I tried the free version, blinked when I heard the sounds it created and reached for my wallet. I opened the editor on my shiny new purchase and whimpered.
It's ugly. It's confusing. It's near incomprehensible - even with the manual. It may as well be written in Czech.
I soon found myself looking at it as if an alien spacecraft had landed in my back yard, devoid of occupants; strange controls and arcane symbols on mysterious panels blinking and inviting me to prod them.
I found myself creating sounds I'd never heard before. Ever. If you listen carefully, you can start to hear cymbals, strings, chuch organs... all sorts of strange, metallic or bell noises lurking in the background.
I've bought a fair few crappy VSTs in my time: things that seemed cool until I knew better. Even these abberations create cool, enchanting drones, rhythms and aleatoric orchestrations when fed into the beast.
If you want to create some truly unique sounds and wish to be surprised at the stuff you create, give it a try. If you want certainty and control... well, stick to VAs - nothing to see here.
For me, I'll just sit here a while with a stupid grin on my face.
I wonder what'll happen if I feed orchestral strings into this thing and prod the LOW bar up a few notches...
I don't think I've ever felt so let down by something I really looked forward to buying in all my years of buying music software.
It's not that the "basic" sounds and free version are bad.
The basic sounds one can get with the "free versions" are in fact what made me decide to buy this.
The big let down was the realization that "buying" the full pro version got me basically nothing extra.
The free version I'd recommend to everyone who can use about 30 or so preset vocodor effects with some minimal shaping. They're great.
But if you like me and you're impressed by the free version, and start to think of buying it, DO NOT.
Generally speaking pro versions of any software will outdo the free version/demo version, if simply for the lack of limitations.
Once able to access the full functionality of a bit of software, the true potential is revealed.
Sadly the 4ormulator pro offers almost nothing extra.
The more in-depth gui is so counter-intuitive and nonsensical it's worthless for creating your own new patches.
Almost none of them do a damn thing, except for one slider. It's effect is pretty profound.
Add to that, that the terminology is opaque. The labels themselves make sense, but what each parameter does if anything rarely has anything to do with the name it's given.
After spending many long hours working with the parameters, I quit in disgust.
This was quite disheartening, because I prefer to use patches I create. I usually dislike presets. Add to that, I'm usually extremely good at creating new patches with hard to work with instruments, like Klangformer, Albino, NI Etc. and you can start to get why I'm so disappointed.
Creating a sound was more like being asked to pull a puzzle apart, then put it back together again - blindfolded, and as you try someone keeps taking a piece away for a little while just as you need it most to make sense of what you're doing
The instruction set is minimal. At first I figured oh this must mean using it is very intuitive.
Ummm, it's the opposite of intuitive.
Trying to create new sound with this thing "on purpose" is extremely tedious and frustrating.
Nothing seems to have the same effect on a sound twice even if you do the exact same thing with the same parameter albeit on a different patch.
The true irony in this piece of software is the good presets are all included in the 32 that come with the free version. NONE of the extra in the full set are worth a damn.
OF COURSE, if the complete package of presets lived up to the free 32 I received in the free version, all of this would have been forgiven.
I get the feeling those 32 were truly an effort by the developer to create some great patches, but when it came time to make patch 33 and after, he got bored and just started randomly tweaking this or that, and then giving it some "name" to make it sound like he made some effort.
If there is one thing I can say about a lot of mid-line softsynth n effects makers is they quite often give quite a big bang for the buck, Re-FX Wusikstation come to mind. Sadly I cannot say this about 4ormulator pro.
Robert Wolton seems to have given away the very best of 4ormulator pro in the free version, and left himself nothing to justify charging $50 for the pro-version.
Considering the near nothing a person gets for paying extra, this really should be re-marketed as donationware rather than actual commercial software.
For as in donation ware, he's giving it all away.
But by calling it commercial, he creates a set of expectations that he fails to meet on every count, for you get nothing extra for that $50 save for a serious case of "buyer's remorse."
And for those who bought only one heck of a case of "buyer's remorse."
I can't even call the commercial version a "one trick pony," because all the tricks were done by the free version.
The ratings I am giving it are so low, because they reflect solely my experience with the "Pro Version." I would rate the free version positively, but the "Pro-Version" gets the worst rating I can give, because I truly feel deceived by what I read about it, that helped me decide to buy it, and for the fact it offers nothing extra to make it deserve anything but the lowest rating
Latest 2 reviews from a total of 2
Comments & Discussion for Richard Wolton 4ormulator Vocoder Extreme