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User Reviews by KVR Members for Nerve

Rate & Review Nerve Now!

Reviewed By tommyzai [read all by] on 22nd February 2013
Version reviewed: 10.7.5 on Mac.
Last edited by tommyzai on 24th February 2013.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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* I'm giving Nerve a 10, because there is no 9.5 and 9 would be an insult.

Nerve by Xfer Records is beyond user friendly — it's user inspiring. It took me a little time to download the 2gig+ library (wave-file kits, grooves, etc.), but immediately upon launching I noticed a neat, clean, sharp-looking interface. It appears different than others, not based on Roland or Akai hardware. It reminds me a little of the Sugar Bytes Thesys, which is a good thing. Everything you need seems to fit on a small laptop screen.

Its uniqueness doesn't translate into a big learning curve. I was too excited to read through a manual, and quickly realized I didn't have to. In no time, I was clicking and dragging neon blue waveform lines all over the place, making real-time adjustments to the sounds. I later found helpful video tutorials on the Xfer Records website, YouTube, and via forums.

I went deeper and discovered more than twenty Pre-Calc DSP editing slider tools that change the samples in real-time and allow for major or minor re-synthesis. This is the feature got me excited. Check out the demo and see what I mean. You'll probably get hooked like I did. Nerve makes sample sculpting and mangling fun. To borrow a quote from The Plugin Guru, "The world of programming drums and stuff has just been simplified!"

I had no trouble dragging Nerve's blue bars up and down and swiping sideways to create a groove. This step sequencer won't wear out my track-pad or lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. .. just smiles. I quickly created many kinds of beats and variations. It was easy to lock things into 4/4 or swing it a little. I was happy to discover that individual patterns could be un-linked to allow each pad to run as wild and free.

Wow! By itself, the Nerve library (sounds, kits, presets, patterns) makes this a worthwhile investment. Anyone, like myself, who has his/her own sample library, will find this even more attractive as it easily loads AIFF, WAV, REX, RX2, SND, etc. I finally have a use for those REX files that other programs won't load.

Do these guys sleep? They provide a lightning fast response and very helpful by email, website contact, Xfer Records Forum, or via KRV and other forums.

The market is filled with audio plugins. If I had the money I would buy all the good ones, but I have very little money so I must spend wisely. There are many obvious reasons to buy Nerve, but I later discovered hidden reasons. For one thing, there are top-secret beta releases found in a sticky thread atop the Nerve forum — ONLY visible to registered users. The betas have features not found in the advertised commercial release.

I don't have much to complain about, but if I had to list a couple areas that could be stronger.. .

1. A well-organized independent browser for easier access to big user sample libraries. At present, getting to my .wav files takes too many clicks
2. More Deadmau5 sample packs and 3rd party support (nudge nudge)
3. More frequent "official" updates and releases
4. Groove randomizer to instantly create rhythmic variations
5. Drum synthesis to combine with samples

No complaints!! I'm just greedy and want MORE!

Nerve provides humongous power and tons of inspiration. I'm sure you can dive deep into this thing, but you don't have to! I found myself waking up at the crack of noon to play with it. In short, I highly recommend this plugin to any eMusician, producer, or electronic songwriter using samples to make beats. You will have a blast and get addicted fast. I give Nerve three thumbs up.

Thank you Xfer Records for creating a virtual drum machine that makes me feel like a kid again. Time to play!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever to Xfer Records. If my review sounds like a sales pitch, forgive me. I get that way when I find a diamond in the virtual rough.

Reviewed By digitalbeatsyndrome [read all by] on 3rd April 2011
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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UI was created by Deadmaus, it reminds me of something straight out of Reaktor. No menu diving. My only gripe is the logo is too big, they couldve added a delay feature over the real estate the logo occupies. Alot of common features (master transpose in my personal case) are NOT visible on the UI but are achievable through keyboard shortcut.

Sound = It's sample based so alot of the quality is what YOU feed it. The included sample library is top notch. At first I was worried spending $200 USD on Nerve, but consider the samples as a bonus. It's effects are so great. You can use 16 examples of the built in reverb based on the TAL reverb. 1 ringmod per 16 pads so 16 examples of ringmod. Use it on my toms, perc, zips and bips keeps me in electro-tech heaven. Built in sidechain compressor. Sample slice and dice. 16 examples of sample reverse. Fuzz on each pad, bit reduction, sample reduction. LFO for each pad.

Features: My favorite feature which sealed the deal for me to buy this instrument and its not really a big feature but means the world to a person with huge sample libraries is the buttons for sample select on each pad. No menu diving just to load a sample, browse through your sample folder with ease, and its not limited to 127 samples only. ctrl click = randomize sample, ctrl win alt click = randomize all samples. You can pitch the individual samples in the sequencer to create melody or bass lines with toms as an example some drum samplers cant do this. Reminds me alot of Re-drum from Reason with a ton of more features. I highly suggest the demo, I can be here writing all day. Steve Duda the creator has awesome demonstration vids on youtube. There is an amazing template for Korg Padkontrol at no extra charge, consider this a cousin of Maschine when used with Nerve. Control surface versions for monome 256, Lemur, and Ipad as well.

The manual is well written though there have been alot of new stuff thats not in the manual but on the download page of the new versions. In other words its well written but not current, you can find the new features in depth on the nerve forum.

Presets: I rate a 10 - the samples used are top notch. They are a premium xfer library that is free with the purchase of nerve. There are sequences that come with them also. Alot of fun to open the presets and replace with your own samples.

Customer support: top notch. Steve is quick via email or forum. Hands down 10, not a question about it.

Value = pricey but worth it. Its a great tool and worth every penny if you have giant sample libraries. There is no other plug in that touches this one... not even close.

Stability = I give an 8 out of 10. It has crashed but only using beta releases. Duda warns you before you download the new beta if you are working on an important project dont install it.
Reviewed By elipsis1 [read all by] on 2nd April 2011
Version reviewed: 1.0.0 on Windows.
Last edited by elipsis1 on 2nd April 2011.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This plugin has some very unique features that put it above the rest.

First off, the included samples are very good quality. As you scroll through presets, the kit that is loaded also includes pattern data, so it makes for a great browsing experience.

Another cool feature is that you can change all samples in the kit with one click of a mouse. Holding the ALT key and clicking the load button will shift to the next wav file in that pad's corresponding folder. Very cool. You can also use the alt key to perform global pre calc effects as well.

The pre calc effects are a great feature to have, as they take up 0 cpu time after you are done tweaking the sample. The precalc effects are what give you the sculpting power to really dial in your sound or experiment.

Another awesome feature is that you can unlink the pattern so that each pad can have it's own sequence length, doing so also allows you to enable the random button, which will trigger a random pattern number, so that there is a lot of variation going on.

Also, the kit samples are embeded into the file save, so no managing folders or losing/browsing for samples.

You need to see the LFO in action to really appreciate it, you can assign it to so many parameters. This is a well thought out plugin.

The triggering via midi is also a welcome feature. You can play the kit on a keyboard, or trigger patterns, or trigger the different values on the repeater.

There really is a whole lot more to nerve than what I have posted in this review. This plugin is definately worth giving the demo a whirl, and in my opinion, well worth the purchase price.

Steve has been great at answering questions via email as well as his response in the forum. It sounds like he really is listening and planning to implement changes based on user input.

This is a hassle free serial number copy protection scheme, so no worrying about dongles or anything.

Your creativity will really flow freely with this plugin.

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Average user rating of 4.33 from 3 reviews

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