Ah, the joys of group buys and other special offers. One is apt to get carried away on the enthousiasm of the crowd, and not properly investigate the wares on offer. Such it has gone with me a couple of times, including with Morphine. In this case I actually downloaded the demo, saw that the presets sounded pretty gorgeous, tweaked a couple of knobs, and plunked down my money.
Additive synths are very hard to program. Just pencilling in a bunch of partials leads to harsh, metallic, or glassy sounds. Also, specifying the values of all partials in an evolving sound is a lot of work. Hence resynthesis: you start with an existing sample, the synth analyses it, and you can take if from there. Nice theory.
Morphine is built around 4 oscillator-type thingies, which can be morphed into each other in a time-dependent way. Cool. There are some effects, and an overall ADSR; the usual modulation matrix.
Now here's my problem. I can load a sample into each of the generators. Some samples work better than others, but let's say I succeed in reproducing the sample through resynthesis.
At this point the synth falls down. Resynthesis has given me dozens if not hundreds of "breakpoints": snapshots of the state of the partials, that are strung together to reproduce the sampling in all its time-evolving complexity. But there is no reasonable way to edit them! The makers figure that an ADSR is not needed because that's covered by the volume of the individual breakpoints. True, but I can not draw a volume curve through the "spectrum", the timeline of breakpoints. (Very strange terminology, btw, to call this a spectrum.)
Likewise, suppose I want to adjust the sound of this resynthesized sample. I can edit each breakpoint, but that lasts only a fraction of a second. There is no global edit of all breakpoints at once ("increase the 5th partial in all breakpoints"), nor is there a filter of any kind you can put over the generator. After all, filters are unnecessary because that's covered by the partials.
In all, my impression is that this is a potentially powerful synth, just very hard to program for optimal results.
Ok, so what am I left with? A bunch of really cool sounding presets. Anyone wanting to buy this from me?
Interface: confusing at first, but understandable after you read the manual a bit.
Sound: great, if you know how to program this thing.
Documentation: there is a manual and tutorial videos on the website.
Looking for an additive synth that looks good, runs good and sounds good? Then try Morphine. Morphine is one heck of a great VST, feautring everything you'd want for its price. If you have Octopus, it may remind you a bit of it, but as a sleeker, easier version.
GUI-Very easy to understand, unique, sleek and simple. Morphines Gui is just the right size too, not to big and you can see most of it on smaller resolutions. It's also not too overwhelming like some plugins can be. Theres a lot of just clicking and dragging points to change your sound, which is easy if you're new to this kind of stuff. Everything is straightforward too. Effects such as chorus and delay are at the bottom, and can be adjusted with the knobs. Master is at the top, and the generators are all right there for easy access. Overall, a great looking vst.
Sound-Theres plenty of VST's that sound all alike, but Morphine has some really creative and unique sounds. Deep, dark,ambinet sometimes creepy pads, that really set atomshpere and create depth in songs. Theres also interesting and unique SFX as well. Of course theres a lot of familar sounds too, such as those classic saw sounds you always hear. All the sounds can be mixed, and edited of course, and still sound great.
Features-A lot of easy to understand and use features. Master, delay, chorus, modulation, etc. All of which can be easily changed and edited. Very nice.
Documentation-I've never used any of the documents, but theres a help document. You probably won't need any documents though, since it's such an easy plugin to use.
Presents- Again, there are plenty of unique and interesting sounding presents from pads, keys, strings, leads, brass and wind, synth, vox, bass, SFX and percussion- similar to octopus, but some more unique and original. Again, all of them can be edited to sound even better or more towards your likeing. Honestly, some presents mainly the SFX can be hard to work with or incoparate into songs, but it just takes a little practice.
VFM-Good. I don't like spending more than 50$... on anything really, but a lot of people said this was a great synth, and I had some money to spend. I would have settled for about 100, but its still in the end worth it.
Stability/cpu- Wonderful. No problems at all. Very little CPU usage for such an awesome plugin too.
Overall, Morphine is one of my favorite plugins, and it's definately worth atleast downloading the demo.