It's the little things that mean the most is what my mother used to say. But I guess she never thought I'd use her words on a site such as this.
For a little while I have been working with this small synth that has I think only 16 preset-slots. It's basic looking controls are few and at first sight one may quickly overlook this synth, but......
The quality of sound this one brings forth is absolutely something to try for yourselves.
The mod-envelope works with very much detail and is of high quality, and changing the unison/detune brings the stereo-field alive. P-mod and Pitch allow a sound to be fully modeled to the tune you are working on.
There are some nits however, which somehow I hope BONES will pick up to make this even into more of a monstrous synth. The sliders are relatively small and give no metrical indication of the settings, and changing the sliders while playing will cause little clicks, which make it virtually impossible to record live tweaks. And there is no midi control here either.
Given this last I still give this synth a place in my folder simply because it delivers!
I can only hope to convince BONES to pick the development back up....
Reviewed By Neuromancer [read all by] on 30th January 2004 Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows. Last edited by Neuromancer on 30th January 2004.
User Interface: 'Seems pretty straight-forward and efficient. The 'killer synths' series have a very distintive look to them, which most people may or may not have an opinion of by now. I find iD-Killer's interface to be efficient; it's easy to follow and doesn't clutter the screen. :)
Sound: Phase-distortion. This synth is similar to the CZ-series made by Casio in the 80's. Since I've never owned any of those, I can't comment on how 'authentic' it is, but I find PD(and iDk) to have a very unusual character. It's somewhere between FM and Analog(to sum it up quickly), and I like the fact that the sound of this synth can easily be made as fat or thin as you need it to be. Yes - there IS a place for thin sounds in some mixes! Of course, if you don't like PD sounds, you might not be interested in this synth, which is understandable.
Features: Not a boat-load of features here, but I suspect the developer was trying to keep it simple on purpose. No filters here(true to the design of the CZ series, I believe...), but there are some resonant waveforms that will do the job nicely if you need some resonance. I would've liked more modulation options, and maybe some more waveforms(or even oscs). Variable 1-16 note polyphony. 8 seems to work well on my setup(1.9 ghz AMD athlon 2600). No built-in effects, but again I don't see a problem here since most(not all but most) sequencers/hosts/whatever you want to call them have effects.
Docs: Well-written, thoughtly explained docs on the Novakill website. Very helpful if you aren't an illiterate Neanderthal. * raises hand *
Presets: Not many here(16), and I would've liked more - but I think this is a limitation of Synthedit(?). The presets are not bad, but they are so easy to edit that it's not really a problem if you don't like them.
Support: I haven't needed any yet, but the developer(Bones) seems to be very active on here, and from what I've seen so far has been very helpful.
VFM: It's free, it does the job is was made for more than adequately, and it didn't crash my pc or studio apps. To me, this is great VFM. I honestly don't see how any one could go wrong with something like this, unless of course you don't like PD sounds. :)
Stability: About 14-19% on my 1.9 ghz AMD. You can reduce the cpu usage by turning down the 'unison' voices. No crashes so far. Seems stable enough.
Of course, no one should be taking my word for anything I've said here - so give iDkiller a whirl. If you are looking for something a little different, this is yet another good place to start.