I decided to go out on a limb and pick up Vapor sound unheard, since it was on mega-sale. I didn't have high expectations.
Vapor is primarily for electronic music, don't look for any of your bread-and-butter acoustic instruments here. What you DO get is a massive pile of individual instruments and multis, so many that I've spent an entire day auditioning them and didn't make it anywhere near the end of the list.
It's a Kompakt-based instrument and runs rock stable on my system when used in Reaper or energyXT. CPU usage is surprisingly light for the complexity of some of the patches, a happy surprise. The UI is good, everything you really need is right there. Changing patches is a pain in the tail, though, having to mouse through multiple lists is tedious at best (maybe there's a better way but there's nothing in the documentation about it). Came with a nice, little book providing the basics of how to use the Kompakt software, nothing overly detailed but quite sufficient for the task.
The sound? Excellent! Good leads and arps but the pads on Vapor are to die for. Many would easily sit well in a movie soundtrack or an ambient/environmental piece. There are a few that are "variations on a theme", but not as much overlap as you'd expect from something that has a bazillion presets.
Customer service.. well, I had a shipping problem and EastWest jumped right in and set it right, so I have no complaints. Updates for the library and synth were easy to find as well. I'll be purchasing from them again as soon as my credit card cools off.
If you do any kind of electronic music, I recommend you go out and buy this! It's a *steal*.
Vapor is a 2.2 gigabyte sample collection bound to two volumes on your CD and will only work in the Kompakt instance designed for it. This is how most of these libraries, if not all, work. Kompakt is a decent synth engine with about as much to more synth power than Sampletank 2, but Sampletank 2 absolutely kills it in the effects department. Most effects are very simple with as little as one parameter to change (chorus). Where this interface shines is the hands on approach to envelopes. Again, because I'm a Kontakt user it seems slim in terms of flexibility but for a $100 synth with 2.2 gigs of samples you can't expect more. Want to really work with it, consider purchasing Kontakt, it is vastly more capable and very difficult to learn. Intensity of programming seems to create complexity in tweaking.
So, we have an acceptable effects section, a good midrange priced synth engine and a bunch of really good sounding samples. Unlike some sample programs that let you use one channel get ready to layer, split or tweak existing MULTI patches. Kompakt has 8 channels of instruments. The typical MULTI uses 3 patches but not a lot of CPU. Think of Vapor as a hipper, vastly cheaper rompler that has lots of presets, some easily capable of use alone. They are in catagories of ARP, 56 samples Bass, 52 samples FX, 125 samples Lead, 95 samples (may have 16 duplicates but it probably not) Pad, ~350 samples
Quite simple really. Vapor is very much a modern synth that takes old style samples and mixes them with newer technology samples that are not on your average workstation or mid level keyboard. In return, don't look for great pianos, organs or drums. If you need this on Vapor pass. Look at the more expensive Sampletank 2, Atmosphere (which is a specialty synth in it's own right, Sonik Synth and so on. Keep in mind you can but 2 to 3 of these synth libraries for the same price. So, although there is a lot of sound capability and sounds hin Vapor, color it a specialty synth. And while it ain't analog, it's not icy cold either.
The presets are deep with lots of arpeggiations, many with sustained segments that turn into arpeggiations. A bit of work with the ADSHR in the amp and you have a really nice backing sound for a textured, moving pad or lead. In particular, there is nothing stupid or painfully dated here. This is a great alternative to hardware type synths minus the meat and potato sounds but insanely high on the useful pad, lead and bass sounds. Kompakt is almost idiot proof and anyone can learn it. The included 30 page manual will have you up and running quickly. Should you want to keep safe harbor with MULTIS there is at least a full bank of them.
A simple and highly effective synth that does for electronic what Triton did for meat and potatos. There's no drums or beats but for electric music or even for flavoring a track, look no further. A clear bargain at $100 and one you should take advantage of.
Verdict: must buy for electronic music artists.