to instrument for all those looking for the ultimate creative tool. Gladiator2 supports over 15 different kinds of synthesis, 1400 preset sounds including the Electronic Expansion pack, 40 different filters, and 37 stereo fx. If you are looking for something to give you those crazy arpeggiated synth lead lines and stabs, Gladiator2 is perfect for your sound.

5. Sylenth 1

Sylenth1 is a virtual analog VSTi synthesizer that takes the definitions of quality and performance to a higher level.  It was built to produce superior quality sound and music. It was built to perform. A lot of research has been invested in order to achieve unheard warmth and clarity. Featuring over 1300 preset sounds with 10 different melodic arpeggio’s, fxs and it’s rich, detailed and full of analogue-style warmth. While we find that many of the synths we use come with presets that fail to show off the instrument’s true capabilities, Sylenth1’s default bank is superb. A wide variety of sounds are on offer, including some beautiful impersonations of classics such as the TB-303, Alpha Juno and MiniMoog. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that these emulative patches are 100% accurate, they’re certainly authentic enough to be of use and – most importantly – they sound amazing. As well as the presets, you also get abank full of initialised patches. These are ideal blank starting points for programming your own sounds, and it’s when you do this that Sylenth1 really comes into its own. Sylenth 1’s effects section is one of the best on a plug-in instrument. All your faves are here, reverb, delay, chorus, phasers, distortion, compression, EQ and an arpeggiator.

6. Diva

Diva, which stands for Dinosaur Impersonating Virtual Analogue Synthesizer, closely models components found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. This comes at the cost of quite a high CPU-hit, but we think it was worth it: Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in realtime. The behaviour of zero-delay-feedback filters when pushed to the limit clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach. It comes with over 1300 presets. There is no arpeggiator or step sequencer though, but its unprecedented emulation of classic analog synths will blow you out of the water.

7. Omnisphere

Developed by Eric Pershing for Spectrasonics, Omnipshere is the first Spectronsonics instrument be based on newly developed STEAM Engine. Omnisphere offers a host of hybrid synthesis and new control capabilities including Variable Waveshaping DSP synthesis, Granular synthesis, Timbre Shifting, FM, polyphonic Ring Modulation, high-resolution streaming Sample Playback, Harmonia™, Dual Multimode Filter structure, Chaos Envelopes™, an advanced Unison mode, and the innovative Flex-Mod™ modulation routing system – to name a few. With its vast 40 Gb library over 4000 presets, the sound palette is so turbocharged, it’s hard to imagine that I’ll ever get tired of it. Whether you’re recording electronica, film scores, ambient dreamscapes, R&B, or pop, you’re sure to find sounds that’ll be perfect for your next project. Rarely do you hear a sound that would lack practical application and quite often, that application would only be limited by your own imagination.



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