There are so many soft synth VSTi's, what makes Manystation special? Basically it's the Wusikstation engine, but with a very pretty GUI and totally different soundsets. That means: 4 oscillator layers and two wave sequence layers, 4 filters and 4 EQ's per layer, 8 envelopes, 8 LFO's and a 6x6 Mod Matrix (Wusikstation), 1.4 GB samples and 10 banks with approx. 700 presets (Manystation). That means that you can a) use the preset as-is, or tweak them, and b) create new presets with all the samples, or c) add your own samples and create totally new sounds :D.
The sounds consist of a lot of guitars and basses, cellos, a few other instruments and quite a few synth soundsets (that I haven't really touched yet). Even just the guitar, bass and cello sounds are worth buying Manystation, these sounds are very beautiful, and inspirational. I'm originally a guitar player, but I found myself playing guitar on the keyboard with the Manystation sounds for quite a few hours. (and I still have about 500 presets to go ;))
With the Wusikstation engine you can use the mod matrix to add Aftertouch and Modwheel (etc) control, to create more expression. Some presets have this out of the box, but it's very easy to add. (IMO this should have been be more consistently applied in the factory presets).
The stability is good, running in high-quality processing all the time, and never had crashes or other types of problems. Although it can be confusing for Wusikstation owners to have 2 different versions when soundset formats (doesn't happen often) or other features change. Of course this is a good thing as well, the wusik engine is actively being developed, multi-timbral features are being added while I write this, etc.
The power of Manystation lies in the soundsets and presets, and while the factory sets are really strong, the extensibility makes it even better. Manytone have announced additional soundsets (both free and paid), and of course it's also possible to use the Wusikstation soundsets with Manystation, for those who cannot get enough.
For all kinds of questions Manytone support are active at KVR, and of course the Manystation and Wusikstation community is very supportive.
In this review I did not write in depth about the sound processing qualities of the engine (e.g. the quality of the effects or filters), because it's not my forte, and because the resulting sound sounds very good to me. Same thing about the CPU-load: I never have problems when using it, so I didn't feel the need to investigate the actual CPU-load.
Well - I shall be the first one to review this and put forward my comments on it.
Firstly - I was looking for a "rompler" style synth that game me some more natural sounds - I own EVE, which contains a lot of vintage sounds and some good "odd" synth swirly sounds but perhaps not a lot of "bread and butter" sounds. I then followed a trail from EVE to Wusikstation, picked up "The Second Wave" and then took up the discounted offer of buying Manytone.
Well - I am very impressed. The interface reminds me of of the good old synth workstations (korg etc.) and for the first time I can see me actually programming my own presets.
And the presets? They are fantastic - honestly, I paid about £40.00 for this synth (my triton cost me about £800!) and this contains a huge range of presets - going from guitars, basses, synths, pianos and much much more. The basses and guitars need special mention - I don't own Halion or Kontakt but I must say that these are the best that I have heard on a soft synth. The tremolo guitar is awesome - worth the money alone.
Essentially you have loads of sounds to create your own presets from and its also very easy and clearly laid out. The effects are also very good - The Second Wave soudns give you an idea of what you can really do - plus the matrix (again used in some presets) could you allow you to program deep evolving passages of sounds from one button!
CPU hit? Well - I run a Pentium 4 3.0ghz (HT) with 512 ram and I notice some issues when running on High quality mode, but this maybe due to the lack of ram. This has been addressed slightly in the new patch and I will be purchasing new RAM shortly. However, if you put the synth into normal mode it plays fine.
The people at the Manytone were very helpful when ordering and overall cannot praise this enough. It's a really good "workhorse" and could be the staple synth for a lot of my songs. Excellent work!
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