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Products by reFX

Latest reviews of reFX products

Vanguard
Reviewed By Piraino
May 31st, 2022

This was one of my favorite VST instruments. It's a horrible shame that they did not port this to 64-bit. I would really love to bring this instrument back into my arsonal of sounds. Instead it appears that reFX is on the greedy train concentrating on Nexus 4 instead of servicing the customers that got them to where they are today. Shamefull reFX, you should be full of remorse.

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Nexus
Reviewed By dkcalifornia
November 12th, 2020

I wanted to warn anyone who has a setup where they attach their laptop to a dock that includes a monitor in addition to using their DAW detached.

Since Nexus 3 does away with the USB dongle as its method of copy protection, it now tries to look at your computer hardware devices and come up with a "computer ID" as some sort of unique identifier. This causes a problem if your driver configuration changes when you are docked vs. not docked. Nexus 3 detects this as a violation of the registration and makes you login to reauthenticate every time you dock/undock.

I provided ReFx with very detailed steps on how to recreate this issue, but they haven't responded. Another warning, if they cannot "help" you in a single free remote session, they tell you they will charge you for subsequent sessions.

Although I can understand the hate for USB dongles, imho they have broken their product and don't care to address it even with detailed description. I am uninstalling and will not purchase from ReFx again.

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Nexus
Reviewed By Innocent30102
August 30th, 2018

I really love this, it is so helpful in music production. The developer must keep up the good work.

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Nexus
Reviewed By snadge
November 17th, 2011

GOOD SAMPLE BASED SYNTH

This is a bit like Omnisphere in that it uses sample librarys and manipulates the sounds with effects, it has some great sounds but as they are sample based you cant really tweak them much, other than basics like reverb, delay and gate etc - you cant get right into the 'core' of the sound and change it liek you can on proper synths that create the sounds themselves.

it has a nice thick sound and most of its presets are great.

the user interface is nice and comes in white or black, its CPU usage is minimal but higher than average for sample based playback.

this synth can be bought as a hardware synth too.
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Vanguard
Reviewed By Sendy
May 21st, 2011

I don't understand it - a good synth is a good synth, now and in five years time. And Vanguard is most definitely a good synth, maybe even an excellent one. With a sound somewhere between a vintage analogue and the C64's SID chip, and a character of presence all of it's own, Vanguard is an instrument capable not only of the much advertised big trance sounds, but also experimental, abstract pads and tones, chippy blips and bloops, oldschool sequences via it's arpeggiator... and the trance gate is useful well beyond the realm of trance music, combining with the arpeggiator in interesting and fun ways.

Vanguard features a highly fixed architecture, which is in many ways very limiting. You have three oscillators - each has it's own triangle wave LFO which can alter PWM, detune and the master filter's cutoff. You then have two envelopes, which have preset knobs to affect the patch's parameters in a hardwired way, such as cutoff, resonance, volume, PWM, detune, etc.

Throw on some classy effects which augment the sound rather than glossing over it - such as variable unison/spread, a very nice overdrive, reverb and delay... and then make the filters AND oscillators multimode, and you have quite a variety of sound, which will both require and inspire creativity.

To make up for this very fixed routing, the oscillators can make a variety of different shapes, and many of them respond in their own unique ways to the PWM parameter - we have Amplitude Modulated sine sweeps, synced noise, a strange digital burbling waveform which seems to work by turning on and off the digital bits in a logical way, as well as the old classics such as variable pulses, pitched noise, and Phase Distortion style morphing sines. Similarly the filter has a whole bunch of modes, including rare choices such as a resonant 6db lowpass, bandpasses feeding a waveshaper, and dual filters.

Layering these, and making careful use of the envelopes and LFO's, you can get some very cool abstract sounds, covering bass, lead, pads, effects, and videogame effects. The sound quality of Vanguard has been described as 'plasticky', and it can do that sound very well, although the sound has undergone a number of revisions, and going into the setup panel allows you to choose between a few different setups regarding antialiasing and oscillator versions. A lot of people liked the way Vanguard aliased, but it's nice to have the option for a more silky sound, if you so desire.

Typically I use Vanguard for abstract leads, SID inspired leads and pads, digital sounding effects, and arpeggios. At times I wish for more flexibility, for example, the modwheel is hard routed to raise the filter cutoff, and aftertouch will always bring in vibrato, but I've made a staggering range of sounds, and the sexy interface really pulls you in and makes you want to tweak.

All in all a very rewarding, and unique sounding synth, which looks and sounds like a solid object, rather than code. If you're looking for pure analogue emulations, look elsewhere, but lovers of SIDs and digital/analogue hybrid sounds should find the sound of Vanguard very enticing.
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Nexus
Reviewed By cyphersuit
March 3rd, 2010

Review Nexus 2.02

Sample player with tweakable sounds and a high quality effect library. Very low cpu use whilst sounding amazing.

User Interface

PRO: Crisp and clean and quite easy to use.
PRO: ARP and Trancegate have a really nice and easy to use GUI
PRO: Comes with different skins.
CON: You have to pay for extra skins which is kind of a let down.

Sound

PRO: Sound quality is really nice, often due to the use of Arts Accoustic Reverb (which is great), delay and other effects. Obviously they can be turned of - Nexus still sounds good then.
PRO: Loads of different sounding expansions available
CON: The standard presets are definitely focused around trance/dance mostly.

Features

PRO: Comes with intuitive-to-use arp, trancegate, effects, mod-matrix. Sounds are much more tweakable than in Nexus1.
PRO: Layers of sounds and sequences can be turned on/off individually.
PRO: Arts accoustic reverb on board, plus loads of other effects of a very high standard

Documentation

PRO: Manual is great and easy to read. Has many Pro-Tips.
CON: No vid tutorials I know of

Customer Support

PRO: Has been brill so far for me.

Value For Money

PRO: Often said to be to expensive all I can say is, that I would buy it again and be happy again. I also like how I get new soundsets on a regular basis on a planned schedule.

Stability

Didn't crash one on me while loads of other vsts did.
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Nexus
Reviewed By rob_lee
August 17th, 2008

Review Nexus 2 version 2.0.1

User Interface:

Im going to say right from the off that Refx Nexus has revolutionised the way i work with music.The user interface is very pleasing to the eye due to the various skins that can be purchased,although when you purchase Nexus 2 you get 4 free skins and the Dance Volume 2 expansion which is great.Navigation within Nexus 2 is made easy with a single mouse click to access the various features within.There is nothing to confuse the user as within a couple of hours of using Nexus 2 you'll soon be very familiar with the instrument.

Sound:

The sound of Nexus 2 is non other than brilliant,the quality rivals many top hardware synths without a shadow of a doubt and possibly sounds better than most.
Added in version 2 are the excellent e.q facility which are:

new EQ types: lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandpass2, notch, peak, lowShelf, highShelf,Q factor for each band
free frequency (20-18000hz) for each band
separate gain (-/+24db) for each band
on/off switch for each band

these features alone make Nexus 2 a winner.

Features:

Nexus 2 comes with a ton of new features and i in particular love the way i can mute different layers within any given multi-sample preset,you can transpose and detune any given oscillator which then brings endless possibilitie's to new sounds being created.You can also create an empty bank and save and rename those edited presets to your own banks.The arpeggiator is totally user programmable and there is a great arpeggio library included.my favourite feature is the shuffle feature within the arp page as i regurarly use the 66% shuffle option which adds great value to the way i work.
Nexus 2 now has 2 MultiFx and the new Phaser has 16 stages and sounds truly amazing..i could go on but you have to try Nexus 2 to really find out what it can do.

Documentation:

Documentation is well explained.(Enough said)

Presets:

I myself own about 10 of the available 20 expansions and plan to purchase the Dance Volume 3 expansion in the week however again all expansions are of the best quality and developed by the best sound designers around and all credit is due to Refx for the sheer quality of sounds provided.
Everything is there from Electro to trance and from the down right gritty industrial to the chilled out spacey stratosphere expansion.There is something for everyone here and scope to then edit and re arrange those sounds into something totally different.

Customer Support:

The Refx customer support is one of the great things about owning Nexus as they are on hand every day on the forums answering user problems and you can also submit tickets for any other support.
I like the fact that the people who designed not only Nexus but even the sound designers are there to offer advice so for that reason support is 10/10

Value For Money:

For what you get with Nexus version 2 i think the price is second to none and when you buy various expansions whether it be 1 or more you instantly get a 15% discount when you go to checkout so for me this is really good value for money

Stability:

There are only 2 occassions where Nexus 2 has crashed for me using 2 presets,however this is expected in a new product and as always will be rectified with later updates and does not cause much for concern.I cannot deduct a point for this reason as it is very new and the problem only lie's with the muting and unmuting of a certain preset.Other than that i can run easily 10 instances of Nexus on my machine not that i need that many.All in all the stability for me makes Nexus 2 a winner.

Overall:

If you don't own Nexus 2 then Get it! It's already improved my workflow to no end and is probably my favourite piece of gear now that it's at version 2 and the fact that Nexus now uses a copy protection dongle which holds your licence makes it more attractive and it's also a very welcome addition to an already great piece of kit.I for one would recommend Refx Nexus 2 to anyone making electronic music as from the start it oozes creativity with fantastic results and i hope this review has been helpful
cheer Rob Lee
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Nexus
Reviewed By ozmoz2008
August 5th, 2008

This VST took my attention when I've discovered it, it is so well done and easy to use. The presets sounds awesome, but I could use a little more as a built- in presets, even if they use the same ROM samples bank, which is quite good (around 4 Gigabytes). The look is also nice...looks like a Akai 1000.... but sounds better ;)

I really like the feel that the sounds have, mostly in their own ambiences. Nice gate sounds, arpegiator, delays and reverbs (for a synth...obviously).

The sounds are really inspiring, which is probably the most important feature in any instrument. The sounds are fat without being too mid-bassy. They are definite and clear without being too airy and fuzzy. The ambiences are large and deep...which is my kind of stuff. I have been able to use it in many soundtrack situations. I also have some expansion libraries that sound also great.

The VST is very stable, I didn't have any crash with it, even when many instances of the VST were open in my DAW. It doesn't ask much to the CPU which is not of big importance for me since I work on a very powerful CPU.

Overall this synth have all the good reasons to be in the top ones. I hope that the company will continue to develop it for a long time, as it is one of my favourites ones.

Definitively a good thumb's up!!
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