Cronox 3 is a nice hybrid sampler/synth and good value for money.
Cronox 3 has a nice looking user interface. Most nobs and buttons are fairly large wich makes them easy to grab and adjust with the mouse. I like the 2-dimensional userinterace elements where you can adjust two parameters at once by dragging horizontally or vertically. It's clearly laid out and easy to understand.
Sound-wise I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Cronox. I think some of the presets are really, really, stunning, but then, most I find useless, and I find it hard to get my own sounds to sound great (no, I don't have that problem with other synths!). The presets I really love are based on samples, so I'm afraid its really the quality of the samples and not that of the synth-engine I love.
Cronox has all the features of a subtractive-style synth. Add to that: multimode and variable state filters, 4 oscillators with various sample playback and manipulation modes, a powerfull programmable arpeggiator, a modulation matrix and 6 built in effects. It's actaully very powerfull!
The manual is small, but well written. You won't need it much, because this synth is very simple to use.
The preset management is clumsy (at least on OS X). The presets are in the system library folder and if you decide to place your own sounds in the user library folder (because otherwise they'll be replaced in case of an update)you'll have to manually navigate from one to the other.
I've had contact via mail with customer support at linplug in the past and it was allways good.
Cronox is good value for money. You get lots of features, but you'll have to decide for yourself if you like the sound of it. I find Cronox very stable on OS X.
Cronox has always been a good provider for my creative output. There are several reasons for this:
User Interface I´am fan of this yellowish design since version 2. The recent UI is very precious with its golden finish. The whole layout is well designed for a good flowing work.
Sound For me it sounds very pleasant and expensive. To keep the digital-analog-dispute alive, i would say it´s a excellent mix between both;-). Cronox can sound fat and cushy/airy, but not necessarily "brutal-analog" or thin. What i also find positive is the quality of the effects-section, as it is usually the achilles heel of a synth. The only small downer is the discharge of the sound when switching presets, but peter had already promised to fix it.
Features Cronox is a workhorse and i don´t miss a thing. I won´t list all the features here as you can read it above, but i want to name the most conspicuous in my eyes (loose order): precision-adjustment, free fx-chaining, filter saturation, great sampler possibilities, combining both osc and sampler modules, chord function, 5.1 mix, inbuilt appregiator and a good modulation matrix with exceptionally possibilities like vel/attack or lfo/ loopstart(-end). These i would say are not day to day features and upvalues Cronox a lot.
Documentation I found it understandable and detailed enough, so even a less experienced person should understand it.
Presets The big plus is the huge number of presets. The musical range is very good and the quality is as well, but for me the sampler is used too much (even i know the focus lies on sample-editing) so that not all of the synth-features are used and presented (which should be i.m.o.)
Customer Support Really good. I exchanged a few mails with Peter and he is a kind and helpful person. Also the forum here at KVR is very active for quick support.
Value For Money Highest score. When you compare it other with companies, it´s really inexpensive (not cheap;-)).
Stability It never crashed and i never had a problem with it.
Conclusion: Cronox is a very versatile synth, due to the different sound synthesis. You can use it for all kind of sounds. Drum programming is maybe a little tricky, but therefore you can use the sampler. Some synthesis options are indeed not as sophisticated in comparison to "specialists" like fm-synths or pure sample-players, but i think this is not the aim here. All in all i´m a very satisfied owner of Cronox and recommend it to everyone.
I luv this sampler-synth. It is a mega machine that can/will/does make wonderful sounds. I don't like the yellow GUI much, but then, hey that's no reason to complain really, well maybe a little complaint...
In terms of depth, this little fella has it all, you have four 'Generators' (sound sources) that can be routed thru a fairly complex (and musically useful) set of effects. There is also a comprehensive filter set too, and these bring C3 to another level - nice, rich and warm sounds are easy to create (Think analogue, but with digital clarity.)
It has a good lot of options in terms of modulation. The arpeggiator is basic but useful, and you also get a great routing matrix that allows for a myriad of routing possibilities. There are the standard LFO's as well, and these coupled with the routing matrix, mean that CronoX3 can output a huge variety of evolving and ever-changing sounds with justa couple random mouse-clicks.
What sets CronoX3 apart from others in this category are:
-5.1 surround mixing of generators, filters, etc. If you work in surround, CronoX3 allows you to do more with it in 5.1 than any other VI out there (inlcluding Absynth 3 and Mach5).
-it works! So far for me, it has been more stable than any other plug I own, -no bugs, glitches or problems, just clean clear sound.
-sampler/synthing (Because it can use samples for sound generation, it means you have a literally endless range of sound sources to work with.)
-price! THIS SYNTH IS TOO CHEAP, if you have a compatible host, GET IT NOW. (Download the demo if you doubt me, I DARE YOU!)
-variety It works as a bass synth, a lead synth, makes great pads and it will even make you a nice cuppa tea. (OK, not the last bit, but everything else).
What it doesn't do is real instrument impersonations. (Its sample engine is not a full-blown sampler like Kontakt, etc. it uses the samples as the basis for creating sounds, but I think you would be hard pressed to find any way of emulating a real-world instrument).
BTW, I don't have any personal stake in this instrument, justa fan/user.
What Robert said below is exactly what I thought at first, digital sounding (the filters are a bit too sharp). To me the presets weren't very useful either....to be honest.
Don't give up on it tho! You just have to remember that CronoX is a sampler and if it sounds digital, find some fat warm samples and load em up! I like using all Cronos in a tune, it's got a sound of it's own...it's kinda like using FM synths, they can be hard to work with if you don't know what your after.
You can get good results with this, you just have to keep at it! When you get those impresssive results you want, you'll be patting yourself on the back for finding this kick ass sampler synth for such a great price!!
Hope this review was helpfull, I felt like I had to say something. CronoX was just sitting off to the side never getting used and I decided to give it another shot. It's great now that I've learned how to use it! :)
CPU is great too, I used CronoX 7 x with my AMD Atholon XP 2500 handling it with out a prob!
CronoX seems to be one of those synths that you either love or hate. For me, this purchase just never worked out. To begin with, when I tried the demo it refused to work on either of my systems. All I ever got from customer support was that the problem must be with my system because it worked fine for them. I suggested that it might just be a problem with the demo version but that went nowhere. It was not until after I purchased the Bundle and reported that the real full version worked fine but the demo still refused to work that they found a problem with the demo. This was a frustrating first contact with a normally good company. That along with lots of early denorm problems probably kept me from using this synth as much as I might have.
As for the sound, I can see where it might be useful, but I don’t really like it. The sound is very digital. This can be good in some respects, but it is a thin digital sound. Way too thin for the CPU resources it consumes. The patches I do like easily spikes my P4 into overload. It can be useful on percussion, but it is more like a timbale than a deep, oak tom-tom. The concept is very nice and you can do a lot with sounds you load, but the quality of the filters are not up to the level of the rest of the instrument. Of all the LinnPlug instruments I own, this is the least used and most troublesome. Every few months I pull it out and give it another try, then put it away and go back to using other instruments.
I do not write many reviews but thought I would state a few opinions now I got a bit of free time to do so on a few selected synths, nice and short to the point kind of thing.
Well this is one synth I am happy to write about, yep! Its one of those biased reviews due to the excellence of the CronoX version 2.04 its self.
GUI is clear and combined with the adequate (plus simple to understand) documentation I was up and running in no time. It offers ample factory presets as well as a user bank that can be downloaded from the LinPlug website also I noticed when I was there the option to buy more presets. But…
The opportunity to abuse this synth is perverse with the two generator slots that each have one of four options, loading a wave or a loop sample is where the real fun starts, so if you are anything like me and enjoy the option to explore sound this is one real quick way of achieving off the wall brilliance.
Stability is rock solid as is the support. This company is among the few of real look after the customer kind. There is a support forum and emails are replied to (in ample time) upgrades are cost effective as well as the cost of the synth to start with.
Try the demo, you do not know what you are missing and the longer you leave trying it the more you will come to regret it when you do (like heck I should have tried this earlier…. kind of thing)
Tested in FL Studio Producer, windows 2000 SP3, 256 MB ram, AMD 1800+ XP
CronoX 2 is a interesting concept, one you might expect to design in something like Reaktor or SynC Modular. The manipulation and use of any combination of VA analog, Time Stamp (sample playback), Loop and Schrader sample slicing in concert with multiple filter types, shared ADSFR envelopes for amplitude, filter and modulation along with LinPlug's now famous modulation matrix makes CronoX a great choice for pads, leads and strangely, percussion sounds.
The filters have a warm sound although I haven't been able to self-oscillate them, but this is a minor quibble. The sound is punchy but not huge compared to something like Pentagon. On the other hand the filters have a nice 80's sound along the Roland Juno synth line. There are 12 & 24db LP, BP and HP filters along with several effects choices. You can use only one effect although using a bit of programming creativity you can cover things like chorus and many modulation effects.
In my first review I said CronoX reminds me of wavetable synths. Well, with the Schrader module and a bit of modulation you'll be able to get microWave type sounds if not quite as in depth editing wise. But for the price, who cares?
The layout is intuitive and the manual is straight forward. It will take some time learning how to get the most out of CronoX 2 but it is realatively easy to learn and has the capability to do just about anything you want.
To say I am totally impressed with version 2 would be an understatement. Sure, you can find similar features in modular synths and even in Orion's 'Ultran' with it's deeper (and more difficult to learn) programming environment, but what may be missing in CronoX 2 is more than made up for with it's smart interface, easy functionality and flexiblity of sound.
It's even economical on the CPU.
A no brainer upgrade and totally worth checking into if you want a taste of more expensive VSTis.