I wanted to like this synth, I really did, and it's got a lot going for it. It's just that, ultimately, I've never found any actual use for it. That's because whenever I put it into a mix, it doesn't quite live up to my expectations. I can't put my finger on what it is but, like a few other synths in the same price bracket, it feels like it's missing that last little bit of "oomph". It's not terrible by any stretch of the imagination but neither does it reach the dizzying heights you might expect from everything you read about it.
It comes with a gajillion presets, which are well handled by the best preset browser I have ever used. The browser is amazing. I spent a week or more going through everything and colour-coding any preset I heard that I thought we might be able to use. Then I started looking for opportunities to use it in some of our songs.
This is where I started to get a bit disappointed because even some of the best presets I'd found sounded kind of flat in our mixes. So I tried to see if I could give them a bit of a boost. At this point I discovered that despite mostly having everything on one page, Hive is not actually very quick or easy to work with. It feels too much like two separate synths slammed together, so you are forever flicking from one side of it's gigantic interface to the other, looking to see if the output from the right side oscillator is being fed into the right and/or left side filters and generally trying to work out how the patch has been set up, so you can tweak it. It wasn't too bad in v1.2 but the update to v2.0 somehow seemed to make it harder to work with (for me at least).
Hive comes loaded with a million features, most of which don't interest me in the slightest, and when you look at the list of features on the product page here at KVR, you'll notice that the most important things about any synth - it's oscillators and filter(s) - barely rate a mention. In fact, there is no mention at all of the filters. All of which got me thinking that maybe I'm just not the target market for this instrument.
If you want a synth with a really long list of features that comes with 2,000 factory presets, maybe Hive is for you. OTOH, if you just want a great sounding, versatile synth that isn't too difficult to work with, there are better options around and some of them are a fair bit cheaper.
I bought Hive about a week ago and it is one of the best decisions I ever made. Now I use Hive all the time. Easy to work with with an amazing sound. Nice GUI. It is not the most expensive out there. So all is positive.
Really hard to get in touch with Hive people, my serial wasn't accepted by the sofware and I will purchase again and see if i can use it then, my account wasn't debited and it may have something to do with it.
How can we make getting in touch any easier? Other than, say, a support section on our website, a link from within the software, a forum on KVR, an email address and links in the registration email, links and email address in the user manual as well as installer, Readme and so on. We also have 5 people answering to such emails all day, sometimes even on weekends. If there are other ways to get in touch with a software manufacturer, please let us know and we'll try to implement them for even easier access.
Anytime I have contacted u-he they have gotten back to me right away, within minutes to a few hours at most. They make a point to be very accessible to their customers, and are always friendly and helpful.