Using VSTis in your music production

If you are a producer or fiddle with DAWs on occasionally, you must know about all the VSTi or plug-ins. If you are not acquainted with it, VSTi stands for a virtual studio instrument.

The modern technology is giving musicians and music producers a great chance to experiment with vintage synthesisers which are of a great value today and hardly can be found on the second-hand market. If you are willing to explore the world of synthesisers, checking one of the VSTis is a great idea. This article will tell you more about them with the example of Synthi P.

What is a virtual studio instrument?

A virtual studio instrument is a piece of software which most often comes in as .dll extension or completely standalone version or in both of these forms. Producers and musicians spend a good amount of time looking for the right kind of VSTi that suits their need. This has been practically evident since the dawn of the Internet and for music production. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of VSTi plug-ins that is out there. Not all of them are up to the standard which does not mean all of them are bad. Some plugins are paid, while some are offered as freeware.

Synthi P as a VSTi

Synthy P is a freeware software emulator based on the real unit circuits of the legendary EMS Synthi A. While this is not really the closest emulation of the Synthi synthesiser, it still does the job with its foundation laid on original Synthi.

Although, Synthy P is based on EMS Synthi A, its interface and functionality differs from the original Synthi.

Let’s see what only matches with the original Synthi.

On the top section, we have a Ring Modulator level. In the middle part there is a filter containing a low pass, high pass and also three modes that can be controlled via lfo, keyboard or normal mode. Synthi A only has a low pass filter with a level knob. On the far right of the top section contains the reverb section with a mix and level knob.

The second row consists of Oscillator 1 and the envelope shaper section. They both heavily differ from the way original Synthi A or AKS work. First, for the oscillators, their general idea of the functionality is almost the same but Synthi P has three modes that are controlled by the lfo, wd mode and a keyboard. For the envelope shaper, is just a regular subtractive ADSR. Original Synthi has a different envelope shaper. For the other 3 oscillators they work the same as oscillator 1 with only exception for oscillator 3 having an additional lfo section with an unprecedented sequencer-like section, something as of the Arp 2600’s sequencer. Many people love playing around with it as it can set them on groove.

In the middle part the matrix board resides, slightly different than Synthi A, but its general idea is the same. Of course, the joystick is there as well.

While Synthy P may not give you the right sound of the Synthi A, it will certainly give you some idea of this iconic synthesiser.