There are a lot of cheap monophonic bass synthesizers available in VSTi format. For over a year I tried to decide what if anything to buy. Finally I decided on The Beast and have been very happy. The Beast is easy to program and sounds great. You can get smooth bottom or a real growl. This is now my first call for synth bass.
I don’t want to repeat everything already stated. Instead I will make a couple of comments about performance. When I first tried Beast and Claw they refused to work properly in my setup. I don’t know if the issue was Sonar, the wrapper, the graphics card, or something with The Beast. I never had any problem with JunoX2 which was the first VSTi I ever bought from the Internet. As The Beast and Sonar evolved I tried again. It now works perfectly in Sonar using DirectiXer.
One thing that several low price bass VSTi’s seem to be missing is the ability to control modulation from a wheel as you can with a MiniMoog. This feature is now in beta for the Beast and should be available soon. This was the deciding factor for me. I prefer to play Moog style bass lines, not the simple TB303. I can now do that with The Beast.
It's ridiculous how easy it is to get good fat sounds out of this thing. I can't listen to some trance music anymore without thinking, oh, I can make that sound with Beast in no time flat. Great little synth, and very reasonably priced.
My only complaints are with the user interface, where a couple of little lights have very counterintuitive functions. I mean three settings red/green/off?!?!
I bought this synth when it first came out, and I loved it immediately! I have too many analog synth sims, but I've always loved the sound of a bunch of detuned oscillators, and that's what got me interested in synths in the first place back in the 80's... The first time I heard a big filter sweep, I was hooked! The Beast is a monster lead synth, and it almost overpowers everything, which would be my only complaint! If I could figure out a way, I would use it in every song, but they may be too much mayhem!! I think the presets offer a great eample of what it will do, and the effects add just enough to make things interesting... For the price, Yikes, nothing else comes close! A great example of the small developers producing top quality stuff for a great price!!
Beast is one fat sounding synth! It really can sound very much like true analog. Yeah, it's monophonic but it's obviously meant for rythmic basslines or leads and in this deparetment Beast shines. You can get really thick and dirty using the distortion or do clean pulsing warm basses. The built in reverb and delay are an added bonus but aren't the best in the world though they get the job done. Beast is very stable. I've only found one instability and that's a crash when you change sample rates while Beast is active. The included manual explains all the details of the synth. Overall I love this thing for it's great sounds. I've been using it a lot lately in a new song and for only $29 this synth is a steal!
When Beast first came out I used to have these spiritual moments with the instrument demo that forced me to buy it. I love using it as a lead synth. It can do some beautiful sounds that just put me into a trance. I like to compose all types of music and this synth has helped me explore the heavier electronic genres. A commonly harsh criticism of this synth is that it is too dirty, but with a name like Beast I don't know what else these people expected. Yes, some of the presets are downright nasty and in my tastes unusable, but for the most part I like presets such as Spacey Violins that really punch through on a track on a cool monophonic solo. Oh and the pitchbend is set at an octave or two making it REALLY fun.
The price was great. There is also a manual that explains everything. The knobs on the interface are nice to look at. However, originally I found the synth to be a little confusing in regards to the four oscillator setup, but the manual clears up all the confusion. My friend in design school says that for an object to possess perfect design it must be obvious how to use it immediately. Oh well synths are more complex than every day objects.
Bottom line: this is a more wild bass synth. It is definitely not for everyone but if you like trying new things in your music by all means try out the demo. You might find it to be aurally stimulating like I did. Maybe it's because I'm a guitar player I like these dirtier bass and lead sounds. Anyways, great job Refx I really like it!
I'd already bought the Juno 2x(see my review on that puppy) and was look for something else that could cater for the slightly more abrasive side of the sonic arsenal.
This baby certainly does it and, like the Juno, has very impressive depth of sound.
I would agree with a previous reviewer that this does have some common areas with the juno, but it does also have excellent distortion/delay/reverb filters which can give some excellent depth of sound.
The interface is very clear and simple, the presets are excellent examples of what can be done and it hasnt crashed once yet.
It has great potential for basses, leads and some down right nasty/naught spot effects.
I have the TBL and I just want to say the Beast is better! Better depth of sound, presets and functionality make it a pleasure to use. The built in effects actually help reduce overhead in my host, as CPU cycles are surprisingly low.
The presets are good but the randomise feature is fun to use, does not take long before an entirety different pattern of sounds emerge. So in my opinion the scope of this thing is well worth the cost.
Edit: However it would be a good idea to see the preset selected on the main display. Edit: reFX have stated 'the right-click context menu will be featured in ALL future products and updates of old products', great stuff! :o) Well done! ReFX