Can't believe I never reviewed this back in the day. It's great. Odd lost genius thing. I mean it doesn't look great, it's not 100% stable, it's synthedit. But the way it's put together you can't avoid making new weird growling rasping sounds that move, that can crawl about by themselves. Nothing like a modern softsynth. No waveform editing, no morphing, no learning curve, plenty inspiration.
This synth attempts and succeeds to break new ground in sound. To be honest I haven't heard anything that sounds exactly like it, it has a unique flavor to it.
But mostly, it is packaged as a String-modelling synth, and its shiny user-interface is based on the wood you see in violins and cellos. For those looking for a realistic Orchestral VST for their studio, I must warn you, this synth gets close but does not sound exactly like your standard bowed string instruments. However, the sounds it creates are unique, rich and believable at times, subdued or leading, and it is definitely worth opening up and trying it out. When you consider how complex it must be to try and model a bowed string sound using a program, you can see that a lot of hard work went into this, and the result is quality.
This synth has character of its own and makes bowed instruments sounds that don’t exist in real life yet are close to realistic and it will find a place in your projects if you let it.
Something about this instrument that might be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it, is that on the user interface there is a keyboard with a line going across it that apparently allows you to make the filter and “overtone” react differently to different keys. While this is a neat feature, I’d love to see the ability to turn it off or an easy way to reset points on the line. StringZ2 is loaded with a variety of presets and some of the presets make great use of the keyboard-image filter.
So for features, it has a bit more than you expect, for example is the feature I just mentioned, but also there are 2 ADSR envelopes (one for volume and one for time). There are also reverb and a lot of other useful parts that are pleasant to look at and easy enough to navigate. As for stability, you see, I’m running a dual core computer and this VST is made with SynthEdit. And as with all SynthEdit creations, I can’t run more than one instance at a time or everything gets buggy. But I believe this limitation is worth it, and those not on multi-cores should not have an issue.
As for cost? This is free, it's unique, and it’s great.Read Review
User Interface - It's purple, very purple, with white lettering and lights. Yava 2 is layed out well, and easy to navigate, (and yeah, white on purple is kinda weird, but not that bad really), if anything, the Gui size is a slight bit large, but not without reason. Let's go 7, it's not really a "beautiful" sight, (unless you really like purple, I wonder if Odo has this synth ha-ha), but it's more than good enough to use and doesn't give me a headache or anything crazy ha-ha.
Sound - Yava 2 is listed as a *hybrid* synth, but the manual says it's a *virtual analog* synth. Well, I thought it sounded warmly digital, or digitally warm ? If this was a blind test, I'd have guessed an fm synth with lots of fx and modulations. You can get some pretty fat sounding brassy, pad, and just old skool "synth" sounds out of it though, and many of those types are included in the presets. Overall, it sounded a bit digital to me, and the presets seemed to lean toward a more fm sound, but a warm and complex fm sound. I'm going 8 here, it's got one foot in analog land, and one in fm land, with enough modulation to wobble and gurgle with the best of them.
Features - Lots of features, this thing is feature-ridden ha-ha. There are 72 knobs just in the mod matrix alone, in addition to some gating and dual frequency sequencers ! I could go into detail, but lets' just say, tweaker's heaven and leave it at that eh. I'm giving it a 9 here, despite not really getting into programming this synth. In addition to the massive modulation matrix, it also has some other unique-ish features and oscillator setup. :)
Documentation - A good .pdf manual with many pictures is included to clue you in. I'm going 9 here, there is some extra info about the unusual features, and some close-up pics to really make sure you're seeing what is being typed about in the manual. This is how it should be done.
Presets - A full bank of 128, and quite a variety overall, some wild stuff in here including some rhythmic loop type stuff, and lots of morphing/evolving type sounds. Let's say 8 for the presets, a lot of them are ready to be played right out of the box, and lots of variety.
Customer Support - Hasn't been an issue, but Krakli is a K-v-R reg, so no worries. Another 9 just because Krakli has been around these parts forever, and is a very experienced dev, I can't imagine it would take long to get a response about this synth.
Value For Money - As with most SE built plug-ins made by K-v-R regs, it's above and beyond in the value department. Other that cpu usage and a few clicks, it's comparable to the $100 big time synths out there in many ways. 9 again, sure there's probably something out there that's a better value, but this is a rare value.
Stability - No crashes or lock ups yet. As mentioned above, the cpu can go up a bit depending on what all you have going on, but the absolute most I saw was about 24%, and it seemed to average around 12%-16% with a couple notes going, and with some longer sounds trailing and burbling away. I'm going to go 8 here, since the cpu is a bit high sometimes, and I did get some clicking on a few patches, no crashes or lock ups occured though.
Final Thoughts - What happened, why didn't this synth take off ? Maybe it actually has too much going on in a way, but even so, with 128 good presets, anyone could've at least tweaked some new sounds out of it from those. A treasure from the past for sure, yeah, there's better out now, but not in this price range. Perhaps this synth will someday be resurrected and updated, with newer/more efficient SE modules and given new life, we can only hope. :)Read Review
This is my favourite Krakli VST to date! (reviewing Richman-2)
Richman has all the best parts of FM without the bad part (a mind bending UI).
The presets offered here to demonstrate the capabilities of Richman do a great job; even better, they sound wonderful! The presets are very expressive, responsive to velocity and make brilliant use of some of my favourite FM synth attributes (such as the harsh harmonic distortion).
Not only does Richman give you those harsh distortion sounds, it also provides a lovely and soft harp sound, as well as other plucked string sounds. FM has long been known for its bells and pluck sounds, and Richman is no slouch in that department.
As mentioned above, the UI is rather comfortable and simple. Something not often found with FM synths. Maybe this means there is less "programmability" but for my taste, it is far more sensible, exposing the important features to the user instead of exposing everything. Sort of like Native Instrument's "easy edit" page on FM7 which gives you access to more "analog-like" controls to shape the sounds instead of dealing with the operators and algorhythms directly.
i highly recommend Richman for anyone who has ever liked FM sounds and anyone who would like to see FM done well. The fact that this is a free VST only drives home my point: try it out; you've nothing to lose except the opportunity to check out this great VSTi!!
KVR Reviews ought to allow us to do n/a for certain categories such as documentation and customer support. Neither applies in this review. The best way i can think of to give ratings on these two is to go middle-ground and give a 5. It doesn't make sense to me to give 10 points for a manual that does not exist, but i don't want to make the rating suffer for lack of a manual when none is really needed by giving it a 1. So...Read Review
This synth is a nice little surprise from krakli. I've been looking for a long time for a synth with which I could practice piano using different sounds than the getting to be boring piano/rhode/wurly sound, and while this might seem like a simple task, in reality it isn't. Most synth can make beatifull sounds as long as you play one or two key at a time, but when you play complex chord, the sound tend to break down and distort; even very expensive synth tend do that and it can be a lot of work to get them to do the clean sound you want. Not this one, you can play the most complex chord and it will still sound clean (if that's what you want, it can get gritty too but it's your own choice) while behing very expressive at the same time. A really nice player instrument, comes with a hundred very useable presets to get you started and it's real easy to tweak on the fly, interface is clean, just like the sound, with just the right amount of control. No documentation is really necessary, everything you need to know is right in front of you. I was demoing complex FM/hybrid synth costing well above the $100.00 mark when I stumbled upon this one, and to my surprise, it's all I really needed regardless of the price (but it turns out to be free! can't beat that). I know I should put "cons" in my review, but I really can't find any in the context of the use I put the synth through; it does what I want smartly and efficiently, cpu useage is quite low, it looks good and all the control I need for what I want this for are there with none of the bloat that would only be a distraction from my playing. Well, maybe midi learn would be a feature I would like as to control vibrato and filters from the keyboard directly. The KVR rating is a bitch to do thought, like the documentation I don't even know if there's any as I didn't need and didn't look. Support? It works, I don't need support. So I put ten everywhere but I think rating shouldn't be mandatory, or be more flexible. This one's a keeper, way to go Krakli.Read Review
I've been impressed with several of the previous synths by Krakli, and who hasn't heard the wonderful presets created by synth master Tim Conrardy, so when Cygnus showed up, a collaboration between the two, I jumped at the chance to try it out. I've been so impressed that I figured I owed them a review.
OVERALL: As the name and look implies, this is a concept synth focused on spacey, atmospheric, ambient and SFX sounds. And it delivers all these in spades. Its raw sound (sans FX) is decidedly digital, so much so that it almost seems to employ wavetables or samples, but this is not the case. This is pure programming and with its innovative use of 3 oscillators--each with its own sequencer that can be deployed as either a LFO or step sequencer--a highly customizable stereo chorus and a trippy delay section . . . it can create a staggering variety of sounds from insectoid chittering to strange piano and lead synth mutations, all the way out to cosmic sonic washes and psychosomatic reverberations from the outer reaches of the mind. A highly enjoyable synth!
GUI: I typically do not like "creative" GUI design, preferring ergonomics and functionality beyond strangeness, so I expected not to like the star field design that originally came with this synth. Not so. With the wise inclusion of a Label switch, which lets you clearly see what all the knobs and sliders (aka stars!) do, it turns out to be a very functional and easily understood interface. Add to that the fact that a second more standard GUI is now available (by odo) and it ends up being like no problem.
SOUND: Undeniably, this synth sounds amazing. It's not going to be what you want for your bread and butter type sounds, but for spacey sequence sounds, special FX, atmospheric pad and all sorts of soundworld instruments, it's a must. There's no other synth that sounds quite like this one, at least not that I can think of, so head over to Krakli's Cygnus page and listen to the demo songs there (including mine! Shameless plug notwithstanding.)
FEATURES: Three different oscillators, three innovative LFO/sequencers, several FM modulation options, a little wave shaping, an unconventional chorus and a trippy delay . . . and other stuff. It's hard to talk about the features as this is definitely a synth that encourages discovery and experimentation. But the results speak for themselves. The one downfall to this synth I've found so far is that the automation controls are not labeled. They remain at their default positions, so even though this is a synth that begs to be fiddled with, doing so from track automation is a royal pain in the . . .
DOCUMENTATION: Well . . . there isn't any. Since it was designed with experimentation in mind, don't look for any unless some kind user decides to try their hand at it.
PRESETS: With well over 300 excellently programmed presets (by the likes of TC and, ahem, me), how can you go wrong? This synth is a joy to work with in preset creation. Sit down with it for a few minutes and even if you don't know what you're doing, you'll find sounds that inspire.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Ian of Krakli Software and Tim Conrardy are the best. Highly responsive and passionate about their creation. Two thumbs up.
VALUE: Um, this thing's free, so the Bang4Buck value is like infinite.
This is a phenomenal synth. Enticing GUI. Useable, off-kilter presets. Incredibly fun to program. My plug-ins folder was overrun by cheap-sounding, free VSTi's when I tried this out, and I was blown away. I instantly found the sound I was looking for. I simply can't fit patch programming into my songwriting workflow, so I was very pleased at the variety of patches included (Hint: Developers, always give your synths a nice big bank before releasing them). Even the time-synced patches, which I normally despise, have found their way into my songs. But that's not it. The leads are very playable, and I'm very picky about leads. For those who hate synths without onboard delay, you'll be pleased to hear EZ-Poly has it. I hate having to unnecessarily interrupt my flow by adding a new send effect when it's so easy to have the effect in the GUI of the synth itself. That developers like Ian and Ugo have thoughtfully included this important spice into their works of art is very much appreciated.
Make EZ-Poly a part of your songwriting toolset. It adds colors to your palette you wouldn't have thought possible in a free synth.Read Review
Morphiza is a very nice little freebie from Krakli. It has a nice little GUI, not too may controls so the danger of getting incurably confused is rather low - and doing your own presets easy, has as starting point 16 good presets, no manual - nor is it needed, and cost nothing. It is supposedly styled after the transitor organs of the 70s, but since i don know the originals, i can say anything about the "quality of emulation" nor does that matter, cause it sounds anyway great - a clear and transparent organ with some "roundness" and character. It cuts through mixes well, probably works with every kind of music, uses not too much CPU - to put it other way: it is very good and usable ! Try it out, unlike many other SE synths you wont notice its heritage, and thank its author for making such a freebie.Read Review