It’s no secret that I love IK Multimedia’s plug-ins. From the whole Amplitube series to T-Racks 3, they are a solid company worth the investment. Well I just recently decided to check out some of their virtual instruments and jumped in with Sonik Synth 2. Now for those that aren’t familiar with Sonik Synth 2, it is a virtual workstation that comes in AU, VSTi and RTAS formats for both Mac and PC with over 8 gigs of sounds. Pianos, Rhodes, Wurli’s, ARPs, Moogs, Jupiters, B3’s – You name it Sonik Synth 2 has it. It has 3 synth engines, 16 part multi timbral with layer-able sounds, 32 built in effects and 16 stereo outputs. From the feature list alone it seems like this is a must have workstation to have!
From the very beginning I was impressed with the layout. One thing IK Multimedia has always done right is make it very easy to use. Everything from the patch selection to effects are logically laid out. In the top half of Sonik Synth 2 you can select a patch, where it be to layer sounds together to make a combi or to just select a simple piano sound to jam out. In the bottom half you can edit each sound, add effects and edit those effects. Fairly simple and straight forward editing with volume, pan, filter and poly/mono/legato along with portamento time selection. Also you can have up to 5 effects per layer or channel. There is a wide range of great sounding effects including EQ, compression, reverb, rotary speaker, tremolo, chorus, delay and tons more. 32 in total, many of which come from their studio quality T-Racks 3 and Amplitube series which I reviewed earlier this year.
So I first started out by loading a Rhodes patch being that Rhodes have always been my favorite and I’m very picky with them. I was really taken by surprise the first time I tried out non synth sounds in Sonik Synth 2. After playing for a few minutes I started getting curious on how to edit sounds a bit and found it incredibly simple. I added Leslie to it, reverb, took away chorus add distortion and I had a whole new sound that still sounded incredible! Different but incredible non the less. Now I started getting curious. If it sounds this good with no synth sounds I can’t wait to get into the synths in it! So I started navigating through the synths and found myself going through the basses which are always the hardest to get right in my opinion. usually theses are the most overlooked and worst sounding in other libraries but not in this one! I kept scrolling through each of the bass sounds and couldn’t stop smiling, I was really impressed! Some of my favorite ones that stood out being Mr Nice Guy and Invaderz Bass, but all of them sounded great!
Up next were some leads and pads and Sonik Synth 2 has them in spades! Prophets, Jupiters, Moogs – All of them are here and all sound amazing! From subtle smooth sounding to hard sync styled pads and leads. One of my favorite things to do in Sonik Synth 2 is add slight overdrive and a short delay. Really makes leads sound huge, wide and helps them pop. When testing out new plug ins I like to try and recreate sounds from newer songs I like. So here I went for Drakes “Successful” and in under 5 minutes I found the V-tra Bright String Pad and put a low pass filter on it at 560 Hz and had the intro synth down pat! The synths here in Sonik Synth 2 are the best thing about it!
Finally I got to something I don’t usually use virtual workstations on, Drums. I am really picky on my drums and have my little collection of drums I use for all my drum sounds, but the 808s, 909s and the acoustic kits here are too good! After running through a few drum sequences with them I can replace a lot of my wav kits. Never thought I’d see the day I’d be using a VSTi for my drum sounds! I love having all in one solutions for sounds in Reaper because it doesn’t come with much at all in that department. Reaper along with Sonik Synth 2 is a solid workhorse for me and is now my main tool in production!
So in the end I am more than loving Sonik Synth 2! I was expecting some good synths and some so so everything else but what I got is world class everything. I didn’t even get to touch on everything in this review for times sake but the strings, guitars, basses, pianos, drums, synths and effects in this are top notch! For the price you can’t go wrong for bread and butter sounds – no wait, forget the price. You can’t go wrong with Sonik Synth 2 for bread a butter sounds for you DAW!