I got a feeling that my reviews are becoming dynamic :O)
After much poking around with this synth I have discovered hidden depths, the sound is not quite on par with today’s market power synths but that’s not to say some good use can come from it, the sound can be rich and has a kind of unique Rainbow quality.
The Gui is a tad large, but dead easy to use, about as easy as a gui can get. If you want something basic to program this is it. The onboard chorus comes in handy and patch loading is a simple right click away. In fact most of the hidden features are.
Value for money, well its would be different things to different people, if you want simplicity this would be good value, but if you want something that’s going to take you further into the future I would reconsider for a bit.
So to sum up give the demo a go, you won’t be doing yourself any favours by not at least tying it. If you can think of anything you would like to see improved or added or even want to voice off how great you find it, try looking here in the BigTick support forum.
I am a PIII 550 user, so this is a bit power hungry for me, and I have crashed it SO many times it's not even funny anymore. I use the Rainbow for electric piano and massive pad progressions. I have a hard time programming the 4 oscillators, but 2 years later I'm getting better. The lowpass filter is so fat, especially set to x2, and i never have to push the resonance past about 8 oclock before my pads start screaming. Big up the Big Tick.
Rainbow can achieve a really wide variety of sounds, most of them you can't easily create with another single VSTI, thanks to several synthesis modes
it especially excels in making complex ambient textures, but big fat basses (Rainbow has very good sound quality for basses) and all types of analog sounds can be easily done as well.
banks and patches bundled with the synth are good examples of this, with both textures and fat analog sounds.
Rainbow is perfect if you want to make your own samples and sound original, and the standalone version is perfect for this.
it also shines when used "live" in your favorite VST host : very stable, not too CPU hungry, it provides good features for this mode too, like glide, finger-glide, mono mode, very powerful filters etc...
Big Tick is always listening to customers (for the commercial plugins as well as for the free ones), for support or for help, provides new patches regularly and constantly develops Rainbow.
Rainbow is not expensive considering its features, the high sound quality, and its overall sound capabilities.
a final word about the interface. i personnaly like it : even if it's not the most beautiful graphics you'll find, it's quite appealing though and everything is clear right in front of you, perfect to spend hours tweaking all the knobs over and over :)
The more I've used Rainbow the more I learn about it. Unfortunately this is not a simple synth and by today's VSTi standards to some might not have a sexy interface (although I like it and once you understand what you are doing it is very functional). Rainbow finds it's way into a lot of mixes because of it's animated sounds and basses that can sound ferocious.
Also, the stability issues change with the system you use. On the Celeron 600 box it was orignally tested on stability was an issue where as on a Athlon XP1700 box - using the same midi/audio interfaces - there are no stability issues. Also, patches are available at the company site.
- - - - - - - -
I judge how much I like a synth in part by concept and execution along with how well it sits in a mix. Whether you consider it difficult to learn will depend on your background in subtractive synthesis, the less familiar the more the Rainbow2 most likely will be simple to work with.
After a few hours work on the demo I was able to make useful sounds from killer to sublime, enough to purchase it for the studio immediately. This is really an extrordinary synth for a reasonable price. Some will find the FM/AM based synthesis engine somewhat difficult but it's very flexible and a good compromise between classic 6 opperator FM and VA analog.
Pros: expressive and varied timbres, decent manual Cons: slightly different than analog VAs, depending on the program can get resouce intensive
Not a N.I. FM-7 killer but a great sounding and easier to program FM oriented synth. Anyone that doesn't think FM can be warm needs to check out the Rainbow synth.
Should you buy it ? The Rainbow 2 is clearly in the same league as the gakstoar Delta. If you are aiming at experimenting with sound but don't want to get into modular monsters, then the Rainbow 2 is certainly worth a look. I think the interface could be a tad more intuitive but after playing around with it for a while it's starting to make sense. And then the fun starts. The Rainbow 2 is a great synth.
Read the full review on Orion-central: http://www.orion-central.com/reviewrainbow2.shtml