LFO Speed mod destinations, and a stereo delay just for the helluvit, and I would have the damn perfect VA
Overall good documentation with an excellent reference section.
I'm not really a preset banger myself, but if i were the type to find a preset to tweak into something more personalized, I would probably be very pleased with the default bank. It is very utilitarian.
This product has reached the end of its life cycle, therefore there is no official support provided by the developer, yet it has it's own section at the Audio-Simulation forums (the developer). I have never experienced a need to receive customer support for this product, although I am pleased with the developer's support for products that are in active development from Audio-Simulation, especially considering the youth of said product (DreamStion II(the host)).
It's free. Instant 10.
It's never crashed or behaved unpredicably for me. As I've already said its sound is very predicable. So i cannot give any negative marks here.
In short, this synth is a no-nonsense general purpose synth, with a broad sonic potential, and is free.
Dreamstation is a synth meant for the advanced user.
Dreamstation is best described as a "team player" sort of synth. In tandem with effects or layered with other synths it can turn a 'good' sound into something "fantastic and unique."
Intermediate and beginners will NOT get this thing. They will say its boring, dry sound is a waste of sound Etc.
Dreamstation also has a longer than usual learning curve thanks to graphics that are dissimilar enough to make their use initially confusing.
Like most synths practice makes perfect. Eventually the confusing things become so easy you are manipulating sounds faster on Dreamstation than almost any other synth.
What it can do is limited.
It does NOT have onboard effects to pretty up the sounds.
What it does do though it does extremely well!
What you get out of Dreamstation depends on what you are willing to put into it.
For me it is the perfect layering synth. No matter how great a patch is, I've found by layering a couple of patches from Dreamstation into it makes it sound even better.
Its tone melts into the sounds of other synths and makes them sound better.
As time goes by its sound is becoming more and more unique.
Also as time goes by, fewer and fewer people know about this gem.
It's only a matter of time, before it becomes a 'secret' sort of synth used by a few producers to create sonics that no one can identify, but really love because its fresh and new sounding.
Use Dreamstation correctly and you'll be able to make your songs sound stand out in a very crowded environment, because nothing really sounds like Dreamstation.
I've heard a lot of people complain about DreamStation, about this or that, but honestly I don't know why. Nearly every time I need a solid, bread-and-butter VA sound out of a soft synth, I end up using DreamStation. Lots of other VA soft synths have more features and are better at certain things, but none are as flexible and usable as DreamStation.
In particular, I've heard people complain the sound is thin or uninspiring. Frankly, I have no idea what they're talking about. I've gotten tremendous basses and nice pads out of DreamStation. And the brass! Wow, you can get a lovely Vangelis CS80-style brass out of this thing, complete with delayed vibrato.
DreamStation lacks only two things really. First is a mod matrix. DreamStation is a very simple VA model, with hardwired modulation, which limits the diversity of sounds it can make. Again, it makes bread-and-butter stuff wonderfully, but if you need a 'different' sound, you'll have to look elsewhere.
Finally, the UI on it is just too small! The knobs are so tiny that sometimes I have to squint to see them clearly. Not that it isn't a nice UI - it is, and very well designed. If it was about 50% bigger, it would be perfect.
I had a very different support experience than the other reviwers:
I purchased Cakewalk Plasma and received the DreamStation with it. Overall, a very good deal. I wanted to use DreamStation with Fruityloops and was horrified to get an intermittent clicking noise. When I emailed the program author, it took a few weeks but he kindly emailed me the version that was optimized for FruityLoops. I was very pleased with the support as this solved my issue completely. I have also had stuck notes with this synth, but adjusting the polyphony can minimize the problem.
Now for the sound:
It's very analog sounding, but often in a buzzy, aggressive way... I'm not thrilled with the Filter. I recommend never turning the resonance up more than 60% unless you like squealing. For a smoother analog VA subtractive synth I'd have to recommend SimSynth or daAlpha instead. Having said this, I'm still glad I have it in my arsenel. It has an excellent FM knob and a cool 2nd assignable envelope that can be used to alter the FM amount in addition to other destinations. Its random LFO is good to. What irks me most about this synth is that the freestanding version has an exceptionally thick chorus effect that would really smooth out the sound... but they didn't include it in the DXi!
Three things that it excels at:
* hard synced oscillator sweep sounds (ala Gary Newman)
* TB 303 bass simulation
* Small, dark, clinky FM arpeggiator sounds
One thing it sorely needs:
dreamstation is yet another VA synth. It is simple to operate and comes standard with sonar. I'm not going to go into the sound of this thing and all that crap because in the end it is all a taste thing, suffice to say that it has its own sound and it is clean. The UI can get a little fiddly and a return to 0 function on the knobs would be handy. It is rock solid in regards to its stability and has a great manual which pops up the first time you open it. I wasn't too sure about this synth at the start but it has gradually been creeping more and more into my work. It has a lot of really interesting and contemporary sounds that are hard to get on a lot of other synths. The filters are GREAT and so are the envelopes. Dreamstation doesn't try to be anything that it is not. Once you accept it for what it is, it will respond by being a great little synth to cherish and enjoy. :) Highly recommended.
The Dreamstation DXi could have been a kickass instrument. It sounds good, comes with a ton of decent presets and is very easy to program. I really love the sound of the instrument, but really couldn't get into it because of the lack of support for it. I have a registered version of it that I purchased from the Fruityloops site and it generates false tones aka sticky keys. I tried to get this problem resolved at the Fruity site where I brought it but my posts go unanswered there. I tried Audio Simulations, but it only seems that they support the stand-alone. My experience with the Dreamstation DXi has lead me to advise people to stay away from it for the lack of functionality and support.
At first the DreamStation seems like just another basic analog emulating synth.
But the interface is friendly, and the sounds it creates are very usable.
There are quite a few presets, with a lot of variety. They are good starting points for creating your own sounds.
The DreamStation lets you assign the Mod wheel to almost any parameter, and has portamento, distortion, and a lot of other features that add up to make it more than just your average analog synth.
I must disagree with Tomz.I love the sound of Dreamstation.It has some of the best analog lead sounds I have heard from a softsynth in it's price range.I have the standalone version so I can't speak for the Dxi version.The standalone has the ability to use a sample waveform.The pictures I've seen of the DXi didn't seem to have this feature.In my opinion Dreamstation simply blows away junglist,Rainbow2,scorpion and others.Of course it's all a matter of preference.I love big fat synth leads and that's what the Dreamstation excels in.For 35.00 bucks,I think it is a steal.
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