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Software synthesizer workstations
  • This topic is about very specific software synths.

    Ones that allow to do same thing that usual hardware workstation do.
    It means - having patches for most commong instruments (from piano to brass, strings and pads), ability to make heavy layering, preferable some arpeggiator functions, and easy voice editing mode.

    Ones that I know.

    * Discontinued Steinberg Hypersonic
    * Now active Steinberg Halion Sonic (about $130 for EE version) -

    You can also look at
    As libraries usually have big amounts of useful patches.
  • 26 Replies sorted by
  • Workstations are traditionally a keyboard with a built-in sequencer. I think you are thinking about a keyboard rompler. A rompler is just a library of samples that play back. There are a ton out there-

    Here are 3 that I like. They are all good, but I like kontakt quite a bit. Its really a software sampler that has a great library of sounds.

    IK Multimedia - Sampletank
    Native Instruments-kontakt 5
  • >Workstations are traditionally a keyboard with a built-in sequencer. I think you are thinking about a keyboard rompler. A rompler is just a library of samples that play back.

    You make assumption and made conclusion yourself from your own assumption.

    I already told you that true workstation is not just simple rompler (really sampler, as no ROM is involved in software).
    Take a look at Halion Sonic, for example. And compare to libraries that you referenced (as they belong to other topic mostly). In Sonic you can quickly make complex layered sound (by regions, velocity, put velocity to drive some parameters in any parts), add arpeggios, store all this and play.
    For software, requirement of sequencer have no meaning, as you can use any other software for this.
  • Independence Pro (70Gb complete library, with arpeggiators, etc, 210 EURO + VAT if you are in EU)
    Now owned by MAGIX
    Made by a guy who professionaly do orchestral things

    Now it is included in Samplitude Suite for free
    But you can still buy it at good price :-)

    Review of earlier version -
    Newer review -

    Looking at user reviews I see that main complain is protecton and fact that they do not advertise :-)

  • IK Multimedia Sonik Synth 2 ($229)

    Vir2 Instruments' VI.ONE
    Massive multi-disc sample library encompassing over two thousand instruments, kits, and other sound effects, and is designed to be of maximum usability to musicians across a wide span of genres.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev
    Don't know if this should go here, but Reason is one hell of a workstation :)

    I did this with the old 2.5 version with factory soundbanks
  • Steinberg Hypersonic is really good. Better than most hardware.
    @oscillian you are right Reason is one hell of a workstation.
  • E-MU Announces FREE Proteus VX download along with Included v2 Proteus X Composer Bank!
  • Updated SampleTank App For iPhone 5, iPad, iPod Touch

    SampleTank features 16 instrument categories and includes over 500 sounds, from drums to pianos to basses to synths to guitars and many more. Users can customize the sounds through editable parameters such as volume, attack, and filter; and with insert effects and a master reverb. Additional instruments, patterns and grooves are available in instrument-specific expansion sound packs.

    SampleTank now also is capable of increased polyphony: up to 64 simultaneous voices are now available.

  • If you want to have great pads and "Music to Movie sounds"..Spectrasonics "Omnisphere" It´s not what you call a workstation but you can play 16 ch ..I use Steinberg Hypersonic 2 as my Workstation

  • Steinberg announced major updates to HALion and HALion Sonic.

    HALion 5 is the latest iteration of Steinberg’s VST sampler and sound creation system. HALion 5 boasts new features, new instruments and sound sources that “extend the boundaries” of virtual sampling and sound design software.

    Steinberg’s premier VST workstation, HALion Sonic 2, provides a wealth of “quickly accessible” sounds for playing live on stage, or for “sketching up” a new track in the studio. Sonic 2 has a library of 2,500 instruments in almost every conceivable style.

    HALion 5 price is US $349. HALion Sonic 2 price is US $249.

    See more at

  • Includes wide range of instruments (Strings, Brass, Woodwinds, Symphonic & World percussion, Voices, Guitars, Waterphones, Animals, Warehouses, Tools, Machinery, and a number of “unique world instruments”) were recorded in the studio and as field recordings, and then manipulated using Sample Logic’s own proprietary morphing and synthesis techniques to create new organic, “never-before-heard” instruments and ensembles.

    The library’s sounds, geared for film, TV and game composers, were derived entirely from true orchestral recordings, made in association with Kirk Hunter Studios.

    Instrument categories:

    • Atmospheres — Continuously-sustained soundscapes that are static or full of organic motion
    • Instrumentals (Arpeggiated) — Customizable tempo-synced arpeggiator-driven impact loops.
    • Bells — Mallets — Sounds derived from recordings of bells and mallet instruments.
    • Keys — Sounds similar to traditional keyboard instruments.
    • Loops — repeating sequenced instrumental recordings.
    • Strings — Sounds derived from recordings of stringed instruments.
    • Synths — Sounds similar to electronic synthesizers.
    • Winds — Sounds derived from recordings of wind instruments. *Percussives — Big Ensembles — Multi-voice percussive hits
    • Impact Sequences — Multi-hit percussive instruments
    • Impacts — One-shot percussive hits
    • Kits — Drum set-like instruments
    • Loops — Sub-categorized percussive sequences
    • Transitions — Strategic rhythmic gestures for blending and bridging events and musical ideas

  • SampleTank 3 seems to be available finally in July


    • 33 GB of professionally recorded and painstakingly hand-crafted samples
    • Over 4,000 instruments in 22 instrument categories
    • Over 2,500 drum, percussion and complete groove loops, and over 2,000 MIDI patterns
    • Updated interface
    • New sounds with “round robin” and multiple articulations
    • New patterns player with MIDI patterns
    • 55 effects, with 22 new effects derived from the analog-modeled algorithms and convolution technology found in AmpliTube and T-RackS
    • New loop management feature
    • New filters, a new Live mode and more.

  • SampleTank 3 demos

  • Best ever Wavetable Synth for PC/MAC?

    Serum from Xfer Records. next-generation high quality synthesizer from Steve Duda at Xfer Records.

    Serum comes with over 450 presets, 144 wavetables. Available as VST, AU, AAX both 32 and 64bit.


    Deadmau5 takes it through its paces in the studio:

    Full tour:

    Demo it for yourself:



  • @driftwood

    It is different thing, not workstation synth. As far as I understand.

  • Steinberg announced major updates to HALion and HALion Sonic

    Steinberg has announced a new version of its VST sampler, HALion 6, alongside the HALion Sonic 3 workstation and Absolute 3 collection.

    Here’s what’s new in HALion 6:

    • Next-generation wavetable synthesis for stunning resynthesis and unheard sound creations
    • Smart live-sampling engine for direct recording, mapping and playing of sounds
    • Macro Page Designer for convenient user interface creation for user instruments and commercial libraries
    • HALion Script for advanced instrument programming and custom MIDI modules
    • Convenient Library Creator for compiling custom instruments with the greatest of ease
    • 6 new instrument libraries including brasses, two beautiful grand pianos, strings, cutting-edge wavetable * * synthesizer and eerie cinematic sounds
    • 3-band Resonator with 14 different filter configurations and integrated LFO
    • Expanded compatibility options with native 64-bit AAX support

    New features in HALion Sonic 3:

    • Massive 20 GB library expansion with over 1,000 new presets, in 5 new acoustic instrument libraries, including two grand pianos, a horn section, strings and cinematic sounds
    • New wavetable synthesizer with over 300 cutting-edge sounds for modern electronic productions
    • 9 new effects including 3-band Resonator, Vintage Compressor, Tube Saturator and many more
    • Expanded compatibility options with native 64-bit AAX support