Olga is my #1 favorite Synth!

Just showing my love for this sexy Russian lady synth! As a dance music producer and DJ I usually do a Top 10 countdown every month on Myspace. This month, however, I decided to count down my Top 10 synths, and here is the list:

blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea … =451913220

I myself was surprised by how much I preferred the sound of Olga over the other synths, and had no hesitation in awarding it the coveted Number Synth In My Sonic Arsenal Award! And this is just the demo I am playing with!

Time to place an early Christmas order methinks!

The List:

  1. Fabfilter Twin. Should probably be higher on the chart based on the number of Phatso Brown tracks its been on, but its a bit modular, sorta like a Korg MS-20, and what that adds in sound shaping flexibility, it sometimes loses in immediacy. But I am not gonna complain too much, cuz this is the beast to turn to for all those layered, modulated, swirling, percolating, multi envelope epic soundtracks. This, along with Olga, Oddity and Phoscyon, are probably the most analogue sounding synths I have ever heard. What filters madam! Love the GUI too…

  2. ReFX Quadrasid: Another software gem with a unique sound, that isn’t the easiest to program. But I love it. Why? Because as any kid growing up in England in the 80s knows, the Commodore 64 was THE games machine to have (well unless you were posh and had an Amiga), and all those C-64 tunes and demos were our earliest introduction to electronic computer music. This monster (and it really is) from the makers of the Trance Pants synth Nexus, is a dead ringer for the chip sound that made the 64 a legend in video game music, and probably the first one of its kind. Essential for all sorts of digital, retro, modulated goodness, basses, leads, fx, drums and even pads, for this baby is polyphonic! The Commodore sound lives on!

  3. Korg Wavestation: Yes! This was included in the Korg Legacy Collection Digital Edition from Korg, and as anyone who knows anything about synths knows, this was a legend in its day! With some of the most evocative, swirling, lush pad, string and synth sounds you could imagine, this Korg beauty has graced many a record in her time, and continues to do so. Oh, and the software version is way easier to program, AND like with the M1, you get all the optional PCM cards and a resonant filter. Superlative digital sounds!

  4. D16 Phoscyon: Because everybody needs a 303. Yes, I do listen to what Fatboy Slim says, and this little monosynth is probably the very best 303 in software or even hardware land (apart from the real thing-which costs thousands). It’s got a wicked built in distortion, added envelopes for extra squelch, and that familiar 303 sequencer (aka pain in the ass, but a must for acid sounds). Acid staple.

  5. PlastiCZ: A soft synth classic. This handles all my digital DX type sounds. An homage to the great CZ 101, which inspired many a Depeche Mode wannabe (I believe my good friend Paul Madsen had one, although I am pretty sure he was never a Depeche wannabe), PlastiCZ is a joy to use and program. The quintissential synth pop synth, it is my source for great digital style basses, pads, leads and superb FX. You gotta taste some PlastiCZ!

  6. Sonic Charge Microtonic: Another hit for Sonic Charge, this 808/909 inspired drum workstation is an electro head’s dream come true. 100% synthesized drums ranging from pounding kicks, to hard core snares, to crystalline hats, this is yet another instrument that could only be possible in the world of software. Additionally, it also does some extreme FX and even melodies. Tremendous fun and easy to use with a sound all its own, this puppy will take care of all your drum synth needs till 2109. All hail Magnus the great!

  7. Korg M1: Ah 1988! Remember ‘that’ piano sound from hits like Shine On, Ride On Time, Everybody’s Free, Show Me Love (how about that organ bass) and basically every other 90s house track? And not just piano, but bass, keys, strings pads, entire bloody arrangements. The Korg M1 was a dream workstation for many an aspiring musician. For kids like me, it was also outta waaay outta my budget. Then nearly two decades later, Korg went and released the software version, with ALL the expansion cards and a resonant filter. Yes, each and every extra PCM card is here. Even Robert Miles didn’t have all the expansions. Hah! Good things come to those who wait, eh? This will always be the ultimate workstation!

  8. Sonic Charge Synplant: Brand new and like nothing else out there. Metallic, mysterous, evolving, addictive, and just plain nuts, this soft synth couldn’t be further removed from the analogue craze so rampant in the soft synth world. And yet, it can sound analogue, or digital, or like no other instrument ever. This thing is so much fun, you could easily lose yourself in an orgy of synth programming. The concept is genius: synthesize sounds by planting and growing sonic seeds and then see where they take you. Usually sound design heaven.

  9. GMedia Oddity: Ah the Arp Oddyssey. The elusive 70s analogue monster. The funk machine, the source for wild sample and hold shenanigans, the aggressive biting sound that would impart its sonic fingerprint over every recording it touched. This, dear boy, is the definitive software emulation. So good even Alan R. Pearlman had to write in and congratulate the GMedia boys! Dave Spiers, you are a genius!

  10. Schwa Olga. I am in love. Her name is Olga. No, this ain’t no delicate damsel in distress. This is a cigar chomping, gravel spitting she-hulk that can scream and growl with the best of 'em. As Analogue as they come, with a fierce overdrive and oscillators that seem to jump out of the speakers, Olga is my number one synth for chunky basses, cutting leads, mental modulations and insane FX. Easy to get into, but surprisingly deep, this Russian beauty will be gracing my productions for a long long time!

Very kind, thanks, you’re clearly a man of quite exceptional taste :wink:

Very nice countdown. I’ve been looking for a good 303 and now I have to try the Phoscyon. I’ve read about this one and the Audio Realism Bassline but didn’t know which one to go with.

Yes, Olga is great and I’m loving her too. It would be nice to get a good 303 sound out of her…

Glad you liked the countdown! I might do one on FX next! Actually, the Phoscyon is a sweet little thing and while I do love it to bits, its not that hard to get a decent 303 out of Olga! It’s encouraged even, as the sound you’ll get out of Olga will still be ‘acid’ in essence and have a unique touch to it. I might attempt an ‘Olga does 303’ and post it here tomorrow!

Wow someone who really does know their softsynths! Great review/count down.

Funny, since I got Olga I have been culling so many other softsynths on my machine. Could ask for all the functionality to be crammed into Olga, but somehow I think that the beauty of Olga is that she has so few frills but rather concentrates on giving an awesome sound.