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Synth1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 2nd April 2017
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Windows
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I love Synth1. It is probably my favourite softsynth, over even commercial synths I own. Making patches on it is a joy and it sounds fantastic.

I wish I could leave it at that, but there's one major persistent and worrying problem with Synth1 that is the only thing preventing me from giving it a 10: on many patches, when any of the low-pass filter are engaged, Synth1 outputs some quite extreme very-low-end noise.

Like if you look at a frequency spectrum analyzer while playing one of the (very very many!) afflicted patches, you can see peaks at around 15-30Hz that are higher than the sound you actually intend to produce! It can be that extreme, and the noise is so persistent that EQing or filtering it out with another plugin downstream is very difficult, it's incredibly persistent output.

It takes something like ReaFIR or a very very steep high-pass filter (like -48db/oct and beyond) to get rid of it, otherwise you have this incredible amount og extreme low-end energy in your track! Very bad.

It's painful to say that, especially since the fellow who maintains it appears to have lost interest, so it may never be fixed. Would be a terrible shame, but all the best to the developer anyway.

Wavestation [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 16th September 2016
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This will be short. Note, this (short) review is being written 10 years after the last review of the Wavestation VSTi. And it's still awesome. I've had KLC for a few years and sort of ignored the WS in favour of the M1 but recently my eyes have been opened. It's my current synth girlfriend and will be for a while. Get it before Korg discontinues it or something -- the only reason it's not getting a 10 is because the last update to the KLC plugs was in 2013 (to update to 64-bit) and *nothing* since, so it seems Korg has abandoned them (while still gladly accepting $ for them, naturally!)

REAPER [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 18th October 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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KVR *really* needs to fix its review system so that old reviews with no numbered rating don't register as "0 out of 10". Reaper's the best DAW out there, period, especially if you're the DIY type, this is the best set of tools available for making things happen. Only gets better and the devs have an awesome attitude. Jesusonic alone is reason for me to sing Reaper's praises, but it offers so much more.

Mono/Poly [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 7th July 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by robohymn on 7th July 2015.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I've been working with softsynths for 15 years now and am ready to finally say for sure that Korg's Mono/Poly is my favorite. Sometimes over the years I've had doubts, but no longer, I'm sure now. I have Alchemy, Sylenth, Massive, Serum, and have used countless others, and this one, for me and my musical purposes, is the best. It sounds fantastic, is incredibly eclectic, anything from arcade sounds to kicks and snares and a bottomless variety of lead and bass possibilities. A local music shop has a hardware Mono/Poly that they'll loan out to trusted customers, so I had a chance to do a comparison a few years ago, and not only does this plug capture the hardware's sound almost exactly on every patch I compared, the plug actually often sounded *better* and offers true polyphony and an awesome mod matrix and other features as well. (To be fair, I was comparing a computer program to a 35 yo piece of machinery so, take this as ye may.)

I've done everything from imitation glitch to classic acid with it. The Mono/Poly with the MS-20 (not as realistic to the hardware but still fantastic in its own right) and Polysix (also very close in sound to the hardware and just as good as the Mono/Poly plug) are an unbeatable team in my book, relatively straightforward synths that together can do pretty much anything you'd want. Add the M1 (incredibly good emulation and also in many ways better than the hardware) and Wavestation, and Korg has the best deal in softsynths going at the moment with the Legacy Collection, despite their age. Despite a lot of options, at least 3/4 of my tracks over the last decade have used one or a combo of them, often exclusively, and I have buyer's remorse from buying several other more expensive synths that I almost never use.

My biggest complaint about the Mono/Poly plug is that I'm indifferent to its built-in FX, which are really Korg's MDE-X plug built-in to the synth's DSP. Some of the FX are OK, the reverb is unique and sometimes useful as are the delays, most are pretty blah though, so I turn them off and use Renoise's built-in FX or other 3rd party plugs. The separate MDE-X plug us the weakest of the Legacy Collection bunch, I never use it. Other than that I recommend the Mono/Poly or entire Legacy Collection unreservedly, including over much more recently developed competitors.

MPhaser [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 19th March 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by robohymn on 25th March 2015.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Very, very good phaser for free. Only problem is it crashes Reaper every time I try to remove it from a track or delete a track it's on. [NOTE, this problem has been resolved and is specific to my machine, please see edits below.] I have a feeling it works fine in the more prominent DAWs, I doubt Reaper compatibility is a priority for developers in general. It has some problems in Renoise also, but that's another relatively obscure DAW.

Thanks to the devs. Despite compatibility problems with lesser-known DAWs, it's easily the best free phaser plug I've seen and competes with a number of commercial products.

Edit: just wanted to note, a MeldaProduction rep contacted me about this review a few days after posting it, concerned about the crashes I've experienced. The problem -- which I think may be more or less unique to me because they can't reproduce the issue and I haven't seen other reports of their plugs crashing Reaper -- is being looked into. So they do customer service well also. Thanks to Melda. Now if I only had money...

Edit 2: The problem with MPhaser crashing is resolved -- it was specific to my computer model (ThinkPad T500), specifically its GPU (a terrible old Intel 950). Luckily it has another, much better GPU on board, and once I enabled it, the crashing stopped completely and all Melda plugins I've tried since work flawlessly -- it was my machine, not MPhaser! Huge thanks to Vojtech from MeldaProductions for his interest and communication on the matter.

MS-20 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 3rd January 2015
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by robohymn on 3rd January 2015.
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First of all, it only kind of sounds like an actual MS-20... but that isn't a problem, in my view. It's great on its own, in particular as an FX unit. I use the LPF as a wah effect on my guitar -- awesome, one of the best software wahs around. The filters in general are great, very good (if not actually spot-on) digital renditions of the old MS-20 filter sound. Love this plugin, but yeah, if you're looking for the authentic MS-20 sound, you may be a bit disappointed; appreciate it on its own merits, and it's a winner. (Edit: should also mention -- AWESOME, I mean truly, for bass sounds, especially if you follow them with a good tube saturation sim, Ferric TDS comes to mind among the free ones!)

TAL-Filter II [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 31st December 2014
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This is a really fantastic filter for the price -- free! I'd pay for it if it wasn't. Rather like LFOTool, but obviously not as comprehensive. Very nice, rich-sounding filter. Thanks to Togu.

Orchestral [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 20th December 2014
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
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Just have to say, many of Orchestral's sounds are still totally useable in 2014. Yeah I know there are crazy 20GB symphonic libraries out there that technically sound better, but this instrument still has a place in the mix. It really was/is a great product and I still use it constantly (still works fine on Win 7 64-bit in REAPER, no trouble at all with bridging, etc.).

Boogex [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 19th December 2014
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This is easily one of the best free amp plugins. The cleaner tones (in particular the factory preset "picky jazz") stand next to the commercial amp plugin I have in terms of tone and useability, no problem. Can load your own cabinet impulses! Also sounds nice running my hardware synths through it. Very nice job by Voxengo, they deserve thanks for releasing this free of charge.

D50v [read all reviews]
Reviewed By robohymn [read all by] on 20th October 2014
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
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This thing is pretty weak. Has some big problems loading normal SYSEX files no created by it or D-50 Librarian, which is actually better and free of charge but lacks the VST and parameter automation elements. I paid about $45 Canadian and it's not worth that, needs a lot of work to justify that price, but I don't feel TOTALLY ripped off -- I did get it working more or less fine in REAPER after a bunch of frustrating fiddling. Have a feeling it's basically abandoned by the developer -- if that's the case, I'd like to register my disgust with developers who discontinue development on half-finished products while continuing to happily charge full price for them. Kind of gross, especially since this thing wasn't even written in C, it was done in bloody SynthMaker or SynthEdit or whatever.

If you can easily afford MIDI Quest, go for that instead. That said, this DOES more or less work despite the major failings and the fact that the dev doesn't care but will charge you almost $50 anyway. Thanks for reading.