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User Reviews by KVR Members for UltraFocus

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Reviewed By ViktorW [read all by] on 4th October 2006
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows.
Last edited by ViktorW on 5th October 2006.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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I love Ultra Focus! I have read some good reviews of it in "Computer Music" and "Sound on Sound", tried the demo , loved it, and decided that it was too expensive (almost 400 Euros). It has become cheaper a few months ago, I paid roughly 200 Euros for it. Great!

The GUI has a very solid feel to it and is nicely laid out, no sub-menus, you can see everything you need right away.

The sound is absolutely great, they sure used some great equipment to record those synths, and the patches sound solid, deep, in-your-face, and great to work with. The highs and lows are there, it's punchy and precise. I LOVE it! They covered every kind of synthesis method and chose the greatest and most influential and recognizable synths for this product.
The effects section sounds superb and adds even more depth to the sound. Everything feels "high class". Average CPU load (with FX), not easy on the machine but not too much either. Absolutely usable for me.

Since it's a sample player with quite a few editing options, you can change a patch a lot, but the sample of course stays the same, so possibilities are limited compared to a proper synthesizer. But then again, where do you get so many great sounds in such great quality?

There are a few other products like "Sonik Synth 2" (which I own too) that claim to be a comprehensive synth sample library, but to my ears none of them sound so powerful and mighty as Ultra Focus.

Presets are great and more than enough, value for money is now unbeatable, no problem with stability so far, and customer support has always been friendly to me.

Ultra Focus is highly recommended!
Reviewed By nonono [read all by] on 15th August 2005
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows
8 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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I guess the price may be the reason no ones review this one yet cause it is a bit on the steep side for hobbyist users. That said, I really wanted this package.... I really thought it would be great... I really believed all the marketing .... I was really disappointed.

The major problem is - Space, the installation will eat up 8GB of hard drive space and because the files are so large you will have to make sure you are using NTFS hard drives and not the more common FAT32. I know because I never thought I would have to read the documentation to install software and spent several fruitless days hours trying to install the thing before I broke down and realized I needed to redo the hard drives on my computer. That being said, you should also know that you cannot use an older version of Windows. NTFS isn't compatible with windows 95/98/ME. So if you are like me and have duel operating systems on your computer you will have to make one hard drive invisible to your old operating system if you want to install Ultra Focus.

What you do get, are some pretty good samples... The only downside is that the whole system is marketed as a sort of end all be all of synths. The demo and marketing I got from them before I decided to get the thing led me to believe that once you got this baby and learned to use it you could discard all your other synths. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The whole system seems a little limited. Yes with 8GB of my hard drive given up, I expected a very wide variety of sound samples. You quickly find that the samples you get are sometimes only vaguely different from other samples... You don't get any decent orchestra sounds to layer in (ie it would be nice to have samples of standard MIDI soundfont sounds to use in creating sounds but you don't get them).

You find that you are too limited in how you can manipulate the samples. You can only use two samples in any one sound. And if you want to add effects, you are limited to just 2 at a time.with the effects being added to the mixed version of the 2 layers, it would be more useful to be able to add 2 effects to the separate layers.

Finding the samples/sounds you want is a pain, there are too many sounds and the names are often less than helpful in knowing what sound it is so you have to do a lot of trial and error (not that big a deal on a small synth but here you are looking at over 2000 different presets and that gets very tedious). I don't usualy complain about too many presets, but here you get the feeling that you could have been given a fraction of the presets and not missed anything.

What the system needs to be really useful is the ability to layer more sounds and an arp function. The USB folks should take a look at Ravity (s) / between the two Ravity has a much smaller sample size but a much better GUI and more possibilities (4 layers instead of two and 3 effects per layer plus 3 effects for the final sound).

In hindsight I would not get this one. It costs a lot and requires what I consider a large trade off on your system configuration. You don't get any sounds you can't get elsewhere... the tweakability of the sounds are too limited... It just ain't worth it.

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Average user rating of 3.50 from 2 reviews

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