This is my favourite freebie VST, and being a man of few synths this means a lot in my book. I spent a lot of time downloading demos and tweaking synths to know exactly what I want, and my veredict is that ReZ could easily be your workhorse synth. The usefulness of Rez comes from the fact that it's very easy to get good sounds without it getting on the way of your creativity. It's a fantastic synth for composing and prototyping.
Being a monophonic single-oscillator synthesizer doesn't limit it as you would think: quite the contrary, you can get a good variety of sounds without difficult. The sound is very good and is showcased by the presets.
Soundwise it's very good too. The effects are the big secret here, just like old synth string machines. The sole oscillator offer enough variety and tweakabilty and the filter is really outstanding for a free product (actually that's where Rez got its name from). My favourite thing about it is the Drive function used to fatten up the sound, something I miss on some commercial synths. The arpegiattor is very easy to use and fun too, and the graphical envelopes are the icing of the cake.
I am giving a 10/10 on all categories simply because it just works perfectly and does everything it promisses (and more).
I want to find this man, and buy him dinner. Good wine and all. Seriously, i've been a fan of String theory for a while, and have had Rez along with Motion and Texture in my plugin folder for some time as well, but not until recently i started browsing the presets and it seriously makes me feel kind of bad for all the money i've spent in fancy vsti's here and there. This plug in is a thing of beauty. The arpeggiator is so good, the filter is sick, and the envelopes are great to play with and to look at. I haven't read the manual (but i will), because the list of presets is so lovely that i probably won't need to tweak much parameters for a while. This thing has a heart of techno, and the body of a vast blue soundscape.
I haven't needed any help with Rez, but i know Ugo is around in case i did.
I shouldn't be spending any more money on my music making geekware, but i will go get Ugo's Metalurgy as soon as possible because this man deserves the support.
User Interface - It looks like something from a Skinny Puppy video, or from Saw IV - "Jigsaw In Space". If "retro cool" is a meaningful combination of words to describe something, then Rez 2.0 is "future cool" looking. Ugo has reinvented simplicity and workflow, not to mention is helping bring back *sliders* as controllers with this update. A lot of features packed efficiently into a small space, this is how it should be done eh.
Sound - Considering it's a mono synth, unbelievable in a word. This is a slice of modern electronica, from dance to industrial, there is truly sounds here for everyone. It just sounds great, I could go on and on, but you just have to grab a copy and fire it up. If this were payware, it would cost $39.95+.
Features - Not a ton of features, but the ones it does have sure make it sing and dance. It's a mono synth, so that leaves just one oscillator and filter for the main body of the sound. It's got an LFO of course, and some overdrive, a rather complete phaser, and a stereo delay effect that all add up to more than a 2nd oscillator to my ears. Did I mention the arpeggiator ? Yep, it's got one, and while it's pretty basic, it's got a few features itself and works just fine.
Documentation - A small .pdf manual is included. While the manual is a bit small, it tells you what each control does, and come on, it's a freakin' mono synth people, even I can sorta program this one ha-ha.
Presets - 2 full .fxb banks, so that's what, 256 presets ? You simply can't go wrong here if you do electronic music at all.
Customer Support - Ugo is a pro/payware dev also, so he's got his customer support act together. He's a K-v-R reg, and he has his own website http://www.ugoaudio.com/ where you can reach him with questions, and/or grab demos of his payware plug-ins.
Value For Money - Is there an 11 score here ? Seriously, this is the one I nicknamed "Zebra Jr.", it would be at least $39.95 if not closer to twice that if it had 2 oscillators and was hyped to death.
Stability - I've never had a problem with it, low on cpu usage, fast to open. It is an SE creation, but like I've said in past reviews, if you're still having probs with SE stuff, it's most likely your computer at this point in time, cause the rest of us aren't having those probs anymore these days.
Final Notes - If every freeware synth was this good, there'd be almost no market for payware synths. If you didn't grab this V2.0 update, then you have officially missed the boat in 2006, go get it now, and thank Ugo in 2007.
in a way, this could be textures little brother. however, it has a few key features of its own.
the biggest selling point is that sweet, fat LP filter. it is among the best ive heard, including commercial synths.
the interface is simple and straight forward. there is not much to it really, just a single osc, filter, amp and filter envelops, and delay.
oh yes, and the arp. this is the other gotta have feature. i *really* like this arp. it remembers the midi note sequence, so you can get some really funky arps with ease. the hold, gate, and retrigger buttons are all nice touches as well.
i think it is intended to be a bass synth. as such, it is second to none that i have seen. but this little beauty can do a lot more than just bass. check it out.
pro -- super duper filter and arp
con -- a little light on features (not for a bass synth, but i just wish it had a few more controls). the interface is a tad too small and dark for my aging eyes
Amazing that no one has reviewed this remarkable beast yet. Forget the fact that it's free--Rez is a fantastic monosynth, period. The GUI is cool, the preset bank is loaded, and the sounds therein are extremely useful and inspiring. I have three instances of Rez in my default song project--and that's not enough as I usually add three more! Sounds are thick and incredibly expressive, and some of the patches respond to velocity in unique ways, making it very fun to play. If you haven't yet downloaded this and Texture, Ugo's other monosynth, do it now. I dare your jaw not to drop.