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User Reviews by KVR Members for Rhino

Rate & Review Rhino Now!

Reviewed By mikusan [read all by] on 27th October 2005
Version reviewed: 2.03 on Windows
10.00
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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This is my first review so be gentle with me...you'll notice that I've given Rhino a "full house". This is not gushiness on my part - I've thought long and hard about those points, and I even considered marking some areas down simply to prevent the review looking OTT. But I've asked myself if there are any aspects which have room for improvement and I can honestly say I can't think of any. So, full marks it is...

GUI - cool colour scheme, very 'pro'-looking. GUI is functional and clear, and logically laid out for such a versatile (or complex, depending on your POV) instrument. The tabbed, multi-screen approach isn't for everyone, but I personally think it's far more tidy than having 'menus-within-menus' or multiple windows.

SOUNDS - well, name your poison...Rhino can do punchy, nasty (in a good way) analogue, or convincing acoustic instrument emulations, or cold, metallic timbres, or infinitely evolving soundscapes and atmospheres. It really has to be heard to be believed - try the demo or listen to the demo tunes on Big Tick's website. I'll mention presets later in more detail, but you should also listen to the demos on Daniel Maurer's site. The only downside to some of the fuller, more intricate soundscapes, is the danger of swamping the mix in the context of a full song - but the same can be said for many instruments, it really depends on how and where you place the sounds.

FEATURES - you get six oscillators, two filters (with a variety of flavours), multistage envelopes (for oscillators, filters and a shedload of modulation options - envelopes can be cut & pasted, saved & loaded, and there's a stock of useful preset envelope shapes to get you started), waveshaping, additive synthesis, FM synthesis, sample playback, a quirky but nonetheless useful arpeggiator, microtuning, and two FX slots. The FX vary from the bread'n'butter (Chorus fattens up the sounds nicely, QuadPhaser is very tasty) through barking mad (CrazyComb filter or OktaVerb - bonkers but still useful) to the kind of quality that you want to use on other instruments (8-tap Reverb is excellent). (A standalone effects unit is being considered for the next version, by the way). Each effect has a number of editable (and modulatable) parameters, and many of the parameters can be tempo-mapped too. As far as modulation goes: just about anything you'd like to modulate can be modulated by just about anything else. A particularly useful feature is the bank of six user-definable sliders which can be programmed (via MIDI-learn, which is well implemented) for real-time modulation of any number of parameters - there's no limit to the number of parameters per slider, either.

DOCS - the PDF manual is well-written and covers every aspect of operation comprehensively, without being overly technical. Which is a neat trick, when you consider how powerful this instrument is. There are even a few tutorials on the website, and the developer himself is a nice guy who always makes the time to answer queries.

PRESETS - this is an outstanding aspect of Rhino: there is now a massive library of presets, covering a huge spectrum of sounds. Preset management can be handled conventionally, or a more innovative feature is the database. Users can construct a database for their presets, sorting them into (user-definable) categories. So no matter how many banks you own, you can keep all your pads, lead sounds, etc together. Constructing the database is dead easy - just drag and drop the patch name into the chosen category. Daniel Maurer's presets deserve a special mention - they've extended Rhino's palette by an incredible amount, they're cheap as chips (he also offers several bundle deals), and they're a masterclass in Rhino programming. Instant inspiration!

SUPPORT - can't be faulted. Big Tick is very responsive to user requests and suggestions, which is one of the reasons why Rhino is so feature-packed. The odd couple of tech problems I've had with Tick products were dealt with within a few hours (even though they were down to me, not the product...)

VFM - well, this can be very subjective...but in my opinion, Rhino is a steal for 100euros. Sonically, it covers a vast area so it can do the job of three or four more limited synths. Rhino is by now a relatively mature instrument, but it continues to engage thanks to the occasional upgrades (free) which increase the functionality even more, and Daniel Maurer's consistently amazing preset banks.

STABILITY - rock solid, in my experience. Depending on your processor, you may be limited in terms of simultaneous instances (although it's nowhere near as CPU-hungry as it's earlier incarnations), but I've never known it to crash or cause a crash.
Reviewed By Jeremy_NSL [read all by] on 22nd July 2004
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
9.00
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Rhino is a synth that can do just about anything. Wavesequencing, waveshaping, VA, additive, FM/AM/RM, and now in 2.0 simple rompler features.

Put simply, it sounds great. And contrary to earlier versions, the CPU usage is very reasonable compared to other similar synths.

The knock on Rhino has always been: its hard to program. And it is. The interface is functional, but it takes a long-time to create sounds with it - especially as a beginner. Alot of the difficulty has to do with Rhino's reliance on flexible multistage envelopes: you can do anything with these envelopes, but if you just want to program a simple patch, they are overkill. If you just want a simple lfo instead of an envelope you can use an unused oscillator for it - but it takes just as much cpu as if the osc was not an lfo! I'd like to see a more modular approach, maybe the ability to swap out certain envelopes for simple LFOs or ADSR envs, like Kontakt.

Fortunately there is a great manual to help you understand Rhino, and a huge amount of free and commercial presets around made by people that LOVE multistage envs.

Rhino is a steal at the price, even if you only use it as a type of synth rompler - using pre-made presets. But if you can learn to deal with all the features it presents, I honestly can't think of a synth that offers greater possibilities, at any price.
Reviewed By bezza [read all by] on 23rd June 2004
Version reviewed: 2 pre-re on Windows.
Last edited by bezza on 16th September 2004.
9.00
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Describing a synth is not easy but imagine it's the late eighties, a DX7mk11 meets a Wavestation in a bar and go on to have kids - Rhino would be their youngest, most gifted offspring!

The sound of Rhino is the killer. Not analog, not digital as such. just a rich Rhino combination of everything.

Evolving sounds, hard sounds, metallic, crystaline, morphing, even emulative real world sounds.

A CPU hog - yes, but invest in Freeze and enjoy. So many great presets available and first class support - probably the best support out there.

** Since I wrote the above Rhino has found many more uses in my music. The sheer variety of sounds available and presets means it is really a very capable all rounder (especially if you invest in some of Daniel's excellent banks). Rhino can cover most bases very well -and I know that if I feel brave enough to tackle programming some of my own patches, I can go as deep and complex as I want!**
Reviewed By pummel [read all by] on 19th November 2003
Version reviewed: 1.09 on Windows
10.00
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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i cannot say enough good things about rhino. the most important thing, it sounds great.

i challenge anyone in the market for a synth in this price range -- compare rhino's presets to those of any other. in my book, the presets mean a lot; if the synth developer and his right hand man cannot enthrall me with presets, what are the odds i will be able to do any better?

after spending about six months with top ranked synth demos, this is the one i choose. it certainly was not the first synth that came to mind, as i was a bit put off by the plain-jane interface. but during my evaluation, this is the one i kept coming back to.

what sets this synth apart is the wide range of high quality of sounds that anyone can easily produce. in fact, you have to work fairly hard to create a bad sounding preset on this synth.

the interface is different than most, but in a good way. rather than focusing primarily on knobs for adjustment, most of the adjustments are presented graphically. for example, the osc amp envelops are done this way, where you reach into the plot, drag points, and shape curves. to me, this is much more intuitive than twiddling ASDR knobs. more importantly, it provides infinite control; rather than limiting you to just a few slopes.

the typical analog-like controls are conveniently presented at the top level; and you can create a ton of great sounds there. in "analog" mode as i like to call it, using none of rhinos esoteric features, just two additive osc with conventional wave shapes, envelops, filters and effects, the sound tops most others *designed* to do only that. however, rhino goes far beyond the basics, and provides the most complete (almost overwelming) feature set of any synth in its price range. from that standpoint, it is almost like getting an AB... and an FM... in one package. the six osc FM mod matrix is a real winner; with its DX7 sysex import (sort of; it loads them and they sound good, but as of this writing they do not sound the same).

as for osc wave shape options, you've got it all -- about 100 built in osc wave shapes / loops, an additive wave tool to roll your own shapes, a wav file reader, and a wave shaper to modify them. like most features, the wave shaper has its own graphic envelop.

if there is a downside to this synth, it is cpu usage. rhino can bring the fastest of todays cpus to its knees; but i believe that is because rhino has so many features which can be simultaneously used. in my personal back-to-back comparison with other synth demos, using *the same number of features*, rhino was typically equal or better in cpu usage.

perhaps cpu's will get faster as time goes on.
Reviewed By SyntheticAurality [read all by] on 16th November 2003
Version reviewed: 1.09 on Windows
10.00
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Rhino is an amazing piece of work. First, let it be known that I do darkambient/dark-trance kind of music with soft-synths, voice, and my guitar so Rhino is the PERFECT soft-synth for me.

The UI takes a bit of getting used to, but once you spend some quality time with it puttering around with Rhino becomes easier - the learning curve on programming it is significant, because it's one powerful tool.

Presets a-plenty on the Big Tick Website, all the banks I've played with so far are very musical and useful. If you run out of presets, you're probably hopeless (lol).

CPU usage varies radically between patches, some taking very little of my 2.53GHz. Pentium 4, some taking close to 40% or more for complex, evolving sounds. At first I was concerned, but the high-CPU sounds don't require a fistful of notes to work well so it's not as big a deal as it could have been.

It's very stable, more so than I am (lol) in my two hosts, Orion Platinum and Tracktion.

The last thing I'll say is about how it sounds TO ME, a very subjective thing: I used to own an UltraProteus that I had to get rid of, along with a TG33, a TG55, and a U-220. No soft-synth I've bought ever had the breathy, airy evolving sound of some of the patches on my now-departed hardware.. UNTIL RHINO CAME ALONG. I can finally honestly say I don't miss my rackmount gear any longer.
Reviewed By foosnark [read all by] on 24th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.09 on Windows
9.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Easily the best VFM ever, incredible sound and flexibility (and this is coming from a raving z3ta+ fan). It's an industrial death machine, an FM powerhouse and an ambient/Newage wonder all at the same time. It even does some VA sounds respectably.

The UI is my least favorite thing about it, and it's what kept me away from Rhino until my resolve finally broke down. It's not hard to use once you get used to it, but a lot of controls are only accessible by clicking or right-clicking on things that aren't buttons. For instance, to get to the additive synthesis panel, you have to choose a User waveform (and to edit it, you have to choose the same one off the menu again). On that panel, the bars pointing upward change the level for various harmonics and the bars pointing downward change the phase, but there is no label in the UI to tell you this. Reading the manual is a must -- thankfully it's a good manual, and there are tutorials online as well.

Within a couple of hours of purchase I had built a decent FM bassline-and-drums loop patch from scratch, and this morning in 20 minutes I made a very unique harpsichordish sound from scratch using additive synthesis. Aside from a couple of weird quirks in the tempo-synced envelope editor (which can be worked around), it's not difficult, it's just obscure. :)

The limited bank of presets that comes with the demo is greatly expanded by the downloadable banks at Big Tick's site. Those pads! Those scary ambient atmospherics! Those DX7 ports! Awesome stuff.
Reviewed By Rabid [read all by] on 10th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.08 on Windows
10.00
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Rhino is one synth that I first regretted purchasing. It had a few good sounds but the CPU load on my P4 was a killer. It also seemed to be pushed out the door a little early. This could be caused by all the ‘Tick followers that were screaming for the synth.

Over the months after release Tick has released frequent upgrades that moved this synth into competition with the big boys. There have also been some program banks released with some amazing sounds. The combination of program updates and new patch banks have pushed Rhino into the must have category. I am definitely glad I bought this synth. It is the only thing I know that can truly compete with FM7, Atmosphere and ABSynth when it comes to amazing pads. It can still be a bit CPU hungry on some patches, but that is ok. Sounds like this do not come from simple synths with low CPU needs. Tick has really created something with a special sound.

Pro’s – The sounds. Oh my. There are other pro’s, but it is the sounds that make this a must have synth.

Con’s – You load a single patch bank into the synth and it only holds 64 patches. I know that many VSTi’s also have this limitation but Rhino is not just another synth. I consider Rhino, FM7, z3ta+ and ABSynth to be a step above any other non-modular synth. Rhino is the only one of these that only loads 64 patches at a time. Yes, it is a small con but I cannot think of anything else.

Robert
Reviewed By dragoon [read all by] on 14th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.08 on Windows
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Fantastic softsynth. I like to use this to create rich and evolving soundscapes. The interface is really top notch, yet at the same time incredibly deep, powerful and intuitive. I'm no soft synth programmer expert but I was able to sit down and get results, tweak presets, and create my own faster than any softsynth of this kind. The sounds are great and they are always releasing new additional soundbanks. Of course all this means nothing without sound quality, and Rhino has it in spades. Excellent stuff to say the least. My only slight complaint is due to how powerful this synth is, we need more banks! :) Synth programmers will be able to create some out of this world sounds with this. The native effects are also all of very good quality.

Support for this product is top notch. Big Tick replies in a timely and helpful manner. Updates and bank additions are always forthcomming too.

This synth isn't just for electronica either - I use it for ambient/new age work. It's very flexible and powerful. It sounds great and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get quality sounds out of it. A must have!
Reviewed By spikey [read all by] on 24th August 2003
Version reviewed: 1.08 on Windows.
Last edited by spikey on 24th August 2003.
9.00
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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After reading the reviews here about Rhino, and watching it develop over time- I took a chance that the people using and writing wonderful things about Rhino knew what they were talking about. They wernt wrong.

Ordering...
As far as the ordering go's, its a download snap. No problems with the site what so ever, as as long as you enter the right email address, the key information was sent to me within seconds from the order. Installation was a breeze- and once you get the registry key in the Rhino directory, its a done deal. Pretty simple and straight forward...


Preset Sounds...
Now about the "preset" sounds... I have not had the time with Rhino to tweak with it, so instead I went straight for the preset sounds to judge... I figured if over half of the presets sounded good to me, Id be a happy camper. Boy was I surprised- nearly all of them did! I have Atmosphere, Absynth-2, Reaktor4, and a few others so Im not soft synth poor, and altho there are many bright spots of synth heaven in all these synths on certain patches- alot of the sounds "they" have I would never use for much... They are just too "far out" for anything I would ever do... I spent over an hour just thumbing through many of the availible banks of sounds (downloadable at Big-Tick) and found that most of the noise that Rhino makes is not only beautiful but usable right from the preset. Even the factory bank (which is usually the one that gets tweaked the most) is wonderful and needs no help. There were very few patches in Rhino that I found, that I didnt think I could use in a track- right now. Most were a nice surprise, sounded down right KILLER for a factory preset. The sounds are warm and useable, and there are many of them, support seems to be great, the price is twice to 3 times lower than some others I own and wernt as thrilled with at first like I am with Rhino. Seems very stable. All this figured out without reading one word in the manual (gave it a 7 just because)- which Im thinking once you learn this synth- WATCH OUT! Much more wonderful sounds are sure to become available with this baby... All in all- I got my moneys worth and then some. This is one nice Synth folks- no kidding...
Reviewed By play [read all by] on 4th August 2003
Version reviewed: 1.08 on Windows
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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The best way to describe this synth is by reversing the metaphor of the "one-trick pony". To me Rhino is sort of an "all-the-tricks-except-one pony". But let's start with the many great features of this wonderful peace of gear.

Rhino is a rather complex 6 oscillator FM synth with a powerful assortment of filter types and a rich effects section. Add to this a waveshaper and a built-in sequencer and you get a lot of parameters to keep track of. The GUI does a wonderful job at that. Once you get used to the controls being located on seperate pages you'll feel right at home and in control. The superb modulation matrix deserves an extra mention for ultimate user friendliness and ease of use. And the tasty coloring adds to the stylish appearance.

The nature of this synth lends itself best to complex and evolving sounds of any timbre. It ranges from metallic to silky, from smooth and deep to in-your-face. The combination of FM, AM, flexible syncable envelopes, two very nice sounding filters and orginial high quality effects let's you create just about any pad you can think of, the lushest atmospheres or the craziest effect sounds. Which brings me to Rhino's only shortcoming, if you can call it that: because of the filter character it's quite difficult to coax a fat VA moog-like dance bass out of it. That's one of the very few tasks it seems to have difficulties with, which is also apparent from the otherwise excellent presets available. But hey, you've got hordes of other synths for that.

The presets. Since Rhino was released we've been blessed with regular updates which include some of the best presets available in any synth. New ones are being cooked up while I write this. Definitely another strong point of this synth. Along with these presets Tick released new skins, a new font, new wave forms, new filters(!), new effects and all of that for free. The very few technical problems of the synth (of which I never experienced any - no crashes whatsoever) are being addressed immediately. All in all customer support at its best.

The documentation is excellent as well and there are sound design tutorials on the site.

The value for money of Rhino is unmatched. You get an extremely musical, inspiring and fun synth with substantial regular upgrades and tons of goodies at a very low price. Even if you couldn't program a synth for shit, it'd still be worth the money for the presets alone. You simply can't go wrong with this one.
Reviewed By Gargoyle [read all by] on 4th August 2003
Version reviewed: 1.08 on Windows
10.00
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Rhino has undergone some significant changes since its first release and the latest (1.08) is a good time to review. As ttoz has already said, the banks which are now available for it amount to a massive library of highly usable, high quality, inspiring sounds. Since the initial release the filters have been much improved, the effects section has been expanded and enhanced, CPU usage is down and there have been several other major improvements especially to stability. In short, if you tested it early on but it didn't appeal, try it again now.

As far as value for money goes this is amongst the best. I got it at the initial launch price, but even at the current price you are getting an incredibly flexible synth with absolutely top rate support.

For evidence of the flexibility first turn to the banks. Amongst the sounds you'll hear very rich filters, syncopated rhythms and extreme effects, some of the lushest pad sounds you'll get, and absolutely crisp and clean digital sounds. Certainly it does FM very well indeed (load in the DX7 bank for example), but there's so much more to it - everything from analog basses to spacey ambient pads. For more flexibility reckon in the drawn envelopes for just about everything - for individual oscillators and their parameters plus waveshaping, velocity and keyboard tracking and so much more. Then for even further flexibility figure in the 6 definable user parameters which allow control over virtually any aspect of your sound in real-time. For evolving pads this gives Rhino a distinct advantage whereby timbres can be changed on-the-fly, mutated and developed at will.

Rhino stands out as a synth which has matured into an advanced platform for sound design. Whilst it's complicated in terms of capabilities, it's also a joy to tweak. It rewards dedication however - so if at first it seems overwhelming then a good read of the documentation may be necessary. The manual is excellent and there are tutorials for creating particular sounds or using particular techniques, which is always useful. Some learning and experience may be required to get the most out of Rhino, but even out of the box it's strong as the banks are so good.

The interface is skinnable and newer skins are available all the time, however the original one works fine for me. It's clear and easy to navigate and gives you good feedback information for parameters.

It's very difficult to summarise Rhino in a pithy way, since there is such a lot to it. If you haven't tried it, or are skeptical about it, then I would recommend downloading the trial version and just enjoying the presets. They are a great taster of what the synth is capable of... I find it difficult to believe that anyone could fail but to be impressed by both the sound quality and sheer flexibility of Rhino.

An inspiring synth. It's one of only a few that I sit down and just "play" as a standalone instrument directly using a keyboard just for the enjoyment of playing it.
Reviewed By ObsoleteAcc99 [read all by] on 4th August 2003
Version reviewed: 1.08 on Windows
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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First I'd like to give a quick summation, that IMO, this is the world's finest software synthesiser bar none...

UI: very functionally laid out.It makes "sense".Yes there is alot of info to get through, but you find that every option is where it should be, i found out most by myself without referring to the manual at all...Also it looks damn good, there a bunch of skins available now too...i still prefer the default blue, although the alternative skins do offer better text legibility

Sound: Umm, it's hard to write a review here because i'm afraid of saying anything that might sell this synth short...it's impossible for words to do it justice..
but, i will try:
incredibly lush, warm, fat..there is absolutely no tinniness in the sound at all..and yet it's so clean..alot of the times clean means digital and clinical..but not here....this is the only softsynth that can pull my heartstrings to such a degree..this all comes at the expense of needing a rather beefy cpu to enjoy this synth...but, ,all the other synths that are in the same price range and same cpu usage, a perfect example being disco dsp's discovery, really do sound positively tinny compared to this...

Features: Absolutely so much more than a one tricker..the sounds available offer every category, this synth seems capable of doing it all..There's also a comprehensive, HIGH quality effects section and on board wave sequencer thingy..more about that in the presets section

Documentation.. a well laid out, functional pdf is available

Presets: as of v1.08, there are 384 available..to not be able to find ONE that sounds crappy, speaks for itself..there is EVERYTHING here, some lush pads/strings, ep's, cool clav's, drums, and REALLY COOL wave sequences, that make a wavestation sound like a kiddie's toy in comparison...and for me to say that is a major thing, because i LOVE the korg wavestation...
The default bank show off a little of what this baby can do, then the other downloadable's are in another leauge again...there is polysynth, analog monosynth(fantastic), electroloops(lots of bpm synced drum wavesequenced styles and some bizarre stuff too), the new ambient pads bank, and the dx7 bank, whcih really is the BEST of dx7 stuff, but with rhino sound quality

Customer Support: the fact that Tick has responded to every single support request, and the regularly attended forum here, where no one's questions have ever gone totally ignored, earns top marks here

VFM: well, the best 100 euro i have ever spent on software, ever. the amount of smiles i get everytime i just press a key and rhino generates sound is priceless

Stability: As of 1.08, this is ultra stable and crash free. i've tested in tracktion, chainer, and logic 5 extensively

Conclusion: put simply, if you own a pc, love vsti's, and don't get this, you are doing yourself a huge injustice. if you own a mac, you might want to consider buying a pc dedicated just to run this awesome synth
Reviewed By Stupid American Pig [read all by] on 6th May 2003
Version reviewed: 1.06 on Windows
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I just purchased this thing and really got into it yesterday. At first, I was alittle disappointed with the presets as they favored 80's type sounds instead of showing what this synth is truly capable of. After spending some time modding presets and getting afeel for programming it- I saw its true sonic capability, and I am amazed at its versatility! in short, this synth is well worth the money.

The gui is large enough for the functions and is figured out with relatively little effort. Programming can seem a bit intimidating, but is well worth the effort, you can get truly massive sounds and results out of this thing. stability in my main host(FL Studio) has so far been flawless. you can start using quite abit of CPU with this thing, so you have to keep the voices down and instances low. Otherwise, it is more fun than you should be allowed to have with a Vst.
Reviewed By womble42 [read all by] on 3rd April 2003
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows
8.00
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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When I downloaded the demo of this beauty I was, to be frank, blown away by the quality of it. I have to say that up until now, the VSTi's I had (albeit cheaper ones) didnt have that "hardware feel about it".

I will admit, that I am more of a preset user/tweaker than a sound creator but............the sounds on this baby are just amazing. They have so much quality and thickness to the sound and there seems to be a lot of potential here to do a lot of great things with it.

Big tick up until now hadnt really released a A+++++ products (IMO), but with this synth they have stepped up to the plate in a big way. I bought it for 80 euros (60 quid) and I would say that its a bargain at that price!!

Buy it now!
Reviewed By Wookie [read all by] on 3rd April 2003
Version reviewed: 1.04 on Windows
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This synth has rapidly become my main instrument.

The capabilities, variety and sonic quality blew me away from the start. Load up a long pad and find an oscillator, click through the wave forms and just listen to the variety you get ... you can even create your own which is a real hoot... actually I just counted.. there are about 74 wave forms available, and 6 user defined!!!

As with any 'new' product, there have been a few bugs but 'Tick is constantly updating the software, and adding features. As I write this I notice a new version is out, with two new features, and another patch bank is available. Support is excellent.

I like the GUI - now. It takes a little getting used to as each osc. is on a seperate tab, but once you play with it for a while this makes sense. This thing has so much under the hood that it would be daft (impossible) to try and fit it all into one screen. The only real issue I have is some of the colours but that may be down to the dud screen I have at the moment.

Full automation is supported and a real handy feature are the 'user sliders' on the main 'bank' page. This allows the patch programmer to set up 6 sliders for the main things you might want to tweak while playing, which stops you from having to flip through pages every time you want to assign a control.

I love the long evolving pads, drones and atmospheres you can get out of it however it is not just for this sort of sound. Standard bread and butter sounds are perfectly possible but this synth is built for experimenting. It is a little heavy on the CPU at times if you have all 6 osc's going with effects etc, but an optimised version (SSU ?) is in the works.

$100 is a bargain for Rhino (still don't know why it's called that ;) )

From the limited time I have had to muck about with this, I find the patches sit well in a mix. It has the capability to sit back and fill a track out or come screaming through to the front as and when you want.

A beautiful VSTi... I highly recommend it... and any synth programmers out there should find this a joy to use... if I can program it then anyone has a fighting chance. :) Download that demo, play with it and I'm sure you'll be tempted to buy it...

Thanks 'Tick for a stunning instrument.
Reviewed By x_bruce [read all by] on 19th March 2003
Version reviewed: 2.x on Windows.
Last edited by x_bruce on 20th December 2004.
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This is an update and adds to the comments below.

Rhino is now at 2.0 and has seen several improvements ask for by users; are you listening Steinberg? Key words here, update, new features, improved, listened to customers.

As a user I care about these things and can't imagine anyone spending a reasonable amount of money not caring.

Changes: a user database that lets you search for patches and describes them by a three letter prefix. Would that all synths do this or Albino's bank system that tells you what to expect when you load patches in it. Either way is good, as long as more developers offer this. Since Rhino now has a lot of patches available it is important as Rhino 2 is a large-scale synth that has tons of possible timbres to be made from it.

Rhino 2 has been optimized and is easier on the CPU, everyone likes better CPU useage. It's like asking if you like mom and dad; most people sure do after their teens.

The base patch library is larger. When Rhino debuted it was what some considered a difficult to learn synth with not many patches. Anyone purchasing Rhino 2 can't make that complaint. Not only that but Daniel Maurer and the developer have gotten better with their understanding of this great synth.

It is possible to import sampled waveforms in Rhino 2. Previously you had to have a developer's kit and it wasn't as easy as this version's importing. How important is this? You can convert most timbres and then work with them in Rhino's sound engine (very good) and create some timbres Rhino wasn't as adept at before (fantastic!)

The look and feel has changed for the better and is easier to navigate around. The actual sound quality has improved. Before it was difficult to keep sounds quiet, now the opposite has happened to the point where a volume increase update is available to those who feel it necessary.

Verdict? The great synth got better. More along the lines of non-sexy updates that deal with function and quality rather than lots of new features, Rhino just got better sounding and more stable.

Sytrus users; have a look at how that synth is designed and think a bit before getting upset when I say there is more than a bit of influence is Sytrus' design. It goes about trying to be an analog sounding synth on the outside to a digital (more FM based than Rhino) on the inside.

These things happen and I'm not saying anything bad about Sytrus, it too is an excellent synth, but give the one that influenced it a try as well. Rhino 2 has it's own sound which is something to love about it. It's never going to be a DX-7 but will always give a great impression of the sysex it can import. There is a natural warmth to Rhino that started at 1.8 and is now beautifully paired with the otherwise digital nature of the synth's engine. This is on my desert island list with TERA, CUBE, Albino 2, Absynth and some spaces left empty because of all the great new synths made.

Sound banks are available from Daniel. They are stellar, check them out.

NOTE: I was a beta tester for Rhino.

Rhino is a synthesizer that has a wide diversity of sonic capabilities. With use of FM, AM and subtractive synthesis along with interpolated, proprietary sample based waveforms along with a waveshaper there is a lot of variety the user has at their disposal.

Rhino features six oscillators, two filters and a constantly available modulation matrix. It is fixed but allows for some interesting capabilities not available in other synths. You can mix timbres per oscillators or have them effect one another. The filters include low pass, hi pass and band pass, the filters have their own envelops as well.

Envelopes are multi-point with user defined breakpoints. This is particularly nice if one wants to create expressive pads.

There are several effects including choruses, reverbs, delays, and a few killers like the octaverb and quad phase. The octaverb is a combination of reverb and pitch control that can make a couple of simple, bland waveforms sound great. Most important, Rhino sounds good without effects too.

The 16 step sequencer is graphical which make it easy to create rhythmic patterns and movement style sounds.

The sound character of Rhino is warm yet digital. It's the kind of thing potential users will need to try.

One area some might be intimidated by is the interface. There are a lot of controls and perhaps some synthesis features people are unfamiliar with. The good news is this interface is very intuitive and well described in the manual. Also of importance are the 64 presets which cover a good range of timbres. If you like very strange sounds this is your synth although the presets are along the more restrained side.

The only downside is the 64 patch bank. It's not a big problem but you should expect to be programming Rhino. As of now it is not a preset machine. The upside, programming is rewarding and dramatically simple with a small learning curve.

One of the top synths available.

Latest 16 reviews from a total of 16

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Discussion

7 February 2015 at 2:08pmtommyzai

Rhino is an amazingly flexible, great sounding soft synth that has evolved into a 64-bit hybrid FM beast.

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Rhino

Average user rating of 9.63 from 16 reviews

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