I've had Alchemy for about half a year now. I must say, I really got my money's worth.
I found it very stable and reasonably CPU friendly. Often my tracks contains 4-5 instances of Alchemy. It covers almost every sound I need. Especially nowadays when I'm into more "hard to describe" organic sounds. If I'd be looking for the typical "massive unison sawtooth chord stabbing sounds" that are heard on the radio today I'd probably choose a different plugin. But of course It can do that to If needed.
The enormous possibilities and the GUI to handle all this is actually very good. Here the Youtube tutorials helped me a lot. The librarian and the way the patches can be organized is fully adequate. (Spend those extra seconds to name and tag your favorites and you will be rewarded ;).
I won't go through all the possibilities, cause there's so much and nothing is missing. A few highlights though:
You can save the" building blocks" of a sound for later use in other sounds. Oscillator settings. LFO's, envelopes, effects can be saved into their own little libraries. Such a simple thing as copy all settings from one oscillator to another is very useful. With this in mind - a majority of the presets, both the built in and the one you can purchase, are often very complex. There's a lot going on when you press a key. Impressive? Yes. But sometimes i'ts just to much according to my taste. With the ability to save certain parts of a sound It's easy to build your own version.
The "Remix sound" feature - control a bunch of parameters in one go.
It sounds great...and bad in a good way when needed. For example the resynthesis methods can sound almost natural but also like vintage digital gear. (PPG, Emulator etc). Perhaps the VA synthesis lacks some of the really low end but that's not really a problem since it does everything else so well.
The free Alchemy player gives me the possibility to duplicate everything on a laptop used for live use. (without having to force the bands keyboard player to buy the full version).
The support is good. Emails are replied and the product is updated now and then. Wich gives you as a customer a positive impression of the company.
@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.
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.
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?
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...
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)
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.