When I started to record songs on my computer I got myself a version of Emagic's 'Logic Audio'. And with the 5th incarnation of this sequencer, they introduced me into the world of VST Instruments. One of the first VSTi's I got my hands on was the 'EVP73'. This simple and plain copy of a Fender Rhodes E-Piano didn't sound bad but was far away from being a true Rhodes. I even tried the 30 day demo version of its bigger brother the 'EVP88', and liked that even more but still some dirt was missing.
But why am I talking about these VSTi's when the article is about another one ? The answer is pretty simple: if the EVP88 is the EVP73's older brother, then Applied Acoustics Systems' 'Lounge Lizard 2' has to be their father (for it can sound so older & dirtier), their little sister (because it can screech & scratch) and even the lake in front of their house (when sounding crystal clear) at the same time. By the way there is now a crossgrade offer for EVP88 & EVP73 users for $139 - so be shure to check this out.
The sound of the 'Lounge Lizard' is way more than a simple emulation of e-pianos like 'Fender Rhodes' and 'Wurlitzer'. It's possible to make this metallic looking beauty sound like - well - like a soulman's wet dream. And even FX sounds are no problem. Preset names like "a mouse in my head" & "turtle bells" might give you a hint.
The GUI is divided in an e-piano (mallet, fork, pick up & release) and an effect section (wah, phaser, tremolo & delay). The first let's you choose the basic sound you'd like to start from (though with extreme settings you might not need any effects) and the second; the effect section gives you the power to mangle your sound beyond recognition. But as I said, even without the effects the sound is unbelievably good. You can achieve sounds from "mm? I don't see no Rhodes. So where does this sound come from?" to "Which instrument is that?"
One thing though - I would've liked to have this beautiful fx (wah, phaser etc.) as independent plugs. Just like old times where you could use your guitar stomp box with your Rhodes and vice versa. But anyway if you're looking for this true Rhodes / Wurlitzer sound or just want a new toy which inspires you - take a look at this - you'll be amazed. Unfortunately there's no demo version of Lounge Lizard EP-2 on their website, but the mp3 demos should give you a good idea of what this VSTi is capable of.