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User Reviews by KVR Members for Morphine

Rate & Review Morphine Now!

Reviewed By VicDiesel [read all by] on 23rd December 2008
Version reviewed: 1.4.2 on Mac.
Last edited by VicDiesel on 7th January 2009.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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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.

Then what?

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.

Presets: great

Customer support: haven't used it.

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Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

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