I am amazed that this plugin for Windows is able to contain as many features as it does. The result of many suggestions to an interactive development cycle has included in version 1.70, quite an attention to detail.
I found the most convenient method of loading SF2 files and navigating patches the easiest of any plugin I have used. A simple tree sits alongside the Channel window from which to pick SF2 files (and presets). Included patches are displayed below the tree. The simultaneous control of 8 layers of patches and included effects with one instance of the plugin simplifies the task of arranging to a single screen. Prodyon has provided the most convenient and easy to use plugin in my collection.
The number and depth of features goes way beyond what you would expect from a Freeware plugin, so also a 10 for Value. Since there is such a plethora of soundfont files available to music creators, the ability to create almost any sound and any timbre is the strength here. If the basic SF2 sound isn't quite what you had in mind, you can easily get the result you want by applying many effects. And automation is easily achieved, since every parameter appears to be controllable. Full envelope control can shape everything but the actual wave shape within the SF2 file, so sound control is maximized.
I also experienced very little use of CPU resources with Phenome even with a full boat of layers. Coupled with convenience and light resource usage it is now near the top of the list of my most used plugins.
The GUI is simple to grasp, with 8 standard mixing channels across the top. Clicking on a channel EDIT button gives you access to individual channel controls. My only gripe is the Channel area is a little dark and hard for my eyes to see - a lttle lighter please. No docs are needed to learn the basic controls. As you get into the effects controls, a more detailed explanation of the use of these effects would be welcome. The website provides an overview and several video tutorials.
Taking this plugin over the top is the huge Factory Preset package that can be installed as a separate download. Included are many SF2 files that can be used on their own or selected through the preset list. The sheer quantity of presets is staggering. Although, not outstanding in quality, the selection includes a huge variety of instruments that should allow anyone to find a close match for lots of needs. Then tweak the preset for a even better match. Compared to other plugin included presets, this is a 10.
No crashes were experienced (so far). And Prodyon appears to be ready to provide support for even trivial questions. Stability and support are both a 10.