I WAS having BIG problems using HarpTime, it was freezing on every note, which is why I gave it, originally, a bad review. I could only say what it was doing on my system - I'm not techie enough to know WHY it might have been doing it!
But Luigi, its creator, REALLY rallied round and gave me a version that worked perfectly. So - all I can do is change my marks!
User Support - 10 out of 10 - thanks Lugi! Sound quality - excellent. Editability from user interface - great! I'm still playing with the controls, because I'm not a real-life harp player, but they're lovely, responsive and you can hear what they all do. I don't think you can ask for much more from a control panel than that! It's a great harp. It doesn't need to try to be anything else, so the 'one trick pony' bit's a little unfair - it's an expert in its own field!
I use a notation program and it links in and works perfectly with it. So - thanks Luigi. Sorry I was a grumpy pain. Harptime IS a great harp VST!
Note: I have HarpTime Fun, and have used the HarpTime Pro demo.
HarpTime is a truly beautiful instrument. It is very user-friendly, and sounds very alive and dynamic.
Of course, the question is 'Do I need a Harp VSTi?'
I think that anyone interested in plucked sounds with warmth and richness at least needs to give it a try, and then ask the question to yourself again. As it says on the website, the applications of HarpTime go beyond true Harp emulation (although IMO it does this very well) to find a place in any atmospheric musical odyssey. If you like film music, ambient and melodic IDM, you can also find a place for HarpTime in your music.
GUI- functional, but not the best Liqih GUI (I like his GUI work on Combosister, Morphing Delay, EVE and Mother Ship Astrobelt)
Sound- !!!!!! With a wide range of physically modelled string types, and an intuitive set of parameters, it is next to impossible to make this thing sound bad.
Features- Enough to do what it has to do, and do it well. Here HarpTime Fun and Pro differ. I got Fun but I hope to upgrade to Pro eventually. Pro allows setting of tuning,timbre and pluck for each string. Fun has global controls for these parameters only.
Docs- totally adequate for the instrument, with some great links on all things Harp!
Presets- around 40 is enough for me. They demonstrate well the capabilities of HarpTime, and provide good starting points for user tweaking.
Customer Support- Liqih is one of the best.
Stability- no problems so far in Tracktion.
Harp Time is the first Harp VSTi that I've tried. To my knowledge, there is not something that is like it.
My initial reaction to HarpTime was: why would I need a Harp VSTi?? After playing a bit with the instrument, most of my new compositions now include HarpTime!!
The quality & sonic richness that HarpTime delivers, cannot be reproduced with a sampler. It's sound is beautifull and is also very usefull outside of your classical / orcestral piece, it can be used as a Plucked with Character.
Sound - I gave it full 10, simply because there's nothing else like it. For a Harp emulation, without GB's of samples, it delivers VERY well!!
User Interface - Probably not the most inspiring interface, but I'm sure variations are sure to come. It gets the job done, so 7 out of 10.
Documentuation - It's fine :) The instrument is not overwelmingly complex, so the documentation for my taste is more than adequate.
Presets - One can never have enough!! It includes about 40 presets, and they range from something that sounds like a harp, to what you'd prefer to use a synth for. Overall, the quality of the presets is good & very usable. I'd say at least 1/3 are very usable / inspiring so 7/10 here
Customer Support: as good as it gets, personal responses to my every question thus far - very promptly. 10/10!!
Value for Money: Depends on what you are composing. But if you do need a harp / plucked - 9/10, I'll use HarpTime over a sampler any time (sorry IK)
Stability: 10/10 - I've yet to see a crash in the product release.
Performance: Doesn't really exist, but HarpTime does leave much to be desired. A harp time in your mix is not subtle ;) And I dont mean in terms of sound. It's on the "to be enhanced" list. 6/10 here :-(
Overall: 9 our of 10. Buy it!!!! Buy it just to listen to it, to play with it, and it will inspire you! The sound is gorgeous!!! Harp Time is rich, warm, it plays nice, but it can also bite! Very expressive physically modeled VSTi!