Eulogy for Absynth 5 (or, Death of my Loyalty to NI)

Xerophyte Member Posts: 3 Member
edited September 2022 in Other Software & Hardware

Greetings all. I'm writing this blog post to lament over the quiet death of one of my favorite synths Absynth 5. Many of you may either love or loath the softsynth, but I really adored it. Even though it increasingly needed updating the more time went on, it still has use to me right now. Useful and unique features like the Aetherizer (my favorite feature of any synth), Resonators, Cloud, and Supercomb brought me back to the synth. Even though it isn't a wavetable synth, it's like the only NI synth I can think of that has a unique and usable wave editor.

This isn't my only gripe with NI, though. Products that I enjoy a lot like FM8 and Massive X also feel like they're missing something. For example, Sytrus (an FM matrix synth) has many more features like editable waves that FM8 does not offer. Massive X doesn't have a wavetable creator (which is laughable, considering the fact that SERUM and Vital have them). I feel like the only things that interest me from time to time are the expansions from NI, but even a lot of their older packs seem more interesting (Halcyon Sky, Hexagon Highway to name two).

Don't get me wrong. I still love NI. Products like Reaktor 6, Molekular, Skanner XT, and many have cemented NI in my mind as the company I come back to. I love and will love NI so much that I've been inspecting a bunch of product pages and downloading their product song demos for years. However, I find myself more and more maintaining interest in their older products, not the new ones. I am keeping my eye every now and then on new products. However, my loyalty died with Absynth. I'm looking to greener pastures, like to Korg. I mean, for frick's sake, their hardware synths like Modwave and Wavestate feel like the future. I feel like synthmakers like Korg are living up to NI's slogan more than NI is.

I completely understand killing a synth that they don't deem up to par with modern trends. Yet, if NI can't even do it themselves nowadays (again, looking at you Massive X), you can bet I'll look elsewhere for companies. Or, I'll make a synth myself.

This is an open discussion. Don't feel like my opinion is universal, because it certainly is not. I have unique tastes, like anyone else. If you feel like I'm wrong in certain ways and have evidence, I'm open to hearing what you guys have to say. Agree, disagree, or both, if you wanna reply to this post, remember to be respectful of each other's opinions, or you'll look silly.

(And if you're reading this and you happen to work for NI, please understand this "letter" is done because I've been a fanboy of NI since I was frickin' 12.)



  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,124 admin

    We would love to keep supporting our oldest, yet classic products, but we know it's unfortunately not possible due to the accelerating burst of new technology and limited resources. We launched many (many) products in the past and keeping maintenance for all of them is definitely a tricky challenge, especially when entering a new era of computer architecture.

    Regarding the innovation side of things, this is very subjective. Massive X remains a solid wavetable synth on the market, and other examples like Playbox or The Light Trilogy show that NI can still come up with exciting and refreshing products. On top of the pandemic, the company has been through numerous internal changes these past years which has also slowed down the product development.

    However, I feel very confident about what's coming, now that the pandemic is hopefully behind us and Soundwide is born.

    If you feel like discussing more about Absynth's end of sale, there's already an ongoing thread about it. Feel free to join 👇

  • Xerophyte
    Xerophyte Member Posts: 3 Member


    Thank you for your courteous reply.

    Before I say anything, I want to make it clear that my post was not hate mail and I have 0% animosity towards you/your company (I know you didn't accuse me of this, I just thought I need to clarify this.) I still enjoy NI's past and future developments. However, I doubt my opinion on Massive X lacking a wavetable editor is merely subjective. I agree that tastes and needs vary in the producer community, but I had a point with Serum and Vital having wavetable editors (and Phaseplant might I add). You can disagree with me, but wavetable synthesis is practically the new standard in synthesis.

    The inability to import or create my own wavetables is just straight baffling when Serum, a much older synth could do it, and Vital, a recent, popular FREE synth could do it too. NI's slogan revolves around the future, but seems to faceplant in that regard when it can't even include yesterday's innovations in synthesis. I enjoy Massive X's many unique features, but what Massive X lacked just felt silly to leave out.

    I'll also admit that my opinion on FM8 is a bit weak. FM8 has its own features that Sytrus doesn't have and vice versa, so that comment I made was merely subjective. And I'll agree with you on a few points you made regarding the hassle of updating a plethora of old products, and the comments about Playbox and the Light trilogy.

    I guess my final thought is that I want to see NI innovate even more because I'm a fan. I've enjoyed the company for a decade, so it would hurt me more than you guys for my support to dwindle. I doubt the support will end because I refuse to completely be unfair toward's NI's actual new products. However, if competitors are innovating in ways I see as more exciting, then I guess I'll have to consider all the products the market has to offer, not just NI primarily.



  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 221 Advisor

    I feel somewhat the same, but all my angst is focused on the loss of absynth.

    However, I found that Brian Clevinger (original creator of absynth) has founded Rhizomatic software, and has created the Plasmonic synth. I SRTONGLY recommend at least downloading the demo and seeing how you feel about it. I feel like it is strongly 'spiritually' related to absynth, if not better in a few ways, and Plasmonic instantly became one of my fav all-time synths. This helped me become less frustrated with NI, and showed me that the special 'culture' of absynth is still very much alive. Hope you enjoy.

  • sijarvis
    sijarvis Member Posts: 8 Member
    edited October 2022

    You should give Absynth back to Brian Clevinger.

    You mention "limited resources", yet the man himself stated in a recent video that he'd have willingly dropped everything to give Absynth an upgrade, so in reality, you've thrown away the very resource that would have given it new life.

    I personally don't understand why "classics" have to die. What you'll end up with is lots of legacy instruments but no pedigree.

    Think Roland's 303....hardware or software, it's here to stay....well, at least until WW3, then we'll all be toast.

    It appears that NI don't seem to care about heritage.

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,327 Expert

    Skanner works fine on pc if you the instal file from 2008. Add the serial number via NA2 after installing Skanner (less XT) in public >> Native Instruments path.

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,327 Expert

    Here my accoustic Élegie as mp3 with just created HG Fortune - First Test .nabs and samples:

Back To Top