Microrock Pro is a unique instrument in that it combines a synth and guitar (or string) modeling to make sounds unlike the usual analog synth emulations heard in many software instruments. For someone who is coming to keyboards and synths from a guitar background, the interface makes it easy to find sounds. The control for positioning a guitar pick anywhere along the string is intuitive, and will be intuitive for non-guitarists as well once its tested.
The sounds are mostly like electric guitars played through effect units, and there are a wide variety of tones that can be made either through tweaking a preset or starting from scratch. The pick and pickup tones, combined with distortion, delay, chorus and wah filtered through the common synth ADSR controls provide a lot of variety. I find it most useful for lead lines, as if playing a MIDI guitar or a densely effected guitar. You can simulate power chords also, though.
CPU usage was light on my Powerbook, which is a nice bonus.
The presets are handy for trying out varied sounds, and while there aren't a ton of them, they are sufficiently spread out in the sound spectrum.
Support is quick and friendly in the KVR DashSignature/NuSofting forum, and is also responsive via email. Microrock Pro has never crashed or behaved oddly for me and my questions about it were answered fully.
With the low price and high quality results, its an easy 10 in terms of value for money. Another plus is that its fun to use - quick and easy to play with the settings without getting lost. Highly recommended.
(full disclosure: I tested the Mac AU port of this plug)
This is a plug with character. I've been able to use it both as a faux guitar (lots of effects over it), and as a synth in its own right. In both cases it has a very individual sound that can really make a track. Check out my tracks "Prophecies" and "Odd, is he?".
Interface: Good, definitely readable (my eyes are getting older), but could be slightly better. Maybe it's just that there are too many options that can not be logically arranged, but I keep hunting over that panel.
Sound: Great. Lots of presets to give you an idea of what the thing can do.
There is a short but adequate manual, support over email is good. The plug has been stable for me. Definitely value for money.
My only quibble is with the implementation of the legato mode. I really had to do some midi editing to get a melody (in my piece Prophecies) with a swelling attack that did not catch the tail of a fading previous note. But maybe there is no good solution for that in a mono-synth.
Somewhat hidden besides the mainstream of VSTi development Dash Synth Designer Liquih has build an impressive small orchestra of unique synths and effects under the name of Nusofting. Microrock Pro is the newest addition to this line of - now merged with Dash - brand of products, and as it name suggests, it was basically intended to be a bass and guitar physical modelled emulation for the nasty and long-haired side of sounds. But in the course of the development - which i observed as Betatester - it really grow to something unique and emerged as a instrument in its own right.
INTERFACE.The GUI is done in a photorealistic fashion and looks like something each guitarist would want immediately to plug his guitar into- it looks damm good IMO and, above all, is clearly structured: best note !
SOUND. Three basic synth modes lets one choose between a bass emulation, a guitar emulation and the typical rock guitar quint accord emulation. The degree of possible realism varies; while the basses can sound very naturally straight from out of the box and 70s-pink-floy like guita sounds, ebows and effects are done very convincingly also, achieving a strat -heavy metal or blues sound takes some time, good ears and the old Guitar recording trick of double-tracking several instances - plus some freeware like simulanalogs Guitar Suite. Short: It is possible, but,as with recording real guitars, its rather a science in itself. However, absolute realism isn't really the intention of Microrock nor any other PM synth IMO, and so the fun really starts when doing sounds which might have been a guitar once... In this vein, Microck can do nearly acustic guitar sounding sounds, strange psychedelic fx, great brass-like nasty sounds and cool lead sounds with a rough digital quality to it which no other synth i am aware of can do in a professional quality.
FEATURES. Various rather complex parameters allow the modification of the basic string sound and the following shaping via distortion, overdrive, a wah, a chorus, tremolo and a very cool little delay unit. As said, the combination of these allow a surprisingly big palette of sound since especially the string and tone parameters tend to interact in a complex fation; nothing to miss here :-).
MANUAL: A short, clear structured, good looking and very readable manual in HTML format is supplied.
PRESETS: 100 Presets are supplied which show its possibilities very good; some are usable, some really spectacular (Just listen to the first one, Side Tone).
SUPPORT. Very good - Liqih is a very nice guy to deal with and open to all kinds of suggestions.
VFM: Microrock Pro is - like all of Liqihs synth - priced very reasonably.
STABILITY. Not a topic.
Since i have this, i didn't left it out in one track i do - often as unusal synth bass with some guitarish quality, once as emulation of guitars and sometimes as sound fx source. It always proved to be sounding professional and fitting very good in a mix. Moreover, it is really fun to play and inspirational and just looks good - great little synth, try it out.