This is a big meh. If I had spent even $20 on this, I wouldnt be happy.
Got this for free, along with the Loopcloud Sounds promotion. They claimed if I signed up for even a free trial, I would get this synth, so I went ahead.
I immediately noticed the UI seemed a little thin, with lots of wasted space and large knobs with labels like "bright/dark", "fast/slow", or "effect" and I saw that there are lots of "dice" icons everywhere to.. randomize. The number of presets included with the basic "USYNTH core" is right around 100, and the interface immediately goes to work trying to get you to buy new preset packs from UJAM. Paid presets say "available for download" without any indication they are premium preset packs, and if you dont know this and click to download one, then UJAM yells at you and demands you buy this pack.
The sounds that come from USYNTH are mediocre. Some are thin, narrow, 1 dimensional and I believe I heard a little bit of digital distortion crackling on a couple of them. Meter was not in the red. Not all the sounds inside USYNTH are weak, and I did indeed find some nice quality stuff, but overall the value just isnt there compared to many - if not most - other software synths. The playback mode is sort of nice (it plays a lot like UJAM's Carbon or other guitar synths, where you have keys that are switches and mode buttons, and then keys that trigger note/chords).
If this synth was $20 (or free), it would feel priced correctly in terms of the shortage of presets and the pressure to buy more. If UJAM added some more base content and really warmed up/expanded the synthesis engine, it might be worth trying out, but as of now it isnt super good. Im not entirely sure what sort of synthesis it even uses, and it might be a sample player for all I can tell. : /.Read Review
In contrast to the other paid Usynth's, Drive's factory presets aren't as impressive(but once you start tweaking, the magic happens!) The overall audio quality is insane for a free synth but sadly...Drive is a criminally underrated VST.Read Review
Very useful multi-effect that will enhance your music in many ways. Very effective and simple to use. This plugin works flawlessly with zero issues.Read Review
This is the second title in the Virtual Pianist series (following Vogue) and it features electric piano sounds.
This piano sounds great and you can use the baked in phrases or as piano instrument.
With this plugin you can also drag&drop phrases.
Here is a quick overview and demo.
For more reviews and tutorials visit UDI AUDIORead Review
Another member of the UJAM Symphonic Elements - SE BRAAASS.
UJAM did a great job capturing the power of cinematic brass performance. This plugin (like the other members of the SE) sounds great and features easy UI and playability.
Here is a walkthough and demo.Read Review
Love the virtual Guitarist series and the new Sparkle 2 sound great.
UJAM added cool features like stopbox, finisher, drag&drop, rezise UI, player mode and more.
The new styles and phrases are very useful and feels natural to play.
Here's a walkthough I just recorded.
Get UJAM Sparkle 2Read Review
TL;DR - Iron 2 is a massive update to what was already my favourite of the Virtual Guitar (VG) plugins. (It is one of four different plugins, covering different styles/genres.) It seems to sound better, it is capable of a lot more variety than the original and, used subtly, it can sound just like a real guitarist.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Iron 2 is a sample-based guitar instrument with two modes. In Instrument mode you can play guitar from a keyboard, just like a synth, albeit with a very narrow range (just two-and-a-half octaves). In Player mode, notes/keys trigger prerecorded riffs and phrases, selected using the lower octaves, with the pitch/chord being selected with the upper octaves. To create the tone you hear, there are multiple "Characters", to simulate different guitars/pick-ups, different amp/cab options with Drive and various effects you can dial in. Each preset stores those settings and matches it to a set of riffs/phrases to suit. To create your own preset, you select a set of riffs/phrases, choose the guitar character you want, dial in your own Amp/Cab/Drive settings and add effects to suit what you're trying to do. It's all pretty simple, really, but the results are mostly brilliant, in either mode.
Iron is the VG instrument for harsher guitar tones - Punk, Grunge, Alternative and Hard Rock - and it delivers on those genres nicely. Iron 2 extends that versatility further than the original in a few ways. The individual Amp/Cab modes are more different from each other than they used to be, so they cover more territory now. There is also an extra mode - Direct - that bypasses the Amp/Cab section altogether, giving you a raw electric guitar sound. A new Damp slider adds even more variety to the sound, as does a Force control, although it's a bit subtle most of the time.
The keyboard layout is consistent and easy to work with. The bottom two octaves always contain the same riffs, the next octave triggers a set of riffs you can change, that suit a particular style/genre, and the upper two-and-a-half octaves are the ones you play in either Player or Instrument mode. There's a Latch button so you can set off a note and play around with the settings, without having to run your host's sequencer, and timing options to play the riffs at half or double speed, as well as a subtle setting to add a bit more human feel to proceedings (Player mode only, of course). Playing a new note legato doesn't retrigger the pattern, which is how you add melody to the single tone/chord riffs. e.g. I select a riff that goes chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga over a bar. I trigger it in A and it plays an A power chord. If I change to a G half-way through, it keeps playing the riff but pitches it down to a G power chord, so I get the first two chuggas in A and the second two in G.
The biggest change is to the effects section. The original Iron had Chorus and Reverb knobs and that was it. Iron 2 has a stomp-box with 16 different effects to choose between, as well as Ujam's great Finisher multi-effects algorithms that can add anything from really full-on Industrial Metal distortion to trippy psychedelic excursions. If you choose the direct out option, you can add a stomp-box overdrive and a chorus plus reverb or something from Finisher to get some very different guitar tones than what you'd get through any of the Amp/Cab simulations.
Are there any downsides? Nah. It does just what you'd expect it to and it does it really, really well. The only reason I haven't given it 5 stars is that the 2.5 octave limit in Instrument mode is just a bit too restrictive, especially when VG Carbon and VB Rowdy offer more. Still, the sample content has tripled in size, so that should give you some idea of how much they have added to this very worthy update.Read Review