FireBird is a synth I had been looking at for a long time and was very interested in. Loved its easy to use yet powerful features/sound shaping possbilities. But something was missing for me. The sound just wasn't quite as nice as I wanted it to be. I always thought "gee, this synth just doesn't sound as good as it should, it's almost there, but not quite." Well, this issue has been fixed, big time.
FireBird+ is a huge improvement over the previous versions sound quality wise. The filters have been seriously upgraded, the overall sound is much better, and this synth is absolutely among the very best sounding software synths ever made.
As I already said, something I really love about this synth is the fact that it's really not hard to understand and it's quick to program, yet the sound design possibilities are remarkably broad thanks to the HCM synthesis approach. It's just really fun to work with. I seriously can't say the word "fun" when it comes to tweaking some other synths I like. FireBird+ is one of the very few that are powerful as well as fun to program.
If you're into synthesis in general and are looking for a synth that can give you the possibility to produce sound in a different way and that can give you powerful, mean sounds, lush sounds, windy sounds, organ sounds, and unique sounds you don't hear from anything else, you really shouldn't miss it.
It's now mid 2012 and this synth still holds up nicely, and the sound has been improved significantly again since version 1.8, but that was a while ago. Unfortunately, it seems that FireBird won't be getting some of the newer features and improvements like those featured in Tone2's Gladiator (newer HCM engine, better oversampling, newer filters), so it seems FireBird is pretty much abandoned in favor of the other HCM synth. It's still nice for what it is, and unique.