I tried not to give this all tens but as I run through the ratings, I find:
User Interface: I understand what's going on right away. I feel like I'm in my comfort zone - like recording and mixing a real drum set but on steroids, with more powerful tools than I've had before. When I first used OWD I wasn't too familiar with the Kontakt Player interface but it still made sense. I started using this, Drum Masters, and Infinite Player about the same time. So it was also a great introduction to the Kontakt "style"
Sound: These kits sound so good, they give all of the other virtual drum products I use more than a run for their money. When I think "best sound" out of all of them OWD comes to mind first. I use Drum Masters (also from Sonic Reality so they're pitting their own drum sounds against one another very nicely), EZDrummer, Battery 3, Addictive Drums, GURU, and others so I have a good set to compare. OWD kills in sound quality.
Features: OWD has a full set of features, more than enough to get great drum sounds with minimal effort. The multiple sounds (Dry, Medium, Ambient) are easy to dial in and tweak. The Kontakt Player has a great feature set and this is well-designed within the player. It is easy to have a professional-level multi-out drum set. With the added bonus that it was engineered by some incredibly talented big names at one of the premier studios in the world.
Documentation: I watched the videos on the DVD that came with OWD while I was installing it, and there are videos available on the http://www.oceanwaydrums.net/ site. The manual is very good too, and can be downloaded before you purchase the product. This is useful for people trying the free kit available at http://www.downloadablesoundz.com/freesoundz2.php
Presets: The Dry, Medium, and Ambient presets are great on their own. The sound of these drums is so top-quality that you can just load a preset but then the tweaking is amazing too. Lots of flexibility but built on really great presets.
Customer Support: Sonic Reality has never let me down with support. I've purchased many products and sounds through them and their support is always prompt and helpful. They've even helped with products that they are merely a vendor for (IK Multimedia, for example) because they are power users of the products they sell whether they create them or not.
Value For Money: I think the downloadable (DL/Expandable) series are amazing value for the money and I never would have expected them at that price point. The Silver is what I have and is still an incredible value. I believe that all of the series are well-priced to be within reach of many people and the different offerings are very flexible. I don't need the high sample rates and I'm not forced into buying them due to the availability of a version that's perfect for my needs.
Stability: I haven't had a crash and the kits all load up fine for me so I couldn't strike this down any points either. The chosen platform is a great choice for this reason.
I don't think I'm the only one who can say "if you want great virtual drums, use Ocean Way Drums" - Sonic Reality really did a great job getting a great room, great engineers, and great sounds. There's no doubt in my mind about that.Read Review
I am not a fan of this product. I bought it because it claimed to have a comprehensive synth sample library. The acoustic sounds are quite okay, though not too real sounding for my ears (I know it's a matter of taste).
For the price it actually is a good entry into the "software-workstation" market. I covers all the basics and has much to work with.
But first things first:
The GUI is usable, but could be a lot easier to use, esp. for tweaking the sounds. Everything's too small for me, and switching between the synth parameters too unclear. Yes, usable, but much room for improvement.
The sound of the sampletank engine is basically good, the FX are indeed very good, and it's multitimbral, which I like. But the sample content is only average to my ears, especially the praised synth patches. They sound weak, thin, and all sound largely similar to my ears. Too little variety, and what's there is too thin. Again, a matter of taste, but I don't use SS2 anymore since I bought "Ultra Focus" which has all the solidity and quality and richness I need. The acoustic sounds, the keyboards and guitars, are quite good, and I use them often. Not the drums though, good hihats but the rest sounds like toy-drums. Strings are okay, but the rest of the orchestral stuff isn't great.
Presets could be better and more varied (in the synth department), again the acoustic presets are okay. I have tried customer support only once, but that was okay, even though it took almost 2 weeks to answer an email. But then they helped.
It did crash on me twice so far, but that's okay I guess.
Documentation is okay.
As you can see so far, a quite "okay" software, but I am not too thrilled about it. I replaced every sound category with better ROMplers, because overall, Sonik Synth 2 just sounds too artificial.
I bought it second-hand, and for that the overall value is okay, but I wouldn't buy it new. And I hardly used it anymore, so it's kind of disappointing to me.Read Review
Nearly all is said before, but I´m not as impressed by Sonic Synth as most other people because of the following reasons: The GUI is horrible and SS sometimes crashes the sequencer (I know, IK is not guilty for both because it´s the Sampletank engine).
But the worst for me is the VFM: Compared to the price of the Jeskola XS-1 SF2-Sampler (50 $) and the many many free soundfonts (and some of them are really excellent) the price for Sonic Synth is very high.Read Review
For any person making up a budget on how much it will cost to have a DAW up a working, they should include the $250/$300 for sonic synth. Before you buy anything, except for your sequencer of course, you should buy sonic synth.
Where to begin. Well, the strings are amazing. The first time I heard the tremolo strings I couldn't believe how good they sounded. There is so much expression and such realism that will you never hear in any free soundfonts.
All the pianos sound so good as well. I could just play with the grity rhodes and wurlitzers for hours.
I really can't say enough about almost all the sounds ranging from ethnic to huge variety of pads and synths. The only sounds that are somewhat lacking are the brass instruments. The saxes sound good, but some of the trumpets are kind of thin. Brass instruments are pretty hard to play with a keyboard and/or program, so that doesn't help the situation. This is the only "weakness" I can see, but you get soooo many quality playable instruments that it really doesn't matter in the end.
About everyone on KVR knows how great squids is and how quick he is to answer your questions.
I could really caretheless about sampletank being red. Its a darn good interface and player for being free with sonic synth. It has crashed on me a few times in fruityloops, but these have been few and far between.
No other vsti or rompler or sampler gives you this variety of instantly usuable sounds. I can't imagine what I did without it...Read Review
This is an excellent product. I am very satisfied with it and would highly recommend it.
The amount of sounds are incredible. It is one of the best values for soft synths or sounds that I have purchased. The quality ranges from superb to okay. Nothing is bad. I wish it contained some guitar strums, but overall, this product has made me a dedicated Sonic Reality customer. Also, they are really cool people to do business with (I bought it directly from them: http://www.esoundz.com).
If you can only afford one soft synth (although technically it's a combination of Sonic Synth sounds and SampleTank's sample player), I would make it this one.Read Review
*Reviewed including Bonus disc* I was an early adopter of this product, an obvious replacement for a hardware workstation as I'd moved to software/vsti only (I sold a Triton and bought this and a pair of Mackie 624s). I was very pleased with the instrument both in quality and sheer quantity and breadth of sounds, I'd been really enjoying the acousic pianos, guitars, organs, and synth pads; but to be honest I'd had a few reservations about the orchestral/brass/wind instrument point of view. I received the bonus disc this morning which is another 600mb of sound content to complement the existing library. I can now wholeheartedly say I will never look back!! The expansion disc was *exactly* what was needed to round out the package - already very strong in the areas I mentioned, now there is a beautiful palette of string/brass/wind/layered orchestral sounds and pads added to the mix. The (few) gaps are now well and truly filled, and this multiplies the usefulness of the overall package.
Dave Kerzner has a big reputation on these pages and I can vouch that (for a guy who makes a lot of statements and promises!), he has kept *every one* that he made to me, and gone the extra mile on a few occasions aswell - sincere thanks. The whole prospect of ownership is enhanced by their forum and personal support, approachability, and company outlook with great upgrade/crossgrade/bonus deals.
Niggles? well the ST interface limitations have been mentioned before, it would be nice to have more preset/fx save options, the sound selection and search facilities need more work. I really cant criticise the sound content now, there will be *an awful lot* of useful sounds, no matter what you like to play.
I use it live every week; you need to be quite familiar with the library to do this as some of the instrument tunings dont sit perfectly with other sources. However the sounds all sit well in an overall mix - happy sound guy.
Most useful, most played, best value VSTi ever. :)Read Review
seriously the only "complaint" I have is, the red GUI. this is all!.....the layout, is VERY easy to understand. the patches alone sound as real as you could ever want/need, because of the way they were sampled FROM real instruments...but then you throw in all the effects you can change/add........oh mama!!!! this plug-in, is the very first one I go to when I start a project. You might find yourself just playing for hours live, and actually not completing any tracks...lol for the money, the presets you get, and more importantly, instant realistic sounds.........its worth every penny.Read Review
Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said! This product is truly outstanding. It has transformed the way I write my music, adding instantly accesible and proffesional sounding patches into my mixes seamlessly. The sounds are exceptional in their quality and have added a new dimension to my tracks. However it is the quality combined with ease of use that really is the key with Sonic Synth. The Sampletank engine may have it's critics but it's functional, easy to use and has great DSP that can easily be tweaked. It's so easy just to decide that you want some strings, a pad or a rhodes etc. in your track - you just open up Sampletank click on the patch you want and play. The presets are so well done that any tweaking for the mix is usually minimal, if done at all. This accesibility to pro-quality sounds is worth every penny!
The selection of patches covers all bases, and with the E-Roms and forthcoming Sonic Capsules, each area can be expanded on if you want even more choice. Your musical imagination is the limit as you have a full palette of bread and butter sounds, plus the more interesting. My music was before mainly guitar, bass and drums but since adding SS to my collection I have been set free to use my MIDI keyboard to produce genres of music that are no longer tide to my earthly instruments!
As for customer support, this has to be some of the best in the business. Dave aka. Squids from Sonic Reality is a mainstay on the company board and is always happy to answer any questions you may have. I couldn't ask for anything more in this department. His passion for his job shines through in his products.
But, this product must have it's weaknesess right? Well, not really. A few of the patches aren't up to the standard of the rest but these are few in number (flute and some brass patches) and are being improved in the forthcoming update disc anyway. The interface is also due to be upgraded to v2 with increased functionality which can only be a bonus!Read Review