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KarmaFX Synth Modular [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trip [read all by] on 5th December 2007
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by trip on 5th December 2007.
9.00
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Aah, i´m first (the women would say "ooh, you´re first;-)). After recieving the full version in the recent weeks, it´s time for a review now.

User Interface
Karma comes with 3 skins. Personally i like the blue and syncro skin and the bouncy-wire-option:-). The whole modular-concept is very good thought-out and consumerfriendly illustrated (f.e. knob-movements or graphical-output). A great feature is the control-panel: you can minimize the whole synth (2x-click) to this display, where you can link knobs at freewill. This is very useful if you just want to play the synth and not program it. Maybe one small thing to beef is that only the input and not the output of the several modules can be displayed (right-click). This could be confusing in huge, unclear patches.

Sound
The sound is absolut fat and really analog. In my eyes it´s definitely not a sound for the inconspicuous background of a mix, altough can you do nice pads and ambient-like patches (yes i know, it all comes down to your programming-skills;-)). The filters are absolutely great, the envs have good speed and you have many sound-options like rm, fm, sync as well as several noise and env-choices.

Features
There are 45 modules which you can copy and rewire as much as you like. What else dou you need?! For me the most noticeable features are: the different filter-types, the modulator-options with f.e. hfo, free progammable envs/ stepsequencer and the pad/additive generator.

Documentation
It´s a good and extensive structured manual with many pictures and other graphical explanations,-). It didn´t leave unanswered question for me.

Presets
Alot and good quality. There´s an extra bank for effects only, which is nice for using karma as an fx-machine. Until now there are just a few banks from third parties, but i believe this changes quick;-).

Customer Support
I didn´t used it that much, so i have no complains.

Value For Money
As a prior donator i got it very low priced;-). But even for 80 euros it´s the ultimate bang for the buck. I don´t know any other synth in this pricerange (or in any other) which is as versatile and good-sounding like Karmafx.

Stability
It´s almost bug-free except some small blemsishs, in my case there were a few window-freezes in fl.

Conclusion: As it´s my first "real" modular synth, it´s hard for me to compare it with others. My reaktor-session is maybe better for sample-mangling and has better fx, but reaktor has far more time in developing. Karma is just a great playground and a good tool for learning how synthesizers work. Furthermore it has an outstanding sound which is the main factor i think;-).
CronoX [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trip [read all by] on 4th December 2007
Version reviewed: 3.5 on Windows.
Last edited by trip on 4th December 2007.
10.00
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Cronox has always been a good provider for my creative output. There are several reasons for this:

User Interface
I´am fan of this yellowish design since version 2. The recent UI is very precious with its golden finish. The whole layout is well designed for a good flowing work.

Sound
For me it sounds very pleasant and expensive. To keep the digital-analog-dispute alive, i would say it´s a excellent mix between both;-). Cronox can sound fat and cushy/airy, but not necessarily "brutal-analog" or thin. What i also find positive is
the quality of the effects-section, as it is usually the achilles heel of a synth. The only small downer is the discharge of the sound when switching presets, but peter had already promised to fix it.

Features
Cronox is a workhorse and i don´t miss a thing. I won´t list all the features here as you can read it above, but i want to name the most conspicuous in my eyes (loose order): precision-adjustment, free fx-chaining, filter saturation, great sampler possibilities, combining both osc and sampler modules, chord function, 5.1 mix, inbuilt appregiator and a good modulation matrix with exceptionally possibilities like vel/attack or lfo/ loopstart(-end). These i would say are not day to day features and upvalues Cronox a lot.

Documentation
I found it understandable and detailed enough, so even a less experienced person should understand it.

Presets
The big plus is the huge number of presets. The musical range is very good and the quality is as well, but for me the sampler is used too much (even i know the focus lies on sample-editing) so that not all of the synth-features are used and presented (which should be i.m.o.)

Customer Support
Really good. I exchanged a few mails with Peter and he is a kind and helpful person. Also the forum here at KVR is very active for quick support.

Value For Money
Highest score. When you compare it other with companies, it´s really inexpensive (not cheap;-)).

Stability
It never crashed and i never had a problem with it.

Conclusion: Cronox is a very versatile synth, due to the different sound synthesis. You can use it for all kind of sounds. Drum programming is maybe a little tricky, but therefore you can use the sampler. Some synthesis options are indeed not as sophisticated in comparison to "specialists" like fm-synths or pure sample-players, but i think this is not the aim here. All in all i´m a very satisfied owner of Cronox and recommend it to everyone.
Plex - Restructuring Synthesizer [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trip [read all by] on 28th March 2006
Version reviewed: ? on Windows.
Last edited by trip on 28th March 2006.
7.00
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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After selling Plex here on kvr, i think it´s time for a review;-)

The´re several reasons why i sold it:

1. The basic sound is for me very nasal. The´re are indeed some very nice presets, but when i tried to programm some patches from scratch, the results were in most cases unsatisfying. maybe other programmers have more luck.;-)

2. What i dislike most is the ´top-partial-component´, it sounds just like dripping in the pan....
And that´s the biggest problem: the several sound-components don´t blend together as one (it´s like you combine at random a lowpass and a highpass-sound, in common terms). Many combinations are senseless i.m.h.o., especially the one which the marketslogans courted for (can´t remember, i think it was a piano and a flute??!) :-)

3. I missed a semitone-controller, you can only choose the octave. Furthermore the phasersound is very onesided.

Beside this the´re are still some pro´s:
- great gui
- great env and lfo-options
- good "live"-options

conclusion: the plex isn´t that bad. if you´re fond of the provided samples and the basic sound, plex will do a good job for you.
Reaktor Player [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trip [read all by] on 2nd November 2005
Version reviewed: ? on Windows.
Last edited by trip on 3rd November 2005.
8.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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As this synth is cancelled, the chance is good to get some reduced offers. but even for the original price i definite recommend this synth(s) to everyone! Some ensembles of the included libary are worth the price alone f.e. vierring or greenmatrix. Yes, the libary is very good equipped: it has subtractive, wavetable, additive, physical modelling, granular, more or less fm, sample player and so on...!

GUI: i like it lot. I think this is how a "COMPUTER"-GUI should look like: not that mega 3d-orgy, great mouse-support with f.e. the often used xypads, a nice "scientific" look, drawable sequences, lots of windows where the audio-output is graphical displayed and a good overall layout for the workflow.

Sound: The reaktor-sound is to my ear very balanced and "neutral". The quality is really top notch! What astonishes me mostly are the built in choruses: i would say these are the best i´ve heard so far.

Features: too many to mention. it goes from great midi-implementation to synth-specific peculiarities like attack modulation, different lfo-speed on each voice, lots of tracking options, resonance behaviour and a lot more!

Documention: i think it´s a little bit short. All emsembles are introduced superficial, but there´s no in depth explanation.

Presets: A lot and most of them are good.

Customer Support: For Reaktor Session there´s no official support any longer. But there is a large community on the web, so you have a support from the user´s side.

VFM: 10 points!

Stability: Beside loading audiofiles with the sampleplayer, i haven´t found huge bugs so far.

Summary: If you have a little place left in your sound-arsenal, go for it. It´s one of the best synth around!
Actually i have to say synthS!, because RS has many different synthesis in one programm.
One last point: NI says, that you can´t build new instruments with RS. but that´s only the half of the truth, cause what you can do in the terms of ni is building "ensembles". That means that you can create ensembles f.e. with more than one synth, free configured effects-chains and eqs/ mixers if needed. So it´s "half modular" i would say, as you can´t build instruments from scratch.
Wasp [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trip [read all by] on 11th September 2005
Version reviewed: 2.0.15.1 on Windows.
Last edited by trip on 12th September 2005.
7.00
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This was one of my first synthesizers, so i´ll start with it:

User Interface
The GUI is easy to handle. The colours are more a matter of taste, but i like them and somehow they fit to the sound. The layout is well thought trough and there are no popup-menues where you don´t wear (or click) yourself out. Everything is right at hand. One weak point are the graphical envelopes: they´re a nice addon, but if you programm sounds with a bigger lenth, the envelopes vanish at the edge of the window. A plus point is the switchable fx-section.

Sound
It would describe the sound as more or less glamorous with a nice, brilliant shimmer. The sound is often very recognizeable, due to the filtermodes and the resonance. Personally i like both of the notchfilters for making brighter/ wider sounds. Also remarkable is the noise-osc. It´s not a normal noise, it´s very harsh and more FM or AM like. What bothers me is the fade in of the res, i think it becomes too quick too loud. Another problem is the env-speed. Good drums and percussion are hardly to achieve cause the envs are too slow and don´t give you enough punch, especially in lower registers. I think the strength of Wasp lies more in "metallic", stronger sounds (hard to describe) and/or in "strange" fx-patches.

Features
At first sight, Wasp seems not very extraordinary, but it offers a lot of options. It has FM, Ringmodulation, PW, Keytracking, Lfo-Sync, a sort of chorus and a distortion unit. The modulation-routings are in fact not numerous, but this forces you to plan your sound-design better. One thing i think to mention are the lfo-shapes: apart from the standard sine and square there are saw and noise (and what kind of noise!:-)) Furthermore Wasp offers a 7-band eq and three bread and butter fx-units: reverb, phaser and delay. The presets sound good and are quite useable, but personally i dislike the phaser-patches.

Documentation
The docs are very short and dry, so for a beginner they´re maybe not sufficient enough. For the more proficient users the manual offers no extra information.

Presets
Light and shadow here. Some fx and "wired"-presets are nice, but for me the distortion-unit is used too much. The pads are also good, but the drums and some leads are crap. As always i miss some of these "mellow-mood sounds". All in all i think the presets don´t show the full potential of the synth. I would add some classic fm (ringmod) presets (as possible) and/or more less "crude" patches.

Customer Support
I never used it, but the fl-homepage has a big forum with many users for well-founded assistance.

Value For Money
In my opinion the vfm is excellent. For the money you get a lot of soundpotential.

Stability
Wasp crashed sometimes in FL-Studio when i selected some presets in the fx-panel. When using a lot of fx (in my case, 1,3ghz, 256mbram) the cpu load can up to 15-20% with four voices. Normal patches use about 10% on an average.


Summary: Wasp is not a "neutral" synth. It has a well defined sound wich puts it in its own niche, so you like it or you like it not. I don´t know if it sounds like the hardware-pendant, but i recommend this synth to all who are looking for an extra sound possibility with easy programming.