I will try to keep this review nice and simple, neatly stealing the layout from the one of the previous reviews :)
10/10. This is for me, by far, the most attractive and well thought out user interface. It is gorgeous to look at. Everything is right where you'd expect it to be and there are handy preset-routings everywhere so there is no need to dive into the mod-matrix for vibrato and filter mods for example. The graphic envelopes are a nice addition, as is the graphical display of the filter. A really classy look that compliments the sound and fits with Waldorf's shiny new persona.
However.. the Arp and step LFO are ridiculous'y fiddly. There are no sensible readouts to let you know what you are doing. This happens on other synths too. I would like some kind of semi-tone system so if I am using the step LFO to modulate pitch I can plan what I am doing.
The most essential feature. I believe it to be absolutely true that many VSTi's simply sound the same.. and very boring at that. This synth's oscillators have got a lot of character. Don't read that as character like analog synths have though, Largo's character is a little different from that. It has not got the "unstable" feel of analog emulations, it has a sharp, crisp clear sound. Very cutting. Really modern and clean. It gets dirty with the drive and distortion but it's a clean digital dirty. Though it will shear your ears off if you are not careful.
It has a stereo polyphonic unison (hurrah!) so any lovely sound you make can be multiplied by six and spread in the stereo field, either by setting each voice in the stereo field individual (turning the stereo spread dial up to half way) or having the voices pan left and right alternately (turning the dial beyond half way)
The envelopes are exponential (logarithmic) as far as I can tell. This is good for some sounds of course but not as usual for others. It contributes to the overall snappy character of the synth. But why linear envelopes are not included I don't know. It is an advanced synth and would have been helped by this addition.
One final comment on the oscillators though, they are a pain to set up right because of phasing. It might be a bug with my set up, I don't know, but often mixing the oscillators in such a way that would sound fine on another synth sounded messy on Largo. I spent a lot of time avoiding this messy sound.
I will also add that unlike some other synths I've tried the EQ is really useful here and really adds to the character of a sound.
As others have said Largo is a little quiet.
As has been said before, the filters are beautiful. They really are stunning. They are not the warm analog sort which squelch, they are digital, cool and calm but with a really lively "real" feel to them. If this is the Waldorf sound, I love it.
The drive is good, I am not crazy about it because I rarely like digital distortion, however when used in small subtle amounts it really adds a nice sound. Most of the time I use it in a subtle way, but then I began to find that actually if you design a patch for a little distortion the drive actually imparts a very cool character to it. In the end, it is very useful but don't expect it to give you something like an analog distortion from a stomp box for example.
They are interesting but, uh well, lets just say Waldorf would probably not do well in the effects field if they ever released these as a separate plug-in!
Except the delay, which is fantastic! I've not heard a delay like this before. I prefer this to most of my external delays. It has a really great stereo widening feature which makes presets sound very polished professional. When you turn the spread knob though you have to re-adjust the delay time in order for it to remain the same.
It is well featured, but there are some limitations. It does not allow you to modulate the FX parameters for example, but it does at least allow you to modulate the FX mix amount. This is important and I am glad it's there.
It has signal modifiers which are a really useful addition allowing you to apply math functions to your LFO signals and what not. Good stuff. Not a lot of synths I've used have these.
It has comb filters, which are better than others I've tried, Waldorf are well known for these. It has a decent preset explorer which is well featured with conveniences like renaming and moving.
It has three OSCS, the first two load wavetables and have a Sqaure Sub OSC. The later one has VA wave forms only.
The manual is excellent, best I've read. Lots of nice tips about programming various sounds. They tell you how to make melodic patches that play in tune using the comb filters, where to set the filters for which octaves.
It is good enough that if you'd never used a synth before and have no idea about synthesis you should get a pretty decent grip on it by the time you're done.
Very good. When I had issues they got back to me very quickly and solved my problem. I haven't emailed them much about the bugs yet though.
Value for money
At $250 it is expensive. But imo there isn't anything else I could substitute it with and for the quality of sound you get and the capability of the synth it is worth the money to me. I found a good deal where I got it a little cheaper in the UK.
For the most part excellent. Really the bugs have been few. I had a couple of problems with the presets. One time the system crashed (this is rare for my system) and ever preset assignment was lost in the track. That means when I opened the song again each and every track had the first preset Largo loads with so I had to reassign all my presets. Good job they were saved else I would have lost them.
Another thing is it is still sluggish. I have a very up to date computer. HD 2000 or 3000 intel graphics, i5 2500k.
I read once that there is a certain way UI was coded and it would work fine if it were not for some windows specific issue. It was implied that their coding is not responsible for this sluggishness. This was on their forum once.
My last gripe is to do with the programming itself. It honestly feels like the sliders don't actually do anything until you move them about 60% or so of the way. Then most of the modulation they create is in the remaining 40% of space. Irritating.
The drive control is similar. It is light until about 20% of the way when it suddenly jumps up the volume. This makes transitioning from a non-distorted sound to a distorted sound problematic as it makes a sudden jump in volume.
In that desert Island scenario, this would be one of the three synths I kept. I don't know about it being first place but that is not out of the question. I have considered selling it a few times because I don't like the sluggish feel and little niggles, but I never do because it overall is just a really powerful useful tool.