I bought this a while back and I haven't used it since. The most annoying thing is the copy protection. There is a constant request for the cd which is extremely annoying. I found Dynamo unusable because of this.
Sound quality is good but CPU usage is very high. Its versatility is offset by the few instances my computer can handle. I think the included ensembles are quite versatile but the fact that NI have released only two more and have not updated Dynamo is not good enough in my opinion.
There are other more useful VSTi's out there which consume much less cpu. It's possible to buy a synth and drum machine/sample player for the cost of Dynamo and as other companies have a much better updating policy I can't recommend Dynamo if value for money is a consideration.
Dynamo is a product of its time but time and development in the soft synth world has moved on.
Well....its now 2003 and we still haven't had an update. I think it sux. The CPU usage is the biggest in all my VSTi's and it crashes all the time. It needs an update just to be functional. While Reaktor users have seen engine updates and new ensembles we have had nothing. They have forgotten about Dynamo. Its a dead product so I recommend you don't buy it (well not at retail anyway). Don't be fooled...updates were promised but never came. Last summer they revealed Reaktor Sessions would be the update for Dynamo users and yes you've guessed it - we have to pay 99 euros for the privillege! Its irrelevant anyway because that update never materialised. My advice is too stay away from Dynamo and get yourself a few $20-$30 VSTi's instead of which there are plenty on the net. For example, ReFX JunoX2 is a much better Juno than NI Dynamos Junatic.
Reviewing Dynamo now is a little like reviewing a Mac Performa: it's so out of date as to be almost irrelevant. When it came out, Dynamo was a nice entree into the Reaktor thang for a reasonable price. Unfortunately the promised updates and additional downloadable synths essentially never materialized. Frankly, NI left Dynamo purchasers out in the cold; the long awaited Reaktor Sessions is supposed to be the (first significant) update for Dynamo, and we've been waiting for ages. The way NI has treated Dynamo users is shameful.
I don't have much good to say about Dynamo. It's copy protection is so bad that after buying dynamo, I now give considerable thought to the copy protection scheme before buying any software. It asked for the cd so much that I eventually uninstalled it and forgot about it. It asked me for the copy protection even when I wasn't using it. If I loaded up the host sequencer, it sometimes asked for the cd. That was a waste of money. The standalone crashed everytime I opened it.
Dynamo is in essence a stripped down version of Reaktor with the sound engine of Reaktor 2.3 (Reaktor is currently at 3.06) and the premium library that is also available for Reaktor.
There is good diversity in the synths you get and when first introduced Dynamo was a reasonable value. However in 2002 it is poor value as it is based on the older Reaktor engine and has minimal support, nor did Native Instruments live up to the promise of new ensembles. A few were released but for the most part what you bought was what you got.
Admittedly the quality of sound and the diversity of ensembles are good ranging from several drum and synth sequencers, a few excellent subtractive synths - in particular the Uranus ensemble which has a smooth and big sound. Also, the hints of sampling and granular sampling are at times spectacular if somewhat abstract.
If you find the package priced around $100 get it and known you will be able to upgrade to Reaktor Sessions which allows import of all Reaktor 3.x ensembles, effects and instruments.
For most people this will amount to a substantial upgrade and a most worthwhile one. Many Reaktor users put together preset synths and hardly ever get into the depths of programming it.
So consider Dynamo if you can find it on sale. It will give you a taste of the Reaktor sound from a couple years ago and provide you with a reasonable upgrade path to the much smarter designed update.
Otherwise pass on this package and look for one of the better software synths such as z3ta+ or Albino. They are better synths and have substantial feature sets.
I've been holding off on reviewing Dynamo for a couple of months now, figuring I would eventually get around to really exploring all or most of its 25 or "ensembles." Well, I haven't and I've decided the reasons why I haven't will form the core of this review.
Interface(s): Not a strength here. Faults on several levels--scrolling, unclear and unexplained terminology that the little roll-over pop-ups do little to illuminate. The interfaces and lack of adequate documentation are probably the two major factors that have kept me from getting the most out of this package. The third factor would be some issues with stability.
Sounds: There are some fine ones. As someone else noted, there's a sonic consistency from instrument to instrument, even though they supposedly represent radically different modes of synthesis: FM, Wavetable, standard subtractive, and a variety of hybrids. For some reason, I find that dynamo excels at synth sounds that have a stringy, plucked quality, a rubbery bounce, which I actually like.
Some of the emulations--Many Mood, Sh-2, etc., are pretty good. Some of the fx are pretty. However as my bud Bobro (Kosmolith) would say, most of these sounds lack a solid "kernel" that would let them hang in a mix with acoustic instruments. They sound great on there own.
If you can figure out the relative strengths and useful applications of these many and diverse instruments, you'd probably do better with Reaktor, build your own. If you, like me, are looking to build your programming chops, you might do better with one flexible unit like Pentagon I on which to focus your energies.
Dyanmo is, thus, a problematic package. But I have no regrets. I got it as part of the Future-Retro Bundle, with the glorious B4. If I consider that I paid full price for the B4, then I got Dynamo for a mere $65. Certainly worth that.
I've only used the Demo version which doesn't have all the instruments included, but I must say, it's worth the price for the ManyMood alone. The other instruments are very cool as well, especially the subtractive synths. The interface is pretty lackluster, but the sound and versatility make up for it. On the other hand, why does there always have to be something wrong with just about everything? Dynamo has one flaw that will probably keep be from buying it. You can't play a not more than once without either retriggering it or taking your fingers off all other keys. I want a mono synth to ot retrigger the filters until all keys have been relaeased. For example, you can't play a trill by leaving a finger on one key and quickly pressing and releasing another key, you have remove your fingers for each note in the trill with just the right timing to keep the filters from retriggering. It also makes playing fast mono leads awkward when you're used to real monosynths. NI, fix it and I'll buy
Pro: + 25+2 VSTi's for a cheap price + some instruments producing great sounds
Con: - annoying copy protection asking for CD very often - heavy CPU load - bad VST integration (eg you have to scroll inside the window) - not all of the instruments are usefull (at least not for me) - ensembles created by Reaktor can't be loaded (I thought Dynamo is some kind of 'Reaktor Runtime'?) - only 2 additional instruments released so far (haven't there been promised more?)
I bought Dynamo (my 2nd VSTi) in Spring 2000, because of good magazine reviews and I thought "25 VST instruments for only 300 DEM (about 150$)? Wow, must be great"...
I was naive... After installing and playing around a bit I was much dissapointed, see "Con" points above. Anyway, I have used it several times because some synths have good presets and can create cool sounds.
So, you get what you paid for: It's cheap, you get a lot of nice things, but it also has some big misfeatures that prevents me using it very often.
Several analoge synths, Fm synths, samplers, FX's to this kind of money are amazing. Ok, it's a CPU hog, but when I load the Minimoog, or the Juno106, the CPU load imidiatly shows. 20 % with manymoods 6 voices, and thats it, (p3 850mHz). No surprises in CPU load after loading an ensemble. My favorite is the Drumatik, a analoge drumsynth, with 8 voices. What about a Simmons set in your PC...no problem with the Dynamo. Nanowave, incredible PPG emulation. If you need a synthcollection, this is it.
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