I use FL Studio, and its Fruity Reeverb and Fruity Reeverb 2 are pretty limited. I've used AAR for a few months now, and along with the Uhbik package (Uhbik-A, in my personal opinion, is the only one that comes close to AAR), I never find myself missing the perfect reverb sound to use in any of my songs. In regards to AAR, I either find what I need in the unbelievably realistic presets, modify some to taste, or make my own from scratch in the midst of writing a song. Breakdown:
I like it. There isn't anything I would change about it, and I dabble in graphics design myself.
The quality of sound from AAR is incredibly detailed, and makes me wish I have better headphones than my current Shure SRH240A ones so that I can get the full effect. I've used AAR with many different virtual instruments, ranging from high quality sample libraries like Neo-Soul Keys and Strawberry Evolution Electric Guitar, to VSTi's like Zebra and TruePianos, to even free soundfonts! AAR can make even a free soundfont sound good (the soundfont itself just has to not sound absolutely terrible. ;D). Also, regardless of whether or not you make a good or bad preset, the quality itself sounds fantastic. It's extremely difficult to go wrong with this quality.
This is unbelievably customizable. There's wet/dry (of course), decay, attack, predelay, density, diffusion, room size, room type (small, large, dense, slapback, strong, etc.), modulation, high/low cut customizable knobs with visual representation for damping, and more! What I like most, aside from the time graph, the high/low cut and damping frequency visual, and the freedom for room type, is that you can double click the knob/slider to enter in a manual value for the knob/slider! It's incredible how many reverb plugins don't do that.
The interface is extremely user-friendly. First is the time graph and frequency representations in the GUI. It lets you know exactly what it is you are modifying. The possibilities of reverb effects are (subjectively) endless. If you can't find what you need in the 200+ presets, you can always make your own. It only took me about 2 or 3 days to figure out what every knob and slider did, and I have never extensively made my own reverb presets before I purchased this product. It's literally the first reverb I think of when starting any song.
I don't particularly remember what the file size was (it's quite small), but I can recall the RAM consumption was minimal. If I had to estimate, I would say loading 5 instances on FL Studio wouldn't add more or too much more than 100 MB to the physical memory. Definitely good for about 99% of customers' music-making computers.
VALUE FOR PRICE:
I don't regret buying this product for a moment. AAR is, by far, the best reverb plugin I've ever used. It's completely worth the $189 or 189 euros, if not more. You'll get the immediate satisfaction as soon as you give it a valid test (i.e. piano with a reverb preset meant for piano, rather than, say, guitar with a reverb preset meant for synth pads).
I highly recommend it for anyone who's looking for professional-sounding reverb. IMHO, this cannot be beat.
I was a little surprised to see that nobody had reviewed this plugin so I decided to do it by myself. I am not so good making reviews because I have small concentration problems and also because english is not my native language. But here we go anyways.
I have been trying to avoid having too many compressors my toolbox so I can prevent myself turning into a collector. I prefer to own a few specialized tools that I know well instead of having 25 different ones that have obviously will have a lot of overlap. That kind of behavior is just a waste of money for me. I am not looking for jack of all trades when it comes to compressors anymore, but unique tools that do their own thing and do it good. Even though there are many interesting compressors out there, and I also happen to like everything new and shiny, I still try to justify every compressor I buy. While CL-1 is not the most affordable compressor in the market in my opinion it was still easy for me to decide whether I should buy it or not. I try my best to explain my reasoning below.
First of all, I don't think there is a compressor that can do everything, and this is why people always seem to be using multiple compressors. I tried to put all of my compression needs into a different categories so I can avoid spending my money on compressors I don't really need. So here are my categories based on my own needs:
1. Masterbus Compression (1-3db of gr)
I like this kind of compressor to be very transparent from it's nature. It needs to be able to massage all elements in a song together and make things sound more finished. 2bus compressor of my choice compression definitely needs a HPF filter because I am mostly addicted into electronic dance music. Anything that changes the tonal balance or adds even low amounts of distortion is not good in my opinion. So I am not looking for colorful compressors on my 2bus. I prefer to do those things with separate tools. My2bus compressor must have a good metering and the capability to do mid/side processing. I expect the masterbus compressor to be something that can add a bit of that golden dust into my songs.
2. Limiting (1-6db of gr)
I am using two limiters. One that is very transparent ends up being used in the master channel only because it adds too much latency for being used in anything else. I am also using this limiter to add dithering. It's nice to have a dithering built into the limiter so I don't need a separate product for that. Another limiter is being used on instrument tracks if needed because it has lower latency and lower CPU usage compared to my main limiter. Important requirement are also the ease of use and good metering.
3. Drum Bus Compression (1-6db of gr)
Something that is easy to use and don't have too many parameters to slow me down. It needs to be punchy and to be able add a touch of harmonic distortion to my drums without messing with the tonal balance too much. I don't like anything that kills the transients and makes everything sound flat. There is nothing worse than to have EDM track that has drumsounds that don't cut trough the mix.
4. Transparent General Compression (1-20db of gr)
Basic digital compressor with versatile controls to make it work for most instruments. Main requirements are low CPU usage, transparent sound and good range for all the parameters so it can be made work for as many cases as possible.
5. Sidechain / FX / Colour Compression (1-10db of gr)
I like my kick->bass sidechain compression to be very obvious so I usually set it so it can be easily heard. This kind of compressor needs to be able to pump like there is no tomorrow. The ability to emphasize the the attack proportion of a bass or lead sound is must. Very musical attack and release curves and the input drive capable of annihilating your neighbors or enemies is also a basic requirement. I expect my FX compressor to transform small chihuahuas into vicious bull terriers that will bite your leg off if your not careful so to speak.
So what category is CL-1? While it can do limiting and M/S processing I would most certainly say that it belongs into the category that gives me the most pleasure which is FX compression. I am so excited about CL-1 that I hardly know what to tell about it. CL-1 is in my opinion the best plugin compressor of it's kind. Many compressors sound almost identical to each other and they have nothing really interesting going on because of that. To put it short they have nothing that truly separates separates them from the competition. Just generic, boring and transparent "digital" compression that works for everyday use.
CL-1 by ArtsAcoustic is something else, it does not sound like a typical plugin compressor at all. It's a cliche but It really sounds like hardware. I get good vibes every time I use it. It just feels so good. I have to say that for my taste CL-1 does not work so well on masterbus or any group channels because it adds some much colour. With the colour I mean the whole package of distortion, dynamics and tone.
CL-1 can separate weak "forgive me that I exist" synth sounds from the crowd and transform them into something that will rip their way trough the mix I could replace most of my compressors with something else but not this one.
I have had hard time figuring out why nobody talks about CL-1. Maybe because it's not made by one of the "cool" companies and it's not an emulation of a know classic piece of gear either.
All I can say is that while CL-1 is not something I reach first when I need to get the dynamics under control, it's the first thing in my mind every time time when I need to have a synthbass or lead in your face.
Something has to be said about the distortionof this plugin. I am generally very picky when it comes to digital distortion algorithms. My experience is that so many of them don't sound musicall at all, and they can also easily ruin the mix. Digital distortion effects usually have small sweet spot compared to good analog distortion, which on the other hand can sound so much smoother even when it's used "out of range". Something in this plugin just whispers into my ear : "turn it into max". I rarely get that feeling with plugins. This plugin just invites me to abuse it. In my opinion the input drive of CL-1 is a achievement in itself that is worth of applauding. I sometimes use this plugin only for the overdrive characteristics. The input drive is so tasty and inspiring. Like some good analog gear, CL-1 can take the abuse. I usually try to avoid using extreme settings in plugins. But CL-1 has such a huge sweet spot that it almost invites me to use it to shape shape the sound into something totally new.
CL-1 changes the tonal balance quite a bit which is not what I am looking if I am compressing a group channel. But I have to say that the way this plugin pushes lowmid's/mid's for single instruments is nothing short of amazing.
My conclusion is that even though this plugin costs more than many other compressors it's really worth money. CL-1 has amazing sound and just the right set of features. I normally go for the cheapest plugins but It's because of the sound why I don't think this is expensive at all. It's actually quite a bargain considering how good it sounds. I don't remember experiencing even a single crash with this plugin so it's also quite stable. At least on my system that is.
I would like to congratulate ArtsAcoustics for their hard work. I am a big fan of you guys and I can hardly wait to see what's coming up next.
I'll begin by telling you that there are two kinds of phaser effect: those that are, and those that aren't - nearbeer designs to the smallstone are rare as dodo's because there's only one smallstone - and not just in the real world either.
You can search google and wiki to find precisely why, but artsacoustic have managed to create 'the' version.
Why other companies have transmogrified the notquite design of boss/ibenez phasers is a mystery sort of answered on their website. The main thing is that they've managed to do it where no-one else seems to have even bothered.
Smallstone wasn't the first/original phaser - just the best. And the BigRock for all intents and purposes is also the best: the best vst phaser.
How they arrived at the realisation that there was something needing addressing is as irrelevent as the cause of art. They've succeeded in making a lot of people very happy.
So to this mysterious sound - it's Lush, Rich, Opulent, Shimmering, Chinese Silk, Blueberry Milk, Redolent, Whipped Honey, Vanilla Cream, Porter, Wine, Whiskey, Opal Ruby Emerald Amethyst Sapphire, Oceanic, Rain Forest, Purple Haze, Middle Earth, Rainbows at Night, Hubble Telescope, Apple Blossom, Summer Sunsets, Minor Chords, Morning Snowflakes, Chocolate Coffee, Autumn Mists, Starfields, Golden Syrup on Devilled Ham, Spring Showers, Valley Breeze, Alien Disco, Beef Stroganoff, Orange Juice, Halfsleep, Exotic Holiday, Venus, Saturn, Reflective Lakes, Beautiful Girls, Gotham City, Blade Runner, The King's Banquet, Scotland, Irish Castles, Siberia, Sahara, Australian Outback, Amazon River, Lasagna, Mudcake, Afterdinner Mints, Perfume of the Girl Who Just Left The Room...Read Review
As a film composer in Los Angeles, one of the many tasks of my job is to create a realistic sounding electronic mock-up of the score for a director to audition. Two key ingredients are essential in successfully achieving this feat: the choice of the sample libraries used (the “source”) and the choice and use of the reverbs (the “space”).
The way in which I work involves running as much of the studio in as real-time fashion as possible, permitting me to make fast composing or mixing changes on the fly. As I have to provide a very elaborate full-on orchestral presentation, many computers have to be utilized to reproduce it, which also means many subtle layers of reverberation have to be added into the mix. Using hardware reverb boxes would be very cost-prohibitive and complicated to integrate, so a software solution was the only realistic option. Unfortunately, most software offerings weren't up to snuff in the quality department...until the introduction of the Arts Acoustic reverb (AAR) plug-in.
After listening to the mp3 demos posted on the Arts Acoustics website, then downloading and running the demo version of the plug-in within my sequencer, I was instantly hooked. My first impression was how “musical” it sounded, inspiring me to write a new piece of music just from playing a sampled piano through it. This reverb has no metal-edged artifacts that plague most other software reverbs, and it always finishes with an ultra-smooth tail--typical desirable characteristics of a high-end hardware box.
AAR includes many useful presets to get you started, yet it's fast and easy to dial-in a sound or “color” as well, due to its excellent control facilities and GUI. I’ve never worked with a reverb that always sounded so great no matter how much I intentionally abused its controls--AAR's sound always sounds musical. Quickly winning me over, I purchased AAR and didn't waste any time putting it into very heavy use on my projects.
One of the best features--specifically in my case--is the flexible usage clause of the AAR license agreement. You can run as many instances on as many different computers (doesn't matter which plug-in format or even which platform) as you want! My studio setup is configured to run 18 separate AAR reverbs spanned across 7 computers (and AAR is relatively CPU friendly for what it does). This setup is absolutely essential for me to be able to produce the sonic illusion of a real orchestra performing on a Hollywood soundstage.
Having had many email conversations directly with the Arts Acoustic Team, as well as participating on the Arts Acoustic KVR-hosted Forum, I can happily report excellent customer service and support. They have always answered my questions in a timely manner, before and also after the sale, a quality which I find is sometimes lacking with other companies.
I can't rave enough about AAR's smooth-as-silk sound, ease of use, unlimited simultaneous usage license, very affordable cost, and on top of all of that, superb, personalized customer service.
The Arts Acoustic Reverb has been the only reverb I've needed to help produce polished, smooth, professional film scores.Read Review
As many know I am a big fan of this plugin. I was surprised to find that no one had reviewed it. As the company just gave us a wonderful update I guess it is time.
Know that I have many reverb plugins in my folder. Some have very specific uses which I could not do without but there is no question on the quality, usability and versatility here. If I could only have one verb this would be it.
GUI: The GUI is quite usable and understandable. One is given a basic graph of what is going on under the hood which leads to very fast and competent parameter manipulation. Once you understand what affects what (as in any plugin) everything is laid out very nicely. The Float-Editing Window is also handy when finessing the sound. If I dont like a GUI I tend not to use a plugin very much. This one is easy and useful. My only complaint here is the color- no biggie, and I do like the fun meter scheme.
Sound: This is hands down the best native reverb in the marketplace today. As an algorithm designer for many years for one of the most sought after high end hardware lines available, I can say with conviction this is as close to high end hardware as I have heard and in many cases better. One can generate lots of different textures and one is able to pocket different sources while mixing. This will not bury things unless you wish to. It stands out above other reverbs when coloring a sound is desired. This is not a 'one-trick-pony'. It has been a much valued bit of kit in my arsenal. From Stick and guitar to vocals to drums to ambient textures it is my first choice in reverb. What I can not get from it I load in a convolution reverb where I use things like Spiritcanyon IR's or wavefiles to morph/mangle a source in a sound design manner. They just drastically lightened the CPU load and included 64 bit so I will be less inclined to load a lesser plugin in times where CPU was an issue (Ableton Live on a Mac).
Features: The design flexibility and interaction of this structure leads to VERY variable sonics. It is laid out in a very easy manner and one has full control and response from the parameters. By this I mean that altering say Diffusion leads to usable color change across the entire span of the control. The interaction of this parameter to others means one can fine tune or paint with broad strokes as needed. The available Time and Room parameters offer a lot of flexibility in tuning the space and getting instruments to sit properly. One is not limited to a specific color from this plugin (within the constraints of a reverberant field - it is a reverb by definition).
The echo and modulation sections are stellar and for me one of the reasons I tried the plugin in the first place. As an algorithm based effect this is a perfect match to a good convo verb. In contrast to convolution (a static effect ie no possible modulation) the ArtsAcoustic Reverb can swim. It can also be loud, which is as it should be, and missing from every other software reverb I have. And the spacial aspects of this plugin is fabulous.
Docs: The manual is well laid out and gives a lot of information not only on this product but in the realm of reverb in general. Worth reading even if you are an expert. No downside so not much else needs to be said.
Presets: The supplied presets are well thought out and will inspire as well as get you in the ballpark. But know that Reverb like EQ and Compression is never a freebee, you must tweak to get the most out of it. But tweaking is quite simple.
Support: I have had excellent support from AA. I had trouble with an update (my own fault) and had replies from them almost immediately and this was in the wee hours their time - I was floored. They got me up and running fast and I could not be happier with their assistance and willingness. "Thanks for your quick help, I actually did not expect to hear from you until tomorrow... No problem, we try the best we can. We're satisfied when the user is." We have all heard that sort of talk before but I can assure you in this case it is meant. Also they have one of the best UL's I have seen and know that several users found this very valuable. All this in an age of proliferating dongles and Pace. :)
Value For Money: No question this software is worth every cent they are asking. They have also taken the high road and not succumbed to many desires of 'group buys' which tend to lower the value of ones purchase, if for some insane reason you decided you wished to resell this software.
Stability: For myself I have had exactly zero stability issues. In Ableton it does take some time to draw the GUI first time up but no problems with audio issues, instantiating, loading/saving presets or parameter manipulation. Ditto in my other hosts and now with AU I wont need to wrap it which worked fine for me.
Complaints: None. This has filled a very important hole in my rig as I moved off hardware. Now I wish someone would offer me an equivalent quality VST/AU PitchShift package.Read Review