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.