If I had to choose VSTis to take with me to a desert island, Lazysnake would be pretty high on the list. It's easily my favourite e-piano synth and sample-based players are having a hard time too, though their applications are a bit different.
Lazysnake's sound is soft and quite "electric", which makes it perfect for ambient and electronic styles. I would not hesitate to use it in jazz either, but you don't get it to do funky solos without tweaking and external effects. Tweaking isn't too hard, the GUI is simple and clear. There isn't documentation to it, but it's pretty much self-explanatory. There are presets that are quite diverse, but mostly you will want to adjust the release time or tremolo.
The synth is a bit of a one trick snake, but it's a loose instrument emulation and even adds wah and tremolo, so can't really complain. To get extra effect, you should do it like keyboard players do and add a guitar amplifier or a phaser pedal in the chain. Amplitube is a great choice, and can make the sound more analogue.Read Review
Update: -------- I mailed the developer about the quirks I'm having with Lazysnake and he answered very quickly and told me that he would look into it and up the polyphony to 32 or 64 for the next update. GREAT
User Interface: --------------------- I came across LAZYSNAKE in a thread here on KVR, and since I really love E-Piano sounds (of any kind) I thought I'll have a go at it. The user interface is decent enough for me. All is set/labeled clearly and in an organized way. The GUI kind of reminds me AAS's Lounge Lizard a bit, only with less buttons/options.
Sound: ---------- This thing has quite a broad range of possible sounds. It can sound (kinda) like a DX7 classic E-Piano, you can also come quite close to the real deal IMHO. I guess you could fake more than one in a mix with the sound of it. It can also sound very experimental or fu**ed up, the options are there with the integrated FX. Ironically, the sound also kinda reminds me AAS's LL2. ;) , which is not a bad thing, considering the resources available to AAS. This thing has a HUGE low end if you want, one thing I often thought really lacks in many E-Piano emulations/sample sets. The only gripe I have about the sound is the limited polyphony of only 16 notes (max.). And whenever you reach this limit, you get a very nasty clicking/crackling noise. I'll send a mail to the developer to ask if there's any chance of a fix/update. Since Lazysnake is extremely CPU friendly (which is another real plus in my book, running a now slowly outdated PC: AMD XP2200+|1GB DDR266|4 HDD's) I think it would be easy to up the polyphony to at least 32 maybe? CPU usage in Chainer, on my not so optimized Office/Internet machine shows me around 3.5% with 7-note chords i.e. Pretty cool :)
Features: ------------- Well, there's the standard set of controls for an E-Piano, plus some additional stuff to keep also some tweakers happy. Maybe an ADSR EG would have been cool or a good complement. The included Wah + Tremolo effects are OK. Nothing spectacular, but they do their job. I would like to have a Limiter integrated maybe, since Lazysnake can become REALLY VERY loud, and easily clip your converters. The amp section is also OK, although I prefer to run it through my own chains of "Tube drive/distortion/Amp/Cab sim" plugins.
I'm happy that Lazysnake has MIDI learn, this is an absolutely MUST HAVE FEATURE for today’s VSTi's. With the number of MIDI controllers available these days, you can't do with fixed assignments anymore IHMO. So, let the folks choose their own CC numbers to work comfy. ;)
Documentation: -------------------- There are no docs included except a small "readme.txt" file and the "License.txt". But I don't feel any need of a proper manual for Lazysnake, it's all pretty self-explanatory.
Presets: ----------- The presets that come with it are OK. They show off a good part of the possible sound range. If you use them as a starting point, you can find quite some useful and tasty sounds. But also starting from scratch isn't difficult. Usually I'm more of preset guy, tweaking only a little bit, because I started off as a guitar player, now slowly learning synths/synthesis options/possibilities. But here it's a no brainer.
Support: ----------- Didn't need any up to now. But the developer is a well known/respected guy here, so I guess if I would need any help from him I would get it.
Value for Money: ------------------------ VFM is GREAT, I mean it's FREE, so what more can we expect from a freebie?
Stability: ------------ Lazysnake has never crashed on me, no matter what host I use (I use LIVE 5, Cubase SX 2, Chainer, SAVI/VST Host).Read Review
I've been looking for a good free VST plugin emulation of a electric piano for ages & here it is! Not as sophisticated as MrRay but a lot more stable & a lot less cpu hungry, LazySnake can be very usefull when one wants to create warm ambient chords & textures. The Wha & the Tremolo can be synced to your host tempo which is cool since they sound good. The bass & treble parameters are usefull to make quick adjustements without having to load a VST EQ just to cut bass or treble. The GUI is sharp, clear & effective. You can create some realistic sounding rhodes with it but more digital than "analog". I'm using it mainly to create smooth sounds so the overdrive & hardness section are not usefull for me. I did try them but didn't find them very good to be honest, the hardness is ok but I think it would be better using an external overdrive if you want to play with a more crunchy rhodes!
I would say if you're into electronic type of music LazySnake is the way to go. If you're into other type of music there's always MrRay.Read Review