u-he Diva Synthesizer – ‘A New Monster Synthesizer’ (Sneak Preview)

u-he diva synthesizer

u-he has introduced Diva, a new software synthesizer for Windows and Mac that they call ‘a new monster synthesizer’.

It might not fit our definition of a monster synth – but maybe a virtual monster synth!

Here’s what they have to say about Diva:

The oscillators, filters and envelopes closely model components found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. This comes at the cost of quite a high CPU-hit, but we think it was worth it: Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in realtime. The behaviour of our zero-delay-feedback filters when pushed to the limit clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach.

The beta version works without restriction until December 31st. Become an early adopter, play an active role in development as we nurture this baby to perfection over the next few weeks…

Check this site often, subscribe to us on Twitter or Facebook as we unveil more details, post audio demos and offer more insight into the making of Diva.

Diva will be available for Mac & PC Wednesday November 16th, 2011. A beta is available now.

Pricing:

  • Estimated price: 179$ (+19% VAT in EU)
  • Introductory price: 119$ (+19% VAT in EU) until December 31st, 2011

35 thoughts on “u-he Diva Synthesizer – ‘A New Monster Synthesizer’ (Sneak Preview)

  1. Does it come with a module that makes people stop doing Depeche Mode and Lady Gaga covers? Actually, I would trust u-he above a few others to deliver a solid synth, but the fanfare for any new toy seems just par for the course. After all, every synth starts with the same cards to shuffle: something that acts as an oscillator, filtering, envelopes, effects, a browser of some sort and perhaps an arpeggiator or gating mini-sequencer. Its the implementation that decides things as much as not. I really like the MOTU GUIs for Symphonic Instrument and Ethno. How about more intuitive GUIs and less in the way of control surfaces that are just a series of boxes crammed together with a MiniMoog-like signal chain?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
    • ButI like Depeche Mode and Lady Gaga covers! Preferably performed with iPhones! On YouTube!

      Although virtual analog/subtractive synths may look pretty similar, I’d say that there is quite a difference between subtractive, additive, various sorts of FM, sampling, wavetable, phase distortion and physical modeling, to name a few of my favorite kinds of synthesis! Not to mention, oh, granular, various resynthesis schemes, vocoders, various hybrid methods like L/A, and all of the interesting things you can do with modular systems.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  2. It sounds gorgeous! It feels natural, isn’t cluttered, And there are so many choices! Playing it though, reminded me how badly I need to upgrade my computer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  3. u-he is one of the few companies for whom I would believe the claims of great sound. Even their free ZebraCM sounds wonderful and more “analog” than many full priced virtual synths. I’m looking forward to hearing this one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  4. pushing the envelope yes, groundbreaking no. the implicit claim of true analog can’t be made real. it is impossible. refering to pspice is nothing more than refering to a digital domain in which analog (and digital) equipment can be tested through simulation. In short, it is just theoretically impossible to do. however i applaud them for pushing the envelope

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
  5. …and, yet they hesitate to demonstrate their “monster synth”. I can wait, but it sure looks boring and very mundane plugin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13
    • Wow, those are strong words.

      I take it you wanted to be a journalist sometime in the past….lol jk.

      I tried the synth and it´s got a big, fat sound. I for one don´t *hear* any different between a good vst synth an an analog. Some vst synths are as fat and clear sounding. It´s all the same. Electronics. Analogue is cool because of the knobs and cables you get to work with, but that´s about it.

      As far as this synth goes, I don´t understand what is so special about it. I think ACE was better, and also costed less. I hope someone portrays Diva under the great light that only a good demo can provide. Until then, people will wonder what this synth can do what others can´t.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5
      • How is asking for a demo strong words? And where the hell did you pull this: “I take it you wanted to be a journalist sometime in the past….lol jk.”?

        Talk about lol.

        I can hear difference between analog and VST, but I can appreciate both.

        I just called for a demo in conjunction with announcement to proove their statements, because now it looks pretty ordinary plugin, that I donwnload on a daily basis for free. I want things to cost, but at this point this “monster synth” looks 10x over priced.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5
        • If you want a demo, you might as well either wait for U-He to release one or listen to the beta-testers and their first sonic efforts with DIVA.

          Yes, you can download plenty of synths out there, but are they as flexible as this one? And as FAT?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
          • Flexible, yes. Fat? I don’t know, because they are afraid to demonstrate their fat. Is a demonstration of an musical instrument really that really so outlandish concept.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
            • Notice how this synth is practically still being developed. By the end of this year there will be enough demos out there for you to hear what makes this synth so special (or pricey, for that matter).

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
              • Somehow I have the feeling that the people who always mention that software should not be taken seriously are prejudiced and sometimes do not own any hardware themselves
                I myself own a few analog synths. System 100 , Andromeda, MS20 , monopoly SH101 CS30 , TR808 909 303 ,ebbe und flut filter etc…..
                Still , attempts like Urs ‘ DIVA are very intriguing to me.
                Every year software comes closer to sounding like true analog hardware. Urs implemented some very nice features to try to emulate the instability of true analog. he did a great job. The voice mapping is a wonderful feature.
                For me after one evening (and a part of the night…that says already somethin…..haha ) of testing and creating patches, I can only say: DIVA a wonderful software synth. A leap forward in soundquality of software synths just like imposcar 2 was earlier this year.
                The advantage of software is of coourse ease of use and flexibility and total recall and saving options etc…..
                Hardware is difficult to use efficiently in commercial driven surroundings…time is money….many big clubtunes are created with software nowadays….nothing wrong with that.
                To immediately integrate my system100 in a logic or live project like I can with software like DIVA is impossible. Takes more time . The focus is spreaded over computer and different machines…..warming up….cable clutter….transport…..etc…..
                On my 8core DIVA behaves and sounds very convincing. No presets in it…
                I would like to suggest to Urs to leave it like that and not put any preset in the official release. That way we can all explore this instrument without any prejudice and be surprised and lifted to bliss by our own tweaking.

                Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  6. If by pushing the envelope you mean ADSR, then you win! TEHEE TEEHAA … I know that shit was dumb.

    Seriously, nice sounding synth but completely unusable. CPU hog is an understatement. If I can put together an entire 30+ multitrack project with several soft synths and a handful of fx plugins (on a measly dual core no less), there’s no reason why this thing should be taking a shit when I decide to extend the release with a 3 note chord using ONE oscillator. I though the whole point of software is to make music with less?

    Props to Urs for innovating but man, you gotta find a balance between quality and usability.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
  7. For me it is the perfect sound module to add spice to an existing setup of sound modules. Creative stacking of sounds, experimenting with the filters….etc. it has a lot to offer. Thinking Moog you use it differently then thinking Roland Juno…etc….for me it is great to have a tool that let me create reminiscence of the past and take it from there to great new pasts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  8. Somehow I have the feeling that the people who always mention that software should not be taken seriously are prejudiced and sometimes do not own any hardware themselves
    I myself own a few analog synths. System 100 , Andromeda, MS20 , monopoly SH101 CS30 , TR808 909 303 ,ebbe und flut filter etc…..
    Still , attempts like Urs ‘ DIVA are very intriguing to me.
    Every year software comes closer to sounding like true analog hardware. Urs implemented some very nice features to try to emulate the instability of true analog. he did a great job. The voice mapping is a wonderful feature.
    For me after one evening (and a part of the night…that says already somethin…..haha ) of testing and creating patches, I can only say: DIVA a wonderful software synth. A leap forward in soundquality of software synths just like imposcar 2 was earlier this year.
    The advantage of software is of coourse ease of use and flexibility and total recall and saving options etc…..
    Hardware is difficult to use efficiently in commercial driven surroundings…time is money….many big clubtunes are created with software nowadays….nothing wrong with that.
    To immediately integrate my system100 in a logic or live project like I can with software like DIVA is impossible. Takes more time . The focus is spreaded over computer and different machines…..warming up….cable clutter….transport…..etc…..
    On my 8core DIVA behaves and sounds very convincing. No presets in it…
    I would like to suggest to Urs to leave it like that and not put any preset in the official release. That way we can all explore this instrument without any prejudice and be surprised and lifted to bliss by our own tweaking.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  9. Downloaded and played the beta… It eats CPU cycles, but the result is worth it. I thought Zebra & ACE were amazing (and hence my implicit trust for all things U-he & Urs Heckmann), but this thing sounds amazing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  10. Hilarious to hear all the contradicting viewpoints on analog vs not. For example:

    – Argument A / Hardware is better
    – Argument B / When a good sounding VS shows up people complain about it eating cpu resources

    Assuming Argument A were true, people in the position of Argument B should have no issues with simply committing the virtual synth track as audio, since one would assume this is a necessary and regular part of Argument A workflow. Therefore, Argument B is completely invalid, as long as a host computer has just enough resources to run the VS and record it at once.

    Assuming Argument B were true, loosing some CPU cycles temporarily is far less of a hassle and expense than purchasing much more expensive hardware and the things needed to connect it to the recording device, deal with space issues, etc. Yet, Argument A is still held out as somehow “more valid”, and Argument B is looked down upon. Really, assuming Argument B reached target sound quality levels it represents a much better quality/value proposition than Argument A.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
    • Its not as simple as that. There are numerous factors contributing to your overall preference. Immediacy of starting the work, immediacy of doing the work, stability and bugs, sound, cost, hassle(and what kind of hassle you like, you don’t like to hassle with hardware, I don’t like to hassle with software, but I have to, because I’m poor), gig-ability, rehearsal-ability, etc etc too umerous to mention.

      I use a lot of different gear, and love to combine analog, DSP and software stuff. I generally like hardware more, but there are software I love as much as hardware. iPad and iPhone has lately intrigued me the most, and it might become my preference number one(in well catered setup).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • If you want to add in those other factors, sure. But I was specifically talking about the macro level knee-jerk arguments I hear presented mindlessly over and over. It’s the result of social programming, just like arguing over coke or pepsi, mac or pc, ford or chevy, etc. Completely irrelevant and based on a huge pile of misconceptions and marketing dollars, yet people hold these positions to be true, and will make up all kinds of “evidence” to defend those viewpoints.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  11. Making great music with this now. the filters are really great. good job urs. i’ll keep my drum hardware for now. but this synth made me decide to not buy anymore hardware synths. it crossed for me some personal boundary of quality. Its just great sounding. Best proof of this for me is that it sounds intresting in every stage of making sounds. and with other softsynths i have to tweak a lot to make it sound special and nice for my ears. i find myself experimenting with drones and fm a lot with diva, something i never found sounding pleasing in the past with other softies. i hope he implements a feature so i can disconnect the pitch from the keyboard, so i can play one note, and play melody’s with the filter for some harmonium like sounds. found a work around, but this would be nice. and superfinetune of every parameter through mousewheel. would be cool. buying this anyway. I combine this with Nebula. almost heaven :).
    Wouldnt be suprised if we have complete Daw’s in 10 years, including software wich mimics custom mixing desks and compressors nebula style, with only 1% cpu… including synths like these from urs. that would be a great future …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  12. I finally found some free time to spend with this synth, and it’s really a great sounding and easy to use instrument! I’m liking the jupiter sounds far better than what I get from the Arturia software, and Diva is a whole lot more pleasing to use from the UI perspective. (Arturia stuff is all so… fiddly)

    It’s super cool to mix and match the different modules too. And at the introductory price this is a complete steal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  13. Just downloaded Diva and after playing around briefly, I think it sounds great. In fact it helps me be less broken hearted about my broken Memorymoog…that I still can’t afford to get repaired…again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  14. After using Diva more, my CPU does get whacked by presets that have long release envelopes. In those cases I generally can’t play more than 3 notes in Divine mode,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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