Update: checkout the discount link on the right side of the blog.
If you are looking for a synth that can morph between subtractive, FM, wavetable, and addditive synthesis yet has a simple interface check out Gladiator by Tone2.
Tone 2, the developers who created Vanguard, released Gladiator a few months back. I'd seen mention of it in magazines for a few months and finally took the time to download it and all I can saw is wow! The interface not only looks great but offers a nice metaphor for controlling the complexity under the hood (click the image above to see a larger view). The variety of sounds is huge and the sound is fantastic.
Gladiator is described by Tone2 as a Harmonic Content Morphing (HCM) synth. They explain this as a new synthesis method "based on a large and expandable repertoire of standard waves like pulse, unique synthetic waveforms as well as resynthesis waves like trumpets, organs, pianos and voice samples. These waves can be modified in real-time by e.g. FM modulation, altering its harmonic structure, syncing, waveshaping,... Any modification of a wave can be modulated producing lively shimmery sounds (recall: with only one oscillator!). In total there are more than 30,000 different spectra available for combination and modulation."
MY LIST OF TOP FEATURES:
1) Programmable Arpeggiator that lets you turn steps on, set pitch, slide to pitch. I really like this interface.
2) Step LFO. This is like the trancegate on Vanguard but has many more features.
3) A refreshingly straight-forward modulation routing scheme.
MORE TO COME:
According to Tone2's web site, there are going to continue to expand Gladiator in the future with additional sounds, wafeforms, resynthesis of custom content, custom sounds for the vocoder section, and add the ability to import of wav samples.
There are many products on the market that allow you to add realistic acoustic drum kits to your virtual studio. These products offer something above and beyond simple one-shot samples of drum sounds with features such as:
Multi-samples of expensive drum kits so that notes played at different velocities reflect the nuance of the real thing.
Drum hits recorded with different sticks, brushes, mics and mic placements with the ability to mix between mics allowing you to tweak mic and room dynamics for each channel.
To help you get your mind around this concept and what's possible, checkout the videos below. The first two solutions are for Ableton Live and Propellerhead Reason and integrate directly into these applications. The third is for FXexpansion BFD 2 which is implemented as plug-in to be used with a host application such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic, Cubase, etc.