Logic Pro 8 Good 3rd Party AUs


in a sea of VSTs... im struggling to find a decent third party AU that isn't a Logic one

im not a big Fan of Logic's synths; they're either too complex or too simple - and im not keen on the use of envelopes with them either

anyone recommend a good synth that isn't a Logic one that they've been getting results with?


Peter Ostry

Staff member
Not many here but happy with all of them:

u-he Zebra 2

Cakewalk Rapture
Sounds big.
(Huh? Now owned by Roland, is that new?)

Quik Quak Glass Viper
Cuts through everything.

Sonic Charge Synplant
Interesting. Can make unheard sounds.

I am not in electronic music or pop/rock! I mix instruments with synths, love athmos, smooth pads, biting contrasts, sweet lines, sheer power ...


Staff member
Another vote for zebra here, as well as which, check out alchemy from camelaudio, and Omnisphere from spectrasonics.

But I think that you would be well advised to spend more time with the logic instruments. Apart from the EXS24 being one of the most widely supported samplers there is, I would be truly surprised if someone interested in synths wasn't able to make good use of the ES2 and sculpture.

kind regards

I use Zebra 2 as well but completely agree with Mark that Logics internal synths are very good. Actually I wonder if Zebra is really for you if you don't like the included ones because Zebra certainly has a complicated interface as well. What kind of sounds are you after, the differences in soft synths are as wide as in hardware synths (ie Minimoog vrs Rolands JV series) so it's hard to give advice.
Zebra, which many has given thumbs up, is a very complex modern soft synth that is not really like anything in the hardware world. Arturia has also been mentioned, they are the exact opposite, based on classics like Jupiter 8, Prophet 5, Minimoog etc and also very widely acclaimed.
Most companies have trial versions so I would try a few out before deciding.

PS There's also Fabfilter who have nice softsynths with a different interface.
The Arturia Synths are based on classic 70's and 80's machines that generally have medium-complex user interfaces (except for the MiniMoog - that one is VERY simplistic) and great sounds.

Also check out the Korg Legacy Collection.
Cakewalk Rapture
Sounds big.
(Huh? Now owned by Roland, is that new?)
For many years Cakewalk was at least distributed by Roland. And we also thought that it was at least "defacto ownership" if not actual ownership based because Roland was calling many shots. I think maybe the separation between Roland and Cakewalk is just no longer obscured to the general public.

Yamaha Cubase
Roland Sonar
Apple Logic
AVID ProTools

So far only Apple's name proudly appears on their DAW.

I can understand Yamaha and Roland not wanting their names to appear too boldy: they are smart enough to know they are definitely NOT known for making good software, even though they are huge "household" names (especially Yamaha).

As for AVID, it's just not a "household" name big enough to make an impact more than Digidesign.


Staff member
BTW, on the subject of alternatives to Logic's Instruments, I just spent some time going back to one of the true classics - Native Instruments' Reaktor.

kind regards

As for AVID, it's just not a "household" name big enough to make an impact more than Digidesign.
Unless of course, you work on the Visual side of Post Production for TV, Agency & Film...
AVID IS the standard for editing and media management, even over Apple's Final Cut.
No editorial system hold a candle to Avid when it comes to workhorse superiority and media management. In the real world of multi-formats, interchange, insane deadlines and clueless clients, Final Cut is a joke. A joke that bites clients in the butt and costs them more time/money every time.
Have you guessed, I'm an editor of 16 years here in nyc... And the one thing all of us in the industry can set our watch to is that if the client insists on using Final Cut for the creative edit, we need to add days (yes, DAYS) to unravel what mess they create.

I don't mean to come across so militant here, I know you are just making the point that parent corp names can have an impact on the products they make, but to the Film/Television world, Avid is king.

Off my soapbox... Carry on! ;)
Back to the subject of third party softsynths for a moment...

I've invested in a ton of them, because why not? They're all different, each does its own thing, they're affordable, and so many are useful.

I agree, Zebra is wonderful, and the sound quality is improved in the new beta version. Check out Tone2's Gladiator; it is also a very interesting synth with an absolutely huge and unique sound. While programming may seem complex for a beginner, it has a truly useful tutorial, and learning it is a breeze.

I also like Cameleon, but find it's more useful as seasoning than main course, so to speak.

But the synth set that's been getting a lot of my time the past few weeks is the new DCAM set from FXpansion. If you want that analog sound, this is the closest I've found yet. The filters have that squelchy thing going, the envelopes are fast, and it's an interesting approach having three synths that can be separated or combined in the included Fusor multi-synth package. I've been comparing it with stalwarts like the Arturia models, and while Arturia sound great, they're slightly less real sounding. But this is a moving target, really, and it just keeps getting better year after year. DCAM has one caveat: you need a very fast multi core CPU.

I'd also like to recommend the Applied Acoustics modeling synths; again, each one occupies a certain sonic space, they are very low on CPU use, and they're very lovely sounding. For a long time, I've felt that these are truly under-appreciated. And you can do a TON of things with Tassman.

NI synths are classics, and the presets are very well programmed. The same goes for the LinPlug stuff. Octopus, which combines samples and FM in a way that reminds me of my old SY99, is particularly rich sounding. RMV is a bit strange but the loops and possibilties are really interesting. CronoX does really cool things as a sample based synth.

I've found the Rob Papen synths useful. The ideas are brilliant. My sole criticism is that at times they could use a little more "cut", and I think this has to do with the envelopes and filters. So, for example, while Albino is programming genius, I've got to use it with a compressor to fit into a mix unless I'm using it for a pad, etc.

If you like the vintage vibe a nice Mellotron can add, I haven't found anything that compares with SampleTron. And the Miroslav Philarmonik IK also sell was once a premier and very expensive orchestral library that STILL sounds great and I get a lot of use out of it. Other really nice inexpensive orchestral and piano libraries come from Garritan, and Kirk Hunter makes a version of all his really nice orchestral libraries for ESX, though I got mine with Independence Pro, which has incredibly well sampled sounds and is a very nice sampler that can do more than ESX.

One soft synth that intrigues me is Circle; you can do an awful lot with it, and I'm just working it into my working rotation. It's virtual analog, but everything can just about modulate everything else, and it's capable of some very cool sounds.

I hope this list sparks some investigation, there's so much good stuff out there!
I was searching the forum for best "piano sampler library"2 and found this thread. Any suggestions for a good grand piano; the very best sound that can be used to produce semi classical "solo piano" stuff. I already have Spitfireaudio's Gwilym Simcock felt piano, that I love for soft Harold Budd inspired pieces. So what's a good concert grand piano library today?
Thanks Peter! I've heard good things about that modeling, to my surprise :) Yesterday I bought the new Hans Zimmer Piano by Spitfireaudio, as today is the last day of the lower introduction price. I like their other libraries recorded in the hall at Air Studios with four optional and mixable mic spots in the KONTAKT interface. This library also offers setups with phase corrected combinations of mics (the more distant mic ocations being pushed forward in time a few millisecons) and that is a non naturalistic "hybrid" concept that I'm looking forward to check out closely. A rather big download though, on the second day here and still not half of the stuff on my local disc.