Pentagon was the 1st soft synth I had good success with in fully automating and programming it from within Cakewalk Sonar (version 2 at the time). Finally everything worked like it was supposed to, the MIDI learn features were solid and versatile, it had enough oscillators to generate some really nice sounds, as well as enough envelopes to really shape every step of the process. Really the only way to get the shaping features more flexible would be to use a mod matrix similar to what you find in rgcaudio's excellent z3ta+ synthesizer.
Since this synth is skin-able, there are some very attractive skins on it, so I would recommend you look into those, they are very easy to implement and the new look could very well improve your music creation process. Rene has a good following of friends, and customers online and from this community comes some great presets for the synth and skins. It really is a grass-roots built instrument and it's care in detail and quality shows in it's sound.
I used this synth for recordings on an album, then got into Reason for an album, and now I am back and pleased to find the latest updates for this synth add some new features and sounds, like the wavetables. It is nice to see Rene continuing to work on this product even though he has newer machines out.
It is true that this is "just another virtual analog" in that it's feature set doesn't boast anything that your auntie's soft synth doesn't also do. But I think that everyone needs to find their preferred virtual analog and make it "theirs" (or for the collectors amongst us, make it "one of theirs") in that you really take the time to learn the instrument inside out and figure out the nuances of it that sets it apart from everything else. Pentagon is that synth for me, I have used it over and over and it still has the sounds I'm looking for when it comes to analog. It has just enough features without the interface getting TOO rediculously large and it getting too bulky to tweak easily. It is a great balance between power an functionality, and with the support in the forums, the user community behind it, and the sound banks, it is easily worth paying for this instrument when you could conceivably find the same list of features on a freeware synth somewhere. A lot of expert thought and testing has gone into the development of this instrument, and it shows.
I was suprised to see that the avrage rating for this VSTi was above 9. It's quite a good synth, but it doesn't do anything that other (freeware) synths don't do. The user interface is nice, but not more than that. The sound is nice, but not more than that. Same for the features, documentation, presets, VfM and stability. Conclusion: A nice VSti, but not something especially new or good. It's avrage, maybe a tiny bit above avrage. No more, no less.
This is in my opinion the perfect softsynth at the moment! It's my first thought for any project and any style of music. The GUI is very up to date looking and has all the features right up front and are easily accessable. I don't have to look for things or wonder "how to do this", because it's all right in front of me.The size is perfect so I can hoover over the knobs perfectly and see everything. I like the fact that you can see the knob setting readings right on the synth when you hoover over a knob with the mouse. The sound with the 2X sampling feature is so hardware like that it's unbelievable. The FX are the best I have ever heard on a softsynth, especially the delay, EQ and spread. Nice chorus, phaser, and distortion drive too.I just wish we could have a good decimator and reverb effect added. As for features the P1 covers all the simple basics PWM, pitch EG,FM,Ring,Sync versatile filter routing syncable LFO's and everything is midi linkable. You recieve the DX,VST and Stand Alone ASIO versions all for the same price. As for features I would like to see added in the future, microtuning and a good programmable arp feature (I know this is asking for a lot, but I feel the P1 deserves it!). The docs are good and very informative but, need to be updated, as I think they are for version 1.0, a lot of the new features seem to be missing from them or it doesn't go into detail about them. The presets are very good and versatile, all you have to do is transpose them to fit your situation and poof! You are poppin out tunes. Support is excellent, I have never had a problem with the actual synth, but if I had any question on synthesis or a comment in general, I could find the answer in the RGC forum or email Rene' and get an answer instantly. There are presets and skins posted regularly.The latest versions with new enhancement are free and always majorly improved. Value for the money as far as I am concerned, this is the best sounding softsynth out there period,especially in its price range. It could go for twice the money and still be worth it. Stability: It's has never crashed my systems a 450mhz Celeron and a 2ghz AMD. In closing, to me this synth is a classic, all usable, totally intuitive and creative with out a bunch of confusing bull. I load it up and I make music.I try the latest offerings from company A or B, but always wind up returning to the P1 to get the results I need. Thanks Rene' for such a wonderful treasure.
Did I mention I love this synth! The bank F patches by BT are incredible. This synth does more and more every day.
Truly brilliant. A massively fat sound, great GUI and features. Also, the GUI can be changed as there are a number of skins available.
I love this so much. The presets are very varied and range from simple pads to extensive atmospheres suchas the "Chemical" preset.
All analogue style as well. rgcAudio really has found a corner of the market with its P1 and T2 synths.
I first bought Pentagon at vers. 1.0, but never really liked the sound (IMO it kind of lacked depth or breadth - fuck, it's difficult to explain) or GUI (dark/confusing), so I never really used it. With vers. 1.3 this has all changed --- I'm a true believer now!
User interface: Beautiful & Logical. The skin for 1.30 really does wonders. Knob inertia ...mmm. Virtual wood ...aaahhh.
Sound: With 2x oversampling the sound comes close to true analog. IMO one of the best analog emulations so far, even rivals the MMV.
Features: Contains almost everything you need for semi-modular analog modelling, even good quality effects. Could use some more pre-defined waveforms, though. Why not throw in all the waves from z3ta+?
Documentation: Generally quite good, but the sections on user samples and pentagon as fx/vocoder could IMO be improved.
Presets: A lot! And good ones, too --- perfectly showing off Pentagon's capabilities as an analog emulation. Many more to download from KVR.
Customer support: Well, just see how active and responsive René is on KVR. Says it all.
Value for money: Absolutely. Compare to e.g. MMV at $250.
Stability: Rock solid. Totally.
Pentagon is still to me the best from rgc audio. From a programming stance, this synth is a programmers dream come true! I really don't like big gui's so I scored it a little lower here, especially for a new person to vst's trying to figure out what does what. Now there are other skins around, which you can have a more custom look to your tastes.
As far as sound content goes, the presets are nice and sound good in a mix....but programming it, is to me, alot more fun! With built in effects and cabinets (limited) as well, you get a great synth for your hard earned money. Stable as one could hope for, and support is top notch as well.
Grab the demo and also the free synth's they offer, have a go with them, and you will be surely wanting to grab pentagon.
As with all of rgc audio synths this is no exception = Class, quality and the constant strive for perfection, heck René gets to the point of perfection with all of his synths including the sound patches.
Now I have had this a while now and I can really recommend this synth, it really is value for money.
It’s a case of pure customer satisfaction another of the few developers that put the customer first every time all of the time. Just take a look at the support forum here send an email and see how quick its answered complete with helpful and to the point advice.
Sound quality is mind blowing for the money, really you have to hear it to believe it, there are so many features that to enable the display of the synth to remain the size its currently shipped in, has knobs that double up with more than one function. This is indicated in another colour.
Due to the ability to skin this synth :O) there are now many variations to choose from,
Rock solid stability and ample documentation.
Real good stuff, Great fun, super sound, one of a kind.
Edit corrected spelling ;)
I love this thing!
I have virtually (Get it? Get it?) retired all of my other virtual analog beasties since acquiring this last year.
Even though it has loads of features I have no idea how to use (oh, great, now I gotta learn wavetable synthesis), I can still dial in the perfect sound every time.
A big plus for me is that practically everything is tempo-syncable...filters, amp envelope, delay, everything! I love tempo sync...
Another feature I use extensively (I'm trying to point out cool stuff that isn't really common), is the voice modulation/vocoder aspect. This thing makes a great vocoder. I use it on vocal and drums all the time.
All-in-all a fantastic piece. Great sound, great price, looks good in dress. Get it.
BTW: I think I have the newer gui, and have no problems with it...and as for service, Rene' is verrrry good.
Edit Nov 2002. I am notching down the features number by one, since, having played with z3ta+ and crystal a lot lately, I have come to the conclusion that a Mod Matrix is special. That said, the lack of one makes P 1, so easy to program and control, and very easy to play "live", the true essence of a performance synth.
After months of resistance, I finally succumbed and bought Pentagon, when my musical needs required a true subtractive synth that I could control real-time with my new controller keyboard. It was quite a coincidence that the day after I bought PI, z3ta+ came out and now I have two synths that make me drool.
The Pentagon GUI is pretty good and easy to navigate. My only problem is with the color, which is too dark for me, but following the release of z3ta+, I suspect that the next version will have a filler GUI.
The Pentagon sound is fat, perfect for re-creating some of the classic sounds of the past, which works out perfectly for me (prog rock + Tangeringe Dream style electronic rock). The features and realtime control possiblities of the Pentagon are excellent, and give rise to the possibilities for some creative sound sculpting. It is not too difficult to program this beast, as both patch creation and realtime modulation are a breeze. The bottom line, this thing sounds great. The presets are pretty darn good and provide a great starting point for setting up new patches.
The documentation and user support are excellent. Now that Rene has his own KvR forum, even better. The synth has never crashed, and is fairly light on the CPU compared to some other synths in the same class, and at $99 this is very fairly priced.
I consider the Pentagon to be a performance synthesizer cause of its amazing realtime control, which becomes all the more powerful when combined with its monophonic little brothers. If you don't have it .. get it
Pentagon was the 2nd DXI/VSTi I used (Triangle2 being the first). I was blown away, intimidated by the interface a little but later amazed by the flexibility and sheer sonic quality. From Bass to strings to pads it's a sheer joy to use and just 'play' with. I've never had it crash once in about 6 months of use, although it can be reasonably CPU intensive it isn't a hog. I've used it in about half the songs I've written so far and it's always one of the first Synths I reach for when starting something new.
The manual is quite comprehensive, with the exception of the Vocal Input, but then I see that as a 'freebie' anyway.
The one time I had to contact Support the reply was immediate and helpful.
For the price it's an absolute steal.
I didn't figure I would ever hear a VSTi that did much for me. I have had most all the vintage hardware synth at one time or another and I kind of got bored with that sound. I have tried just about every available VSTi and I have to say Pentagon is amazing! The sound quality is better than a lot of the other VA synth and the presets really show it off well. I hadn't planned on buying any new synths, but after spending a few nights with it, I decided it was too good a deal to pass up. NI makes some nice VSTi, but they are fairly expensive. Pentagon is very reasonable in price and sounds great. Don't support cracks of Pentagon. At this price, $99, wouldn't you want to directly support the developer? I would and that's why I bought it. I can't wait to see what he come out with next!
This is the most used software synthesizer I have purchased and well worth the price. This is a PROFESSIONAL soft synth. DXi version, MIDI learn knobs, lots of program banks. What can I say that has not been said before. My only complaint is the difficulty in seeing the little white marks on the knobs. Maybe if they were red dots then it would be easier to see the position of the knob.
Bottom line. I paid $99 for Pentagon I. After one hour I was mad. Mad that I had paid $150 each for two other “professional” software emulations of vintage synthesizers. Compared to Pentagon I they are way overpriced.
Edit: I am increasing my marks for the GUI by two thanks to some nice skins that are easier to read. I am also increasing the support rating from 9 to 10.
OK, I won't add much to the ratings about Pentagon, it's just a very great sounding synth that I love.
Just so much about that, but I just have to add some things (as these haven't been mentioned yet):
- MIDI learn implementation. This is just as good as possible. You switch a knob into learn mode, touch any external controller's fader or button and there you go! You can even limit the range, it's all well thought out.
Then, important for Logic 5.x users: Whenever you want to record some automation using that CC assignment method, Pentagon will happily record both to the new and the old automation. It's the only virtual synth doing so, not even Logic's internal ones do that!
And finally you can save a bunch of presets for your CC assignments which is very nice too. Just what the doctor ordered.
- Vocoding. Not only that Pentagon is an extremely flexible synth, it also works as a vocoder - and as a VERY good one even! I really wonder nobody has mentioned this feature yet! Try it on a drumloop and be amazed!
So in the end you're not only getting a kickass sounding synth but a vocoder as well, with the benefit of having the Vocoder GUI looking exactly the same as the synth GUI, so you don't need to get used to yet another interface.
IMO there's only two drawbacks:
1) This is Logic related and Pentagon is not responsible for it at all: Only the setting saved on internal preset No.1 will be saved properly along with a song. The workaround is to fool around with Pentagon's presets as long as you're happy, then use it's internal menu to copy to preset No.1.
2) The vocoder setting won't be saved, so each time you load your song you gotta have to readjust that. Assuming that most people are not using much more than one or two vocoder instances it's pretty much what I'd call a minor hassle - more like one of the typical .0 release bugs. Only takes two mouseclicks to fix it and I'm also pretty much sure René will fix that in the next update.
Finally, here's a short snipplet of my first Pentagon experience:
Apart from the drumloop everything is 100% Pentagon, no further FX, no nothing (oh well, of course I had to record a - rather lame - vocal line to trigger the vocoder). Forgive my keyboard skills, I'm still mainly a guitar player.
If it was possible Pentagon would get a higher rating than 100% in terms of "bang for the buck". Actually, I am a bit confused about the general ratings here, but following the apparent standards I just have to give it almost the highest possible rating. The "9" for the user interface only resulted of observing other people.
This VSTi is scarily good... and i mean REALLY REALLY GOOD!.
I'm a big lover of hardware synths. I use the likes of Roland XP80, Novation Supernova II etc.. and love my big fat warm sounds.
I've used lots of virtual synths in the past, but they've always sounded way flat n lifeless :(
Only very few times have i been able to use them in my tracks and only them by piling on a huge amount of FX on top to make them sound good.
Anyone who's a sceptic then of virtual synths SERIOUSLY needs to check this one out. It REALLY IS that good!!.
It's capable of making both very edgy crystal digital type sounds and also big squelchy warm fat analogy sounds too. The built in eq is one of the best i've heard, just an incredble amount of warmth from the bass part. There's just soo many options n built in parts to this synth that it would take pages to cover them all.
It's also surprisingly CPU efficient too considering all the different elements running simultaneously (take note Jason Synth)
Preset wise it comes with a huge list. Most of these are 'ok' , but the ones that really stand out (like Obturator 1) just blow you away!.
It's when you start tweaking those knobs to create your own though that you realise just how powerful this synth engine is. You don't even have to consult any manual it's all very straight forward and very enjoyable to click on things and go "oh wow..you can change that aspect too!" :)
I read the review and scorned... now i'm joining them 'cause i've finally experienced the marvel that is.. the Pentagon I
Let me say right off the bat that this is my first purchased softsynth so I am no expert (all others I own are freeware). I can, however, give an opinion from the perspective of a newbie in the softsynth world. Even the free ones I own are new to me, so I don't know much about the different settings, etc. So here goes...
User Interface: Excellent, very easy to understand, well organized.
Sound: Wow! I can't believe what this thing can do. It is very versatile. I know I have not even scratched the surface of it's potential after many, many hours of playing.
Features: Well, it can be overwhelming for a newbie not knowing what everything does. Read the documentation, play with knobs as you play the instrument, listen to the changes taking place, and you will begin to understand the possibilities Pentagon I offers fairly quickly.
Documentation: The documentation is perfect for me. It is not too technical so as to be confusing, but it does cover all aspects. Of course, I still can't take it all in at once, so I read it in small doses when I have played with the knobs and then really want to understand what I am doing or missing.
Presets: Wow! Tons! The presets definitely give a good idea of what Pentagon I is capable of and they sound good (very useable). It is fun to start with a preset close to what I want and tweak it to be exactly what I want. So far, I am using straight presets as often as I am using them tweaked. I'm sure this will change as my comfort level increases though.
Customer Support: Excellent. First rate. Rene replied with a clear and concise answer to my two questions to email@example.com
Value For Money: I looked at plenty of other softsynths and it appeared from my research that Pentagon I offered just what I was looking for at a much less expensive price than others. I am not disappointed at all. In fact, I can't believe my good fortune.
Stability: Hours and hours and hours of use. No crashes.
I bought the Pentagon 1 based in the sheer volume of stellar reviews here, as well as my experience with Triangle II. So expectations were obvioulsy very high (for the highest rated instrument in the KvR universe!).
I'm pleased with the Pentagon and glad to have it on board. Some features that I really like: 1 page interface extrememly usable, well designed. You just stride right into programming. Compare that with the innumerable opaque faces of Dynamo, which I also just purchased...no comparison.
Everything in Pentagon is more or less hard wired, but it's not problem because there are *a lot of wires* in the form of dedicated enevelopes and lfos for just about everything, and because of the outstanding MIDI learn functionality, through which my many-knobbed Z1 has become a dynamite Pentagon 1 controller.
Documentation is outstanding. I'm a bit of a programming newbie (though an old hand musician) and this manual is more complete, lucid, and concise than any I own. Rene should do a couple of writing workshops at Roland and Korg (and NI for pete's sake--the Dynamo manual is an uninformative embarrassment of quaint marketese. Please tell us what the g**&&*&amn buttons do!)
The sound. To me the oscs sound warm and rich, and I really like the filters. When I compare the naked Oscs with my Z1, the P1 holds up well. My dedicated softsynth machine has an audigy in it. I'd like to hear it through some real class converters.
But there's no doubt that P1 has a sound worthy of the word "professional." I'm sure it stands with all the
good VAs in terms of its basic modeling.
I can't say the P1 has ripped my head off and replaced everything in my rig. I am a guitarist/songwriter afterall...
It sure is an elegant and good sounding piece of software, though.
ive had this since the new skin came out and im still blown away with it.
The sound quality is excellent, and its probably the most cpu-effeciant soft-synth ive come across.
At first i was a bit bewildered by the GUI coz theres so many knobs to tweak, but it is all pretty logical and once you get the hang of it, the skys the limit.
I think what it excels at best is evolving, sweeping, atmospheric type sounds - ive managed to achieve sounds i never thought id be able to get. Obviously its excellent at the usual analogue bass, leads etc, but this is the only synth i ever turn to when im looking for the atmospheric stuff.
Although theres loads of presets, most werent to my taste but they do showcase what its capable of pretty well....and flicking through the 100s of presets when ur not feeling very inspired can help give u some ideas sometimes.
Overall its great sounding, practical if you havent got the latest speed demon pc, and great value for money.
I originally purchased the VSTi version of Pentagon, but now I am blown away by Rene's quick responsiveness in coming out with a flawless DXi version (Also of the Triangle II). Low CPU cycles, very responsive and flexible with a thick sound. Hundreds of great presets are included, which not only stand on their own, but provide a great starting point to build from. Pentagon is easy to set up to get an idea flowing, but also complex and capable for adding nuance and substance to an otherwise simple sound. Great user's manual, which I don't see much of these days.
I've gone through literally dozens of analog synthesizers in the twenty-three years since I bought that first Moog Rogue, but two that have stayed by my side are the Yamaha CS-60 and CS-40M. The latter has some features I've rarely seen implemented on any other synth, including the ability to send multiple LFO waveshapes simultaneously to a number of destinations. This makes for some great twisting, percoloating rhythms. I've not heard anything like it elsewhere, until I got the Pentagon 1. It has THAT sound. That elusive, special quality that would gaurantee "classic" status in the hardware world. Many softsynths get used more out of convenience or economy. Not this one, though it qualifies for both descriptions. This gets used because it SOUNDS good. Outside of a modular environment, I can't think of anything you might not be able to do with this. FM (the old kind), ring-mod, noise generators, it's all present. The interface is fairly easy to get around, though any synth with this many features might take the novice a bit of time to grok. There's an online manual available as both a Word doc and a PDF file. This does a fine job of explaining the many functions of the Pentagon 1. The ability to create your own waveshapes for the oscillators is a bonus, and even more so is the unusual ability to create user LFO waveshapes. Nice touch. The onboard sounds cover a lot of ground, and as usual for RGC presets, they are imminently PLAYABLE. These are the kinds of sounds for which low latency was invented. There has never been so much as a hint of instability from an RGC product on my system, but even if there were, the customer support has always been exemplary. At it's list of $99, you don't have to pinch many pennies to afford it, and you'll be getting more than your money's worth. There are only a handful of softsynths I find indespensible, and it's remarkable how many of those say "RGC Audio" on the front.
Pentagon I is my first choice synth. Nothing I have heard comes close in sonic quality, flexibility and ease/speed of use. I can translate an idea in to a sound better and quicker with Pentagon I than with any other I have used. I use it with Sonar through DirectiXer and I haven't had any crashes yet, even with as many as six instances open at once. One other thing I like Pentagon I for is that it works well with other instruments, acoustic and electronic. It can warm up and empty mix or cut through a busy one. If I had only one synth to use, Pentagon I would be the one I would choose. The manual is clear and informative, the presets are USEFUL. Most of my patches are derived from the presets. As far as service is concerned, Rene' is very responsive to email and K-v-r forums. But I haven't had any problems. The new skins with v1.2 are vedry fun to work with and you can make your own. If you are thinking about buying Pentagon, just spend the $99.00.
This is now my favorite synth, soft or otherwise.
I wasn't as impressed with this when 1.0 came out. I have to say the number one reason I waited so long to but it is the demo "fade out" business -- it drops the volume to nil every few seconds, making it really tough to bond with.
As a Trangle user, I got a little overwhelmed by all the knobs. If you're afraid of knobs too, don't fret. The Pentagon comes with a ton of really good presets that cover a huge spectrum of sounds. I have since made a few new ones myself -- it isn't too hard to program once you get your hands dirty.
One thing I don't see much mention of in other reviews is the portamento features and overall MIDI-friendleness of this synth. It is amazing to do solos with. RgcAudio calls it their 'performance synth', and I couldn't agree more. I come from the age of whammy-bar guitar solos, and I can come pretty close with this thing.
Bottom line: it makes so many cool sounds you can't miss. It won't replace all your synths, but it'll take you to a new level. If you like warm, fat, analog synths you won't regret getting this beast.
What can be said that hasnt already, a top quality great sounding synth - arguably one of the best you can buy. RGC are committed to P1, new features and bug fixes are added almost weekly building an already great product into a classic. Analogue subtractive synthesis, voice modulation, FX portion, dual oscillator mode, built in amp sim, humongous preset list, built in effects, smooooth filters, sccurate display the list goes on and on.... The only synth you'll ever need? Probably...
Well anyone who had some GUI complaints about this bad boy, just got their wishes fullfilled (and should update their reviews). Version 1.2 is out, with a different skin and the option to create your own, or download new ones. There's not much else to say about this synth that hasn't already been said. What can I say I gave it perfect tens? It sounds like a an absolute analogue gem, has more features than I'd probably ever use (but it's still nice to have them), it's rock solid as far as stability, and has a nice manual. As of late I've found myself creating a small army of my own presets, and I've never been much of a tweaker. At first Pentagon seemed a bit intimidating as far as programming goes but everyday it becomes easier and easier to use, and after time you realize just how well laid out this synth is. Plus Rene is just absolutely great as far as customer support goes. After having Pentagon for months all my other virtual analogue synths, have been pretty much sitting in a virtual closet, as P1 is consistantly the first thing I reach for when I need a synth part. Plus the DXi version runs like a racehorse in Sonar. If you can only afford one virtual analogue it should be this one, it's just that versatile, and sounds that good.
I've played around with close to three dozen analog & VA synthesizers in the last decade or so, both hardware and software. PENTAGON BEATS 90% OF THEM WITH THE KEYS TIED BEHIND ITS GUI...:) Combined with the right PC & the right soundcard, it can easily outperform the 'classics' as well as the likes of JP80*0 or Korg MS2000, and even gives Nordlead II or many of the Novation stuff a run for their money. If you only buy one VA, buy this - NOW. (If you can buy two, get Cronox too.) Frankly, it even made me dream about how one should develop a standalone hardware version, with a built-in keyboard and an interface with some 80 dedicated knobs...
Beautiful sound, great controls, tons of presets - what else could you ask for? Personally, I thought the manual could use a bit more detail (although it is quite functional as it is). Oh, and recently they even started supporting custom skins!!!
At $99 it's 10% of the price of a JP or an MS2000, and you get SO MUCH MORE...
All I can say is wow. I read a lot of people comparing Pentagon 1 to Pro-52 and PPG 2v. I have the luxury of comparing. Bottom line, different synths, unfair comparison.
Which is better? None, but I like the Pentagon 1 more than the Pro-52 because P1 has a great sound that ranges from Moog/Oberheim to Supernova/Virus territory. The PPG 2v shouldn't even be compared.
The flexibile, modern meets classic theme isn't groundbreaking as a synth. It really reminds me of a Nova II I used to work with. Both featured creamy sounding, fat basses, interesting pads and great leads (P1 wins here, the Nova II was more polite, P1 is both polite and rips in ways the Novations don't).
The presets are very good at demonstrating what the Pentagon 1 can do. I think I understand why people love this synth. It is easy to use.
I know there are a lot of extras in this synth but the simple fact is the most important editing functions are right in front of your face. Th newe interface functionally brilliant.
The U/I is easy to see, not too big, skinable and the sound... I'm not a big analog freak but the P1 really captures the feel and character when such a sound is desired. The FM addition makes for some great hybrid timbres. Again, this reminds me a lot of the Novation synths.
I use a fairly old system that's underpowered. I doubt I'll be able to get more than 12 notes of polyphony out of the Pentagon but that's ok because the timbres I'll be using will mostly be pads and basses, maybe occasional melody lines.
Note to Orion users, I had 6 instances running with fairly intense patches and the P1 worked fine with a 70 - 85% load. In Cubase it was a bit better.
Celeron 600, 384 mb ram, 40 gig HD, not a high end system.
So for those of you concerned, test this synth first. At $99 it is a bargain.
Utterly amazing. This really opened up a whole other world in music making to me. Unbelievable tweakability with all the filter options just to mention a few things. Presets are quality, not just quantity. I had square 1 before and luckily they gave all square owners a chance to upgrade for $69. Sqaure 1 just doesn't cut it compared to pentagon 1.1. If you are thinking of getting square 1, don't bother. Get Pentagon 1.1
Some people mention that they don't like the GUI. I absolutely love it! Not necessarily for its looks, but for the way it makes it easy to program sounds and find your way around. They will be updating the GUI soon anyway, so if you don't like it as it is you'll have the choice between two.
This synth sounds very good with its 4 oscillators and lots of waveforms to choose from including 4 user slots. The effects sections are very good and don't seem to put any added pressure on your CPU like they do with some synths. It is capable of creating sound wicked sounds...and I mean wicked!
Because the PI can be inserted as an effect you can also use it to effect your sound (e.g. use filters, built in effects, envelopes, LFOs and so on to warp/shape your audio). The voice modulator is basically a vocoder. You may find that this will beat most dedicated software vocoders in its capabilities because you will not find another vocoder with this many parameters to tweak your vocoded sound to get it just right.
The manual is one of the best and intuitive I've seen (will be good for beginners).
Presets are very very good and really do show you what this excellent synth is capable of (an aweful lot).
Customer support is very good. RGC always respond to your e-mails or postings on KVR-VST.
Value for money.....you'll be laughing!!
Stability: I've used this thing in Cubase, Vaz 2001 and Fruityloops and it hasn't crashed so far.
My advice...stop reading this post, dust off the credit card and buy this thing....you won't regret it!
DAMN!!!!!!!!!! motherf**ckin completely awesome! this is THE VSTi, it kicks all other i've tried... the final eviedence that hardware synths is nothing else but expensive and user-unfriendly nowadays. I would have put interface score at 8 but i just read that there will be skin support for this baby, and that gives the GUI = 10. would like to give it a 20 in soundquality if i could!
pro52 PPG wave, and junglist in the red corner, Pentagon in the blue: pentagon wins at tripple KO in 10 seconds!!!
buy it now!
User Interface: Very well layed out. Although it is not beautiful it is very functional. Really requires a large monitor in a high resolution to utilize properly.
Sound: For analog this is the best I have heard. It is as good as the B4 in sound quality. Heads and shoulders above the Pro-52 and Model-E. This proves that better is possible for the analog synths.
Features: With 1.1 all I can so is OMG. More features than u will ever get around to fiddling with.
Doc: It covers every button but is very sparse on actual use. Not bad but not great.
Presets: The best of any VSTi that I have purchased so far and that includes the B4. There are a lot and cover most of the functions of the synth. You will find a good starting point for almost any patch u are trying to create. One complaint is that there are not many "USEABLE" patches. They all require tweaking before they are playable for recording. It would be difficult to provide a lot of functional patches but many synths have more of them.
Support: Rene is the man. Nuff said.
Value: You can not buy a better VSTi right now at any price.
Stability: I have never had so much as a crackle. Turn it on and its works.
[ GUI ]
I Hate the art design,but it is quite efficient in locations of various elements - still better in ver 1.1
[ Sounds ]
Can recreate all the synths I know (except maybe for true FM synthesis but I have DX7). With 4 oscillators and user loadable waveforms, Delay(reverb), Chorus, Phaser and Overdrive - you can't go wrong. ( I did turn off all the EQ on most of the presets, though - it tore my eardrums.)
[ Features ]
Ecellent - Has an enormous variety of routings - I liked the LFO sync options ( My main reason for the purchase)
[ Manual ]
Good but can be more detailed on the subject of working with external sequencers and multiple instances.
[ Presets ]
Beautifull ! Excellent powerfull basses, lush strings , extreme sweeps and more . INSPIRING !
[ Customer Support ]
Said to be the best and indeed it is.
[ VFM ]
[ Stability ]
Works fine without crashes.
Living in Ushuaia is inspiring so this is the result of it - A million thumbs up - Rene !
BTW: ver 1.1 is also standalone - GREAT for fast playing or programming sessions!
BUY IT !!!!
I just downloaded and tested release 1.1.
René writes about this version:
“We worked very hard to get this release out, in a big effort to make Pentagon I one of the most complete and powerful instruments in the market.”
What an understatement! Pentagon I is definitely the most complete and powerful instrument in the market. It´s unbelievable what a virtual synth is capable to do today for that low price. And this release with all these fantastic improvements is for free for registered users. Thank you for your excellent work René and rgc. I´m very, very impressed.
Absolutely my favorite VSTi, and for many reasons. Excellent fat sounding oscillators and filters that've been making me look sadly at my older hardware synths and say "Hell, why can't YOU sound this good?"...something I never thought I'd say about a soft-synth. Think of a cross between an Oberheim and an old Moog, and you can get an idea of what this thing can do, and it doesn't stop with that. Very, very versatile. Even has functionality to make life easier for Buzz users, which I love.
Tech-support is the best: Rene, the creator of the P1, is one of the nicest people you'd ever want to deal with, and is fantasically responsive to feedback.
Great doco: comes with an excellent, highly detailed manual.
And yes, I even like the GUI! :-)
Between the Pentagon1 (analog/digital synths), NI B4 (B3/Leslie) and GForce M-Tron (Mellotron), I feel like I now own all the old keyboards I lusted for over the years. Ain't technology grand? :-)
I really love the interface on this thing. It is easy to find the things I want to. I admit that the manual helps alot with this thing. I spent the time reading and learning it, and can now get alot more out of it. I think this is a very good synth to have in your kit. Although I have not been able to get every sound out of it (I admit I am not a sound engineer), I have been able to get alot. This will find it's way on many of my tunes for sure.
Amazing synth, my top choice. Lush pads, ripping leads, hot basses. Nice warm sound, getting me the oberheim sounds I imagine that I can't seem to get from anything else. Has a sound of its own, though; easy to be creative with it.
I find the GUI to be pleasant and really easy to work with. When I was demoing it, I mistakenly switched to an empty bank, so none of the great presets would come up. 'Oh well, must be a demo timeout thing' I thought. (It's not, as one minute of experimentation later showed.) But that forced me out of preset-ville into sound design. What a delight! I'm not a synth programmer type, but I was nailing some really nice sounds right away. The ease of sound tweaking is what finally sold me on it -- the last thing I want to do is be technical when I really just want to make music.
What more do you want? Great sounds, great UI, great price, great support (Rene is quick to answer email). I reach for it more than my Pro52, and that says a lot!
Update to version 1.21:
New GUI which I like much more. Now it's also a full fledged midi driven VST VOCODER which sounds really good. MultiOSC for extra lush sounds. Even more. Top notch.
This thing rocks, here's why:
- Sound is excellent, from vanilla soft ice to chilly chicken to space cowboy.
- Stability, it doesn't crash.
- Features are cool. Lots of cool stuff inside. Only thing I really miss is the pulsewidth knob for the oscis.
- Tons of good presets, some really blew me away. Very tasteful sound programming.
- Customer Support is great. Just the way it is needed and more.
- Did I say that it sounds very good? Very versatile.
If you ever dreamed of a synth like a Moog or an Oberheim you will like this synth.
I haven't used Pro-52, Scorpion, Delta or Electron since I got P1. IMO Pentagon sounds all round better.
Beginners: You get 300+ ace quality presets. V few duds in the pack and many, many stars (Keith Days, Fingered Bass, Standard Bigness, Plain Melody etc). And you have the chance to learn to programme a proper synth like the pros do.
Medium Pro Users: You can find the sound you have in your head. Pentagon 1 rarely says no.
Experts: You can use your own pcm waveforms, or lfo waveforms for genuinely innovatory sounds.
While every softsynth has its strong points, Pentagon seems to have it all.
It's a genuine musical instrument. And its from Tierra del Fuego!
If it has a downside, then it doesn't have quite as many mod routings a Linplug's Delta.
edit feb 2002: New improved GUI 10/10.
With all those lush sounds it seems like a
"Analog Korg Wavestation" :absolutely great,
warm and smart pads,beautiful presets with
only one minus:the absence of a little display with the name of the actual loaded preset
This is the most excellent synth period for the money!You can do everything with it.I love this synth! I use it for everything! The presets are excellent!I love the interface very diverse.The only thing I had problems with was setting up the midi with my hardware,but I've been tweeking sounds so much,that I haven't had time to explore the midi setup in detail yet.So that's probably my fault!
This synth has a unique and noble sound of its own. I don't care how "authentic" a softsynth is, for analog there's always Ebay. :) If you want to copy the sounds of 1981 instead of create the sounds of 2001, better buy something else.
I like the GUI, it's pretty. But once the controllers are assigned, it's not important.
Because it has such a specific (good) sound, it's not the do-everything bread-and-butter chameleon-synth in spite of its versatility and excellent midi implementation. A good thing IMO. Value- good luck finding so much elegant sound elsewhere for $99.
Thought I'd never use a "VA" again, only really analog or really digital, but the RGC sound simply isn't to be found elsewhere.
If you get one synth, get this one.
It sounds LUSH, WEIRD, FAT, anyway you like :)
The learning curve might be steeper than with other synths (heck, with a zillion features, what do you want?) and the GUI isn't all that great, but it's REALLY worth the trouble.
rgcAudio's presets are brilliant too. some nifty programming going on there!
PS: Oh, and a secret source (hey motu ;)) ) has told me that it's getting a new UI AND more features somewhere in the future.
I really like rgcAudio synths, Triangle I, Square I and now the incredible Pentagon I. Just look at the endless feature list of P1! I'm a musician, but I can still overview this beast and control it. The sound is very impressing, just take one of the 300 presets and tweak around for a while... there are no limits, and it will alway sound just perfect. And the best is: If you have any problems and/or (realistic) wishes, tell it to rgcAudio and you'll see what 'costumer support' means.
I give a rating of 'only' eight for the interface cause I better like sliders than knobs (it's a little unfair argument...) and the stability, cause it eats a bit to much CPU power. But, it's still V. 1.0...
Finally a VSTI with the fatness of the memorymoog. This is the analog synth vsti we've all been waiting for.
Not everyone likes the gui but for me its killer, I just love the vibe of those lucite knobs, and it feels like a vintage synth to program.
The sound capabilities, the QUALITY of the sound, are powerful in the extreme.
It sets a new standard for features in a vsti, with unsurpassed midi implementation beyond anything before, its uniquely suited for use with a midisax (wind synth) with its controller range scaling and luxurious choice of pitch bend modes and ranges.
The manual is quite good, and quite detailed. The presets are many and also quite good.
The customer support is the best.
The only VSTI synth that really compares is Reaktor, and i kinda see Reaktor as being more Arp-like and Pentagon 1 being more like a memorymoog or oberheim.
I am ratching some ratings down, not because P1 is any lesser synth, but a lot has changed since its release and there are other comparable synths out, including Zeta that surpass the original synth.
Sounds even more wicked with the multi OSC modes, 50 waveforms and formant filters since my last review. I've not even tried out the separate fx unit yet that acts also like a vocoder (thanks emagic duuuh) ! GUI in 1.2 release is also a massive improvement and greater clarity. Your really appreciate the presets after a while because they are not trying to put themselves in a particular sellable category, you will find "danceomatic" presets there, but many other styles to suite your style which is refreshing somewhat.
Oh no I thought, not another "analogue" type VSTi again, how many more can we take. But on downloading the demo and running through the 300 presets I was awed by the sonic depth of this synth, it can do anything. I particulary liked the amp simulator which allowed the synth to sound really retro and old or completely modern, the filters were warm too.
This synth is better than I've heard a lot of hardware analogue emulation synths. And maybe the best analogue VSTi in general. The Demo is not really hampered too much, dropping out the volume every 10 seconds.
This synth seems the best "all in prebuilt" analogue VSTi i've used. Has extensive midi controller options (according to specs) so will rock with the Surface One I'll buy one day.
Words cannot even begin to say how good this synth is - only your ears can tell you that! If you haven't got any money at the moment then don't download the demo, because you'll steal to get the money to buy this synth....
The remote control is easy to configure, the synth has so wide a range, is easy to program, has a great effects section, a decent manual, you can create and load your own waveforms (for the LFO as well as main oscillators), a full midi implementation....
If you are only going to own one "analogue" VSTi, this has to be it. Even over and above synths like the Pro52. This synth will go into your default set-up and stay there. If you have a hardware controller you will be in heaven.
And the support is superb - emails answered, bugs fixed, decent manual....
There are a lot of "analogue" subtractive synth VSTi's out there I know - which might make you think this synth is ordinary - but it's extraordinary. The best $99 you will spend - BUY THIS SYNTH!
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