I bought this because it was going for $69 + postage, which made it hard to go past. It sounds exactly like the hardware K-Station I used to own but is much, much easier to use. The GUI is very well thought-out and looks slick, too. What I really like about this synth is that, like Korg's software, it has excellent sound quality but is not over-burdened with a million features that get in the way of getting the most from it. it is very easy to get really good sounds from its three fat oscillators and silky smooth filter. The effects are handy and offer more than you might expect, given the lack of fine control. There are a lot of presets but not much imagination has gone into naming them. I'm not a preset person so I haven't really listened to many of them But this synth is so easy to use your time is much better spent doing your own thing. Overall it is a well-balanced package with high quality components [oscillators and filter] with enough features to let you do a lot with them. At full-price it was a little expensive but for $69, you'd be crazy not to take the plunge.Read Review
GUI This is one of the greatest strengths of this synth. The GUI is sweet to look at, but also very clean, functional and easy to use. The Main page contains most of the things you'd need to tweak, and keeping other features on separate pages reduces clutter. The knobs and buttons don't have tooltips, but the name and value of the parameter is displayed in the virtual "LCD" display and idicated by a virtual "LED Ring".
Sound I bought this after selling my Novation Nova hardware synth, because I missed the smooth analogue Novation sound. Well, now I once again have that sound! It's really very similar, including the filter overdrive and DoubleSaw waveform. The effects also sound similar though they lack some features from the classic Novation synths.
Features This is a bread and butter virtual analog synth, and it does that job very well. There are some limitations, though. While the Nova had highpass and bandpass filters in 12db, 18db and 24db flavours, as well as a number of extra parallell and serial combinations of filters, the V-Station only comes with one LP filter, switchable between 12db and 24db. Also, the modulation routing capabilities are a bit limited. You can't freely assign LFO's (LFO2 can't modulate osc pitch, LFO1 can't modulate filter frequency or res for example), and there's only one Mod Env. Also, the limitation of 8 voices seems a bit restrictive when today's CPUs can handle much more. If you choose to use 4 voices in unison mode, the synth becomes duophonic, for example. This is a shame as some very powerful string arrangments would have been possible if more voices were available. The arpeggiator also loses the hundreds of preset and user patterns available on the Nova, which seems a bit backwards as PC's have much more RAM than the old Nova synth.
Docs I've almost nevver looked at the docs because the synth is so self explanatory, but they seem very well written. Combined with the clear and user friendly layout, this makes it a great learning tool for those who are new to analog synthesizers.
Presets Basses: Check, Synced Leads: Check, "Phat" Danze Soundz: Check, Arpeggios: Check, Pads and Strings: Check. You get most of the basic bread and butter analogue sounds you might need, but with few surprises. They aren't categorized at all, but the list of factory presets is mercifully short. You really need to program your own sounds to take full advantage of this synth.
Support Never had to use it but I've only heard got things from others who have
Stability The plugin is very stable and has never crashed under XP SP2 and Cubase SX3. The plugin consumes about 10% CPU with effects and 8 voices active on my Athlon64 3500+. This is higher than some of the most efficent synths, but still very good. The sound quality is excellent and very close to its hardware counterpart, which justifies this CPU usage. In these days, when some plugins consume 60% CPU for one voice, this is very refreshing.
Value There are tons of freeware, shareware and commercial virtual analog synths available. There's no reason in particular why you should by this synth, but then again, there's nothing in particular against it. If you do buy it, you'll get a solid instrument, that despite lacking a few advanced features, will probably become one of the first synths, hard or soft, you reach for when you need an analogue-style sound in your song. If you've owned (or still do) a Novation synth and you're familiar with the sound, you'll be happy to know that this little plugin has the same sound. Finally, this is a great synth for those who are just getting into synths, with room to grow as your skills and techniques improve.Read Review
I sat up all night until the very late early (!) hours of the morning just drooling over the sound that was coming out of this thing.
It sounds as good as *any* hardware I've ever heard. The filters really are liquidy-smooth. It is capable of perfect vangellis sounds,arps,strings so another words it is perfect for all types of dance music!
Lush. Exotic. Quality. Throw any great superlative at it!
If I were to ever buy a hardware VA hardware synth I'd definately pick up one of these (the K-Station). This softsynth is really well laid out. Each specific area has it's own flip-screen so you don't have everything just crammed into the one page.
The effects are of really good quality, and it seems really quick and easy to get the kind of sound out of it that you want, unlike many other softsynths that seem to be lacking a certain logic flow. I really like the way the most important FX settings can be quickly changed.
Overall, you can't go wrong with this if you're into dance music, or ambient electronica.Read Review
GUI: Looks amazing and has been very intuitive for me. 10/10 for sheer simplicity and friendliness. This is probably the interface/VSTi that has helped me the most when it comes to wrapping my head around some the more complicated synths/effects. Everything is well dimensioned, all the labels and data is very readable, and the dials, faders and toggle switches are easy to work with.
Sound: It's warm. Though you can get some hard, crunching sounds out of V-Station, it's the pristine, luscious pads and clear arpeggiated harp-like sounds that keeps me turning to it when I need that type of sound. The effects section is probably beat for most stuff by a few higher end VST plugins, but I use them quite happily, hearing a superb flair to some of the presets that comes from using the effects to their full potential.
Features: While it doesn't advance any new features compared to it's hardware predecessors, what it does have works exceptionally well. Even if there is a limit to what sounds you can get with it, if you're looking for something within the spectre of pads, leads, etc, and with huge tweak effectiveness, V-Station is it. Even with all the new VSTi's that are embarking on finding new forms of synthesis, processing and whatnot, V-Station will never grow stale.
Documentation: Haven't looked too much at it, but it is fairly detailed in explaining what every function is used for, with illustrations for most, and it's well layed out. There's also a very neat Getting Started guide.
Presets: There aren't that many I agree, and they have generic names, but among these, you'll find a few gems that sound plain fantastic, and are very versatile. With the ease of tweaking sounds in V-Station, that I feels surpasses most, if not every VSTi I've tried to date, I'm not finding it at all hard to get the sounds I want to achieve.
Customer Support: Never needed any. That's a 10 in my book. Well, not really, but not knowing them, I'd feel bad giving anything less than a 10.
Value for Money: Best value ever.
Stability: Never had a crash.
Recommending this to any person who wants to learn more about synthesis.Read Review