I don't love this synth in particular. Despite that, I had to use it because I found some preset sounds, after a slight modify, very suitable for a recent project of mine, and I could not easily reproduce them with other synths (they just had that particular "groove" I was looking for) Unfortunately Sprike is full of bugs. I don't know it these just show up on my config (Reaper, Win 7 x64), anyway here are the most annoying ones: 1) With expection of the first time, everytime I reopen the GUI all numbers and readouts of the various pots/parameters remain empty, blank. The only way to retrigger an update is to load a different preset. 2) After some minutes, the LFO of the Flanger effect stops working and I have to reset the plugin to restore its normal workings. I suspect a similar problem may affect other parts aswell, because after several minutes of use it's not uncommon that sounds may start sounding different because some component "went to sleep". If anybody can notify the author of these bugs he is welcome, I am not familiar with Github and forks.
There are obviously a few things to criticize a synth in this "price class", meaning its free. But all in all its a really interesting plugin that seems to be build around usability rather than some gimmick.
First of all its additive, which is maybe a bit weird for a synth with a workflow like this, but it just adds to the feel and use of the plugin itself.
The overall the sound feels a bit grainy in the sound (not as in low quality, but as in tonally different if that makes sense). The plugin seems to shine most for things like basses and Pads, the presets do seem to suggest the same, although I'm still trying to squeeze a bit more out of it in the creation of pluck sounds for arpeggios and the sorts.
The interface looks a bit dull, but its functional, and none of the big common issues with interfacing are present. The interaction with knobs doesn't hide the cursor but works both in the X and the Y direction, making it seamless and intuitive.
There are some issues with the rendering of the interface though. Leave it inactive for a bit and the UI updates to a more fancy version. No idea what that is all about.
Overall the synth is easy to understand (relatively speaking for people with a bit of experience with other synths).
If I had to criticise or suggest improvements for the Synth, it would be A, there doesn't seem an option to switch the order of Effects in the FX Stack without having to manually move them one by one. Next thing would be that the INIT patch seems to have already quite a few things going on. Makes sense if you want to showcase things, but I prefer a really simple and clean init patch that I can build up from. The default is already detuned and with 10 voices of unison. But that was quickly solved by just making a custom INIT patch myself.
After only 3 hours of use I'm very troubled by this VST.
Using the latest versions of FLstudio on 64-bit Windows 7, it doesn't seem to matter if I'm running my DAW in 32 or 64-bit, bridging the process (which normally lets me bypass DAW crashes from VSTi completely), threaded processing turned off or not, there's some peculiar problems that occur. On almost regular intervals it crashes my DAW when I open or close the VST. Sometimes when I open the menu to view the presets, sometimes when I try to change values on the effects. The rate it crashes my software is quite frankly alarming and I would never consider using this for production. If I could find a work-around for it I'd do that and be sure to post it here but even my counter measures I take for troubleshooting that worked for literally everything else in my entire lifetime of working with digital music software seems to have had no effect whatsoever. I'm at a loss.
Aside from that, other things I've found common are that when I load in a preset, all drop down menu boxes are blank until I select a new value. With the Mod Matrix and the Effects Stack I can't see where the currently loaded effects are, if I try to add one I might accidentally replace an effect.
And when the visual display freezes, it works as a pretty good indicator I should save my progress soon as a crash is coming up soon.
The presets are nice, a lot of the sounds are fairly decent, I personally love the Acid presets as they sound pretty legit. Some of the Pad presets are also nice and thick. In the current version of this VST my best advice is to not load it up directly into a large project so you don't have to risk loading it when opening your project later. If you decide you want to use this VST at all, take a MIDI file or sequence from your project into a new project with only this VST in it, and bounce down the audio into sample format.
When I saw this VST it really got my hopes up to test and review it, but it just didn't work out for me. If you have a positive experience with this VST I highly encourage you to write a good review for it.
"It has the same expressive and crisp sound as Tunefish". Unfortunately, I have to disagree. I have just tried the 64-bit version of Sprike in Reaper, and some of the presets include unpleasant crackling sounds, which I don't hear when I use Tunefish 4. This is disappointing. It seems that Cognitone has some extra work to do on this VSTi.