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User Reviews by KVR Members for ManyGuitar

Rate & Review ManyGuitar Now!

Reviewed By NthBeatle [read all by] on 5th May 2006
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by NthBeatle on 5th May 2006.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I will not attempt to cover all the bases of ManyGuitar (MG)in this mini-review (please see Manytone.com, the Manytone KVR forum, and other reviews for additional info); but rather touch on a few highlights which caught my interest and quickly gained my respect.

The included soundsets are excellent. Tuned to near perfection, the core instruments were clearly sampled and programmed with care for their primary intended purpose - which is to inspire. Not only are the instruments realistic representations in their own right, with manipulation, they can moonlight as other instruments as well– see my later comments below.

Suffice to say, with around 1.2 Gigs worth of samples, there is something for all tastes – from dirty, wailing electrics to clean, bright acoustics to phatt basses. And the developers are not just sitting on their laurels, with mention of the following upcoming soundsets for use in MG: vintage Les Paul and archback guitars, an acoustic upright bass, mandolin, tons of new electric basses, etc. – you get the picture. Fresh sounds for all.[MG can also directly import all current Wusik and DASH SND files].

The G.U.I., in many ways, is the strength of MG. Besides being very retro-cool and downright pleasing to the senses, the thoughtful layout provides an easy avenue in which to visualize the signal path – from instrument to filters to amp to effects - and to quickly and effectively tweak the living crap out the sounds with impressive results!

At the heart of this capability is the coherent nature of the integrated design. Everything is located on one small layout, so there’s no hiding from the opportunity to tweak, twist and warp your sound.

One of the more ingenious aspects of the design is how uncluttered the interface appears despite the large number of dials, switches, sliders and readouts jammed into such a small area. If you look closer you will notice the absence of the customary tick marks and numerals centered around each rotary dial for the purpose of gauging your settings. Instead, one central readout – located in the middle of the G.U.I. – serves as the sole readout for all of the dials! Simply slide the mouse cursor over one the dials, and Walla, the current value is indicated in the central readout.

Three amps, eq and a boatload of cabinets provide a lot of potential iterations for shaping your sound. I particularly like the inclusion of the tiny – and I mean “tiny” – 8, 4 and 2 inch speakers! These are great for getting those thin vintage tones, as well as “down-sizing” an instrument to better fit in a mix.

The included effects are quiet, warm and easy to dial-in; Chorus/flangers, delay/echoes, etc. My favorite is the included tremolo. Two knobs and you’re there; no messing with filters or chorus to get a killer “wave.”

In use, MG is a joy to play and program. First put off by the fact that the developers had the audacity to not include a vintage Rickenbacker 325 guitar;-), using the picked Strat soundset in conjunction with the myriad of filters, amps, cabinets and effects, I quickly learned the reason for their madness and was able to dial-up a pretty darned good 325 imitation in short order(particularly when used in context of a song). Ditto for those sweet old Gretsch hollow bodies via one of the included solo electrics and some basic amp work. Neither of the two examples were spot on, but they illustrate the greatest assets of MG which are ease of use and potential sound sculpting – even for tweak-impaired individuals like myself.

This is one sweet VST. The only sour notes coming from the absence of a compressor and reverb to touch up those otherwise perfect presets. I prefer to use reverb as an insert and to adjust settings separately for each instrument, providing a subtle variance in the overall depth/soundstage. In this context, it would be a big plus not to have to set up multiple FX channels in Cubase with multiple FX instances eating up valuable CPU processing.

Thankfully, MG itself barely tickles my 2.6 P4 processor, even with multiple instances running. And the support is very responsive at Manytone, so I know if I keep bugging them, I’ll eventually get my verb;-).

Overall, my hats off to Paul, Greg, “Amoebe” and the rest of the ManyGuitar crew for crafting a solid gold product, and with a few additions, a pure platinum edition at that.

Oh yeah, did I mention that this beast only costs $89.00?

Note: At the time of this review, running through May 2006, Manytone is running a GroupBuy on Manyguitar and their Manystation sample/synth player; with potential discounts up to 50%.
Reviewed By Jeremy_NSL [read all by] on 28th January 2006
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Manyguitar is an excellent new guitar 'rompler' from the developers of Manystation. MG borrows alot of the really great guitar/bass samples in Manystation, plus adds nearly 400mb more to the mix. These samples are then run through an excellent-sounding new VSTi engine, complete with amp/cabinet sim + fx.

User Interface:
MG's interface is thoughtfully laid out - its very easy to visualize the signal flow. From an art design standpoint its quite nice to look at as well. My only complaint is that overall its a bit small and 'cramped'. ie. The knobs controlling modwheel and aftertouch modulations are truly tiny at 1024x768. Those at higher resolutions hopefully have huge monitors...

MG is also skinnable, and comes with a second, simplified, skin. This skin looks even better than the default! But unfortunately - as its meant mainly as a 'preset playback' skin - its missing alot of essential control parameters. So most users will stick with the default skin.

MG's guitar samples are across the board excellent. No loops - full decays. Not only that but the bass samples are surprisingly some of the best available anywhere.

Add to these great samples the new amp/cab fx and you have something really special. I am not an guitar amp expert but these sound excellent to my ears. They react appropriately to dynamic playing, and can span the entire spectrum between 'vintage crunch' and 'overdriven howling'. A bit of amp/cab added to the basses delivers an incredible sound too.

The Filters/FX in MG are very well done too. They are mostly taken from EVE ONE, which is a good thing. The phaser/chorus sounds very rich; the delay has a pleasing, vintage echo tone; and the filters are some of the best I've heard.

Everything you need for guitar sounds is present in MG. Well, almost everything. A spring reverb would have been a useful addition, as would have more amp/cab modes. And the delay unit, while excellent quality, isn't capable of ping-pong effects.

Perhaps in a future update? Anyway these are pretty minor omissions - and all can be solved with your own external fx if you really need them.

MG is very easy to use. But there is a very well-written PDF documentation if you require it.

MG comes with a bank of 128 presets. MG is so easy to program that these aren't really required, but its still appreciated. Some designers have gone pretty wild and designed some spacey tones that you might find useful - if only as a starting point.

I would have liked to have seen the presets organized a bit better though - if nothing else, just something to seperate the 'normal' presets from the spacey new-age stuff.

Customer Support:
Paul @ Manytone is a friendly, helpful presence. And his forum here on kvr makes it easy to get in touch if you need to.

Value for Money:
Comparing these sounds to other guitar sounds available in more expensive products is no contest - MG wins hands down. Stuff like Sampletank, Hypersonic etc. don't even come close. At $90 VFM is off-the-charts, really. And the lower-priced upgrade from Manystation is a no-brainer.

I have had no issues thus far. I've used the EVE ONE platform MG is based on for a long time and it is one of the most stable VSTi I have ever used - so this bodes well for MG in the long-term.

In terms of CPU-usage MG is a massive winner. Even with amp/cab + all fx enabled you will barely feel any cpu hit with a reasonably powerful system. On my Athlon64 3000+ 10 simultaneously played notes (with amp/cab + all fx) takes only 5.5% cpu! So I'd estimate I could hit about 200 notes polyphony on my system, and probably much more than that without all features turned on. Thats alot of guitar... But if you still have a slower system, you can always use the flexbile polyphony controls to tone down MG's resource usage.

An excellent plugin by my fellow Canadian! Highly recommended to anyone looking to add some awesome-sounding guitars to their tracks. The price is just icing on the cake.

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