I got Ravity to replace my expanded Roland XP synth, so that's what I'll be comparing it to throughout this review. Ravity doesn't offer as many features as your standard hardware ROMpler, but you can bet it sounds every bit as good as one, and in many cases even better!
GUI: Fabulous GUI! Absolutely wonderful! It's actually FUN to make your own sounds in Ravity! I've made more sounds in Ravity in a week than I did on my Roland in a year. This is the biggest advantage Ravity has over any hardware synth available. Ravity makes you WANT to make your own sounds, which is a first in my book.
Sound: Ooh boy! Ravity has a character unlike any other synth out there. Some of it sounds like a Roland, but it has a cleaner, smaller quality to its sound. In other words, Ravity mixes MUCH better than my Roland did, but still has that "sound module" sound to it. Everything from the effects to the samples sounds great and the sound quality is always consistent. It all sounds the way a ROMpler should.
One thing I hated about my Roland was its looping. My Roland had weird loop errors in it, which made many sounds completely unusable. I'm happy to report that Ravity's samples all loop very smoothly, to the point where I didn't even notice the looping most of the time.
Features: Like I said, not as many features as your standard hardware synth, but everything you need is right there. Ravity also makes up for the lack of features by allowing you to put eight samples together to form one sound. That's twice the amount of samples per patch as my Roland (and most other hardwares). Not only that, but Ravity lets you have 1,260 user sounds. Most Rolands give you 128 or 256! So you can have a field day with this thing.
Documentation: Finally a synth manual that explains everything the RIGHT way. Roland guys could learn a thing or two from Luxonix in this department. ;)
Presets: Most of the presets are good, but not great. Most of the presets just sound "okay." Some of the synth sounds are awesome, but many of the acoustic presets suck. In fact, the acoustic presets are what made me turn away from Ravity in the first place. It wasn't until I really sat down with it and made my own patches that I began to love this beast! And don't kid yourself, it IS a beast.
Customer Support: Luxonix has good customer support. Skycha and Yeap on the forums are very nice people and they do a good job of answering your questions.
Value for Money: 140 dollars for a synth that puts my 1,000 dollar XP to shame! Hah! Luxonix is the best.
Stability: Never crashed. Ever. Rock solid and dependable. A REAL software workhorse!
Conclusion: Ravity is fun, inviting, easy on your CPU and it sounds fantastic. The day I got it I wrote two songs with it without any problems whatsoever. Great! Ravity easily sounds as good, and in most cases better, than my XP-30. It's FAR more usable, too. This was the best piece of software I've ever bought!
So can this replace my Roland? Of course it can! I'd even bet this thing could rival a Yamaha Motif ES if you worked hard enough on the sounds (and I have heard the Motif ES in action *a lot*). Ravity's main weak point is its ethnic instruments. The sitar needs work and there're no kotos or shamisens, but really, when will you ever need those instruments? There're also no drums; you need to buy Ravity R for those, but my XP-30's drums were unusable, so it all works out. Other than that, Ravity can do anything my Roland can, and because it's so fun to use, I'll do more with it than I ever did with my Roland. :)
Great synth, great price, great sound. Luxonix will go far, and I'll be using this baby for years to come.
Luxonix Ravity is a synth that has grown on me as I have come to realise just how powerful, useful and great-sounding it is.
The synth comprises an architecture of four layers, which can be split, stacked or whatever, each a full VA synth and each with a full suite of built-in effects.
GUI The GUI is flawless. There ae two main pages - a preset browser feauring in-situ previewing of presets (the best implementation I've seen) and the main synth editing page - with four tabs : one for each layer. The controls are laid out sensibly and the GUI is pleasing to look at and responsive. Damn near perfect.
SOUND The sound of this thing is great, ranging from fat synth sounds to realistic instruments , huge pads and weird FX. There are also some great presets which illustrate this things ability to mimic the workstation synths of the 80s and 90s (Korg M1s etc).
FEATURES There are 4 identical synth layers (generators) each of which is a complete VA synth, including two sampled "oscillators". There are well over 100 samples to choose from covering choirs, pianos etc. as well as the ususal saw, square, triangle. Each layer has it's own arpeggiator (a very flexible one) and it's own multi-fx (a complete implementation fo the famous Luxonix freebie LFX1310). This provides huge flexibility - you can have a stabbed attack on layer one, with pingpong delays, backed up by a swelling pad on layer 2 which is heavily chorussed and reverbed, with an arpeggiated xylophone on layer3 , heavily compressed and .... well - you get the idea.
There are also some great hidden features in here in terms of mapping of midi controllers using midi learn etc.
DOCUMENTATION A ver good manual is included which covers all the basics, including installation and programming. There are also detailed feature tables in the appendices, covering default midi routing etc.
PRESETS There is a huge range of excellent presets, including some bass and lead patches that are hugely responsive and rewarding. Patches are arranged into 11 banks, including piano, strings, organ, synth bass, synth lead etc. with each bank ranging from 20 to 50+ sounds.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT Never had to use it, but the Luxonix guys frequent KvR and also have their own forum.
VALUE FOR MONEY Given this synths great library of sounds, built-in effects, ease of use and quality , I would say the Ravity(S) is one of the best VFM vstis around. Truly excellent.
STABILITY Never crashed, frozen or even dropped a note. Top Notch.
All in all , I rate this synth very highly indeed to anyone looking to expand their range or to find a workhorse vsti which you can use to find the right sound fast, to get down ideas quickly. I love it and use it in most projects, often more than one instance.
As stated before it is under marketed and under appreciated. This is very true. The current version has the ability to go standalone (the earlier ones were pure plug-ins) which may be of use to some people. It works I tried it but for what I do a plug-in is all I need.
I've used it more than just about anything else for ambient sounds and soft slow sounds. It has one short fall and that is the lack of fatness to the presets that are supposed to be fat (ie the moogish analog sounds you get are a little tinny and weak, you can fatten them up with some effects but you shouldn't have to tinker around for what you expect are standard sounds.
Organ sounds are not that great, pretty limited as they all sound about the same.
Now I know we're not supposed to compare it to other things, but sometimes a comparison is useful. I've used this one and Ultra Focus and between the two Ravity is much better. Why? Because it cost me about a quarter what the Ultra Focus did. The Ravity doesn't eat up as much disk space (if you use Ultra Focus you'll have to give up about 8GB of space and if you're still using FAT32 hard drives you'll have to reformat them to NTFS which is a pain). The Ravity is very stable, I had the earlier version lock up once or twice, the current version hasn't locked up any.
Bottom line is this one is great for ambient sounds, pads, and slow soft sounds. It is a little weak for organ sounds and fat analog sounds. Very good value for the money.
This seems to be a very under-marketed and under-appreciated synth! Sure, it's not some superfancy monstrosity that drags even the latest CPUs to their knees, but it's good-sounding, efficient, and easy to use.
It's a ROMpler, along the lines of the Roland JV1080 type of module.. wide variety of sounds, most quite good. Everything sits well in a mix, this isn't a "hero" synth, it's what you need behind to fill your song out! I find myself so far laying a bed with Ravity, then dropping something else over the top for a lead.. like I did when I had real hardware (lol).
Support is decent, haven't had to use it yet but the developer has a forum here on KVR that's pretty well attended.
Pretty decent value for money.. it's not a disk hog like some ROMplers where they think throwing 4GB of samples at you means there's no need to actually do sound design (lol), if you know what I mean. I decided to buy this over a used JV1080 module because I preferred the sound of Ravity!
Synth-type sounds are excellent, acoustic instruments are good for backing tracks but I'd not mix them too far up front. Haven't tried making my own patches but from what I've seen it's pretty easy, doesn't look like it requires a degree in synth programming to make it happen.
I vacillated a lot before I bought Ravity, but I'm very happy I did! There are a fair # of owners out there, I wonder why I'm the first reviewer...