I’ve been musicing today! Here’s a work in progress using mostly instruments and effects included with Ableton Live 11 Suite, except for a couple of tracks made with u-he‘s free Podolski VST instrument.
I’m playing a little with Podolski as a “gateway drug” to Diva, which is on sale for the next few days. U-he very rarely runs sales, and I’ve pretty much decided to take advantage of the current discount (ends
December 5 November 30, 2023). Some will wonder why I’m not getting the ultra-popular Hive 2, but the reality is that since I already own Pigments, wavestate native, Vital, and the Wavetable synth in Ableton Live (among others), I don’t think I really need yet another wavetable synth.
I first became aware of u-he a number of years ago. They have been supplying high-quality free synth and effect plug-ins to Computer Music magazine for years, and those always sounded really nice. But since u-he very rarely run sales, their regularly-priced premium software has generally been out of reach.
While not a new VST — it’s been out for about a dozen years — Diva is unique in that it allows mixing and matching models of components from a number of vintage analog and digital synths build custom instruments that mix favorite properties of each — for example, a synth could include oscillators from a Minimoog with filters from a Roland Juno and digital synth envelopes. Under the hood, there’s a plethora of fine-tuning controls. U-he have not be asleep at the switch with their plug-ins, though, and Diva is fully updated to 64-bit VST3 standards and fully supports NKS and MIDI 2.0 (Podolski is also NKS compatible!).
You can learn more about the two VSTs at u-he’s site (links are within the text above), and I’ve compiled YouTube video playlists for both Podolski and Diva:
I ultimately also picked up Hive 2 on the same sale — my initial assumptions about it were a little off base, it seems. While Hive 2 does have wavetable components, there are unique functions that I believe will bring enough unique capabilities to the table to make it a very worthwhile addition to the stable. I’ll be talking more about both Hive 2 and Diva pretty soon, both here on the site and on my YouTube channel. In the meantime, as with pretty much everything, here are some videos made by other people you can watch.