I bought Slayer2 right when it came out. I had played aroung with Slayer1 before, so I was a bit disappointed by Slayer2 as it missed the "bite" of Slayer1. This has been fixed with the 2.5 release of Slayer2 meanwhile.
The GUI is really great, if the readability of some controls would be improved, it would be perfect IMO.
The sound is simply outstanding! There is no other other electric guitar simulation that I'm aware of that comes any close to this quality. Brilliant!
Regarding the abilities to change the sound character, there's nearly every feature I can imagine. The only weak point here is the "humanize" feature, because it doesn't offer as much playing alternation as I would expect from such a function.
The documentation is quite good. All features are explained widely here. I only miss some playing hints here since it's not very easy to "think" like a guitar player if you can't play guitar (like me). Some tutorial would be appreciated very much.
The presets could be tweaked a bit better. They are all quite usable, would I always have to tweak some settings before they fit into my mixes. Also, some of them sound a bit too identical IMO.
The customer support is simply great! I had some trouble with Sonar's VST wrapper when I got Slayer2. After some email exchange with the devs they gave me a bugfixed beta-build that solved my issue.
For the VFM: Just compare it yourself! Download the demos from reFX and test them. Then compare the price/features ratio with what you get for this money from other companies. Slayer2 is definitively worth one's salt.
Slayer2 is solid as a rock. I wasn't able to crash it here, even if I overloaded my system with plugins while running low latency.Read Review
I think it would be fair to say that Slayer has a definate target audience and in that respect it meets some of my needs; but not all.
I am going to keep this short as the previous reviews have touched on much of what Slayer has to offer.
Generally I find ReFx products to be quite polished and Slayer is graphically slick, it has a responsive interface and is stable in a variety of hosts.
Where it comes up short for me is when you want a clean electric guitar sound, in particular for chord work - I find for Reggae rythem work Slayer is way off target and equally if you want a clean 'studio' guitar sound for slow lead work or similar you are unlikely to be pleased with the sound, which to my ears lacks dynamics, sustain and harmonics.
If you want a more up-front effected, driven and distorted sound then you will more than likely be happy as a sand boy, in this respect I am happy to have and use Slayer, the only alternative is an (Expensive) mult-sampled library - I prefer both options.
I would love to see Slayer develop a better 'studio' electric guitar sound but otherwise it is still fun to use.Read Review
I love Slayer 2 for it's ability to produce unparalleled searing guitar leads and whammy bar effects. Check out the lead3 and lead4 presets to hear it's amazing feedback capabilities. If you can, try recording these presets over existing rythm material - I was surprized how well they fit in a mix.
I gave this plug high ratings because there is nothing like it for what it does best. Honestly, I do not use it for most "rythm" or "clean electric" Guitar Sounds - for those needs I go to Sonic Synth 1 (or my cheap guitar through Guitar Suite!).
Yes,there better amp sims, FX, etc out there. No doubt. But, all the Slayer components work together to produce a lead sound that can be greater than the sum of it's parts.
Note that it is a CPU hog - you will need a freeze function to really utilize this plug on most systems.
It's not for everyone, but it's definately worth downloading the demo to see if this is what you have been looking for in a lead guitar plug. Note you may have to turn off the "chord" feature on some presets to better listen to the tone of the sound generator.Read Review
Let's keep this simple; if you like heavy electric guitars, crushing riffs, big powerchords and wailing leads you need reFX Slayer 2.
What is it? Slayer is a guitar, amplifier, cabinet and stomp box effects module in one. Lets go with what it can't do as that is much easier to cover.
Slayer is not the last word on clean electric or acoustic model guitars. It is however, very convincing as a electric guitar, from crunchy riffs to massive chords and lead lines that can utilize a lower octave effect, a fuzz box going into a fully distored amp and still have room for tonal manipulation.
Guitar models have a sliding pickup for either single or humbucking pickups and a plethora of tones thanks to placement of effects pre or post amp, or both. It is possible to get clean tones and even aggressive acoustic sounds. It has to do with where your distortion is and what you do with the various combinations.
Pros: many sounds real guitars make, lots of choices in how to create sounds, from infinately sustaining acoustic to mutes that Rock Godz play a mile a minute.
Cons: no matter how good the sound you have to learn to play and think like a guitarist/bassist
I was set to dislike Slayer. Just the name brought me back to big hair and spandex. Sure, there's lots of closet metal fetishists who play keys and wanted to have the fun their guitarists had and those people will love Slayer. However, if you walk into it with the ability to be fair if you are like me, you will be dumbfounded at how good a guitar synth can sound.
Let's discuss what's under the hood, so to speak.
Let's start with the guitar body first. You'll notice a pick across the strings. Move the pick to the neck and bridge positions and listen to the changes. They range from massive to subtle.
There are controls like slap and dynamics along with delay and release you'd never find on a real guitar, but these are crucial to creating the guitar model's nuisance. There are controls for type of material and size of the guitar's body. These alone give great flexibility but there are even bigger ways of making the right sound. The menu with strumming and arpeggiating styles has a lot to do with the final sound as does the guitar hue slide.
You'll also notice many styles of picking and coils. A rule of thumb; no coils means acoustic or clean sound, one coil means a more single pickup or single coil sound and two pickups means fat guitars ready for getting loud with. Still, if you look back at the picking styles you'll notice some are designed for bass and like guitar, while a bit unweildy you can get some terrific bass sounds out of Slayer.
Then there is the amp; there is a collection of amp types and speaker cabinets. When mixing and matching pay lots of attention to the feedback and distortion controls. They can create some very exotic sounding instruments but they are heavily connected to each model and a feeding back acoustic with a bit of fuzz just sounds odd, probably cool, but not always what you want. The modes are self evident, pay attention to the bass, mid and treble controls as they too can easily change the amp from mild to wild.
Last and far from least, there are sixteen effects, all looking like and for the most part acting like a stomp box pedal. The rotary and chorus pedals are lovely as are the delay and harmonizer.
Many of the presets were same sounding, going for that metal sound that is bigger than life and twice as loud. They guitar sound was still good but generic, and like a good player if you understand which pedals go in the right order and pre versus post amp you wil need time to learn.
I'm a guitarist and play frequently. I play synths out necessity. When I learned keyboard there were no midi guitars. They were 10 years away. I'm very impressed as a guitarist and wouldn't mind the rig that the Slayer 2 guitar has.
Your best bet towards true character from guitar is learning it while paying attention to how a guitar is mixed, the kind of solo equipment and the note selection. If you can come close to this you'll find Slayer 2 invaluable unless you use real guitarists or loops (hiss, boo!)
Well worth the ~$90 price tag. Not only is it accurate within it's musical styles, it is capable of more styles than people may be aware. From a personal level, guitar is an important instrument, one that is usually terribly sampled or so pristine you wonder if the player or sample developer had a clue as to how difficult they were making it for skilled players to actually sound remotely close to real guitar. Every brass player I know feels similarly about their instrument.
I like reFX's virtual guitar because it sounds like real guitars within the style it is modeled after as well as the crazy weird sounds that even guitarists would be thrilled to be able to make. I wish there was a reFX guitar effects processer. It would be on my wish list in fact.
If you like the kind of sound Slayer, still don't like the name, is a gem.Read Review