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Alchemy

 My KVR
Synth (Hybrid) Plugin by Camel Audio
No Longer Available

Alchemy has an average user rating of 4.73 from 11 reviews

Rate & Review Alchemy

User Reviews by KVR Members for Alchemy

Reviewed By Unfocused [read all by] on June 10th, 2011
Version reviewed: 1.20.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Unfocused on 11th June 2011.
Alchemy is one of my “go to” instruments. I use it for everything: pop/rock (the bulk of it), film scoring, electronic... everything. In fact I *only* use Alchemy and FM8, with a little bit of Reaktor to fill in the cracks, for "synth" sources.

I started with the demo and fell in love with its sound character. Alchemy's additive engine is great, and in combination with the spectral engine, makes the re-synthesis phenomenal, but there are a few things that need to be capitalized on to take it to a really usable level. I have a Kawai K5000S, which is what attracted me to Alchemy in the first place. Two things the K5k have, and which Alchemy could really use, are: (1) velocity-switching per source--there was a "hard" and "soft" spectrum per additive source with selectable velocity switching curves. That's really useful for creating very expressive keys. (2) The K5k also shipped with Emagic's SoundDiver, which had a really useful GUI for getting into the additive engine. Each spectrum had 4 associated boxes representing the partial level's ADSR envelope. You could easily see and edit what each partial's time evolution was in relation to all partials' evolution at a single glance. Granted the ADSR GUI described wouldn't exactly work in Alchemy because you can have a user defined number of envelope break points, but this is the *kind* of visualization tool that might be helpful in getting the most out of the additive engine. There are also some very interesting handling tools in NI’s new Razor ensemble for Reaktor. A new visualization/interface paradigm is really needed to take these engines to the next level. That being said, Alchemy is still very fun to use in its current incarnation, even if the editor is kind of clunky.

Other than the additive/spectral engines, I’ve been quite surprised by the other sound generating capacities of Alchemy. I absolutely love the VA engine! While the GUI took some getting used to compared to other VA’, the sound is fantastic, and there are some really neat modulation possibilities that are unavailable on other synths—try using the “VA/additive” mode and stack multiple saw waves in the additive editor, with different phases/detuning, then manipulate the symmetry using any number of unique performance-based modulation sources. Very interesting… As a matter of fact I only use Alchemy and Reaktor for VA duties now. Alchemy is a joy to program in VA mode, once you understand the GUI.

Another surprise is the sampler/granular mode. Granular is very powerful, useful, and innovative. A breeze to use. However, sampler mode (and by association granular) disappoints me somewhat. Alchemy is marketed as "the ultimate sample manipulation tool." Part of manipulation is playing the right sample under pre-defined conditions. To this end, it would be extremely helpful if Alchemy included an audio editing tool as well. Also, a graphical sample mapper, even a simple 2D sample map (velocity and key range) is good enough for me just to make it easy to load up your own sample map. I want a graphic representation of the zone, not a difficult to use drop down list. Then I'd have no reason to use anything else! Perhaps my disappointment with sampler/granular engine has more to do with the sample sets that I’ve used in Alchemy. I’d like to see higher quality detailed sample libraries as mangle-fodder. Things like round robin, extreme velocity layers, multisampling, and even keyswitching/scripting would put this over the top for me [edit: I suppoze the sfz format supports much of this, but I don't see a lot of evidence of its use in the Alchemy preset libraries I have]. To show this capability, Alchemy needs more bread and butter presets. I have GPO (which I like a lot), but have been eyeing the ProjectSAM stuff. I'd love to have something along those lines for Alchemy. If Alchemy was truly the "ultimate sample manipulation synthesizer," I might also be able to pare down my straight sample libraries with their multitude of third-party sample players. For me, if Alchemy just had a basic sample editor and decent mapping GUI, it would also become my *sampler* of choice. How hard is it to make a "Kontakt killer?"

The manual is useful and the growing selection of video tutorials (free! Hear that Cakewalk?) are excellent and have helped me grow in the right places! Customer support is some of the best in the business. I love the Camel Audio team—they have always been prompt, polite, and helpful with respect to my questions and requests. You can’t go wrong with Alchemy!

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Comments & Discussion for Camel Audio Alchemy

Discussion
Discussion: Disabled
ariston
ariston
26 October 2013 at 8:56am

@rosko: Why do I get the feeling that you didn't spend a lot of time with Alchemy (or Absynth)? Almost everything you wrote is dead wrong. "The additive features" only seem good for "crunching up the sound"? That is wrong on so many levels I wouldn't even know where to begin to explain exactly how wrong it is. And as for being geared towards huge soundscapes and not good for leads and basses... again, doh.

There's a saying that a review tells more about the critic than it does about the object being reviewed. This review tells me that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Cubehog
Cubehog
26 October 2013 at 8:57pm

Rosko12, please be more patient and try to understand what these synths are. Both offer so much more than the regular subtractive synths. Thus they are complex environments. You discourage people to try these synths.

From a music listener's view I'd like to hear more creative sounds. These two synths can surely deliver and in the right hands they can be used for very organized sound design.

Zebra can also be reviewed. If I take it with humor than this can turn out to be quite funny.

Good luck.

plenz
plenz
29 October 2013 at 2:43am

This is the same "quality" of "review" as he did for Absynth.

User3333
User3333
29 October 2013 at 11:58am

Guys leaving aside the merit of the review how good is Alchemy against other VST synths over $200. Is it more similar to Absynth or Razor (or not)? If you had low latency with a MIDI controller keyboard would it compare well to the latest hardware synthesisers?

T-CM11
T-CM11
29 October 2013 at 12:20pm

Why don't you try the demo? Isn't there enough written here & elsewhere about it?

Which latest hardware synthesisers? The MS20 Mini? Korg Volca? Pulse2?

User3333
User3333
4 November 2013 at 2:34pm

T-CM I was comparing Alchemy with the recent Access Virus and Nord Lead 4.

T-CM11
T-CM11
4 November 2013 at 2:55pm

The Virus TI2 is not that recent anymore ;-)

Personally, I wouldn't get Alchemy based on it's VA sound. I would prefer the NL4 for that (not that I can afford one). But it can do so much more that the NL4 can't. I'd compare it more with a Roland V-Synth...

snigelx
snigelx
29 October 2013 at 4:03pm

@User3333 Watch these nice videos and make an informed buying decision (bonus, if you skim over them manual while demoing the synth). I do not think you will be the least disappointed.

Alchemy Tutorial Videos by Dan Worrall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DodjQ9UUOmA&list=PL3C6594A994B13A64

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SarahBellum
SarahBellum
29 October 2013 at 12:52pm

I tried out the demo's of Absynth, Omnisphere, and Alchemy - I bought Alchemy because it has the most scope and was also the best value for money. (Razor isn't in the same league as these three giants).

As a Rompler there are hundreds of presets to tweak, and cheap Soundbanks packs specific to particular genre's. It's a powerful 4-part multi-synth in it's own right with multiple Filters, LFO's, EG's, and Seq's etc so (if you know how to program) making your own sounds from scratch is a dream (a lot easier than Absynth). It's Virtual Analogue engine is brilliant for making classic authentic vintage sounds, and it has a great effects section.

But the winning features for me were being able to morph in real-time between 8 sub-presets with an X-Y pad (I use a nanopad 2), and being able to load Wavs and SFZ's and then resynthesise them (you can't do that in Omnisphere) - i use Chicken System Translator to convert SF2's, Kontakt banks and Sampletank banks to SFZ's, drop them in Alchemy and then take them to weird and wonderful places :)

Alchemy has replaced almost all of my other synths - try the demo for yourself and get the free Alchemy player (it also loads Wavs and SFZ's)

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slowdazzzle
slowdazzzle
31 October 2013 at 6:52pm

Where to begin ? :).....I tested Alchemy Demo, which I loved and have been using just the player with Camel Sound Libraries for now and plan to upgrade soon. I can make almost any sound, style, effect with just the player and it's various ways to morph the sound, better than a lot of synths I own. The full synth is a universe of possibilities no other synth can offer. I might add that Alchemy also includes CamelP.hat and CamelSpace..!! Right now Groove3 training tutorials site is offering one on Alchemy by Lawrence Holcomb for $30, ( recently on sale for $10 ) which is fantastic as are all their tutorials. Camel Audio has superb customer service, often directly from the sound designers themselves, within a day or less. I recommend highly Alchemy and Camel Audio to anyone interested in creating fine synhesized sounds.

User3333
User3333
4 November 2013 at 2:31pm

Hello I love the look and sound of Alchemy and originally I had it as my first VST synth to purchase and I would build others around it to complement. But the acquisition of Komplete 9 Standard and with Razor I would probably be looking at getting Alchemy later. Razor also has a vocoder which many of the leaders in Ominsphere, Sylenth, nor Synthmaster don't have I'm guessing apart from resynthesis. My lineup is all the ones in Komplete 9 standard, Padshop Pro, Retrologue, and others in Cubase and Sonar LE which is more than enough to keep me going for years without needing to look elsewhere you would reckon? Sarah why did you buy Razor when you have Alchemy?

Svarg
Svarg
23 December 2013 at 9:36am

Hello,.

I'm new to Alchemy, using the demo right now but plan to get the full version.

I was wondering, there are third party presets and samples out there (online) to use in Alchemy and they work fine, but is there a way to incorporate them into the rest of my presets so they will show up in the browser with the others?

Thanks.

SarahBellum
SarahBellum
23 December 2013 at 10:16am

there are some available in the downloads section of the registered users area on Camels site.

the are some cheap soundbanks out there, eg - http://www.yuroun-sounddesign.com/products/soundbanks/ - click on Alchemy

Alchemy can load any SFZ banks

:)

Svarg
Svarg
23 December 2013 at 5:02pm

Yes, I know. I have that very one as well as some others. My question is, can they be incorporated into the preset DB so that they show in the browser?

I will try to chase down where the "stock" presets reside. Maybe if I move the new ones to there. . .

Thanks for your reply.

ZenPunkHippy
ZenPunkHippy
23 December 2013 at 5:09pm

Presets installed to the proper location will show up in the preset browser after scanning for new presets (on the Alchemy File menu). If you need info about where presets are found, the best thing to do is contact support [at] camelaudio [dot] com with some details about which OS + host you are using.

Guy Richardson
Guy Richardson
23 December 2013 at 5:45pm

If you're on a Mac the path is MacintoshHD>Library>Application Support>Camel Audio>Alchemy - inside this folder is a number of files. Look for one called samples and another called presets. Inside both you will find folders named after various sound designers plus the factory set. Make a folder in each for your own stuff and save your samples and presets in the appropriate folders. Sorry I don't know the windows path but I imagine it's similar. Once done your presets will show up in the browser.

T-CM11
T-CM11
23 December 2013 at 5:56pm

it's not similar at all! ;-) (I don't remember where the default was, I installed (or moved) the presets to my own location.)

ZenPunkHippy
ZenPunkHippy
23 December 2013 at 6:07pm

The default location on Windows is:

C:\ProgramData\Camel Audio\Alchemy

(you can access it from the Start Menu under "Camel Audio"

Svarg
Svarg
24 December 2013 at 5:11am

Thanks everyone. I'm running Windows 7 so it's probably where ZPH said. Maybe I'll see about moving them to my own location like T-CM11 but for now I'll be happy just being able to get them into the system.

Thanks again.

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syndicat
syndicat
15 February 2014 at 1:27pm

Hi,.

does anyone have news about an AAX64 plugin format update for Alchemy (and i.e. other Camelaudio products)? I assume there are many Alchemy / Camelaudio users out hardly awaiting an AAX64 version for Pro Tools 11 as Camelaudio's products are some of the last which are not still ported to AAX64 / Pro Tools 11.

Many thanks for any hint or info.

cheerioh,.

Niels.

ChamMusic
ChamMusic
9 March 2014 at 1:02pm

Definitely my favourite VST sound design environment of the last 12 months, (and I also own Kontakt 5 and Reaktor).

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/clockwork-angels.

All sounds come from Alchemy by Camel Audio - just 2 patches + plenty of modulation using those X / Y pads. (Sounds were designed by Martin Walker and Simon Stockhausen).

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digiteaser
digiteaser
4 November 2014 at 10:16am

wanted to drop by and say this is my fav synth plug as of now (as quite some people i guess :), asi became a member newly.

also love camel audio, their environmentalist campaigns etc.

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