Over time you start to collect a small fortune of virtual instruments... and many times one or two.. or more... stand out from the rest as really saving your ass sometimes, in my case... VI's like...
Symptohm - Ohm Force
This synth my not be the greatest or loudest lead synth... but can never be beaten for enviromental stuff... it is very smooth.. and once you work out the interface... can be very, VERY powerful. IT is very handy for changing sounds mid song.. those blue keys you see on the virtual keyboard? You can assign sound presets to those.. so you can switch sounds at the flick of a key :) My only complaint would be how complex it can make synth design sometimes...
These tools provided (for the most part) free by tweekbench are great for those of us who like to add some chip-tune nostalgia... or even some enviromental whimsy to our music. My favourites are Peach (NES sound emulator), Field (Ambient Noise Selection), and Toad (NES drum Synth). Tweakbench have a brilliant range of "normal" synth products.. such as Subtractive synthesizers.. etc.
OP-X PRO - Sonic Projects
This is a simply amazing synth by sonic projects that gives a sence of old school synths... you can remake the sounds of things such as Jupiter - 8, OB-8/12, Moogs.. etc. It is worth every penny. Beautiful smooth leads and bass, brass, strings (all old school style synth sounds of course) are so easy to get... it has a massive preset library of famous sounds such as eddie Van Hales Jump sounds ( a personal Favourite ;) ) and some rush sounds etc. The arpeggiator is a bit hard to get get used to at first.. but once you get in the swing of things this will become one of your favourite synths in no time.
Garritan Personal Orchestra
This is the ultimate.. well maybe pinultimate ( i have never used the vienna philharmonics sound sets yet) Orchestra simulator. You get the real deal.. the whole shibbang in one package that is easy to use and very, very effective. If you are going to use this however.. be sure you can route sound and midi between tracks in your DAW of choice.. otherwise it is practicaly useless. Coupled with a good reverb you end up with a pro orchestra at your fingertips. as you can see the interface is beautiful and efficiant.. and the sounds themselves.. don't get me started.. what a sound.. you have never heard brass or woodwind like it. (for those of you whol like Ederol Orchestra... no offence.. but dump that shit now and buy yourself a compy of GPO.. you will not regret it, i didn't)
And last, but in no way least EZ DRUMMER (with the DFH EZX)
I have heard people who prefer SD to EZD.. not me.. it is so simple to set up a multi-track out-put style route such as this one (this is a screen shot of my DAW in action with my route solution for EZD) where all drums are going to different tracks etc. and you can put your oun effects on different drums.. what more could you want. The sounds are supperb and the versitility of EZD is great too. BTW if anyone doesn't know how to route their exdrummer like this and wan'ts a hand.. just say so and i'll stick up a tutorial. EZD is well worth it.. just make sure you but some expansions while you are out shopping ye? :D.
That is all i can think of for now. If you found any of the info here helpful please say so.
From the metal head