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TB Morphit v1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By sangamc [read all by] on 18th June 2018
Version reviewed: 1.2.7 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was it helpful to you? Yes No

This plugin now has a permanent spot in all the DAWs I use. Combined with Waves NX, it really makes working in headphones a much more productive process for me. I do not get to crank the monitors as much as could in the past so having majority of my work done in headphones and then using the hour or two when I can crank it loud for minor tweaks and edits is a blessing.

There is a wide range of headphone models. The ability to choose between correction or simulation or custom is a useful feature too.

Very low CPU footprint is always important and Morphit barely registers a blip.

All around great buy. Especially if its sale.

Mika Micro [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Halonmusic [read all by] on 18th June 2018
Version reviewed: 2.0.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Halonmusic on 18th June 2018.
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Mika Mikro has quickly become one of my favorite synths for anything FM or bread and butter sound. Its light on the CPU and very stable. 10 out of 10 rating from me.

Substance [read all reviews]
Reviewed By BONES [read all by] on 17th June 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by BONES on 19th June 2018.
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I've had this for a couple of months now and it still impresses me every time I load it up and start playing with it. I don't think it's sound will suit everyone but if you like to experiment you might find Substance strangely compelling. Its workflow is also refreshingly different and shows incredible attention to detail. It really is a joy to dive in deeper and deeper to precisely tailor the sound to your needs or liking.

Installation
Substance is a Kontakt sample library with a custom front-end. It works in the free Kontakt Player so you don't need to spend extra to get it up and running. Output have their own assistance app but if you have NI's Native Access, I'd recommend that you install and activate through that so that all your content goes to the same place as the NI stuff. Either way, though, it's pretty straightforward. You'll need about 4.5GB of free space to fit it all into. Once it's installed and activated, you load Kontakt (or the free player) into your host software and you can select and load Substance from Kontakt's browser.

Overview
In essence, Substance has three layers of samples that each run through their own filters, modulation and effects. The front panel is deceptively simple, hiding a wealth of features, with an emphasis on rhythm. The simplified front panel hides a full-featured synth engine with filters, ADSR envelopes, LFO and multiple effects for each layer and for the overall patch. Four Macro controls on the front panel can be set to multiple parameters each, which means you can make changes to the timbre without having to dig into the the rest of the GUI, which is accessed via a row of tabs across the top. There is also a very powerful and flexible arpeggiator that really makes things pump.

Unsurprisingly, given the focus on rhythm, most of the sounds that come out of Substance are rhythmical phrases, powered by the LFOs and arp. There is everything from percussive noise loops to groovy bass guitar, with lots of quirkiness built in. Of course, it does quite a few standard synth rhythms, too, so you can use it for bread and butter stuff as well as the fancy bits and pieces. Each of the three parts tend to play different rhythms that overlay one another to create complex, evolving rhythms.

Usability
Using a sample-driven instrument like Substance is a very different experience to your average V/A synth or even to a ROMpler. This can lead to some very different results in a remarkably short time. It's incredibly inspiring and I think it is bound to change your sound, almost certainly for the better. You can spend hours just playing with the presets, which cover a lot of sonic territory. All up there are 81 different samples sets, arranged in nine groups of nine, for you to use as starting points. it's like having 81 oscillator waveforms to choose from in a 3 osc synth.

Although the emphasis is firmly on rhythms and basslines, there are some amazing pads and great orchestral atmospheres that would be perfect for film scores and the like. Sometimes the macros have a big effect, other times they don't but you can always go in and make your own changes quickly and easily. It's all very straightforward, logically laid out and easy to navigate. Once you start playing with the arp and rhythm tabs, you can lose yourself for hours. I find it a joy to use and I manage to find something for it to do in pretty much every new piece I work on.

Because it runs inside Kontakt, CPU use is higher than you might expect from a sample-driven instrument but it's still too bad. The UI is a handy size for me, which means it might be a little small for some. The preset browser allows you to use multiple tags to finesse your list and get to similar sounds easily. You get 300 presets with the instrument and new presets you make are added to the end of the list (there are no banks).

Summary
Substance takes a different approach and is all the better for it. Every part of it feels beautifully crafted by people with an intimate understanding of the production process. It's absolutely made for musicians and producers who want to do something fresh and different. It's uniqueness means it is not going to replace anything you are currently using, it is going to add something new and amazing to your sonic arsenal. Whilst it's not cheap, it is still an absolute bargain. If you're in a bit of a creative rut, this is just the tool to inspire you to pull yourself out of it and get on with making music.

Discovery Pro Sound Expansion [read all reviews]
Reviewed By mclstr [read all by] on 17th June 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Any OS
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Good variety, good value and made for a wide variety of styles.

Something for everyone.

OrilRiver [read all reviews]
Reviewed By immoderato [read all by] on 14th June 2018
Version reviewed: 2.0.3b on Mac
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After numerous attempts at building a precisely-defined acoustic space with dozens of plugins (including two paid) I found this winner. Out of the box goodness - I use it in both cubase and finale (which nearly makes cubase superfluous). Now, going to look for a donate button.

SoundBridge DAW [read all reviews]
Reviewed By peferling [read all by] on 13th June 2018
Version reviewed: 1.10 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This is a great, simple and easy to DAW with basic functionality that is well laid out and intended for use with touch screens. All relevant edit tools are visible and easily accessible on the screen. The DAW also includes a complete set of basic FX plugins, and will also scan and use 3rd party plugins.

Note: I had issues with Ozone 8 plugins freezing up the application v1.09, and a simple email generated a quick response and a timely update to fix. 5 stars for customer service on that.

The DAW can be used as standalone or integrates with their Skytrack.io online collaboration and cloud tool, (which I'm also evaluating).

I suggest new users give this DAW a try. While it's free, I did not factor that into the review. It works as designed.

BassMidi VSTi [read all reviews]
Reviewed By dtrq [read all by] on 12th June 2018
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows
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AFAIK it's the only available free 64-bit SF2 VSTi that tries to support soundfont internal specifications right now. All others ether only import samples and key mappings, sometimes even without ADSRs, or are buggy and discounted.
I only wish there were options for using multiple instruments with one MIDI channel and multiple audio outputs. In many multitimbral plugins there are slots for instruments, for each of them a 'midi in' and 'audio out' can be assigned.

ICECREAM [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Purple Six Recordz [read all by] on 11th June 2018
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows.
Last edited by Purple Six Recordz on 11th June 2018.
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Absolutely amazing plugin. Im fan of 8 bit sounds.

Some of the presents does not sound good and authentic, but majority of them do, so pros outweighs the cons. Def gonna use this for future beat. :)

I also made a video showing its default sounds and presents just so people can decide better before downloading.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA73DriRd1k

BigKick [read all reviews]
Reviewed By ATN69 [read all by] on 10th June 2018
Version reviewed: V1.2 on Windows
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I got the Plugin Boutique Big Kick plugin from KVR market at a very nice price. I already had other kick drum plugs and wasn't thinking about buying another one but I discovered that Big Kick basically is a drum sampler with options to tweak my own samples that I already have. It is possible to layer 2 kicks by using Big Kick. All of a sudden my old kick sample library got more attention thanks to Big Kick. It's easy to use with drag and drop. Big Kick also came with a bunch of kick samples.

Sprike [read all reviews]
Reviewed By elena2 [read all by] on 8th June 2018
Version reviewed: 1.1.0 on Windows
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I don't love this synth in particular. Despite that, I had to use it because I found some preset sounds, after a slight modify, very suitable for a recent project of mine, and I could not easily reproduce them with other synths (they just had that particular "groove" I was looking for) Unfortunately Sprike is full of bugs. I don't know it these just show up on my config (Reaper, Win 7 x64), anyway here are the most annoying ones: 1) With expection of the first time, everytime I reopen the GUI all numbers and readouts of the various pots/parameters remain empty, blank. The only way to retrigger an update is to load a different preset. 2) After some minutes, the LFO of the Flanger effect stops working and I have to reset the plugin to restore its normal workings. I suspect a similar problem may affect other parts aswell, because after several minutes of use it's not uncommon that sounds may start sounding different because some component "went to sleep". If anybody can notify the author of these bugs he is welcome, I am not familiar with Github and forks.
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