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VPS Avenger [read all reviews]
Reviewed By dune_rave [read all by] on 11th May 2017
Version reviewed: demo on Windows.
Last edited by dune_rave on 11th May 2017.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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I review Avenger based on its demo. It's quite easy to install it, though has more than 4Gig factory content, but it's OK for me. One word from the the developer : Vengeance Sound means quality, and browsing the forums I have never read any bad about their stuff.

The factory sounds are good, but for me, something is missing (maybe I should demo it more). Similar hybrid monster synths like Zebra or Blue II contain more presets I like. I think my problem with the sound is that VSP Avenger mainly offers sounds for the todays' producer, and don't contain "oldschool" sounds in its factory set, Sure it can sound many different ways.

Anyway, the GUI is interesting with lots of visual feedback and animation, so a great fun factor, but on the other hand is quite a mess. There are some parts that are small despite of their role, for example the modulation matrix should be bigger% from the whole gui. I think Avenger gui problem is that they want to put many things in one screen, where some parts should deserve a second screen alone.

I Quite like the Arpeggiator, and the Zone screen where you can layer sounds. I only tried some of the effects, and filters. That was really interesting to see a "tape stop" kind of fx in the effects rack.

So currently I have mixed feelings with Avenger. The main reason of this is I mainly like synths that are made for one specific goal, and Avenger is not this kind. It is made for covering many synthesis types, and the question is if it can sound wicked enough...

Mixbus32C [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Hindenburg [read all by] on 10th May 2017
Version reviewed: 4 on Mac.
Last edited by Hindenburg on 10th May 2017.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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My DAW has a sound and Mixbus 32C is it's name - O -

My name is Randy Rose from Rose studios, and Hindenburg Records.

One may ask, what does it take to turn a faithful Protools user into someone who leaves his workstation

after using it for over ten years... The sound - The Harrison Mixbus 32C has it's own sound, a true analog sound, .

the sound that many in the box engineers may not even know, or remember, oh how quickly we soon forget.

I am a vintage sound enthusiast especially when it comes to recording records, the sound I have always gone

for has been warm, fat, punchy, and familiar most things wonderful often remind of us something we once loved

or experienced, something familiar a matter of fact when we describe something to someone we usually say check

this out doesn't that remind you of this...

The Harrison Mixbus 32C does exactly that, it reminds me of what I originally fell in love with in the recording process

the sound, and the feel, the look of a genuine recording console, not a software engineers version of a console, but a

real console, well to get that sound into a DAW, it would help if for over forty years you engineered, and built the best

analog consoles out there, thats Harrison. The 32C is a real console, the one that ACDC recorded on, the one that

ABBA, and Queen recorded on, and the one that Michael Jacksons Thriller was recorded on. Well, I decided I want those minds

to get me into that sound, and they did. I was blown away with the look of this DAW they nailed it everything a real

console had, and everything available inline in one channel strip the way God intended it to be.

Check this out- it starts out with a beautiful fader with an attenuation gain trim on the top just like the real consoles

would have. You get to keep your faders at zero, where they belong and attenuate the gain with trim knob (ingenious)

and to the right of every fader is the coolest compressor I have heard in a long time. There's a LED showing you the

gain reduction of either a compressor, a limiter, or a leveler - the sound reminds me of a LA3 on the limiter selection

and a 1176 in the compression mode, as well as a killer leveler all at your finger tips all of this, and we haven't even moved

pass the fader. Then we move up to a beautiful pan knob with a mute, and solo, and this is where it gets crazy, you get twelve

mixbus sends all inline in the form of knobs simply add what ever you want to send to it, be it a drum sub, parallel compression

mixbus, reverb, delay, even parallel EQ if you want, once again you haven't pulled down or scrolled any menu's to get this it's all in

one "vintique"channel strip. The next most exciting part for me is the 32C EQ section, this is the best EQ I have ever heard- it's identical to the real

EQ. Harrison modeled this EQ right down to every component resistor, and transistor- it was this test that sent me over the edge...

I own easily ten grand in Universal Audio plug ins, and love them - I have found these to be the best analog modeled plug ins available, and most

people would agree. My very favorite EQ was Universal Audios Harrison 32C EQ, this was my go to EQ for everything

super fat, warm and gooey, and the high end was smooth as silk, I compared the onboard Harrison Mixbus 32C EQ to the UA 32C EQ

and Harrison nailed it. I actually prefer Harrison version, they may have modeled a better channel when they scoped it all out, the problem

would be this, I couldn't use, let's say 24 UA Eq's, and a few of there compressors without the UAD processor even though it's a quad reaching

it's limit, but I could use 24 plus Harrison onboard 32C Eq's on every channel also using there killer compressors on all of those channels

and I would still have a functioning computer after the fact. Remember this is about the music, the sound, and the inspiration - I could go on

forever, but you have to taste and see just how good the Harrison Mixbus 32C really is. Oh yeah, did I mention all twelve mixbus's have saturation

on it, completely variable from clean to Cu-Cu-Ca-Chew, and each of the twelve mixbus's have 3 bands of silky Harrison Eq too - Say what!

One last thing the master section has a modeled 2 track analog saturation that once again I truly prefer the Harrison Mixbus 32C, over

the UA ATR-102 two track model, the Mixbus 32C had a bit more of a glassy silky sheen to it. I will still use plug ins, but after getting the

sounds with the Mixbus 32's onboard compressor and EQ's, I found myself not even reaching for my much previously

needed plug ins. The Harrison Mixbus 32C has the sound of a real console, and it beautiful, the gain structure is unlike anything

I have seen in the digital realm, the ease of use and intuitive nature of the channel strips are so wonderful, and readable - I honestly

forget I'm mixing in the box now, and most of all it​​​​​​​ doesn't sound like I'm mixing in the box.

The Harrison Mixbus 32C has blown the box wide open - This is the DAW that doesn't look, or sound

like anything out there, Mixbus has been the best kept secret till now - but it's time for the world to hear exactly

what has been missing for so many years - The Harrison Mixbus 32C -

Randy Rose. Rose Studios/Hindenburg Records

VPS Avenger [read all reviews]
Reviewed By ZaBong69 [read all by] on 9th May 2017
Version reviewed: 1.1.2 on Windows.
Last edited by ZaBong69 on 9th May 2017.
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They said "the last synth you will ever need".

And they have a point. If there is one word for the philosophy of this soft synth, it's MORE. It pretty much has everything you may want to see in one synth, overdelivering on many things - who actually needs 8 oscillators in one sound, and what do I want with hundreds of waveforms and 4 Gig of sample/wave content? Well, the answer is: I don't know yet, but I plan to find out.

There seems to be very little this synth can not do... audio rate modulation between oscillators or on filters is missing, and wavetable editing is not (yet?) part of the game, but other than that, a great many synthesis methods and FX are there already. There is a Zebra 2 like flexibility in routing sounds and building layers. The ergonomics are great, I had fun navigating the GUI.

How does it sound: Pretty much like anything you want. It can be digital, it can do analog, it even can do some physical modelling. Warm and fuzzy in some presets, icy cold in others. The filters are good, a wide variety is there. One of the highlights of this beast are the effects - the quality is very high, no need to use external effects. If you really must, you can program sounds that start a whole track with one key press, including a drum sequence.

VPS Avenger runs smoothly on my system, but that system is pretty high end. You are advised to test it on your computer, as some sounds can be demanding.

Highly recommended.

Bitwig Studio [read all reviews]
Reviewed By senioreglyde [read all by] on 7th May 2017
Version reviewed: 2.1Beta5 on Windows
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I started using Bitwig 2 after obtaining the Roli Seaboard 49. After a while, I sold the Roli because Bitwig does MPE really easily with a mouse so after learning how it works, I went with the Nektar. Apparently, they need to re-calibrate Nektar to Bitwig 2 as the browser and presets have errors on them and some plugins won't work the same like the Korg Mono/Poly. It was mapped for Bitwig 1. That's really isn't saying much about Bitwig itself as software though. What I can say is that I have just fell right in love with it. The workflow is so well thought of. My favorite part is the clip launcher as it feels like a traditional DAW with automation and recording. Ableton wasn't as easy to use coming from Studio One V3. The Bitwig sampler works great with looping, the filter sounds the best that I have heard on a VST. I am used to Falcon by UVI and have a EMU 6400 Ultra and its quite close to that when it comes to holding the low end. The FX are really well done. Very usable. I also use a lot of UAD plugins so comparing to them, they fit well in the mix and not feeling that I need to purchase any other UAD plugs. Only reason why there is no 10 is because they still have some fixing to do with CPU compared to Studio One 3 which runs Imposcar at 10-15% of my CPU (i7 with 16 gigs of ram) That is even on every mode with Bitwig for Plugins settings. It spikes and it's about 25-50%. However, I don't leave plugins going all day long as I bounce when happy and re-sample if needed. Overall, workflow with Nektar is amazing still and when they fix up everything, itll be that much better but tbh, I use the mouse on things that slow me down with Nektar so its the ebst of both worlds. Programming synths it does amazing and if you save ur presets to bitwig browser then it's like having Komplete Kontrol for Bitwig. Oh, Bitwig Drum Machine, you can load VST Synths into it :D. You should download Bitwig 2 demo, it's a game changer. Very inspiring.

B-5 Organ [read all reviews]
Reviewed By xabilon [read all by] on 7th May 2017
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows.
Last edited by xabilon on 13th May 2017.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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The AcousticsampleS B5 is an ecellent sampling of a Hammond B3. In terms of pure sampling, it is miles above the Native Instruments one.

There's a lot of tuning options (individual drawbars volume, common hardware modifications, different amps cabs...). The Leslie emulation is not so good, but an update is coming with bugfixes, common controllers mappings and the new Rotary from UVI.

The sound is smooth, less "in-your-face" and brighter than VB3, so more suitable for jazz, pads...

It's a sample library, it works with the free UVI Player. The player is easy to use, stable and fast loading. It's protected by iLok, but no USB-dongle is needed.

And the developper is very kind. Watch his Wurlitzer library too...

Edit : well, the library have just been updated to v2, with 4 different Hammonds sampled (one B3, one A-100 and two C3), a new (and much better) Leslie emulation, bugfixes... I don't use VB3 anymore, B5 v2 covers all my needs. So I can change my rating to 10.

Sytrus [read all reviews]
Reviewed By johnny.w [read all by] on 4th May 2017
Version reviewed: 1.6 on Windows
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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The sounds of Sytrus are a 10, the variety ditto. Tho many have complained about the small-size GUI my Sytrus issue is that the product does not have a browser. Any synth without a good browser--like Tone2'a Rayblaster or Electra 2--is not something I can work with. Clicking on "Presets" and having a large "spreadsheet" (in small font) splattered on the screen is NOT GOOD. After selecting a preset the screen retracts. I need a browser that stays put so I can audition presets properly, without working backwards. People praise Image-Line products, but IMO the company policy evinces a sort of arrogance, unresponsiveness or indifference to their captive market, and a disregard for user or would-be user criticism.

Piano Variations for Arturia Piano V [read all reviews]
Reviewed By methodman3000 [read all by] on 3rd May 2017
Version reviewed: 1 on Any OS
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I just bought Piano V variations and I think the piano's are warm. I have tried some of them over different varieties of classical music (The Pianist) It used to be sold by PG Music but is no longer being sold so I consider it freeware. But playing MIDI files by Bach and Beethoven and Debussey. The painos range with lots of different kinds of reverbs and the stretches feel different to so that the tuning changes during decay. I will do a quality interview after I have worked with these variations. The only thing missing is a list of the Piano's. When you import them everything is mixed together so they are not separated from the Arturia patches. 108 pianos for $20 isn't a bad deal at all.

AutoTonic - Modal MIDI Transposer [read all reviews]
Reviewed By AndreaZanini [read all by] on 29th April 2017
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Mac.
Last edited by AutoTonic on 3rd May 2017.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Autotonic is an invaluable tool for creating, composing and finding ideas you would otherwise never think of. As a non-pianist with some pretty fast fingers, it helps me play things that even pro pianist would struggle with thanks to its scale mapping technology but, more importantly as a composer and producer, it helps me experiment with ideas and scale/chord sounds that I might find too daunting or not interesting enough as well as come up with the results I aim for. Autotonic has given me the means to write in-key musical solos without the hassle of learning all fingering, especially when I am not going to be the one to record that solo in the studio. So I would definitely recommend this tool to anyone serious in theory and composition because it definitely grows up on you.

So is Autotonic worth it? Yes.

Is it perfect? Still no, but there is no other program that has the potential to take things further than Autotonic at the moment.

Infected Mushroom: Manipulator [read all reviews]
Reviewed By WhamyDodger [read all by] on 28th April 2017
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Being a new to vocal processing software and being an impulsive person, I bought Manipulator. I wasted 118 GBP. There is nothing Manipulator can do that could not have been achieved by many examples of freeware vst. That's not to say there is lots of free software similar to Manipulator but in combination, free software can make a pig's breakfast out of an audio signal just as Manipulator does all by itself.

If you like your vocal tracks to be clear, Manipulator will be of no use to you at all as it seems to add many extraneous random sounds. Weird wandering sine waves, little whistles, drones and pops abound.

Amid a plethora of 99 cent shop Sci Fi audio FX presets, are perhaps as much as 3 (ish) usable settings. All the other presets, and there are lots and lots, are of use only if you work on low budget Sci Fi and must edit audio so that the 'alien' actors sound like frogs with sore throats or pigs inhaling helium... with sore throats. Or Darth Vader... with a sore throat.

Seriously, it's really very difficult to think of any work, any vocal where Manipulator would not completely screw up the audio signal and render the output literally painfully uncomfortable to listen to. I challenge anyone who is not engaged producing poop noises and silly voices for cartoons to say they are happy with this example of vst.

The makers of this plugin mention 'algorithms' and there's a whiff of the disingenuous about that. Mathematics is not the tool needed to create Manipulator's sounds. It can be done with mathematics but there's no need to go to such trouble. All that is required is plenty of electrical interference and lots of old worn cables and loose fittings on ancient, knackered obsolete and incompatible equipment. That has the exact same effect on audio signals and is far, far cheaper.

You'd have to be as daft and inexperienced and impulsive as me to buy Manipulator, or 'Audio Signal Shredder' as I have more accurately renamed it.

Manipulator certainly manipulates. The same way a man wearing a metal gauntlet manipulates an egg.

It could have been just as accurately named, 'The Emperor's New Clothes.'

ocenaudio [read all reviews]
Reviewed By jimmydeer [read all by] on 26th April 2017
Version reviewed: 3.2.7 on Mac
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I use the mac version of this and like it a lot. I usually open it for small edits–fades, cutting space off, etc. when I don't want to open a full daw. It is also useful and.

quick for editing metadata in mp3s. I find controls and features intuitive and easy to figure out. It loads/quits very quickly and has all of the features/formats I need.

Highly recommended piece of donationware! I also love that it comes up automatically in the "open with..." dialogue when right-clicking a file.