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Products by Spectrasonics

Latest reviews of Spectrasonics products

Stylus RMX

Reviewed By Fantozzi [all]
July 29th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.10.4d on Windows

I am not really good at creating stunning rythms from scratch with drum kits or drum samples. This tool over the years has been the rythmic brain in my studio. Of course having complete rythmic patterns in several flavours and variations will result in the need of new additional material in REX2 format from time to time to not repeat the same ideas. But there are still a lot of companies offering this format.

They don't have the same quality - on many pattern +/- 40 BPM is no problem, others the range may be more limited until you notice stretching.

Stylus is easy to use. By drag and drop you put modern drum patterns layer by layer together until you end up in a total mess, You start anew, remove something here or there and suddenly on the way (you never know exactly how) you end up with a hooking rythm, a groove you can't keep your feet still - then save immediatly the whole "multi" for further development.

A few days ago I had a problem with the SAGE Converter. Wrote a mail and got answer two hours later that solved my issue.

It may not be the only drum module you'll ever need - but it's the module that always will give you an idea.

Still sold at the initial price nowadays it seems too expensive. Even if regarding drums & rythm there weren't game changers or break through innovations since if I'm right.

Still I'd recommend to wait for a good deal.

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Omnisphere 2

Reviewed By USFreedom [all]
January 13th, 2023
Version reviewed: 2.8.4d on Windows

I purchased Omnisphere out of the blue, but also because I won 3 parlays at Caesar's Casino and wanted something to show for the money. I also ended up purchasing the Sequential Prophet Rev 2, 16 voice synthesizer, some Yamaha HS7 Studio Monitors, and Alesis Multimix8 FX Studio Mixer, FL Studio Complete, FL Studio Fire, Novation FL Key 37, Mangler, Serum, Vochlea Dubler 2, new Guitar Strings, and began to set up the most amazing music production studio! This has been my dream for so long! However, I had no idea Omnisphere was going to be such a beast that would totally dominate my MP workflow. It was by far the best musical purchase I've ever made, mainly because you are only limited by your imagination, in terms of what types of sounds you want to create. Omnisphere makes it possible to create the most unusual amazing sounds, something I never dreamed would be possible when I started this adventure. When it comes to finding any type of sound you want, and then recreating something blissful out of it, only Omnisphere could be so powerful, and simple to use with a little practice. Omnisphere gives me endless hours of fun, and it never gets old, now that's really special, and the owners know it. It's a masterpiece of programming knowledge, and people should consider themselves very lucky to have discovered such a powerful music production instrument. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am totally hooked, and from dawn until dusk I am creating amazing beats and sounds that I'm fairly certain have never been heard before in this universe. It's the product of the century for music producers.

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Stylus RMX

Reviewed By TS-12 [all]
December 18th, 2019
Version reviewed: 1.9.8 on Windows

this is a MUST HAVE vsti. simply the best drum plugin ever created. using it since day one even today in december 2019.

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Omnisphere 2

Reviewed By groovizm [all]
October 21st, 2019
Version reviewed: 2.6.2c on Windows

This is not a complete description of all Omnisphere can do. If you want a complete review you better head over to the Sound on Sound website and make sure you read the manual! This is also just a very personal opinion on Omnisphere and the reasons why, for me, it's a great product.

Omnisphere is a rompler. There's an extremely large amount of sampled "soundsources" available plus a very decent amount of modeled analog waveforms. All go through a subtractive synthesis engine that allows you to sculpt the sound to your liking. A big bunch of effects really put the icing on the cake. I'd don't think I'd buy these effects to mix with, but as a complement to the sound engine I think they're fine.

Omnisphere is not a sampler, meaning you can't use your own samples and create complicated keymaps, switches or round robin setups. I'm fine with that as I never use my own samples to create realistic instruments anyway. You can however import your samples and use them for granular synthesis and that I really love. You can create whole soundscapes from a short field recording or a sample from a record.

Usually I'm not a fan of multi timbral VST's. I'd rather open new instances on new tracks, because that way every instrument has it's own track in my DAW and I can easily sculpt the sound further with other plugins. Spectrasonics warns us that using multiple instances will cause extra overhead, so I was glad to find that setting up a multi in Omnisphere is really very easy. I'm having no trouble at all.

Omnisphere does one thing very well that not many VST's offer nowadays. I've always loved the sound of the Roland D-50 and Korg Wavestations. They offered kinda realistic recreations of real instruments, but really excelled at creating hybrid sounds: subtractive synthesis based on samples. Apart from Absynth I don't know any plugin that does this well, and in fact, Omnisphere does this a lot better, I think, because it's synthesis engine is so much simpler to use.

Omnisphere's huge sound library and synthesis engine becomes even more powerful if you have one of the supported hardware synths. My Nordlead has really gotten a new lease of life with Omnisphere. With the Nordlead acting as a fully integrated controller I'm tweaking away on sounds the Nordlead could never do. Software has suddenly become more hands-on then it has ever been for me.

Omnisphere is definitely the most expensive VST I have. It cost me more than many of the DAW's I've used. But the alternative to buying Omnisphere for me was not another VST. It was buying a hardware synth, because I really need that hands-on control to stay inspired. Suddenly, with the hardware integration and a Nordlead sitting next to me the price made sense. Great sonic possibilities, hands-on control, total recall from within the DAW, it's hard to beat.

If you have something like a Bassstation2 or a Miniloque and are looking for different sounds to complement these instruments Omnisphere is a unique proposition.

I do wish some user interface elements were just a little bigger. The ability to switch on or off layers, effects and the arpeggiator right from the main page is awesome, but why are these LED-like switches so damned tiny? The magnifying glasses that open the detailpages are also a bit too small to my liking. The whole interface of Omnisphere can be scaled, but only 1x will fit my 15" laptop so that does not help me much.

There's one more thing: the arpeggiator is great. It's very flexible and, yes, it's also very easy to use. You can do old fashioned arpeggiated chords and basslines, but it's also possible to choose any of the percussive patches and use the arpeggiator as a stepsequencer to create beats. I've had lot's of fun with it.

ps: I contacted support because Omnisphere was not storing my preferences. I was impressed by their quick, knowledgeable and friendly replies. It turned out the standalone application and Ableton Live were not running with the proper administrative rights on my system and they helped me set it up correctly.

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Omnisphere 2

Reviewed By midihead [all]
May 17th, 2016
Version reviewed: 7 Pro on Windows

Omnisphere 2 has replaced all my outboard gear. I've been producing electronic music, professionally for over 15 years and find that it's much quicker and easier to work "inside the box". The sound I get from this beast is just as good, if not better than any of the analog gear I used to own, and for much less the cost. Full disclosure, I create 3rd party patches for Omnisphere, so I've had years to dive deep into it. And since it keeps getting better with improvements (all of which are free to registered users), I don't have to worry about it becoming outdated or obsolete at some future point.

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Stylus RMX

Reviewed By muLperi [all]
November 6th, 2009
Version reviewed: 1.9 on Mac

EDIT 2011:

You can buy Logic Pro 9 cheaper and it comes with more loops and drum kits than RMX.

That alone is a deal breaker. One of the worst investment I've made.. At the moment it really is outdated.

And also now I now the quality of the support also: It's been a month when I contacted Spectrasonics support and asked if I can sell my license. They are "reviewing my case". They think I don't fully know how to use the plugin. Just telling that they have a great future ahead for all products.

My advice is to avoid Stylus RMX at the moment. If they drop the price to 99 dollars, then CONSIDER.

Original review in 2009:

What can I say... I too started using loops.
I bought Stylus RMX xpanded about a year ago and have found myself using it quite a lot. Perhaps lately I've used it mostly on some shakers, congas spicing up the backing track in various ways and those kind of little things but still. Very fast and effective way to do it.
Also for cinematic / action sequence music it's very good and has some great presets. And overall the presets sound very good.

User inteface is clear. I think the "graphics" could be more appealing for eye but it does the job.

I don't see anything special about Spectrasonics hyped "Groove control" or in the way RMX handles the tempo change. For example if slowed down to very slow tempo. You can clearly hear the slices starting and ending as you would imagine of course.

You can use Stylux RMX as a loop player where you can have 8 loops running simultaneously in MULTI mode.
Or you can use it as a drum sample player in KIT mode where you can construct your own 8-part kit from the Stylus RMX own library.
Importing own samples is not an option once again. Fortunately the onboard library is pretty big.

Never needed customer support really. Crashed 1 or 2 times.
Value for money... Well I think it could be a bit less expensive. Maybe 199 eur is more realistic for the whole pack imho.

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Stylus RMX

Reviewed By danbroad [all]
August 23rd, 2007
Version reviewed: 1.60 on Mac

RMX is still the most complete selection of loops, drum sounds and user configurability on the VSTi market. An industry standard, now powering the soundtracks to most contemporary film and TV scores; appearing on more and more mainstream albums, providing polished percussion and stomp to a hundred stage shows.

It has, with version 1.51 onwards, become fully Intel Mac compatible, and has run without flaw on both my Windows and OSX machines. Amazingly, it never seems to hog huge CPU cycles unless I ask it to [by, for example, max enabling the superb FX busses.]

Just like other Spectrasonics stuff, the GUI is clean and uncluttered. Updates come infrequently, but the synths work well first time out. I want to thank Eric and the team for the awesome 1.5 update, a leap which many other companies would have charged for [probably including Apple, and certainly the NativeBerg types].

The sounds, and this could be criticism or complement, are polished and professional - even the 'lo-fi' sounds have an instantly recognisable RMX sheen. If there's one area where another synth may outshine RMX, it's perhaps in raw, unprocessed analog drums [easily fixed by complementing this with ErsDrum or similar.]

From hi-tech electro to European house, through ambient swashes and kettle drum/tribal war beats, Stylus provides the ingredients, and the chaos/filter/LFO/FX sections enable you to make them your own. With hundreds of chopped loops, and infinite FX/redesign possibilities, there's no two musicians that should sound the same.

The Groove Control feature means that a 180bpm loop slowed to 30bpm should still sound natural, unlike other REX files, where marked tempo variation causes audible untrimmed silences and stuttering.

We all know RMX is the 'daddy', so I'd like to focus on two areas that are often missed in [non-kvr] reviews...

First; the REX expansion makes this VSTi a virtual Akai MPC groovebox. The ability to load up samples from anywhere and chaos/groove/FX them to bits means that you can create whole songs within RMX. This lends itself to live playing, dropping new sections in/out like a self-contained 'Ableton Live' application. Want a Jazz saxophone lick alongside some chopped vocals, with a selection of synth pads, basses and big beats dropping in and out? All done within RMX, swooping, changing on the fly, tempo synced. Using any REX source, the possibilities are great - just remember the REX files aren't as forgiving of extreme tempo changes as the Groove Control stuff. But they are everywhere, and available online - instant free expansion packs!

Second, the Tutorial videos. I've recently been getting back into Logic on the Apple Mac, and found the learning curve steeper than I recall. Eventually, I found some superb online movies which taught me more in a few hours than any manual or workthrough text could in weeks.

This proved two things to me; first, a good tutorial video is worth paying for, just like a good tutor. Secondly, Spectrasonics have given hours of Tutorials free to RMX users. These could easily have been payware; the videos are long, in-depth, logical, easy-going, and demonstrate more advanced features you'd not have discovered quickly. A generous and useful gift from one of the most professional companies in VST synthesis.

Support, value for money and sound quality are second to none, and Spectrasonics have built a loyal customer base with their honest company policy. You get what you pay for.
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Stylus RMX

Reviewed By Jeremy_NSL [all]
November 16th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows

First I will skip to the conclusion: Stylus RMX is the definitive plugin for all types of percussion. There is nothing better. Ok, there I said it. Now I can get on with the review. Note that I'll assume you have some idea of what RMX is and what it does. If not, check Spectrasonics site first.

User Interface: Very polished. The GUI consists of tabbed pages for each of the 8 multi-timbral channels. Its very easy to understand and the look is quite nice.

Sound: At its heart, Stylus RMX is a playback module for sliced-loops, as well as a basic drum-hit module. In terms of sound quality when speeding up/slowing down loops, RMX has no equal. Its virtually perfect. Its to the point where you don't even think about what tempo the original loop is in, you just insert it into your project and smile.

The included effects are very diverse and quite good. Different compressors, limiters, filters (contains even the great filter from Imposcar!), reverbs, etc. All you need to effect your drummixes. The effects are so good that you'll wish they came in an FX version so you could use them on other synths/audio.

RMX is very flexible. You can use Slice mode, where you can load up 8 loops and use midi to sequence every slice; or Groove Mode where you can load 63 x 8 loops and use midi to switch between them! In addition to that there is kit mode, a semi-GM compatible mode where you can access the very diverse drumhit collection RMX comes with.

Chaos mode is the next major feature. It algorithmically modifies loops in real-time. You choose how much variance you want. And then if you like what it produces, you can save it to midi! This is an unbelievably useful feature - and one that just isn't available anywhere else.

The only negative I see as far as features is the inability to use Kit Mode at the same time as Slice Mode. For myself, I often want to lay down a few basic loops and then trigger midi drums over top. Unfortunately this isn't possible in RMX - unless you use multiple instances of the plugin. I'll say more on why you probably don't want to use multiple instances in the stability section.


Where to begin... First, the number of sounds. You get the ENTIRE Stylus Classic library of loops and hits(~3gb), + ~4.5gb of new content. The new content is quite a bit more experimental than the original stuff - pushing the boundaries well past Stylus Classic's relatively rigid set of breakbeat, urban and dance grooves. In contrast, you'll now find tons of new eclectic electronic material, as well as sounds suitable for filmscoring.

Not only do you get the loops, you get over 500 multi-patches. These patches are multi-channel setups containing multiple grooves, with appropriate FX and Chaos etc. already selected! Needless to say, these are hugely useful, if only as a starting point.

Ready for more sounds? RMX comes with nearly 300 drumkits. These kits are complete with FX and mixing already done. Don't misunderstand that all RMX can do is loops - the kits are second to none. They aren't the heavily multisampled stuff of FXPansion BFD etc., but they are extremely useful nonetheless - especially for electronic genres.

Finally the best part: Starting with the 1.5 update, EVERYTHING is organized by genre/type. So if you want a military-esque multipatch, an urban drumkit, or a 'tight' snare, its all just wonderfully easy to find. This type of organization is essential when you have so much content to work with - it just makes workflow in RMX so simple.

Customer Support:
I haven't used support yet, but I will give a 6 based on two things: I purchased a used license transfer and it took a very long time. I understand that its not a priority, but this was an unacceptably long wait (weeks). Not only that but there is a $50 license transfer fee that seems quite high. Even then the person receiving the transfer isn't entitled to update deals (such as the upgrade price from Stylus Classic to RMX). I don't like this transfer policy at all.

BUT Spectrasonics partially redeems themselves by offering great free updates. The 1.5 update was incredible - and cost $0! It was much more than just bugfixes. Thats great support.

For the most part RMX has been very stable. So I will use this section to instead talk about resource usage. RMX is a RAM hog: just to load 1 instance (with no sounds!), uses about 200mb. Loading two instances uses over 350mb! Thats alot, and thus I don't recommend RMX if you have under 1gb of RAM.

CPU usage is improved alot in recent versions, but its still rather high. In particular, the Imposcar filter uses over 5% of my cpu. Why? Imposcar altogether uses less than that. And Kit Mode, just to play back a few samples (with no fx or timestretching etc.) takes quite a bit of CPU. Compare this to an efficient drum module like Battery or Redrum and its not competitive.

Value for Money:
Overall RMX is totally worth the money. Love it!
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