Submitted January 8, 2019 by Nathaniel T in Beaverton, OR
"All software synths are NOT the same..."
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This version offers the most value/dollar* IMO. That is especially important when you have given up on software synths and have gone 'hardware only' like I had. After I had filled my stable with horses, I noticed most were subtractive synths, which is fine. Thankfully or ingeniously(heheh) NI decided to explore areas where the computer does actually excel and backed that with properly coded(anti-latency) synth platforms. And here we are, a fantastic array of synths, sample based instruments, effects and expansion packs.I am a hobby/artist that tends to want at least a version of every colour in my crayonbox and after trying a few demo's(to make sure they worked on my pc) I decided to pull the trigger on this. I was purchasing a dozen soft synths with some bonus content, that was the initial thought anyway, but I was pleasantly overwhelmed by how much I actually received with Komplete 12. Think about that, I got much more value than I expected with a purchase, how often does that happen?* @599, 61 products(3 of the effects can't be purchased separately, so it's one unit) equals 9.82/title. Wouldn't you purchase Massive for less than 10 bucks if you could? I did. :)
I have explored all of the soft synths, and to say they sound 'good' doesn't cut it, they sound better than that, and that's just the presets! It's hard to really describe fully, every soft synth in this package is available in demo form, I encourage everyone to try one or 5 of them so you can hear it. It's also important to make sure it runs on your system and how it runs on your system. We all know software returns aren't...well, you know.After your ears play a new instrument for awhile, sometimes it doesn't sound cool anymore, that isn't the case here. Probably due to the vastness of sound and the care NI took in creating THIS many presets for each platform and I also don't suffer ear fatigue from these as I have with cheaper hardware synths or older software(rebirth being the worst). This purchase is a long haul one, I know it will take more than a year to really scratch the surface and the diversity of the synth platforms alone is almost daunting. A game changing long term addition to anyone's journey in sound creation.
Versatility is huge in my book and one of the main issues with most software based sound applications is the dependence on a host. NI eliminated this with a standalone feature so I can just play a synth as if it were hardware, send the audio to an outboard recorder, done deal. Some of the effects do require a host, but NI has rekindled the idea of using a computer again. It must be said, most hardware synths use subtractive synthesis. There are other forms of synthesis out there, this product is kind of a gateway to those other paths, examples of note: Form, Kontour, Prism, FM8.The softsynths were the most important in this purchase for me and there were 3 of them that were missing; Razor, Skanner XT and Flesh. A certain company has a sale every year and this purchase does in fact come with a small voucher, so now I'm only missing Flesh ;)Second in importance was a decent 'doesn't crash or crunch too hard' sample based piano. There are 5 Kontakt pianos in this product, I'm leaving out the Scarbee ep's(of which there are 3). My favourite is the Grandeur, very VERY good. Also of note, There are 3, idk, additions inside Kontakt; Ethereal Earth, Hybrid Keys and Analog Dreams. Hybrid Keys is really playable and a very real bonus, the other two are alright.When you get right down to it, this product is a no brainer. It's like a million lego's, you can build anything! No two kids, each with a million lego's will build the same thing. I mean, if for some weird reason you've actually gone thru all the presets, you can start making your own, most of the synths that use samples have the option to use whatever you like, in cases like the Reaktor based Form synth or Absynth or Massive. Or maybe open Reaktor and MAKE a new synthesizer...I mean...wow, seriously...wow...I'm leaving out all mention of percussion products because I'm not in the space to use them, there's plenty here, I just don't personally use them, right now.
Ease of Use
The install is the only negative, it's painful, arduous and long. The reverb was one of the factors in the purchase and it took me too long, sadly to find that its in the guitar rig pro, which I found odd, but who cares! 8 of the soft synths are Reaktor based, which means loading Reaktor and selecting the appropriate softsynth, and after using Kontakt, it really is no different in ease of use.
The software is top shelf, some titles are 7+ years old, but this product is kind of 'everything' up to this point anyway and that's just part of it(if a softsynth is still around after all that time, it's got something special). I don't have an expensive computer and these titles don't crash or become unusable(I generally use them in standalone version) at all.
This product has a value greater than the some of its parts, I'll just reiterate:* @599, 61 products(3 of the effects can't be purchased separately, so it's one unit) equals 9.82/title. If you just used the soft synths as the divisor, it's still cost effective @ 46.08/title. Math doesn't lie.
I haven't needed to contact support at all.
The Wow Factor
There is a very real wow factor here, you are getting a lot. Let me copy one of the questions above this textbox:Is there something about this gear that makes you want it even if you could make good music without it?Yes, absolutely. If a person chose not to waste time in recreational games like plants vs zombies, but instead just played with softsynths, just plinking about, even if this wasn't going to end up in a released album, recreation is recreation. And sometimes exploring and growing as an artist isn't about a finished track...
3 decades of hobby
ambient, experimental, drone
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