I have been using Heat up 2 for about 3 weeks now and it has become my go to plugin. The other reviews on here are very short and not very helpful when trying to make a decision whether to buy the plugin or not. I thought it would be helpful to write a much more in depth review (my first ever) so here goes.
The Factory Library (Presets)
Heat up 2 comes with a large factory library nearly 20GB in size. The sounds cover pretty much everything you will ever need. Bass, Bells, Brass, Choirs, Pads, Organs, Plucks, Pianos, Drum kits, Synth sounds ect.
You can easily make a whole track using just the sounds from Heat up 2. It comes with many 'Bread and butter' sounds the type of sounds you will use in every track. This plugin is marketed for urban music but really these sounds are great for any style. The majority of the factory library is top notch. I really like the basses and brass sounds and the Arps and sequences show off some of the sounds really well. The piano sounds are also very usable but not the best around. But if you are just after piano sounds then I would just buy a dedicated plugin for that.
Some sounds can sound a bit similar to each other, like some of the Lead sounds. But I guess this will be the case in such a big library and anyway it can help to pick the 'perfect' sound for your mix without having to tweak the sound further.
For me the benefit of a plugin like this is plenty of great sounds that can be used straight out of the box without tweaking. Heat up 2 is certainly that plugin. I have also found it super easy to tweak the sound using the effects available.
Heat up 2 has some unique features. One of my Favourite is the "Stereo Shaker" what this does is it makes the sound jump from the left speaker to the right speaker on every key press. A bit like a ping pong delay but without the delay :). This can be controlled with the little knob in the centre of the GUI, making it more of a subtle effect. This adds nice movement to the sound and sounds really good when used with the sequencer playing arpeggiator type sounds.
The sequencer is also pretty unique and very simple to use. It is just like a piano roll where you paint in your steps, but the steps are relative to the note being played. When you hold more than one note at a time it becomes an arpeggiator. The arpeggiator seems to work on the order of the notes played, it would be nice to select how the arpeggiator works, up, down modes ect.
This is certainly one of the most easy to use sequencers I have use on any Synth so far. It has many pre-made sequencer presets to get you started, I usually just select one and modify it a bit. It is really quick to get a nice melody going.
The effects on Heat up 2 are really good, especially the Reverb, I think they should probably release the Reverb as its own plugin it is that good! The delay syncs to the host tempo and has a ping pong mode. The Chorus sounds good but is nothing special just your standard Chorus.
On the FX page you will find a deeper selection of effects. Such as overdrive, distortion, ring mod, stereo enhancer, phaser, tremolo and atmosphere layers.
The overdrive and distortion sound really great, I generally use a bit of overdrive on everything :) it adds a nice 'warmth' to the sound. The ring mod I have never found a use for and doesn't sound good at all. I know ring mod creates a metallic type of sound but I have never found a setting that works very well, I think that space could have been used for another more musical effect. The stereo enhancer makes your sound more wide or narrow in the stereo field. It can be subtle but sounds great on certain sounds. The phaser is very useful for adding a bit of variation to the sound, it can sound crazy when pushing it hard if that is your kind of thing! The tremolo sound cool too.
One of the coolest effects is the atmosphere layers. This plays sounds in the background while you are playing to create an atmosphere. For example the vinyl layer makes it sound like the sound is coming from a vinyl. There is also rain effects, tape, wind ect. You can buy plugins for this type of thing but in Heat up 2 it is built in and super easy to use.
One thing I use a lot in my beats is portamento, the portamento mode in Heat up 2 is top notch. Sounds great while gliding and most importantly works like I would expect. When holding a note (in mono mode) and pressing another while still holding the note I expect it to glide back to the held note when releasing the new note. Heat up 2 does this with style, some plugins don't even work like this! I recommend checking out some of Ignite VSTs beat making tutorials on Youtube for examples of this. Sounds amazing for basses.
Heat up 2 doesn't have that many expansion packs available at the moment there are 4 available as of writing this review, I have the Kush lab which sounds amazing but haven't tried the others.
I would like to see a bigger range of expansions in future, I am sure they will have some more in the works.
Heat up 2 is a great plugin. The factory library is really good and the one expansion pack that a bought was great too (Kush Lab) So I am confident more great sounds will come in the future.
The plugin itself is really simple to use, the effects sound great and the CPU usage is very low. I am on a very old CPU (AMD x64) and it can still handle many many instances.
This is a workstation plugin and it has a large range of sounds, it is a plugin you will definitely use in every track. For the price it is a steal. It is really simple to use and looks great too.
So if you are looking for a plugin with great usable sounds and low CPU usage and super easy to use without a million knobs on screen, Heat up 2 is definitely worth a try.