Lennar Digital Sylenth1
Sylenth1 is a masterfully created VST/AudioUnit synth with a sound quality that can compete at the same level as hardware synths! Created by Lennar Digital, the entire premise of the instrument is to combine intuitive hands-on editing and sound design with exceptional sound quality, warmth and clarity. The Sylenth1 comes with two layers of editing, each with dedicated filter, envelopes, LFO's, oscillators, as well as a global effects bank with an arpeggiator and step-sequencer.
Sylenth1 has four band-limited oscillators, with each one having up to eight stereo voices that can be panned, detuned and phased. Overall, the Sylenth1 has 16 notes of polyphony, but the polyphonic oscillators means you can achieve 4 x 8 x 16 = 512 simultaneous voices!
Sylenth1 has two highly acclaimed analog style filters, each of which has four filter types as well as analog overdrive to generate warmth and bite. These include 12 or 24 dB/oct lowpass modes, bandpass and highpass. They can also be driven into self-oscillation.
There are two LFO's that can be routed to almost all of the parameters, as well as the two ADSR envelopes, creating a jungle of sound possibilities. Keyboard velocity, tracking and mod-wheel data can also be used to modulate most parameters. The LFO's can be synced to the host program's tempo.
The Master FX section includes 7 high quality effects: Chorus/Flanger, Phaser (6-stage), Delay (with low and high pass filters and tempo sync), EQ, Distortion (5 types), Compressor and Reverb — all with multiple modes and parameters. The Arpeggiator features 10 different melodic modes and has a built-in step sequencer with adjustable pitch, velocity and hold settings.
Sylenth1 runs exceptionally well on a Mac or PC system. CPU usage is highly optimized so its RAM and processor requirements are well within the reach of even the most budget restricted musicians (almost any Intel with 128 MB). Overall, this is probably one of the best-sounding VST's out there if you're trying to get an analog sound from a synthesizer that is "in the box".
Demos & Media
Websites of Interest
Images from SYN Sylenth1 Sounds
Review by Adam Roesner and the Vintage Synth Explorer
Reviewed March 2012