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Product Reviews by KVR Members

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Lightweight Soft Knee Compressor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By DooM_Ko [read all by] on 29th June 2017
Version reviewed: 12 on Windows
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Auditor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By carroll6 [read all by] on 28th June 2017
Version reviewed: 1.0.0 on Windows
7.00
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Simple, and does what it says. No frills.. I dunno if it's even using my ASIO driver! BUT. it sure does what it says. I put it on my Desktop. Very quick and dirty. You can't record the output from this software. It don't record midi, but what it does is let you try out a VST quickly and see what it sounds like, rather than fire up your DAW. I like this little program a lot. I tried a few others, and like this one better. Very quick setup, and now you can check out your VST you just downloaded. Thank you for making this available, my hat's off.

DirectWave [read all reviews]
Reviewed By KMJoshi [read all by] on 26th June 2017
Version reviewed: 1.x on Windows.
Last edited by KMJoshi on 26th June 2017.
10.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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DirectWave is a hundred percent complete, and offers a lot more than its appearance. Now that DirectWave has been updated to a vectorial UI, the old problem of "too small to work with interfaces" are gone. And some new effects have been added as well, which makes it even better. I think it's safe to say that maybe ImageLine is thinking about improving it after all.

Even with the old interface, I was able to sample my old hardware sound modules and use them again in my newer songs. While it did get a bit tedious during arranging the samples (all the squinting and hold-your-breath kinda steady mouse movements), DirectWave always got the job done. And the ability to sample VST instruments makes this thing a pretty basic need for a musician. Especially when a particularly heavy synth is eating up your CPU. Just sample it and voilà! You got 35% more CPU.

However, it does eat up plenty of RAM. What we absolutely need is Disk Streaming. I will still rate this a solid 10 because increasing RAM solved the problem. And I have nothing to complain about other than that.

Abstrung [read all reviews]
Reviewed By angelonyc [read all by] on 25th June 2017
Version reviewed: 1.1.1 on Any OS
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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The newest update now has MIDI drag and drop, like Sequi2r.. This greatly adds to the value.. Cause you can use any VI of your choice. I had taken MIDI drag/drop from Sequi2r and used a Kontakt string library.. I got results like Alfred Hitchcock strings on LSD.. Positive striking. and because the strings sound so real, you envision this mad violinists dancing around in the piece..

Adding the MIDI drag/drop feature is a HUGE bonus.. All the Audiofier plug-ins are quite clever programing to work in Kontakt.

Punch [read all reviews]
Reviewed By TheNeverScene [read all by] on 25th June 2017
Version reviewed: latest? on Windows
10.00
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I've been on the fence about sinking a good chuck of money into a drum synth for quite a while. Up until now, I've gotten great results from the freebies, vsti's as well as one shot samples. I first checked out Punch about 3 years ago and have been drooling over it ever since, but I was skeptical about it's Windows XP 32-bit compatability. After a recent PC upgrade, I started weighing my options again. Tried uTonic (sounds fantastic, but IMO is too limited for an all-in-one drum synth option), tried Tremor (way too big a CPU hit, even on my 3.5 Xeon with 24G ram). Punch just "worked" for me...synthesis, sampler, sequencer, built in effects (fuzz distortion is fantastic btw, reminds me of running my hardsynth into a Boss FZ-2 HyperFuuzz at times). Within minutes, my electro drums took leaps and bounds.

Bottom line? Sounds great, easy to program, low CPU hit. Buy it.

Mike.

OrilRiver [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Taurus [read all by] on 25th June 2017
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows
10.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Great sounding reverb and very low on cpu. From compact rooms to large scifi spaces with long tails is all possible and sounds great. The plugin works fine under Windows10 64-bit and Renoise 3.1. This VST will become my favorite reverb plugin until now.

Elottronix XL [read all reviews]
Reviewed By EvilTurtle [read all by] on 25th June 2017
Version reviewed: 1.4 on Windows
8.00
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I actually own a couple reel-to-reels that I use for tape looping but I really was looking for something that I could use in my DAW. Elottronix XL was a great find and it very nicely models the feel and sound of a real tape loop! Plus this has the advantage/flexibility of having all these extra parameters. Really nice plugin.

The GUI looks and feels nice too and having an external hardware controller to control it creates a lot of fun jam sessions.

Korg MiniLogue Editor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By TheNeverScene [read all by] on 24th June 2017
Version reviewed: latest? on Windows
10.00
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I paid a whopping 7 US dollars for this. It works flawlessly and cured my Reaper woes with dealing with hardware CC resets while looping. It's laid out just like the synth....turn a knob on the synth, VST knob turns.....turn a knob on the vst, synth knob.....well, haha. Works great. My only request would be that the Voice Mode parameters were available and some of the menu edit functions, like portamento, etc, could be accessed.

Big thanks to the developer.

Mike.

Icarus [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Introspective [read all by] on 16th June 2017
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Mac
9.00
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Icarus is Tone2's magnum opus.

If you are familiar with the company, you will know that there's a particular "quality" to their synths: a fairly digital sound, a fairly scratchy reverb, a feeling of "technical excellence" at the expense, perhaps, of refinement. Those qualities are still here in Icarus, but they seem to have "owned" that, more or less, and produced something that really stands out. Icarus has a striking *clarity* to its sound, a snappiness to its envelopes, and an elegance to its workflow that is quite compelling.

If there is a standout negative to this, it is that Icarus more or less makes the rest of their synths superfluous. My first Tone2 synth was Gladiator, and I loved it. ...Then along came ElextraX, and I felt I no longer needed Gladiator to get the same kind of sound, so I stopped using it. ...In fact, ElectraX was so much easier to use and such a capable synth, that even after extensive demos of their other synths (notably their FM and "transwave" synths), I felt their was too much overlap in the sound to warrant another purchase. And again, when Icarus was released, I listened to the demos and thought "meh: this is just a reskinning of ElectraX."

I forget what the catalyst was—perhaps a YouTube video comparing Icarus to Serum or something—but eventually I broke down and downloaded the demo. I bought it a few days later. Indeed, the workflow here is quite similar to that of ElectraX, though I like that it's not "four synths in one," which is something I always found a little irksome. Everything is a bit more "succinct" here, in ways that are difficult to qualify, but was actually the *sound* that hadn't quite come across to me in the demos I'd listened to. The hypersaw sounds fuller, the wavetable scanning seems smoother, the filters are a little more refined, and the effects ... well.. perhaps they *use* them a bit less in the presets or something; that Tone2 reverb still has a quality to it that I *strongly* dislike (turning off the reverb is always my first tweak for Tone2 patches), but it bothers me much less with Icarus. :)

Tone2 has really outdone Serum in terms of wavetable manipulation: every feature here is a delight, from the drawing tools to the randomize function: you will end up with very pleasing results with MUCH less work. They are really to be lauded here. The resynthesis is always great fun to play with and can result in your own very distinct patches.

(A quick note: I do NOT think that Icarus "sounds better" than Serum. There is still a *crispness* to Serum that Icarus does not capture. Serum sounds much more ... clinical: I am going to play EXACTLY these frequencies, RIGHT here. Icarus reminds me more of a Virus, here: still very digital, but somewhat "warmer" or perhaps "smoother". If you own Serum, you do not *need* Icarus. ...but if you are a wavetable-junkie and really like editing them, you will find Icarus a delightful addition.)

The mod-matrix here meets all the modern requirements: drag-and-drop but *also* right-click assign, and *also* directly editable. Assignments are graphically displayed along with their depth and can be modified right from the affected knob. A good number of envelopes (4), a good number of LFOS (4), surprising number of waveshapes for the LFOs, the arp can be used as a mod source, and one mod slot can affect the depth of another. (This is actually less powerful than a matrix with built-in depth modifiers, but it'll do—it is at least clear, here.) A good number of slots—I haven't found myself wanting for more, yet (though, eventually, I'm sure I will. I always do).

The filters are really amazing here: there are SO MANY of them, and the "typical" ones are very high-quality and the "creative" ones are a lot of fun. The drive is not the highest-quality, but it's available and it does contribute to the quality of the sound. The display is also highly appreciated: while it's not *attractive*, it's actually one of the most useful graphical representations of a filter I've seen: very fast and very detailed. You really feel like you can see *exactly* what the filter is doing.

I'm not personally a big fan of Tone2's effects, so I largely skip this section. They "work," but the controls are a bit weird (rather than knobs, you "drag" text values). There is, as Aiyn Zahev said (of another synth) "a cheeky duck knob" to the effects, though, and that's nice for when you want THAT sound.

The EQ and limiter of limited (har har) quality, but, again, they add to the sound.

Really, the "stand out qualities" to this synth have to be the wavetable oscillators (PARTICULARLY the editor), the diverse filters, and the *cracking* all-on-one-page workflow.

Icarus is one of those synths that doesn't quite scream "we are aiming squarely at synth X." If it did, I would have to say it was aiming at Serum. ...which would be a shame, because I think, ultimately, Serum is a superior overall synth. That having been said, personally I actually find Icarus a more *usable* synth. It's more immediately creative, it's a bit broader in sound and usability. ...I've never really gotten a *truly* satisfying pad out of Serum, for example: that's just not its strength. ...Icarus handles them with aplomb. For me, Icarus is more of a stand-in for an Access Virus or a Blofeld or the like: a decent VA, albeit on the digital side, with that "wavetabley" sound that excels at pads and plucks.

I don't care about making dubstep basses, so don't ask me if it's good for that. ...I doubt it could touch Serum for that sound, though.

[shrug] I am finding this difficult to express, but: I reach for Icarus more often than Serum. Serum, for me, is something *specific, * for cutting, standout sounds. It screams "here I am!" regardless of how you use it. Icarus is more of a broad tool that handles almost everything very well, AND it is best-in-class for wavetable editing, hands-down.

I also own VPS Avenger ... and ... yeah... I would have a *really* hard time selling you Icarus if you were looking at Avenger. You're just going to get more bang for your buck, there: better-sounding (sounds very much like a Virus), better depth ... just a whole lot more "to" it. ...Unless you're still looking for that Wavetable editor, which is decidedly superior in Icarus. ...Think of Icarus like a Blofeld, here: would you still buy one if you owned a Virus? ...If so, then, yeah, you will want both Icarus AND Avenger. If you just want one, go for Avenger, period. (You might also prefer Icarus if you were one of those people who hate REALLY broad synths for being really broad. Icarus has more personality.)

All of that said, Icarus, today, is certainly one of my top-ten VSTs, right up there with Serum, Avenger, Omnisphere, Strobe, Diva, RePro, and LuSH. For me, I would probably even put it in my top five. Perhaps I cannot *quite* tell you why. ...it's probably because I *love* wavetables. :) When it comes down to it, if you are a studio-minimalist (or just don't have the money for overlap), Icarus is a hard sell. You'll probably want either Serum or Avenger. But if you just love sound-design and can handle having another creative synth in your arsenal, you would be remiss to pass over Icarus. It is really something very special.

A final note: I am aware that there is a group of users on KVR who feel it is their duty to downvote all "overly-positive" reviews. Conceptually, I understand their motivation: to account for some of the "hype" that surrounds synths and to point out that "things can always get better." So be it; I am powerless to stop them. I do, however, have a message for them: you are idiots; get over yourselves.

Presswerk [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Augren [read all by] on 16th June 2017
Version reviewed: 1.1.1 on Mac.
Last edited by Augren on 16th June 2017.
10.00
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Beautifully musical sounding, highly (yet sensibly) configurable dynamics processor with moderate CPU load.

I was comparing several reputable compressor plugins and was reluctant to try Presswerk. I'm really glad I ended up taking it for a spin.

For my personal priorities (don't need spectrum analysis in a compressor plugin), and for my personal taste Presswerk is by far the best sounding compressor plugin currently on the market, with just enough configuration flexibility to cover all my tracking mixing and mastering needs.

Highly recommended.