NI Absynth 5 Intoxication w/ soundscapes


Brian Clevinger created the software at the end of 2000 for Mac-Os. One year later NATIVE INSTRUMENTS  and Clevinger cooperated and he’s the chef developer since this day.

The general UI look of Absynth 5

So what’s under the hood?

You got 3 channels, 14 filters, a lot of rare oscillators. You can use it with your MASCHINE sampler or as a sampler itself. It works as a FM synthesis and granular synthesis basis. You can use it as an effect. External audio runs through Absynth and goes into your DAW, MASCHINE, audio recording software. Whatever you want basically. In Version 5.3.1 (newest version from 2015, and yet still freshly updated) you got also a cloud filter and comb filter. You have basic elements of a modular synthesizer, which is basically a training for big and complex modular synthesizers. You got hundrets of presets and you can even combine 2 presents and decide which parts of each preset shine through your sound. It is of course MIDI-compatible. Do I need to mention that you can use it in your regular DAW like Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic or even Sonar. It runs on Mac-OS and Windows, but sadly not on Linux. Sadly there isn’t enough software out there that runs directly on Linux.


My old green friend:

Absynth 4 and now Absynth 5 are my old solid companions from the old days. Alone the UI is a big plus for me. I have a serious fetish for green coloured software and interfaces. It’s even somewhat turquish and got a relaxin’ vibe, but don’t be fooled by the UI. It got some radical, gnarly, crazy distortion effects and like every software it’s recomendable to try it out. There comes another minus: No demo available. So watch some YouTube videos, read reviews from magazines and ask your music teacher or some buddy if they were properly introduced into Absynth and how it works. I am mainly a sucker for presets. Kinda awkward to say stuff like that. A lot of purists out there prefer to create their own unique sound, even if it sounds worse than a preset. You want your own stamp on the sound you created and you wanna tell everyone:”HEY MAN! I MADE THAT PRESET! CAN YOU HEAR THAT? I KNOW IT SOUNDS AWFUL, BUT AT LEAST IT’S 100% ORIGINAL!”. I also use Massive, Kontakt, Battery and the full NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KOMPLETE EDITION ULTIMATE package. It’s nice to browse around the presets in every VSTi you get your hands on, but to be honest: The most experiments I did, I did them in Absynth 5. Why should I convince you to get it? This article right here is mainly about writing down my experiences I made over these years. I just wanna write down memories and stuff that I would recommend me to myself. If I read this article in a couple of years and I’ll find out that Absynth 6 will suck like Cubase 9.5 does… that will be quite hurtful. Nowadays you got a some pros and cons with software. Everyone mentions mainly the pros, like mostly free updates and somewhat more support and you don’t have to carry around heavy hardware. If you got hardware you won’t get a software update that will destroy the whole hardware. Except when it’s some kind of hybrid thing like the Virus TI 2…? That’s at least what I read about it. A strange mixture of software and hardware. You basically need to be ready to roll down to Absynth 5.


The browser in the VSTi

90% of every NI VSTi got the same explorer. Why? Because it’s usefull and logical. You either search for moods, tags or especially instrument sounds. Moods / tags would be stuff like “happy” or “eerie”. Instrument sounds would be stuff like “guitar” or “sequenced” or “piano”, stuff like that, yo. Most of the time I double click on a preset and play around on my MIDI keyboard with my left hand and then I cllick on the next preset and play around with the left hand. Sometimes you get stuck to a preset or you modify it to your desire. I remember some years back ahead recording with Audacity and playing with Absynth in realtime. A horrible experience to be fair, but it was fun. At the end of the day that is what really counts. I don’t get the hate that VSTis get, just for being digital. I grew up digital luckily. Be happy that you don’t have to program and save every preset and you don’t need to tune and warum up the synth and make notes on how the preset was before that. You sit in front of your extremly small laptop cuddled in your blanked on your bed and just toy around with the VSTi the way you feel like it.


I need to learn more…

I haven’t checked this little nifty tool enough, haven’t tried everything that I want. Kinda curious to see that the newest update is 3 years ago. I seriously hope to see support on Windows 11 or Windows 12 for Absynth 5 or finally the #6. Don’t neglect this piece of software dear developers and Mr. Clevinger. While writing about it I get kinda accoustically hungry to try out new stuff. I bet you could even form a band that ONLY focuses on using Absynth 5. Imagine that. Their main trademark is that the perform live and in studio only via Absynth 5. I think I should write that idea somewhere down…


Yes or no?

Yes, yes and yes. Luckily I bought the software in my youth and used it some years before cracked. Nowadays I’m to stingy for software. I seriously wanna invest more in hardware to get the vibe and the feeling that hardware gives you. A lot of people got famous and made a living by using hardware. Maybe I’ll make a lot of debts by buying always new hardware instead of learning and investing in software. That should be the point that would pull me down to the ground to show me that stuff like Absynth 5 should be enough. I say goodby at this point and wish all you guys a good night or day or whatever… see you around. =))))


You can purchase Absynth from the official Native Instruments site for 150€ approximately. You might be able to upgrade you Absynth 1 – 4 to Absynth 5 for 60€, but if you mean serious business, you have to spend a little more to get the biggest and fullest package for the “smallest” prize.

Let’s do the maths:

Say you want to buy 6 instruments solely. Say each of them cost 150€. All in all they cost together 900€.  If you bought more and more separately, you’d end up spending 5,000,00,-$ USD or so. You can buy the full package for 1,600,00,-$. This is a big one time investment and it lasts for years. To be honest. I bought my upgrade from my NATIVE INSTRUMENTS – ULTIMATE EDITION 11 today  for 600€.

Here’s the official site for comparison.


As you can see, only KOMPLETE 12 SELECT hasn’t got Absynth 5


In the next days or weeks or so I will test and try out and produce with the newest upgraded version some songs and audio concepts that I have in mind.

I will tell you guys how it went. I know that I won’t sleep very good today, since I’m to excited to try out these patches, presets and new plug-ins and sound banks and loops.

The upgrade that I got myself, because I already had KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE EDITION:

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If you haven’t got a previous version, this might be more interesting for you. It’s from a German shop that got quite famous and popular over the years and has a beautiful customer support. I am also a quite customer in regards of their products. Sorted from cheap to expensive:


If your completly new and you want to get the whole package as a new customer:


Those link to Thomann. Which has generally cheaper prices.

Komplete 12 Select for $179.99 

Komplete 12 for $529.99

Komplete 12 Ultimate for $1,019.99

Komplete 12 Ultimate Collector’s Edition for $1,5019.99


If you still prefer Amazon though:

Komplete 12 Select for $199.99  

Komplete 12 for $599.99 

Komplete 12 Ultimate for $1,199.99 

Komplete 12 Ultimate Collector’s Edition for $1,599.99 



(Sadly this well developed VSTi plugin has only a German Wikipedia entry. Which makes partially sense, since it was developed in Germany. On the other hand: You’ve heard Absynth one way or another if you listened to a lot of electronic music. Believe me.)

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