Ultra Analog VA3

Has anyone used this synth? I believe this is a new version. I like the samples, especially the one by Richard Devine “Demo 1”.


Those are nice and phatt sounds, indeed! Very analog sounding. These guys know their DSP and synthesis.

Turns out I have Ultra Analog Session 2 from some bundle, but I haven’t played around with it until just now! I’m really not a fan of “hardware wannabe” knobs and button GUIs, but the DSP code sure sounds solid, and even this “lite” version comes with a bunch of nice presets. VA-3 added to wishlist!

I have played around a bit with their Chromaphone 2, though, and that’s a really interesting thing!


Hah! Moments after I add VA-3 to my wishlist, it goes on sale. I may be shopping too much at this place… :smiley:

Still not sure if the price is right for me, but I might do some more research. I’m really liking the sound (especially the TB style filter), and the simple yet effective arpeggiator is very playable and inspiring.

(I hate programming fixed arpeggiators… I want to be able to just play - and most of the time, I just play the arpeggios instead, and quantize and tweak as needed. That also avoids the annoing sync issues some synths have in the DAW.)

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Update: If you own something from the Session series, you get 50% off the upgrade prices of VA-3 and packs until October 22, which means $49 for VA-3 (with 1200+ presets), and $149 with all expansion packs (3000+ presets).

That certainly boosts the motivation to research!

Update 2: I’m grabbing it all on the upgrade deal. Considering the UI style, VA-3 is not likely my new goto synth, but I’m just massively impressed with the incredible quality of the presets (included and expansions), and the synth engine itself. It sounds big, warm, rich, and yet crystal clear - something that most virtual and digital synths struggle to achieve.

It’s kind of like the synth equivalent of a fine violin. It has that extra depth and richness of tone that you just can’t achieve without the best quality tonewoods and varnish.

I mean, listen to this. These particular sounds might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the quality of the sound… I can smell the electronics when I hear this. :smiley:

Update 3: Was “just” trying out some of the presets last night. That took a few hours…

The factory presets are incredibly inspiring and playable out of the box! Tried 50 or so of the new VA-3 presets, and about half of them were instant song inspiration material. Just strike some big chords, and magic happens! And there are about 500 more of these presets. (These all come with the synth, along with a few hundred legacy presets from version 2.)

The expansions are, as one would expect, rather specialized, and not all presets are instant jamming fun - but sound quality and programming is top notch, and I’ll be browsing these whenever I need sounds of these respective sort. It’s like having some good analog synth sample libraries, except infinitely tweakable, as it’s all real synthesis. (There are no samples or wavetables here, so it’s not possible to “cheat.”)

As for the synth engine, everything just sounds so incredibly analog; warm, phatt, and rich - but there’s none of the usual aliasing distortion or “mp3 style” artifacts here, even when pushing things towards ultrasonic. Filters and distortion sound warm, lively, aggressive, yet clean. I don’t think there’s much need to tip-toe around digital problem areas when knob-twiddling this one.