TTS-1 : What's the next level up?

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paulf707
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2016/08/28 11:29:24 (permalink)

TTS-1 : What's the next level up?

I've been using TTS-1 as my 'go to' sound generator with SonarX2, but at times I'm struggling to get the quality of sounds I'm looking for.
Generally speaking I'm looking for 'real instrument' sounds (organ, piano, guitar, bass, brass etc.)
 
What's the next level up in quality for a soft synth?
When I played 'real' keyboards, I really noticed the improvement when I moved up from Yamaha/Casio up to a Korg keyboard.
What's the equivalent of 'Korg quality' in soft synths?
 
(I have still got a Korg sound module, but I'm hoping to move to a completely virtual environment).
 
Any thought/suggestions would be appreciated.
 
Cheers,
Paul
#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    scook
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/28 12:19:30 (permalink)
    If you want the Korg sound buy Korg's plug-ins. I thought the sale was over but when I went to their site it appears they extended it to the end of the month.
     
    Depending on which version of X2, Studio Instruments, Dimension Pro and Cakewalk Sound Center (the Dimension Pro/Rapture player program) are the tools bundled with SONAR which play "real" instruments. DSF makes quite a few expansion packs for the plug-ins.
    #2
    paulf707
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/28 12:32:09 (permalink)
    Do'h !
    Never thought to look for a Korg VST 😀
    Virtual Wavestation is tempting; a little older than my old Korg N364 but should be similar quality.
     
    DSF also looks useful....
     
    Many thanks,
    Paul
    #3
    Guitarhacker
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 07:46:28 (permalink)
    TTS is midi based and uses patches.... synths, to make the sounds. Moving sideways to any other midi patch based synth will give you pretty much the same sound quality. Perhaps a different tonal quality, but still patch based at the end of the day.
     
    The next level up is to use a sampler based synth. Rather than creating the sounds electronically to try to emulate a piano or a trumpet.... the synth uses real instrument samples to create the parts needed. The result is a very realistic sounding part because it is real instruments playing the notes.
     
    I think the Cakewalk Sound Center which comes with MC starting with version 5 (I think it was) and is also included with Sonar IIRC, will do that for you. You can buy additional sound packs.
     
    You might also want to look at Native Instruments Kontakt since it is superb and has some very nice samples included not to mention all the 3rd party sample sets on the market for that synth.

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    #4
    AT
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 10:49:00 (permalink)
    In Cakeland, SoundCenter and the even more upscale Studio Instruments are probably what you are looking for.   And yea, there are various librariesof FZ files for many instrument groups.  I don't know if they will work in the above engines.
     
    If you want to go whole hog, Rapture Pro is the top shelf synth from Cake, a sample playback synth that comes loaded with 1000s of instruments.  Cake lists Dimension LE available and it comes w/ plenty of patches/sounds and you can load any sfz file (which include the samples, of course).  Don't know if it is for sale but if it is ought to be cheap (the LE synths come w/ various levels of SONAR).  Kontakt is the modern sampler/playback engine that most companies do patches for, but the basic level doesn't come with the nearly as many sound sets.  You get to pay extra for those.

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    robert_e_bone
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 11:37:51 (permalink)
    Kontakt seems to be the king daddy for sample-based sounds, though EastWest has their own Play software for superb sample-based sounds, as well.
     
    Rapture Pro, as noted above, seems to me like a merge between Cakewalk's Dimension Pro (sample-based) and Rapture (synth), and layers things up beautifully.  It comes with all the Cakewalk-supplied Dimension Pro sounds, as well as the Rapture presets, and is quite a bit cheaper than buying Kontakt.
     
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    #6
    paulf707
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 11:50:31 (permalink)
    Thanks all - very helpful
    I actually 're-discovered' Cakewalk Sound Centre this morning whilst looking through the VSTs - I hadn't realised the power of this (and now I've discovered the Digital Sound Factory website, I can see the expansion packs  cold make this very useful).
    I've downloaded the free demo expansion pack from DSF to see what the quality is like... but I can't get them working.
    The install routine installed the expansion pack files to C:\Program Files (x86)\Cakewalk\Vstplugins\Cakewalk Sound Center  but my Cakewalk Sound Center is installed at C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Vstplugins\Cakewalk Sound Center
    I tried copying the files form the x86 folders to the others, but I still can't seem to find the new sounds in CSC - is there some kind of 'refresh' option to get it to look for the new files?
    #7
    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 12:25:34 (permalink)
    If you need a multi-timbral synth alternative to TTS-1, a couple of good options are the samplers Native Instruments Kontakt and IK Multimedia Sampletank.  Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 is 8-channel multi-timbral.  There may be others ...
     
    But Cakewalk Sound Center, Studio Instruments, Dimension, Rapture, etc. all require a separate instance of the virtual instrument for each sound or MIDI channel.  Many other virtual synths work this way, unless otherwise noted.  Technically you could use the multiple oscillators within some of the as separate sounds, but it's not the same.
     
    The reason that TTS-1 is still around is probably it's muti-timbral ability and the fact that it's the only GM (General MIDI) synth bundled with Sonar (edit: thanks scook).  Certainly not the best sounds, but works OK to fill in parts with until you can replace them with something better.
     
    Cakewalk Synthesizers, From Presets to Power User, second edition, by Simon Cann:
     
    What Is TTS-1?
    Cakewalk TTS-1 is a GM2 (General MIDI 2)–compatible, multi-timbral, multi-output,
    software synthesizer with 256 preset sounds and nine drum kits. It comes with SONAR
    version 5. Let me explain a couple terms in this paragraph:
    A multi-timbral instrument is capable of playing more than one sound simultaneously.
    With TTS-1 you can have up to 16 simultaneous parts. The advantage of multi-timbral
    instruments is that you only need one instance of the synthesizer to create several parts.
    This results in a lower CPU overhead. (Usually each instance of a synthesizer will take
    up some computer horsepower.) In SONAR you can select each of the 16 parts (they
    correspond to the 16 MIDI channels) with a separate MIDI track. The maximum number
    of notes you can play simultaneously is 128 (subject to the power of your computer).
    A multi-output instrument has several outputs that can be routed to different destinations.
    The advantage of multiple outputs is that you can keep your parts separate when
    you are using TTS-1 in multi-timbral mode. So, for instance, you could send a bass
    guitar to one output, drums to another, and an organ to a third output.

    Why Use TTS-1?
    If you’re looking for a synth to replay General MIDI files, then TTS-1 is a no-brainer. There
    are many other reasons to use TTS-1, such as its wide range of highly usable sounds coupled
    with good FX. Many people use it as a first-call synth, so when they start working on a part,
    they select a sound from TTS-1 because it has such a wide range of usable sounds. The TTS-1
    can then be replaced later with another (perhaps more flexible) synthesizer. However, often
    you will find that the TTS-1 sounds as good as, or even better than, the sound you try as a
    replacement.
    post edited by abacab - 2016/08/29 13:03:18

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    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 12:33:24 (permalink)
    NI Kontakt 5 has a "Player" version you can get for free.  Same with IK Multimedia Sampletank 3, it also has a "Free" version.  Both come with some free factory sounds to try out, and offer sound pack upgrades that work with the free editions.  Sampletank seems a little more generous with the free instrument sounds.  Give both a try and see what you like.
     

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    scook
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 12:36:05 (permalink)
    abacab
    The reason that TTS-1 is still around is probably it's muti-timbral ability.  Certainly not the best sounds, but works OK to fill in parts with until you can replace them with something better.
     

    That might be one reason but TTS-1 is the only GM synth bundled with SONAR. It will play any MIDI file. The same cannot be said about any other synth bundled with SONAR.
    #10
    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 12:50:15 (permalink)
    scook
    That might be one reason but TTS-1 is the only GM synth bundled with SONAR. It will play any MIDI file. The same cannot be said about any other synth bundled with SONAR.



    Good point scook!
     
    It's fun to break out old MIDI files every now & then and find GM instruments or better that actually sound good now, unlike the old Sound Blaster sound fonts back in the 90's, LOL!
     

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    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 13:56:39 (permalink)
    TL/DR: If you really prefer presets, you can skip all of this
     
    Free stuff: This was published a few years ago, but there are a couple of free ebooks in the author's download page.
     
    They are worth grabbing at http://noisesculpture.com/cakewalk-synthesizers/
     
    The Z3TA+ 2 Update is a 28 page overview of all the changes in the Z3TA+ 2 upgrade.
     
    The Download Package is the chapters that were left out of the published book "Cakewalk Synthesizers, From Presets to Power User, second edition (2009), by Simon Cann".  It contains 255 pages detailing sound design for a number of Cakewalk's bundled synths.  It is intended as a companion to the actual book, but there is good info and examples here on Cyclone, RXP, Dropzone, Square I, Dreamstation, Groovesynth, TTS-1, PSYN II, Pentagon I, Z3TA+, Dimension Pro, & Rapture.
     
    The last part, Chapter 29 - Power Users at Work is a deep dive, master class from 3 immensely qualified sound designers using Rapture, Dimension Pro, & z3ta+  (Geeks only ):
     
    From the author's intro to the chapter:
     
    "This chapter looks at the work of three sound designers. It is intended to show you how some
    of the leading sound designers work, and it gives you an insight into their inspiration and
    their thought processes when they are creating new sounds. As you will see, each designer
    takes a very different approach.
    The explanations for the creation of each sound have been written by the individual designers.
    As well as creating many great sounds, you will see that there are many tips and techniques
    here that you will find you can apply to your own work. I certainly know I have learned a
    lot by reading these guys’ words.
    The programs that accompany this chapter are included in the download package (where you
    found these download chapters)—check out the folder called “chapter 29 [power users].”
    Although some of the programs described here started life as factory programs, these programs
    may vary from the factory programs with the same name because the sound
    designers have had a chance to tweak the programs as they drafted their explanations. To
    prevent confusion, please use the programs in the download rather than searching for the
    equivalent factory programs.
    Anyway, that’s enough from me. I’ll shut up now and pass you over to the sound designers."
     
    Depending on your version(s) of Sonar installed, you may have some or all of these instruments onboard.  The actual book is still useful as a hands-on intro to sound design.
    https://www.amazon.com/Ca...wer-User/dp/1435455649
    post edited by abacab - 2016/08/29 15:31:21

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    paulf707
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 15:48:38 (permalink)
    Thanks all for the useful info.....
    Multi-timbral is something I hadn't considered.... I tend to limit the TTS to 4 instruments (and load multiple instances if I need more) - I do this so I can keep each instrument on a different audio output (which I find makes mixing easier).
     
    I may have a look at sampletank / kontact and see what they can do....
     
    I agree that having GM available is useful for auditioning midi files....
     
    Such great support and advice on here- much appreciated :)
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    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/29 16:38:08 (permalink)
    paulf707
    Multi-timbral is something I hadn't considered.... I tend to limit the TTS to 4 instruments (and load multiple instances if I need more) - I do this so I can keep each instrument on a different audio output (which I find makes mixing easier).
     
    I may have a look at sampletank / kontact and see what they can do....



    Definitely have a look at Sampletank and Kontakt.
     
    But TTS-1 does have multiple outputs as well, so you can route the drums, bass, and others instruments separately.
     
    The Options Window
    The Options window has two tabs—the Output Assign tab and the Options tab.

    Output Assign
    In the Output Assign tab, you can assign each part to one of four outputs
    (provided you have selected the Use Multiple Outputs option). When you select another
    output, remember to ensure that a corresponding audio track is created in SONAR; otherwise,
    you will not be able to hear the output.
     
    There was another thread on the forum a while back about how to do the multi output in Kontakt.  It's the same concept, but once you get it working, there is a lot of flexibility in routing and processing.  No need to run extra synths if you don't have to!
    post edited by abacab - 2016/08/29 17:02:33

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    paulf707
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/30 13:11:28 (permalink)
    Thanks!!
     
    #15
    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/30 13:39:41 (permalink)
    scook
    abacab
    The reason that TTS-1 is still around is probably it's muti-timbral ability.  Certainly not the best sounds, but works OK to fill in parts with until you can replace them with something better.
     

    That might be one reason but TTS-1 is the only GM synth bundled with SONAR. It will play any MIDI file. The same cannot be said about any other synth bundled with SONAR.




    For GM sounds, TTS-1 is actually very good.  Just curious, so I dug up an old SMF type-1 (multi-track) MIDI file of a popular song with lots of guitars (clean, mute, jazz, overdrive, and distortion) and loaded it in Sonar w/TTS-1.
     
    Sounded close out of the box, but could probably use some tweaks.  Definitely listenable. 
     
    So just for the heck of it, I loaded the same MIDI file in Studio One 3 Prime (free) that comes with the Presence XT sampler. Just something free that I was messing around with. It offered to import the file with General MIDI sounds.  Wow!  Not even a close comparison.  The bass and drums probably worked, but the guitars were terrible.  Plus it opened up 15 tracks, each with a separate instance of Presence, so it appears that it's not multi-timbral either.
     
    There's a good variety of instrument sounds included with Presence (about 1.5GB), but GM guitars ain't one of them, LOL!  It comes with 22 choir and voice patches, lots of nice ooh's and aah's.  Plus some good strings and synths.  But I don't think I could consider this for my go-to GM instrument. 
     
    I think TTS-1 will continue to have a happy home on my hard drive for a long time.
    post edited by abacab - 2016/08/30 14:11:10

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    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/30 20:11:15 (permalink)
    paulf707
    I've been using TTS-1 as my 'go to' sound generator with SonarX2, but at times I'm struggling to get the quality of sounds I'm looking for.
    Generally speaking I'm looking for 'real instrument' sounds (organ, piano, guitar, bass, brass etc.)
     
    What's the next level up in quality for a soft synth?
    When I played 'real' keyboards, I really noticed the improvement when I moved up from Yamaha/Casio up to a Korg keyboard.
    What's the equivalent of 'Korg quality' in soft synths?
     
    (I have still got a Korg sound module, but I'm hoping to move to a completely virtual environment).
     
    Any thought/suggestions would be appreciated.
     
    Cheers,
    Paul




    Hey just ran across this deal for $1.00 
     
    Air Xpand2, 4-part multi-timbral VST at Plugin Boutique. On sale until Aug 31st for 99% off.  Was previously part of a bundle with Pro Tools, now available for all platforms.  Normally retails for $99.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9tJRSCk60
     
    Thanks to arlen2133 in this thread for the tip!!!
    http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/3473876
     
    http://www.pluginboutique.com/product/1-Instruments/64-Virtual-Instrument/1560-Xpand-2?utm_source=PIB+Optin+List&utm_campaign=a3ccf53c5e-Stutter+Edit+Promo+MW+%28DEFAULT%29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_168c8b9b40-a3ccf53c5e-313855325&mc_cid=a3ccf53c5e&mc_eid=f8ca0c95ba
    post edited by abacab - 2016/08/30 20:33:38

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    JonD
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/30 20:51:33 (permalink)
    I highly recommend grabbing the Korg Legacy Collection while it's still on sale.  Since they're developed by Korg, the programming is as close as you're going to hear of any synth emulation.  The older musicians or keyboardists might appreciate this deal more.... To get the classic Korg Wavestation, M1, Polysix and MS-20 (as well a couple others) for $100 - or half that if you qualify for the upgrade - is just insane!
     
    The smallish GUIs are in desperate need of an update (something else older eyes might appreciate more), but otherwise this is an excellent VI collection and a favorite among many "veteran" musicians who remember the keyboards fondly from back in the day.

    SonarPlat/CWbBL, Win 10 Pro, i7 2600K, Asus P8Z68 Deluxe, 16GB DDR3, Radeon HD5450, TC Electronic Impact Twin, Kawai MP11 Piano, Event ALP Monitors, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Too Many Plugins, My lucky hat.
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    JonD
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/30 21:15:38 (permalink)
    abacab
    Hey just ran across this deal for $1.00 
     
    Air Xpand2, 4-part multi-timbral VST at Plugin Boutique. On sale until Aug 31st for 99% off.  Was previously part of a bundle with Pro Tools, now available for all platforms.  Normally retails for $99.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9tJRSCk60



    Completely forgot this deal was still going on.  This is the one deal YOU ABSOLUTELY DON'T WANT TO MISS OUT ON.
     
    Here's the deal... You get a rompler-type workstation with a ton of sounds for $1.  ONE DOLLAR!
     
    http://www.pluginboutique.com/product/1-Instruments/64-Virtual-Instrument/1560-Xpand-2
     
    This definitely qualifies as a step above TTS-1.  In fact, you get so much content, you may decide it's all you need for awhile.  Did I mention that it's only a dollar?
     
    So go grab it already.  We'll wait...  So did you buy it yet?  Go!

    SonarPlat/CWbBL, Win 10 Pro, i7 2600K, Asus P8Z68 Deluxe, 16GB DDR3, Radeon HD5450, TC Electronic Impact Twin, Kawai MP11 Piano, Event ALP Monitors, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Too Many Plugins, My lucky hat.
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    abacab
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    Re: TTS-1 : What's the next level up? 2016/08/30 22:32:31 (permalink)
    JonD
    abacab
    Hey just ran across this deal for $1.00 
     
    Air Xpand2, 4-part multi-timbral VST at Plugin Boutique. On sale until Aug 31st for 99% off.  Was previously part of a bundle with Pro Tools, now available for all platforms.  Normally retails for $99.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9tJRSCk60



    Completely forgot this deal was still going on.  This is the one deal YOU ABSOLUTELY DON'T WANT TO MISS OUT ON.
     
    Here's the deal... You get a rompler-type workstation with a ton of sounds for $1.  ONE DOLLAR!
     
    http://www.pluginboutique.com/product/1-Instruments/64-Virtual-Instrument/1560-Xpand-2
     
    This definitely qualifies as a step above TTS-1.  In fact, you get so much content, you may decide it's all you need for awhile.  Did I mention that it's only a dollar?
     
    So go grab it already.  We'll wait...  So did you buy it yet?  Go!



    Cue TV infomercial at 3:00 AM:
     
    But wait, there's more!!!
     
    Check this out.  According to the Plugin Boutiques website:
     
    Upgrade from ANY Air Instrument to this award winning collection of virtual instruments, precise sound design tools and creative FX and save 40% off the already heavily discounted bundle price exclusively at Plugin Boutique
     
    The AIR instrument Expansion Pack Select upgrade is now $78. Normal retail is $399!!!

    The AIR Instrument Expansion Pack Includes:

    • Hybrid 3.0 – High-Definition Analog & Wavetable Synth
    • Loom – Modular Additive Synthesizer
    • Vacuum Pro – Polyphonic Analog Tube Synthesizer
    • Structure – Multi-Timbral Sampler Instrument
    • Strike – Ultimate Virtual Drummer Instrument
    • Velvet – Vintage Electric Piano Instrument
    • Transfuser – Melodic & Rhythmic Groove-Creation Instrument
    • THE RISER – Synth-based Transition Designer
    • DB-33 – Tonewheel Organ Simulator
    • MINI GRAND – Acoustic Grand Piano
    • Fresh AIR Expansion – Presets for Vacuum Pro
    • Flux Transitions Expansion – Presets for theRiser
     
     
    http://www.pluginboutique...eals/show?sale_id=2541
     
    So I'm guessing that for ONE BUCK, you can get in on this upgrade???
     
    Edit 8/31:  Yep.  Wow!  For one dollar the Air Xpand2 instrument makes you eligible for the entire AIR AIEP3 Select Instrument Pack - upgrade price of $78, or the Complete Instrument pack upgrade for $90. 
     
    Picked up the Select pack. After completing the purchase, I just had to email them my Air Xpand2 serial number and then they added the serial # for the instrument pack upgrade to my Plugin Boutique  account.
     
    Everything so far has installed and authorized without issues.  The 64-bit VST2's run great in Platinum 64-bit.
     
    Still downloading the Structure sampler ... 37GB ... looks like about 6 hours to go ...
     
    If you don't have NI Komplete yet, this is a deal too good to pass up!!!  Even if you do, you might consider it!
     
    Hurry up, the deal expires today (8/31)!!!
     
    I had not picked up NI Komplete yet, so I was looking for a way to pick up some new sounds, without a huge cost.  This is a great way to beat the mega cost for NI.  Have been playing around with the trial of Air Hybrid 3 and really wanted it, but couldn't find a deal.  So now I have it, plus the entire bundle for less than the cost of one synth.  This is not exactly like NI Komplete, but it still covers a huge universe of great sounds (Grand Piano, Electric Piano, B-3 Organ, Analog Synth, Additive Synth, Hybrid Synth, and more) 
    post edited by abacab - 2016/08/31 11:50:16

    DAW: CbB; Sonar Platinum, and others ... 
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