A great easy to use limiter that sounds clear and clean... Very effective for adding volume without colouring the sound to much. Effective and impressive limiting for free!! Gonna see what else these guys are making... Thanks a lot 4Front.
Don't expect anyone to hear this and be fooled that it's the real thing, especially if it's prominently featured. But it can sound quite interesting nonetheless. I actually often use a bunch of effects on it to make it sound even less Rhodes-like, and I think that often works a lot better.
The low and high ends sound probably the least Rhodes-like of all, but the high end is really unique sounding, totally usable if you get creative with your effects.
I have the Native Instruments Rhodes and AAS Lounge Lizard, and they both sound more realistic than this, but I still keep finding uses for 4Front.
This is my go-to Bass guitar VSTi. Absolutely one of my favorites. I've got a few others I've used, but this one coupled with the BassGrinder amp... MAN.
Yes, it's got the classic Fender P-Bass sound. it just needs coupling with the right bass amp mod to get the right tone for your needs. You could porbably do the "Another Brick in the wall" bass tone with very little tweaking on whatever bass amp mod you prefer.
As I've mentioned in other reviews, so that you all know where I'm coming from, I'm a metal guitar player, and like just about everyone else here, I'm self taught in keyboards.
I tried using the pre-recorded samples, and wasn't happy with those. So I downloaded about six different bass VSTi's, and I've used this one the most. very little CPU usage, decent sound right off the bat. I tend you like growly basses, like Gibsons (I used to have a G3 and a Grabber... never did get that Thunderbird, alas!)
I'd say that on probably 70% of my album, this was the bass I turned to right away. The others... well, I'll probably be redoing those with this VST.
It's free, low CPU, sounds great, easy to mix and match to whatever sound you need... To me, it's a no-brainer.
Now, if you're a knob tweaker, it's gonna frustrate you. There's nothing to tweak. but whatever Bass amp mod you use, hey, tweak to your heart's content.
I'm usually writing my MIDI with one instance of it, then I duplicate the track once it's done in Reaper. I'll pan them equally (between 8% and 12% to give separation from the drums). It helps to think like a bass player... octave pops are something bass players are fond of, so if you're doing a phrase twice, do one rep in an upper octave and one in a lower. But that's getting more into the territory of a tutorial, and not a review.
You can listen to it here! The Fifth Seal features my imitation of a Gibson bass...
Truepianos wants to be as good as sampled ones. Until recently, it was struggling to achieve that and lossing to its bigger rivalry, Pianoteq. Then, atlantis module appeared.
The atlantis module version 2.0 preview is absolutely amazing. It really sounds like a true piano... Fantastic work on achieving a truly piano sound. The only thing negative to say is it could have the option for adding hammer sounds. Maybe on the official 2.0 version it will have.
The diference between Truepianos and sampled ones is almost none. Prime quality for a low price as 110€ and a minimal footprint of 90MB on you PC or MAC. How about that.
The demo version does not do any justice to this VSTi, it based on the diamond module that is far from being the best one.
To get a real feel of how does de atlantis module sounds, please watch this video and audio in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erxbh8YEet8
This plugin has over 6 years on it's back, and still this plugin finds it's way into many users. If you need a piano plugin that you can tweak the hall out then this ain't for you. This is a basic one sound electric piano in the DX range. Do you have a MIDI keyboard and want to play some piano, then this is a good step on the way. If you need some soulful crappy balad piano then this is for you, but I would much rather let this one rest peacefully when there is a whole lot of samplers who allready posesses sounds like this one, and more. So is it any good? It's a twoedged sword I'd say. Perfect for beginners who need a solid piano to practice their skills on, quite lame if you need a piano for studio recordings. So limited it is most likely you won't find much use for it, but what the heck it is freeware so one can't crave it all here.
GUI: Not important. Nothing to tweak Sound: Semigood at best. Features: Limited to say the least. Docs: Unavailable Presets: One only, the default one. Support: Haven't needed it yet. Value for money: Freeware, so id doesn't matter. Stability: Had a few crashes, but that is most likely to be due to the hosts I've used.Read Review
TruePianos is the latest offering in what might almost be called the current movement against over-large sampled instruments. If the movement really existed, its main philosophy would be something like "more is not necessarily better". 12 extra gigabytes of samples doesn't equate to a more playable instrument - rather, some developers seem to think that more samples means you can skimp on the programming, the result being more of a sample collection than a coherent instrument which really "gels" under the player's fingertips. Add to that the absurdely long installation and load times - the market is truly ready for instruments that install in a flash, load in a second, and pays attention to more that the number of bits in the samples.
TruePianos uses piano samples as the base for the sound, but then applies various PM and other techniques to produce the finished tone. Among the benefits is a small hard disk footprint (each current piano module is well under 100 MBs in size), 127 "velocities" per note (= as smooth as the MIDI standard allows), and the modelling of various characteristics of a piano not easy to get right in pure sampled pianos (sympathetic resonance, re-pedalling, change in timbre when re-striking notes.)
Points scoring for TruePianos is a bit tricky at the moment, since it is still very much an instrument in development. My current points are a reflection of the current state, and can change very shortly.
User interface: This is as much "click and go" as you can expect from a VSTi instrument. Basically, select your piano module, select a "preset" for that piano (which more often than not resembles a fixed EQ setting, but can contain other tweaks to the sound as well), and off you go. It also has an "Advanced settings" page which is basically centered around getting the instrument matched to your playing style and the keyboard's velocity response, plus some CPU-related tweaks to the sound engine.
Sound: With two completely different piano modules included at this date, and more on the way, the sound of TruePianos is whatever the future makes it.
The current Diamond module is a very "middle of the road" grand piano sound, useable in a wide variety of styles and settings. The Emerald module is a more hollow-sounding and "plonky" module.
Compared to "the other small great piano", the Modartt Pianoteq, the TruePianos sound is more reminiscent of traditionally sampled pianos. While I personally have a tendency to enjoy pure physically modelled instruments because of the extra liveliness and expression to the sound, I think quite a lot of people will feel more at home with the TruePianos slightly more conventional timbre.
Features: We need to split this one into two parts, really.
a) Pianos mechanics and FX. TruePianos does some very important things well that most sampled pianos DON'T do. Re-pedalling and modulation of note re-strikes are among them. On the other hand, it doesn't do some other things that you would almost expect from an instrument bearing the bold name of "TruePianos" (they really stuck their neck out on that one, didn't they?) Right now, these include a Sostenuto mechanism (coming soon, according to the developer), individual damper-off sympathetic resonance, half-pedalling for progressive sustain pedals, and "mechanical sounds" like hammer-ons and pedal movement. (Although those have nearly always struck me as a lame addition to sampled pianos, trying to add "realism" the easy way. It's not as if any real piano-maker ever said "hey, I'm going to design a really GOOD pedal creaky noise!")
b) Adjustability. In accordance with the "click-and-go" philosophy, there is a complete lack of sound-tweaking abilites apart from the provided presets. There is no built-in user-adjustable EQ. There is no built-in reverb. The message is clearly "We deliver a mostly dry piano sound. If you want to process it, use external processors."
Documentation: If there ever was an instrument doesn't need any, this is it...
Presets: With 9 presets for the Diamond and 7 for the Emerald, there is a fair amount to choose from. But see Features above.
Customer Support: These guys are 100% behind their product - that kind of obsession tends to put its mark in the support department, too.
Value for money: This score is likely to go up one or even two points as soon as one or more extra piano modules with a quality equal to the Diamond module gets released. (Remember, those buying the instrument now are also ensured free updates for a year.)Read Review
USER INTERFACE: Another plain, simple, yet non-obstructive GUI from 4Front. Suited in white, black, and grey, it almost looks as if it's taking your order at a classy restaurant. Since software hasn't made that advance though, the GUI instead provides a straightforward answer to what the plugin was meant to do. Very effective and almost relaxing when I just want to compose rather than worry about the parameters. It scores a 10 for simplicity and efficiency.
SOUND: The quality of the sound produced by the 4front Piano Module is really a matter of taste. Personally, I find it to be full bodied, perfectly recorded, and extremely unique. It's remeniscent of an old tack piano. Sort of like the one the beatles used at Abbey Road studios, except how it would sound now all these years later. I've used this vsti in several tracks and have always been pleased with the results. It's full of character and really gives a song a "Distinctive" sound that seperates it from the rest. Every key is recreated perfectly, so well in fact, that you can actually hear the key press down. I've also found it to be great for emulating piano lines played on old vinyl records. Add izotope's Vinyl plugin to the insert rack and I think you'll be very happy with what you hear. Despite me being obviously happy with the sound of this plugin, I have scored it an 8 due to the fact that it may be a little misleading to a few users. One might download it with the expectation of getting a typical clean grand piano sound and be unhappy with the chunky, phased sound of this particular piano. It's not for everyone is all i'm saying.
FEATURES: This category does not really apply. The 4Front Piano Module is simply that...a piano wrapped in the VST SDK so it can be easily used in your VST setup. No knobs, no buttons, no hastle. Just plug-and-play.
PRESETS: This is another category that doesn't apply as it is a single preset player.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Although I've never needed it for this particular plugin, I've always found 4front's support to be top notch. They have always been approachable and willing to go that extra mile to help me out.
VALUE FOR MONEY: It doesn't cost a thing aside from some of your bandwidth. With how much I've used it, I'd say it far surpasses any value, especially considering it's free.
STABILITY: 150%. Low CPU consumption, no clicks, cracks, or clunks and most importantly, no crashes. I've used this plugin in more than a few hosts, and on many occasions. It's never given me a problem.
OVERALL: If you want a piano with personality, download this immediately. Or, if you are looking to recreate a vintage type of sound, again, you might want to check this out. It's a great piece of work, provided at no cost to you. In my opinion, you can't go wrong. I will continue to use it in my compositions and samples.Read Review
This is a nice little gem which seems to find its way into just about all of my recordings (except when a Rhodes ir synth bass fit better, or when I record a live bass, of course). It has a nice, simple, basic sound which fits well into a mix and can be processed in many ways; I recommend the C3 multiband compressor. It works best as a supporting player, holding down the bottom end while other parts shine. Its expressivity is limited, but that can be offset by sensitive use of envelope followers, distortion, and the like. It also works reasonably well in the midrange as a rhythmic keyboard sort of sound.
Don't get me wrong; you won't want to fire your bass player. But you will probably find yourself using this in demos, home recordings, and maybe even the occasional professional piece. It sounds good, it's totally reliable, it uses very few resources, and it's free -- what's not to like?
Notes on my ratings --
User Interface: None to speak of, but none needed.
Sound: Great in a mix, so-so solo. Warm and a touch edgy.
Features: Works as a weird synth on top, if processed. But it's a one-trick pony.
Documentation: None needed!
Presets: None possible (which is kind of the whole problem...)