I have mixed feelings about this synth. The concept is nice, the support is good, and the MIDI implementation is great. The only part really lacking is sound. I was hoping for the old Wasp analog sound. What I get seems to sound like a Wasp played over a transistor radio with a 2 inch speaker. There is no life to the sounds. It’s just there. This does not render the synth useless, but it does give it a narrow focus. If you want a song intro with that sounds like it came from a radio, this is the synth. If you want a synth that blends in with other products and gives viable sounds, Wasp is relegated to a few sound effects.
Dash Synthesis seem to have found a winning formula - at least from my perspective. They follow one of the all-time great rules, which is "Keep it simple." They have small, but fun synths at very reasonable prices.
This synth, daHornet, is all kinds of funky. Loading it up and playing the first few notes, I suddenly found myself in the world of Logan's Run - and all the other sci-fi movies from that era. It's not restricted to that, though. A little playing around got me a respectable accordion sound. That may not sound like a good thing to some, but the point is that it's not as limited a synth as one might think.
Where this thing really shines, however, is the in the way-out wacky sounds. A lot of those are towards the end of the presets, but they're really not hard to dial up yourself. Check out "Man in a hive."
daHornet is laid out nicely, with a logical flow to the buttons. Right-clicking on the logo brings up a menu that has some options you might want to check out. I found that the volume level was a little too high for Cubase and a number of the presets were clipping. A quick trip to this menu and I set the volume to "soft" - perfect! There are also four different randoms, each of which can be assigned to the numbers 1-4 on your keyboard. A nice touch, indeed.
I have no complaints with daHornet. Sorry. It's a niche synth, but it's a very well-executed one. It's easy to download and check out. It's fun to play with. It's easy and cheap to buy. And the support from Dash Synthesis is second to none.
This is a pretty nice little synth. It's different, and it sounds great which is why I purchased a copy. It's easy to get really warm/dirty analog-style sounds. The random patch generator is really top-notch. You can choose from "pad", "lead", "bass", or "fx" style patches. I was able to get several useful new patches in a few minutes. MIDI Learn is available on all of the controls; this is a feature I think ALL software instruments should have.
But the part I like the most is that dirty, nasty sound. I love analog grit, and this little sucker puts out a fairly convincing range of those types of sounds. I've never used the original hardware version of this synth, so I can't say whether it's an authentic reproduction. I liked what I heard, though. The price is fantastic, I feel I got more than my money's worth with daHornet. Their online purchasing is quick, too. Within 5 minutes I had the full version up and running.
The synth is basically a faithful representataion of the synth it is emulating. The GUI is spot on. If you owned one of these you'll find your way around in no time coz it looks just like the original.
Now the sound and presets....I don't personnally dig the sounds/presets that daHornet is capable of and probably won't use it in any of my songs but not because its poor quality or anything, coz it not. Because the sound just isn't to my taste (I have the same views on Oddity!).
This is not a bad thing at all. Its a bit like saying that although a piano VSTi is excellent you don't like to use it in your songs because you prefer the organ.
My advice is to download the demo and give it a spin. If you had the original you will love this. If you fancy a grungy filthy lead line then you love it. It depends on your tastes really. If you want some industrial effect type sounds for something then it would probably be the synth you should turn to.
Features is rated high coz it has loads of them including midi learn which I particularly like in a synth.
Docs and customer support are very good. Infact, the developer hangs out at K-v-R so you always get a fast response to problems and queries - not that you will have any problems coz daHornet is rock solid on my system.
All in all this is a great synth and is great value for money. I do wonder why they only priced it at $30 coz most other companies charge over $100 for good analogue emulation VSTi's such as this.
This thing really grows on me. It has actually become one of my favorite plugins. I can hardly believe it myself.
As a betatester, I've been tamed by the dash guys. I used to like synths that make sound pierces through the eardrums and cuts the mix like a knife. I still do, but now I'm also deeply fond of the milder sound these dash VSTis make. All dash VSTis so far have one thing in common: the sound that makes me feel cozy and warm, be it daAlfa2k, Combosister, or this daHornet.
IMO, daHornet has the similar sound charachter to Oddity, as they both are modelled after vintage synths around the same period. daHornet is very very capable of making some "crappy" crazy noises that no other VSTi can do easily. That's my first impression of it.
I LOVE that kind of noise.
The presets are good. The patch generator is good too, but I find tweaking the knobs is much much more fun.
CPU usage is minimal on my PIII 800 (one instance only takes around 7%-9% CPU).
I LOVE the look of it.
Seeing a WASP sitting in my host is amazingly enjoyable.
I also would like to preface this by stating that I am a beta tester for Dash synthesis, but I still feel that I can give you an unbiased review of this synth, because I have spent a good month with this synth and think that dash synthesis is committed to bringing out good products for reasonable prices.
This synth is definitely a good "buzzy" and sharp sounding synth. Much more aggressive sounding than the daAlpha2k, which leads to a different sonic pallette than the daAlpha2k.
The interface (love it or hate it) is a pretty authentic replica and I think its pretty cool. Some of the text is slightly hard to read, but it is intuitive and easy to use.
The sounds- Like I mentioned earlier- this is a loud aggressive sounding synth, but it can also do some nice pads and other textural sounds. I really like the leads and basses. You can sound like Mr.Oizo and his famous MS-20 with this thing- great efx sounds are also possible. You probably wouldn't use this synth on a love ballad, but why are you making love ballads anyway? :^P
Ease of use- Very easy to program, and the random patch generator makes lead, pads, basses and efx sounds available with just 1 click. Very cool!
One thing that I really like about Dash synths is that he is making quality sounding/looking synths and is not charging an arm and a leg for them. At a SRP of 30 bucks or so this is an absolute bargain! I challenge you to find a synth this good written by the "big" companies that charge 250 bucks for average quality synths.
Support is very quick with the Dash team. All issues that I present to William, Luigi and staff are answered quickly and usually fixed the same day. These people know what they are doing. Included documentation is precise and thorough. I really don't have any issues with this synth.
Stability- this synth has not caused any hiccups on my system and was very stable.
Overall, you can't go wrong if you are looking for an affordable growly
First off let me start by saying I'm a beta tester for Dash Synthesis, and when we first got our hands on this thing I didn't like it at all. Things have changed however since I first tried it out. I've learned to use it a bit better and there has been a lot of work put into this synth. It's very stable now and has a few extra features from the origional WASP; It's become a quite useful synth.
I don't like the GUI, but it does accuratly imitate the origional WASP which this is a clone of. It's not that it's hard to use or anything, it's just too dark for my personal taste. The GUI does work well, it's easy to understand after you poke around for a minute and does the job. I think it's a matter or preference though so some might really like it.
The sound is great. It's very egdy and makes some harsh buzzing noises. It is also capable of some nice basslines and other things depending on how you use it. With a little bit of reverb this will fit into a mix quite well. It's a good way to add some character to a tune :)
It's got the same features as the origional wasp along with some new ones. My favorite: the Random Preset Generator. Dash has put this on their daAlfa2k synth too and it works quite well.
The docs are just fine, the presets are good. There's not all that much to say about them really. They do the trick :)
The customer support from Dash is very good. They put a lot of work into being good customer service people, and most of the time if you send them an email, you'll get one back in just minutes. very good if you ask me.
The WASP is stable. It's a good synth to have in your collection if your into the kind of sounds that you can get from this one. If your a VSTi addict, it's for you because it's fun, different, and cheap ;) If your a fan of the origional WASP hardware synth, this is also for you.
Beware: the row of the table shows a serial number to copy-paste. Nothing illegal, daHornet had been created to be purchased but when it became freeware later, the dll has not been recompiled, so this serial number is provided to use it since that day it became freeware.