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Digital Exploration for UVI Falcon [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 5th July 2017
Version reviewed: 1 on Any OS
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Falcon has two sides. A lot of the soundware concentrates on its sample skills. So its really nice to see a set devoted to its synthesis.

A first run through these 200 presets shows a lot of taste in their sound choices. Almost all patches seem immediately useful in a musical sense. Effects are well chosen and not overly showy. Stand out area is the pads. Some really delicious sounds here. Well recommended.

Catanya [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 18th November 2009
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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While many VSTis contain their own arpeggio features, this external VST takes things quite a bit beyond the normal up/down/rand style of pattern. Its main focus is to produce MIDI patterns given keyboard input (usually in the form of chords). In this respect it starts to resemble phrase generation systems such as Korg's Karma etc.

Installation was simple and the tutorial videos on their web site get you up and running quickly. The UI is large and clear. Functions are well presented and the preset browser makes navigation very simple.

To my mind its biggest selling point was the extensive preset patterns provided. With over 1000 patterns in well organised categories, you will find plenty of usable and creative ways to process your MIDI input. The presets cover many bases; melodic chord work, bass lines, drums etc etc and many styles; classical, rock, dance, world etc.

At the moment the main negative point is the lack of a manual, but their website has handy tutorials and posts on KvR have indicated a manual is in the works.

If you find yourself in a bit of rut composition wise, this plugin could very well unblock those creative juices again.

FT
Elephant [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 14th July 2004
Version reviewed: 2.1 on Windows
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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Voxengo have been accumulating quite a good reputation for their effects plugins. They offer handy demo versions and are active in supporting the products in forums such as KvR. About the only negative thing I can say is that the sheer range of effects can be a little daunting. Some of the effects do seem a bit esoteric and leave you wondering just where you would use them in a mix.

One of the more straight forward (at least in terms of use) is Elephant. Its a Mastering Limiter so its pretty clear where to try it first; slapped across the outputs of a full mix. The provided documentation is pretty good. It offers an overview of the features clamied for Elephant, a run down of the UI and a few hints and tips on use.

I tend to prefer 'plug-n-mix' style effects rather than hundreds of (mis)tweakable parameters. Elephant has a simple control surface and a bunch of handy, and well named presets to get you going. Applied to an old project, I could hear the claims were true right away. Elelphant limits with very few artifacts (such as volume pumping etc). The EQ of my mix remained uncoloured but could take on anything from subtle limiting to 'boy thats too much' loudness. A mid-ground preset on dance style material produced a much louder sounding mix without any loss of clarity and 'punch'. lower settings used on an ambient style track were more subtle but still gave a very nice boost to the mix.

At a mere $69 (and available with other Voxengo plugins as bundle deals) it seems very good value. It does what it says on the tin with little fuss but a lot of quality. Stability has been excellent under Nuendo and Wavelab with no hangs or unwanted noises.
Guitar Rig [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 13th July 2004
Version reviewed: 1.10 on Windows.
Last edited by flametop on 13th July 2004.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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I'm not going to compare Guitar Rig (GR) with real hardware amps. By now I think most people will have made their mind up about modeling vs tubes etc. This review will be in the context of a modeling solution for a PC.

GR offers three main types of modeling; Amps, Speakers/Mics and Effects. In addition it ships with its own custom foot controller. All this is wrapped up in a stand-alone/vst/dxi/rtas format.

Amp wise you dont get as many models as some other packages, but the main 'bread-n-butter' styles are there. Vox, Fender, Mesa and Marshall types are available in 1.10. However, you do get to tweak the amps more than some packages. Things like variac power supplies, tube bias etc can be tweaked. This gives the amp models a far wider range than would at first be seen.

The 'more tweaks' theme is carried over to the cab/mic models. The big feature is being able to setup multi-cab/mic setups, either fed by a single amp or multiple amps. A wide range of cabs and micing techniques are modeled.

Its really 'effects-r-us' for the remainer. A whole box full of virtual pedals covering all the standard guitar effects varieties.

Taken as a package, I think the sounds possible are very good. GR does seem to handle clean or crunch slightly better than full out distortion. To my ears some of the 'flat out' sounds sound a little synthetic.

But beware, its possible to tweak things the wrong way and get some truely horrible sounds, but thats the price of flexability.

The demo offers a chance to try it out, but lacking the foot pedal and the full library, you really only get a taste. The pedal works very well. Having a responsive rocker pedal that can be linked to any setting is fantastic. It can be a wah-wah or volume, or trem rate, or depth or twin amp balance etc etc. Very expressive patches are possible. The pedal is strange as it uses audio for the control signals rather than USB etc. Having said that, it worked straight out of the box.

GR ships with an enormous set of presets. These cover almost all guitar styles. Some nu-metal devotees may be disapointed though. CPU usage is reasonable, nothing taxing my 2.8 P4 unduely.

Buyers should ensure they have a suitable I/O device for their PC though. Personally find anthing with a latency over 10ms hard to play to. I use a Edirol FA101 and find it fine with no timing problems when playing.

Authorisation is via NI's now standard challenge response system. Support appears good and they have setup a users library to exchange presets.

In summary, GR offers a massive range of tones and effects. The sound can be very 'real' or very weird, you choose. The hardware may seem to make it expensive, but it really does expand the expression available through the software better than other systems I have tried.



FT
FX Teleport [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 10th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows.
Last edited by flametop on 10th October 2003.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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Install:

Given the relative complexity of networked PCs, this could easily be a nightmare. However, as long as you read the install notes and get the concepts of which machine is 'host' which is 'server' etc clear, it was a total breeze. Everything worked on first attempt!

Features:

Good, simple, UIs make setting up hosted plugins and then the monitoring of them easy. The host and server settings mirror eachother instantly (e.g. you can change patch on the host or server). So far all the native plugins I have tried have worked flawlessly. Even complex multi-out VSTis like Cube and D'cota. I have not tried any 'powered' plugins (e.g. UAD or Creamware) but indications from other users on the support forum are that they work fine too.

Documentation:

A little above average, but with some flaws. e.g. All the documentation refers to 'effects' which lead me to belive that VSTis were not supported (they are! :)

CSUP:

I paid and got the auth code within seconds. The demo is fully functional for 14 days.

Value:

Well worth the price to get some use from an old PC, or if you plan building an uber-network.

Stability:

So far no problems at all.

Overall:

A brilliant concept implemented in a simple to use, cost effective way.
Cube [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 3rd July 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by flametop on 4th July 2003.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Additive synthesis has always been the poor relation to subtractive. The biggest problem is the number of partials needed to generate decent spectra, and their control. With up to 512 partials in Cube its plain you cant just set a separate UI ADSR for each!

Cube presents the additive engine via a UI that allows morphing between four sources (A..D). Each source can be edited for partial level, attack, decay, filter, pan and noise. Complex spectral movement is accomplished by morphing between the different sources. There are a set of preset sources (vocal style vowels, Saw/Triangle etc) for you to start from.

The UI is well laid out and presents clear information on its settings. The X/Y morph envelopes can be viewd both as single time vs level envelopes and a 2D vector on the central UI area. Some improvement could be made here as it sometimes hard to find when 'end' of the vector display is which, all envelope points are drawn in the same colour apart from the currently selected. Perhaps the end and start points could also be coloured differently?

Cube seems best suited to sounds that have movement in their high frequency spectrum. This makes it a very good companion to other subtractive synths. Electric Pianos, Pads, Choirs and rythmic pulses etc seem to be it forte. Its quite thristy on CPU power if you just ramp up the number of partials for no reason, but with some tweaking it can be made no more resource hungry than many other VSTi.

The manual is brief but well written and easy to follow. Perhaps a background chapter on additive synthesis would make it better for first time users.

So far Cube has been very stable. No crashes, just a few times the 'randomize' feature has produced a patch thats so complex it overloads my 1Ghz PIII CPU.

In summary, I'm very happy with Cube. It opens a door to a whole new range of sounds and is great fun to use.

FT

PS. The 1.01 version was released just after I posted this review. It now animates the GUI to show the morphing process in realtime. So forget that comment about the vector display being confusing. Its a breeze to work out now. Well done VirSyn.
V-Station [read all reviews]
Reviewed By flametop [read all by] on 23rd May 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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As an A-Station owner, I knew what I wanted from a Novation synth. The V-Station does not disappoint. Novation have based their hardware range on fat sounding virtual analogue systems. The V-Station has this sound down to a tee. If anything it sounds a little crisper than the A-Station. The 200 presets are mainly directed towards 'dance' style sounds; fat mono-basses, trance leads etc etc, but theres some very nice pads and 'traditional' patches in there too. Under Cubase SX and Nuendo, the plugin has been very stable. CPU wise, I'd class it middle ground. I can run 4 V-Stations and a Stylus on 1Ghz PIII. The UI is clear and easy to use. I feel its good value for money too.