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KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2013 - The Results (Better Late Than Never!)

Much later than originally planned, but here are the final results of the KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2013 (!?!!). Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. It's the best kind of customer feedback a company can get.

There were runaway winners in a couple of categories, and some categories that were very closely contested, even after the voting extension.

Major congratulations are in order for Urs Heckmann and u-he. Not only did his company win several product categories, but they also won for Best Support, maybe the most important award of them all.

Feel free to discuss these results in the forum here.

Without further ado (please note that "honorable mentions" are in no particular order):

Best Overall Instrument Plug-in

The plug-in voted Best Overall Instrument Plug-in is, drum-roll please - u-he's comprehensive and versatile Zebra (or as my British colleagues like to call it, "Zebra").

There were no real surprises when it came to the Honorable Mentions in this category, with the big hitters Alchemy from Camel Audio, Kontakt and Reaktor by Native Instruments and Omnisphere by Spectrasonics all up there with loads of votes.

Zebra
Best Synth Plug-in

If one votes for Zebra as the best overall instrument then it sure follows that Zebra would be the Best Synth Plug-in as well. Nuff said...

The Honorable Mentions in this category go to Massive from Native Instruments and u-he's other synth powerhouse, Diva, with SynthMaster by KV331 Audio and, again, Alchemy from Camel Audio doing well too.

Zebra
Best Sampler Plug-in

In the most lopsided vote, Kontakt won Best Sampler plug-in. Taking more than 10 times the votes than the next most popular sampler plug-in, Kontakt is clearly the Sampler of choice for an ever expanding group of content developers and the platform is well-maintained by Native Instruments.

The Honorable Mentions in this category go to MOTU's Mach V and a surprise appearance by FXpansion's Geist, which is kind of in a category by itself. TX16Wx Software Sampler by CWITEC and HALion by Steinberg also did well in the fight for best-of-the-rest.

Kontakt
Best Drum Instrument Plug-in

Toontrack's Superior Drummer was the winner in the Best Drum Instrument category. They continue to support this platform with new libraries every few months that keep the same superior level of quality.

Honorable Mentions go to Battery and Maschine from Native Instruments, Addictive Drums by XLN Audio and the MicroTonic drum synth by Sonic Charge.

Superior Drummer
Best Analog-Modeled Instrument Plug-in

In the Best Analog-Modeled Instrument the winner is... um... Er... Diva, from u-he, again.

Honorable Mention goes to Z3TA+ from Cakewalk, proving that if you make a great product you don't have to change anything (other than porting it to the Mac) or add new features to keep it relevant.

Diva
Most Creative Instrument Plug-in

Reaktor, the graphical modular software music studio by Native Instruments, was the winner in the category. This is a testament to its longevity (it was first hatched in 1996 as "Generator") as well as its quality.

The Honorable Mentions go to Camel Audio's Alchemy, the quirky Synplant by Sonic Charge and Absynth by Native Instruments.
Reaktor
Best Overall Effect Plug-in

Voting in the Best Overall Effect Plug-in category was so close that three products should be called out: ValhallaVintageVerb (Valhalla DSP), Reaktor (NI) and Guitar Rig (NI) were all within a couple of votes of each other.

Honorable Mentions go to Saturn by FabFilter and Alloy by iZotope.

ValhallaVintageVerb

Best Reverb Plug-in

In a bizarre twist of voting, although ValhallaVintageVerb (jointly) won the Best Effect Plug-in category it only came second in the best reverb category (WTF !?!?!). It was a very close second to its ValhallaDSP stable-mate ValhallaRoom though! Congratulations to ValhallaDSP.

Honorable Mentions to the excellent Aether by 2CAudio, the Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb by Universal Audio and the venerable free Ambience by Magnus @ Smart Electronix.

ValhallaRoom
Best Dynamics Effect Plug-in

The Best Dynamics Effect Plug-in category winner is The Glue by Cytomic. It probably doesn't hurt that they are blessed as the compressor of choice by the developers of Ableton Live.

Honorable Mention goes to Pro-C by FabFilter, with DC8C by Klanghelm doing well too.

The Glue
Best Mastering Effect Plug-in

The runaway winner in the Best Mastering Effects Plug-in category is Ozone by iZotope. A comprehensive program from a company that is doing cool things.

The Honorable Mention goes to T-RackS CS by IK Multimedia.

Ozone
Most Creative Effect Plug-in

Native Instruments Reaktor makes it a komplete sweep in the "Creative" categories, taking the Most Creative Effect Plug-in title too. There is plenty of community respect for this powerful tool and a lot of people developing Reaktor Instruments.

Honorable Mentions go to CamelSpace by Camel Audio and Glitch by Illformed.

Reaktor
Best Analog-Modeled Effect Plug-in

IK Multimedia's guitar modeling plug-in Amplitube was the big winner in this category. Amplitube was one of the first products in the modeling category and their Custom Shop is a creative way to keep the plug-in current and relevant.

Honorable Mentions go to PSP's Vintage Warmer and Virtual Buss Compressors by Slate Digital.

Amplitube
Best DAW/Sequencer/Multitrack For Recording

Sort of newcomer (in the last 10 years anyway) REAPER from Cockos was a surprise winner over the more established sequencers. Justin Frankel has shown us that it's never too late to bring a DAW to the marketplace...

Honorable Mention goes to Cubase from Steinberg. Yamaha continues to develop the DAW, and pairs it with a growing number of hardware products. It was a pretty tight category with Live by Ableton, Logic Pro by Apple and Studio One by PreSonus making good showings too.

REAPER
Best DAW/Sequencer/Multitrack For Performance

Ableton Live was the runaway winner in the Performance DAW category. Its elegant design lends itself especially well to DJs and rehearsing bands. To Ableton's credit the design has remained consistent in its presentation of the program's primary elements, a very important feature for people performing music and don't want to have to think about anything else.

The Honorable Mention goes to FL Studio by Image Line.

Live
Best Mobile App For Recording

The winner in the Best Mobile App for Recording should not be a surprise for anyone that does music on an iPad. GarageBand is an amazingly comprehensive program for $5 bucks.

The Honorable Mention goes to Auria by WaveMachine for both getting the votes and for hanging in there with the Empire.

GarageBand
Best Mobile App For Making Music

There are two winners in a virtual tie: FL Studio Mobile by Image Line and the free Alchemy Mobile by Camel Audio. Both apps have built in step sequencers as well and sound generators. In the case of FL Studio a user can import their files created on the mobile version to the desktop version. In the case of Alchemy, many of the desktop version sound libraries can be imported and a user can control the desktop version from their mobile device.

An important Honorable Mention goes to Audiobus by Audiobus Pty Ltd. It received a bunch of votes from people who know how important IAC is on any new platform.

FL Studio Mobile
Best New Plug-In Released In The Last 12 Months (July 1 2012 - June 30 2013)

ValhallaVintageVerb by Valhalla DSP wins this after also taking Best Effect and narrowly missing out on winning Best Reverb.

The Honorable Mentions go to Permut8 by Sonic Charge, EQuilibrium by DMG Audio and Kirnu by Cream.

ValhallaVintageVerb
Most Customer-Focused Developer (AKA Best Support)

The winner in the all-important Most Customer Focused Developer (AKA Best Support) category is, not surprisingly, u-he. This proves that if you provide great customer experience (support, communication, listening, etc.) you're going to get great customer feedback.

The top 5:

  1. u-he
  2. Camel Audio
  3. Valhalla DSP
  4. Native Instruments
  5. FabFilter
Favourite Plug-in / Application Developer

Again, it's appropriate to mention the top 5 in the category because it means they are all doing a great job.

Three from the previous category are here again. In order of their finish they are:

  1. u-he
  2. Native Instruments
  3. FabFilter
  4. Audio Damage
  5. Sonic Charge
The Plug-In That Changed My Life (Best Plug-in Everrrrr)

This was another extremely close vote that requires mention of two products, unsurprisingly the Best Sampler and Best Synth and Instrument winners: Kontakt and Zebra.

The Honorable Mentions go to three other hugely successful plug-ins: Reaktor by Native Instruments, Diva by u-he and of course Omnisphere from Spectrasonics. This is a solid showing for Omnisphere, without any major updates (see Z3TA+ above) in several years. It's a huge program with a huge library of sounds, and there's an iPad controller to boot.

Kontakt Zebra Omnisphere

That's it then! Sorry again that's it taken us so long to publish these results... We'll try to get the next awards going soon (which should be for samples / soundware), along with a new Developer Challenge.

KVR 2013 2014.

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Discussion

Discussion: Active
Zoundsangelfire
Zoundsangelfire
4 March 2014 at 11:25pm

No best sounding catagory in which case I'd vote Nebula the real world of analog inside your box.

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