It's no secret Hypersonic 2 was kept on the down low to most people, but for those that have heard of this, because it's a ROMpler it wouldn't appeal to them due to the lack of sounds that would live up to a certain standard.
To me, Hypersonic 2 is actually one of the most versatile synthesizer workstation plugins (now standalone since v2) I've ever used. It was my first VSTi to ever touch and the upgrade has actually made a huge leap forward in terms of usability.
Everything on this synthesizer works out of the box. Comes with over 1800+ presets at your disposal, around 5 different synth engines (Sampler, Analog/US-1, Organ, FM, and Wavetable.) that can layer on top of each other. On TOP of that, it comes with a plethora of user-editable effects and parameters that just make things so much better and versatile, it's pretty much a sound programmer's dream in my opinion.
I will have to agree some of the samples provided for some of the more acoustic instruments (Strings particularly) aren't exactly fantastic, but the majority of them (Piano, Guitar, Woodwinds) do a much better job than any other sampler I've seen out in the market.
That lazy man's auto-mastering-hype thing on the config menu didn't make sense to me. Shove that on the low and use an external EQ as it makes HS2 in general tinny/unbreathable.
Aside from that, version 2 introduced the capability of making your own presets from scratch rather than editing an existing one. The edit interface is a bit touchy, however the workflow and its behaviour on output of sound implies endless sonic possibilities. It actually would be possible to simulate a Roland D-50 or any of the vintage Korg synthesizers with Hypersonic alone, only you have better samples to use than what they originally had. My personal favourite effect is the distortion amps. That's character there.
Too bad this didn't come with an FX VST, it would've been nice to be able to use its inbuilt effects elsewhere, but otherwise it's pretty much THE virtual Korg Triton (poking the hoax last year) availabie in the form of a VST instrument.
Well done Steinberg/Wizoo, though with Wizoo's disappearance it's unlikely there'll be anymore to do with this grand prince. :( Best value for money (shop sells for almost AU$600 bucks, beats buying a professional keyboard synth in my opinion), but not for the sample-enthusiast in mind, more for the synthesizer programmer enthusiast.
Many people are pissed of Steinberg because of their synths. Maybe they have reasons (I own the virtual guitarist and The Grand 2 and I'm not sure if I should like them). But Hypersonic is really a great piece of work! Version 1 was a really amazing workstation, but version 2 hits the top of all synths around in my opinion. Just ask, why I use it as my main workhorse in all of my songs!
The most convincing fact about Hypersonic is the sound and the presets. There is nearly no synth which comes near it! Instruments like brasses, woodwinds and ethnics are amazing! The sound is clear and realistic. But not only the real instruments are the strength of this workstation. The synth part of Hypersonic is although convincing.
Compared to version 1 Hypersonic has been opened to sound creators in any point. You can touch all parameters, have access to many effects, all neccessary tools like an great arpeggator are included. In short words: a great place for sounddesigners to play.
Let's go through the sections:
I think it looks great. Maybe it's not the taste of everybody, but I like it.
Unbeatable. Would double the 10 if it would be possible.
There is as far as I have seen nothing left you can't do with this workstation.
It is rather good I think. The box comes along with a booklet which contains all you need to know.
What shall I say! They are unbeatable. And the loading times of sample sets are really low!
This is maybe the weakness of Hypersonic. There are even rumours that Hypersonic will not be supported in next times. But who needs support if all runs stable... :)
VALUE FOR MONEY:
I think the price is more than fair, cause you need no other synth!
It never crashed my system until now. I would say, it is ROCK SOLID.
I really can recommend it to everybody. It will boost your creativity!
Hypersonic is the definitive one-for-all sound and synthesis bank if you're after a bit of everything.
It is a jack of all trades, master of a few. The rich assortment of synth leads, pianos and string sounds really are powerful for any sort of arrangement.
The user interface is good, there isn't much that could be improved and the miniature keyboard is great for trying out presets and the lovely legato/glide mode is brilliant with the right presets.
The sound quality is good, there are some great quality piano and string sounds, and most of them are good quality. The drum kits are of decent quality too.
The amount of features with this instrument is incredible, with legato and glide mode for flawless screeching lead and synth sounds.
Documentation is good, with an emphasis on those who have not used an instrument of a similar kind.
With at least 1000 presets and more if you love mixing sounds for more variation, it really is the most effective instrument for any MIDI arrangements that you want to get sounding right. There is just about everything covered.
I initally had trouble with the copy protection and the customer support was very good and emails were answered promptly with plenty of suggestions. I got it working very quickly.
Overall it is great value for money especially considering the enormous amount of presets and sounds to cover almost everything from A to Z.
Stability is great, it does crash every now and then but crashes are very rare.
A brilliant VST and it's worth every dollar. Even at $399 it is a brilliant concept - a fully fledged workstation system in your PC for a mere fraction of the cost of the hardware equivalent.
I really like some of the sounds of HS (e-pianos, percussions, pads, accordions, nylon guitar). I dislike others (acoustic pianos without GP-2, brass sections, acoustic steel guitars, acoustic drums in the presets not clear enough because of the filter, I'll explain this later). Sound is always a question of personal taste, so it may be the best to listen to the demos on the Wizoo website.
HS has many many patches but just a few 'real' Combinations; that's a pity because they are really good. Most of the Combi sounds delivered are starter kits for multitimbrale arrangements, but not layered sounds. Some layers are included with the patches already; but I would really have liked to have more Combis. One big advantage: Wizoo released a free GM module (GM-4, ~100MB!) in Juli 2004. Great service.
The HS sounds are not fully editable; since version 1.1 it's at least possible to change samples to other ones of the same sound section. The filters are ok; what I personally dislike is the fact that active filters cut the hi edge of the sounds, even when CutOff is set fully open. Especially the preset acoustic drums sound a lot better if you turn off the filters (default: On).
Wizoo calls HS a 'workstation', and there really are some similarities to today's keyboard workstations (expandable, 16x multitimbrale, master and insert effects, many many patches), but there are also some issues that make it difficult to call this babe a 'workstation' (patches not fully editable, only few real combi sounds).
The performance is really great; on a today's computer (2 GHz and above) you can do a whole complicated arrangement without hitting the 50% CPU mark. Switching between patches is very fast compared to SampleTank for example.
The usability is great, too. The user interface is very straight forward, and six screen knobs called the 'hyperknobs' always control the most important parameters of the current patch, and can be controlled by external gear via MIDI CC - very useful.
I think the HS is a bit too hi-priced; the retail price is 399 Euro ATM, street price ~320 Euro. For 200 Euro, this one would be a real killer app.
I recently bought the GP-2 expansion module for Hypersonic (79 Euro), which gives you two new piano sounds: A natural piano using approx. 100 MB of your memory, and a really nice pop piano (70 MB). I like both sounds very much, found only two issues: The natural piano has one a bit 'darker' sample around C3 that's audible; that's a shame because the keys around C3 are some of the most used ones. The second issue: The hammer release noises on both piano models don't follow the stereo pan of the played key, which is a bit unrealistic (on the other hand: How many piano VSTi do you know supporting hammer release noises?). Apart from that: Good money to value for the GP-2.
Stability: Since GM-Module (1.1.1) some effects are not selectable anymore when editing; I hope this will be addressed soon.
The rating represents the plain HS without GP-2.
No one workstation is going to meet everyone's needs - nor was I expecting Hypersonic to do so. I own other synth-sampler plugins. I primarily wanted a "scratchpad" with which I could have immediate access to my creativity. In this regard, Hypersonic is more than satisfying. I can always go back and substitute sounds from other VSTis later.
User Interface: very intuitive and easy to learn. sounds are categorized by type, they load quickly, and it's easy to set the mix for each patch. Many commonly-tweaked parameters such as attack/release can be adjusted on the fly via "dials" on the bottom of the display. And any changes that you make to a sound are saved when you save the host sequence file.
Drums: there are some good drum sounds, and the way the kits are programmed makes it easy to set pan, effects, etc. for each sound group (kicks/snares/etc.) The "Drum Kit Constuctor" is the coolest and most intuitive method I've seen for customizing your own drum set: you can use the wheels to dial in the sound you want for each drum on the fly.
Synth sounds: a lot of good synth pads and bells. Not a loser in the group. Huge selection.
Pianos: the grand piano is very usable and works well within a mix. The sound may be a little bright for classical, but it works well for pop....definitely a cut above the pianos found in the average hardware workstation. The electric pianos, however, I was not as impressed with; they lack dynamism.
Strings: the ensemble strings have a realistic "body" - but the ensemble sound is a little too small and thin for my taste (I prefer rich, lush string pads). In addition, the abrupt attacks and releases sound Mellotron-ish (this problem can be mitigated somewhat by editing the envelopes). But within a mix, these strings work well.
Unfortunately there are no solo or section strings.
I wasn't too impressed with the harp....sounds more like a new-age "synth harp" than a real concert harp.
Woodwinds: unfortunately this was disappointing. The flute seems to have too much of an octave overtone, and if you strike a note hard it does an octave pitch leap (which is not always what you would desire). In addition, there is no oboe or english horn; the double-reeds are represented only by a fuzzy-sounding bassoon.
The alto sax is excellent - but the bari sax sounds like the alto sample tuned an octave lower....not cool. Where's the buzzy edge, the bottom-end kick?
Percussion: some good sounds here (particularly the ethnic percussion), but the "tubular bells" aren't realistic at all.
(In all fairness, most "workstation" keyboards don't have great orchestral sounds either. Since I have GPO and SR's "Symphony Strings" on order, the lack of good orchestral sounds in Hypersonic doesn't bother me).
Bottom line: a good all-around workstation for expanding your palette and sketching out your ideas. For $300 you can't go wrong. Have a look at it before buying SampleTank.
This beast is so packed with usefulness you won't be able to absorb it all at first, theres alot of presets, and they're all very nice. I would say the highlights are the guitars (lead and bass), acoustic bass, and the strings. The pianos/keyboards are also very nice, although in some piano presets you can sometimes tell that its synthesised (but i have been playing piano since i was born).
The Drum Kits really blew me away, I was expecting that side of the product to be neglected, but no its extremely diverse and useful, makes creating beats 10,000 times easier. Only grudge i have with the sound is the brass and woodwinds, it doesn't sound as real as say the edirol orchestral. This is why i gave 'sound' a score of 9.
The onboard effects ARE good, and fairly efficient on CPU. The interface is VERY VERY VERY straightforward, one of the most easy to use VSTis. I didn't even need to peek at the manuals. This is very useful, there are 6 large knobs which change according to the instrument you are playing, this makes for JOYFULLY EASY EDITING, i'm telling you that is a really welcome feature. Eg. on elect guitars you can tweak the drive/fuzz/fret-noise/wah-speed, and on a drum kit you can adjust the filter/resonance/kick/snare level. These 6 knobs can be super quickly be assigned to a different CC#. Searching patches is a damn BREEZE too.
I feel like i'm using one of those really expensive workstations like the triton etc. but with the ease and beautiful GUI of a PC VSTi. This is a very good creation from steinberg and wizoo. They have my respect for this!
It's alway difficult to be the first who review a VSTi, but since I'm so happy with this VSTi, I just have to share my thougths.
Installing Hypersonic is easy and quick. No problems at all. The USB key works, and the license can be transfered to existing USB key to minimize the number of dongles on the PC.
Loading Hypersonic in Cubase as any other VSTi. The setup page let you configure the VSTi with number of outputs etc.
Once loaded, chosing a patch is easy. Just double click on the patch you need (categorized like Acustic Pianos, Acustic guitars or Soft Pads etc)
The sound is great for most patches, but they really comes to life with som fiddling with the Hyperknos. It's 6 knobs who let you adjust the most common and nesseserry parametres of a sound.
CPU usage is extremely low, and my old PIII850 handles Hypersonic with ease.
It's 5 free slots for additional sounds (not realeased yet from wizoo) I've heard a GM bank is on its way (for those who still use GM/GS)
And, there's no need to compare this VSTi to Sampletank. They do the same thing, and both provide great sounds. The Hypersonic is less CPU demanding (I have both) The patches have about the same quality, but after just a week, I find the Hypersonic much easier to work with. Fast patchloading, easy editing and more configurable.
The thing that can change my impression of the Hypersonic now is how fast they put out the new soundbanks, and of course the quality of them.
The Hypersonic have left most of my instruments (VSTi's) unused, and now I have only The Hypersonic and a range of nessecerry VSTi's left in my PC :The Grand, NI B4, NI FM7 and LM-4 (And the Steinberg Studio Case Bundled VSTi's)
For a hobby musician/produser the Hypersonic could be the only VSTi needed.
For the value for the money, it's cheaper than any similar VSTi's and have more sounds.
Customer Support: I've e-mailed wizoo once, and got reply fast (less the 1 hour)
GUI: Clear and easy. You proberly dont need the manual :), but the manual is great, so is the PDF manual and help file.
It has not crashed yet, and have all the features promised in the adds.
Drum patches can route the different sounds to their own output, mono or stereo.
Editing/creating/saving patches is possible, different from other similar VSTi's
The waves is created by wizoo, a quality mark in the VSTi buiseness.
And, again, different from the competitors, Hypersonic is not only samplebased, it's actually an analoge, FM and wavetable synth, witch gives endless possibilities.
Patches can be stacked for extremely fat leads/pads. Effects can be applied for only one or several elements in a patch, or as insert or send (for further CPU saving)
There's nothing like this available from other companies (except the Roland XV range/Korg Triton range) This is the closest yet to a hardware soundmodule. It have 32 configurable outputs (competitors have 4) and they are fully configurable. If you're out for a soundmodule, this is it.
I've now sold my Hypersonic, bundled with the 3 available modules. The reason is simple: it seems like wizoo has stopped making new modules. Sampletank and Sonic Synth does the same job, but they have all possible additional sounds if you need. Hypersonic do not.......so, I lower my ratings in some areas. For a better sollution, the HALion Sample player will be great. It's more flexible, and if you need a range of new sounds, you can get it almost anywhere.........
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