INTRO Harvest is a MIDI plugin sequence generator that can produce note melodies, chords, and rhythmic patterns.
CHEATING? Let's get right down to it with a pre-emptive strike against the opposition. Is using Harvest cheating? I'll answer a question with questions.
• Is using a word processor instead of a typewriter cheating? • Is using a nail gun instead of a hammer and nails cheating? • Is opening up a dictionary or thesaurus cheating?
Harvest doesn't complete a composition and market it. It's a tool, devised to "Unlimit your MIDI." Does it succeed? In my case, YES! Harvest has quickly become one of my favorite tools. The learning curve is shallow. In no time, I was up and running, navigating about and creating. In a word — INSPIRING!!! I particularly find it useful for developing unique melodic leads and basses. It's also great at tweaking melodies and blasting through songwriter's block via randomizing. Here's where I plagiarized my workflow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thEsZGnA7No.
WORKFLOW • Open a couple MIDI tracks, one for Harvest and the other for an instrument that Harvest controls. • Select number of bars, note length, and quantization • Input notes or select from a list of preset keys (scales/mode) and chords • Use metronome to tap-out notes (all notes will be in key as per key selection) • Lock-in desired notes and ReGen/randomize the rest. .. almost like playing poker. .. keep the good cards and ask for a few new ones. Only with Harvest you can keep asking for replacement notes until you nail it! • Press record to print onto instrument track. • Edit and shape as/if needed. • Add more layers if desired. • Add FX to taste.
FAVORITE Features • Neat, clean, inviting interface • Easy to use; fun to use; fast; musical • Demolishes songwriter's block • Subtly teaches music theory • Interactive Piano Roll • Humanize for some swag and swing • Stable • Updated frequently • Responsive developer with good customer support • Excellent video tutorials • Good price.
FEATURE REQUESTS • Stand-alone version • Increase number of bars to 32 • Drag-n-drop • Note locking issue identified by KVR Audio Member, Saffran: "Only two options to lock notes, click one note at a time or all notes. If you have 30 notes and want to lock 2/3, that's 20 clicks. Why can't any of them turn into lasso selecting when ctrl-clicked?" • Streamline CPU consumption.
SUMMARY Harvest has quickly become an indispensable tool in my virtual toolbox. No regrets whatsoever. It's extremely musical. If you're a songwriter of any genre, check this out. There's a free version, Harvest Mini. If you dig that, step up to big bro. unique workflow for writing music. Thanks, Harvest Plugins, for developing this amazing audio composition software.
I have really thoroughly been enjoying harvest. It's learning curve is like 0 to 60 and no time flat. Although I look forward to Future updates with maybe options to select and drag whole groups of notes or maybe you can do that and I just haven't figured it out. Either way I've been having a blast using it on ultimately leads and bass lines. Also it's great for re mixing MIDI files.
The only reason I am giving Harvest only two stars is because it only works with Abelton Live and FL. It would not be a problem, but the restriction appears in a small area so that I did not see this when I purchased it. Therefore, I can't use it since I use Sonar and Studio One as my DAWs. Many times when there are restrictions like this, it is made much more apparent.
I did install it and check it out, but it does not output to my synths in Sonar ... very disappointing. However it does look like a nice product. Just a warning read the specs carefully.
THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN REVISED ....
I have changed my rating to 5 stars for the following reasons:
1) From the review, I was contacted by one of the developers who understood the problem I ran into with not noticing the restrictions. It was great to have such a quick response. As they specify on their site, I could get a full refund, but I choose not to. I was told they were releasing an update shortly that would expand the support for other DAWs and that was enough for me. Also, it is great to have such a personal response and courteous exchange.
2) Sure enough today, there is a free update that has support for Studio One. I was happy to test it out. I had some confusion about how to get it to work with Studio One, but in about 15 minutes I figured it out. Watch the videos Harvest has produced. By watching I could easily understand how this works.
I'm very happy with this VST. I have other similar plugins, but just as in the case of Harvest they are all different and unique. The price really can't be beat.
I tried it with Sonar. It seemed to work, but I managed to crash Sonar. After my learning experience with Studio One, I went back to Sonar and got it to work with Sonar also.
The only minor problem I had was after stopping a generation I noted that the receiving VST (in my case Omnisphere) did not get a "note off" MIDI message. However, I just cut it off manually so not a biggie.
I must admit I have overseen this but I would assume it is more or less meant "only tested with" cause it (free lite version) worked for me in Mulab for example. But I got shocked I must admit as I have read your review, and yes, at last it is misleading especially as with Live/Max for live so many great things in this area (generative/sequencer) really only work with M4L. They should make this clear. Maybe write to support, they are responding quick and are very communicative and nice.
Ah well I think I spoke too soon about Sonar. I had what seemed to be a successful session with Harvest in Sonar. When I opened the project again to do additional work, the project through an exception every time. I started a new project again with Harvest. It seemed good and I saved it. On restarting and reloading, the same crashes occurred.
I am happy to report with Studio One, I did not have this problem. I started a previous song file (i.e. project in Studio One) and it started up cleanly. I will use Harvest in Studio One which is satisfactory for me. Anyway, Harvest does not claim compatibility with Sonar in its spec ... I guess its just a different animal.
"interesting....i think it would be much more useful and musical, if you weren't limited to tapping in a phrase in a single note length type....just allow holding down the tap button so you could enter a phrase with cadence and AND multiple note lengths..........I love what you have done here....but as is it forces you to think of phrasing in only one note type, or to record multiple passes changing note length....which wouldn't feel natural at all......when a phrase comes into my head it is never of a single note length variety.....that way you could essentially tap out a groove or phrase in terms of note on and duration, and then have the algorithm rearrange the phrase in terms of pitch, locked by different musical boundaries you could set......i would buy that tomorrow.....what are the variables that scrambled by the random button?..i'll look and see if you have posted a manual yet as now I'm curious what the "effects" buttons do;-)"
I wrote this on the debut youtube video 8 months ago....has this been implemented yet?...is there a manual?