Vaz 2010 has a distinctive sound that has a better quality than most of the other subtractive synth plugins out there. It is a stable, mature plugin that has continued to stand up to the test of time (and against numerous other plugins that have came and went).
Many people will want comparisons to analog, real and virtual. Hardcore analog users will never be satisfied with software (to emulate analog), so those comparisons are not useful here. I have owned several digital subtractive/analog hybrids (AX73, Matrix 6, JX-8P and JX-3P) and VAZ can easily reproduce the sounds of these synths with no issues, and in my opinion sounds better than any of these. There is a polyphonic detune which will give it an analog style unpredictability if you're into that sort of thing. VAZ has pulse, saw, multisaw and sample/wavetables for oscillators 1 & 2. A third audio oscillator is possible (with pulse or saw), though it disables one of three LFOs. VAZ 2010 has seven different filter models, and they all sound great. While each filter is not labeled to make obvious what it is similar to (Moogish, etc), there is a ladder style filter that sounds really warm! The type C filter also sounds nice!
This software comes as a VSTi, a VST effect and a standalone version - all included in the purchase price. The standalone version is great for generating quick song prototypes with it's analog style step sequencers. The sequencers are very intuitive for programming leads and basses 303 style. They are also polyphonic! You're not limited to one note at a time like the 303. The randomize function is where the VAZ sequencer really comes in handy for overcoming writers block. You can control which notes are possible, over however many octaves, the percentage of rests, doubles, accents, slides and control slider positions.
My only request for the sequencer is to be able to chain together different patterns via a more intuitive method, like Buzz or Orion.
Using the arpeggiator is very inspiring. When it's activated, the notes in the step sequencer are no longer played, but the rests, doubles, accents, control A and control B are used! This makes possible some interesting bass lines and rhythmic arps! For example, the Control A slider can be used to modulate a parameter such as filter cutoff through an arpeggio.
The internal effects are great and will get you where you need to go. Using the included mixer you can get both DX and VST effects in there should the VAZ ones not be up to your standards.
It is possible to create close to full songs using just Vaz 2010, depending on your style. Acid, techno and some trance will have no problem. Wendy Carlos style baroque? Well it's better suited as a VSTi using a high end reverb in conjunction with it then.
The user interface may seem confusing at first, but it is laid out logically and the horizontal sliders eliminate the need for a larger GUI. I would like the choice to change colors though - you are stuck with the blue/orange/white deal. Not bad, but some may not care for it.
The customer support is superb! I've had all my emails answered within a day!
Value for money - for the price I paid, no question. There is no equivalent out there. None. If I had only one instrument plugin, this would be it.
Vaz instruments have a unique sound that some love and some hate. The sound is a bit edgy compared to most subtractive synthesizers. However, is it not a thin sound that plagues many VSTi’s. This full but edgy sound is reminiscent of the Arp line of analogs. For my use it is best used for arp patterns. With work you can get some nice pads and cover the old string machines of the late 1970’s. One suggestion is to bypass the included effects and use outboard effects of more quality. Good reverb and tube effects will do wonders for the sound of this VSTi. Support is good though the official forum is hardly used. The developer does appear on other forums, including KvR, and is willing to answer questions and take suggestions.
Vaz is a bit different than most VSTi’s in how it loads and runs. When inserted into your sequencer you get a logo box. To access the synthesizer you have to click on a bar to change screens. Single instruments can be loaded through a somewhat confusing menu, and you can load a mixer to route multiple Vaz synths. One positive aspect is the ability to audition patches before loading.
User Interface - Based on the black and orange look of old Arp synthesizers. Pleasing to some and hated by others. The horizontal sliders take some getting use to, but are space efficient and responsive.
Sound - Good but edgy. Not useful for everything.
Features - Basic VA subtractive synthesis with a mixer and arp.
Documentation - Minimal at best. Presets - Enough to get started but lacking in imagination.
Customer Support - Pretty good.
Value For The Money - Too expensive for a basic subtractive VA.
Stability - Never crashes my system.
Copy Protection - Customer friendly Serial Number.
Frequency Of Use - Whenever I need an arp in my song.
CPU Load - Light to medium.
Remote Patch Change - Patches cannot be changed from a keyboard. In fact, Vaz has a strange and confusing patch system.
CC Assignment - Right click MIDI learn as found on many new VSTi’s.
Fun Factor - Low. Good to play but not much to play with.
I probably would not buy again because of the price/feature ratio. The sound is too specialized. Consider the cheaper Vaz Plus for the sound, or the more expensive Vaz Modular for flexibility.
The distinctive Vaz sound my be this instruments biggest deterrent or greatest asset. It can be a bit difficult to control or fit into the mix, but when it works nothing else comes close. The only time I consider Vaz for a pad is when I want to emulate the old analog string machines. When doing so it is best to drop the included effects and use higher quality effects. A good reverb can do wonders for this VSTi. While pads are a weakness for this synth the bass, sound effect, and arpeggio sounds are excellent. This synth is my first call when I want to add an arpeggio. The sound is rich enough to stand out without pumping the volume and slight variances of the filter create a convincing analog sound.
The system of loading patches takes a bit of getting used to, but it is actually quite cool. You open the file menu like you would in other programs, but just clicking on a patch enables it for testing. The file window even has a play button for any programmed sequences. I wish Vaz Modular had this feature.
The price of this VSTi may seem a bit high. I bought it as a downgrade from the Vaz Modular. It does have many of the modern features; sequencer, easy cc assignments and MIDI learn, and effects. I suggest any listen to the selection of effects patches to get some idea of how deep this kit really is.
Ideal music setting - Trance. Best use of this VSTi - Arps, bass, effects Why you want it - It sounds different than other VSTi’s. This is an Arp in a world of Moogs. One of the best analog sounds available in the digital world. Why you do not want it - It sounds different than other VSTi’s. This is an Arp in a world of Moogs. Effects are a bit thin and grainy. Not good for pads. A bit expensive.
First let me say I have not been programming synths since the 60's, so I do not judge gear on how well it "emulates", only on how it sounds and its usefulness. Also, the ratings I give are based on inflated KVR averages (ie 'average' score is a 7-8, not 5), because I do not wish to bring down an instruments relative ranking if I think it outperforms others in its class, but give an honest review. So now on to the review...
I purchased this synth after playing around with Vaz Modular, which I was very impressed with. I wanted a VST client, so this was my only option. I am hoping Martin will provide an upgrade path to the Modular version from 2010 when he finishes its VST implementation. I was amazed at the simplicity of programming, but most importantly, the sound. I have not played any virtual synth which is as raw, crunchy, or analog as this - and I have played most of the high-rankers here at KVR. I wish the rating system went to 12 for sound, because this is simply in your face! As looks go, I think it is just plain ugly. However, it is also the most easily programed synth I've played, so it gets an 8 for usablitiy. I don't give a flying fudgesickle about the presets (and there are hundreds) or navigating through them - in 5 minutes or less I can dial up the sound I hear in my head! This is not the case with other synths (like Pentagon), where I scroll through preset after preset looking for something I can build off. Documentation is poor, but as mentioned already, not really needed. I can't believe people are calling this a one trick pony because some of the presets sound the same! Consider the arpegriator, the analog step sequencer, import of your own wavetables,it's ability to host vsti's & any VST or DX effect you have (it's own FX are usable by the way), it's wonderful seperate window interface - this is my #1 go-to synth for bass, leads, and arps. If Vaz cost twice as much, it would still be a steal for its pure sound of analog warmth!
An great bit of kit. Really worth purchasing. Don't worry about the negative comments, just look at how many positive, satisfied customers there are. This shows the kind of support you will find for this wonderful product.
It may not work like a traditional VSTi in your sequencer, more like Sync Modular in that it opens a different window, but it is still simple to use.
Sound quality is excellent and varied.
Documentation is probably the only thing lacking but since it is so easy to use that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Judging the synth design from the screenshots, I thought it able to produce many interesting sounds, but no...not really. The sonic variatons are limited...all patches have a similar sound to them. The OSCs simply lack character and the ability to use samples and wavesets doesn't really compensate for that - if I want to play back samples, I use a sampler. Some of the filters are pretty good, though. There is no midi sync on LFOs or other timebased modulation. The presets do not IMO demonstrate any interesting perspectives.
The user interface is quite annoying, with a large number of identical windows. Bank and patch management is tiresome. Totally mouse oriented, very few keyboard shortcuts.
The effects are no good, but being a VST host it can use other VST/DX effects if necessary.
Mail support is excellent as Martin responds quickly to mails, but the forum is sooo outdated and useless.
Haven't crashed when used as a VST in Cubase, but considering the simplicity of the synth structure I do think it's a CPU hog.
Sorry to give these poor ratings, Martin, but I was truly dissapointed with this, and -except for the step sequencer- I don't think I'll ever use it for anything.
VAZ has many uses, not only is it a great analog synth with 100,s of presets it has built in arp/seq with song and pattern modes, it also hosts my fav vsti's & fx. vsti's & fx can be mapped to external midi controllers so setting a control surface is a breeze.
my main use for VAZ is using the standalone version as a vsti/fx host on a 2nd pc, it comes with a 16 channel mixer with dynamic plugin chainer's for stacking up fx for each vsti or vaz synth, it can host 16 vsti's/vaz synths with seperate midi inputs for each.
because it can host vsti's it's easy to overlook the vaz synth itself, I have just finished setting up start up projects with 8 vsti's and a stack of fx so next up will be to get into the vaz synth.
many thanks to all @ www.software-technology.com
An excellent VSTi, the quality of sound is unsurpassed, the way it integrates with your host is very useable and remarkably stable. When you consider the CPU usage and quality of sound it is definitely worth purchasing.
Pros - multitimbral, standalone, inbuilt mixer and effects, low CPU usage.
Sound: Overall the synth responds in a very balanced and rewarding way. It really sounds like nothing else, it's got a nice arp, built-in sequencers, and some pretty good internal effects.
UI: The interface opens in a seperate window from the host which totally interrupts a quick workflow, but it saves everything with your song with NO problems in my experience, which many synths that open in a seperate window dont do, some other synth will even freeze your host when you try saving and make you lose work! The actual interface of the synth is top notch tho, minus a few quirks like patch selection.
Performance: CPU use is very acceptable, and good, but not as great as some people would have you believe with polyphony and release times.
Automation: Works fine with controller boxes or using cubase CC's or event editors. However, parameter automation from the front panel, IS NOT implemented yet. This is probobly the biggest drawback of this synth for those who do a lot of automation from the actual synth interface. I realize the idea of this is to make for more flexible assignment when using CC's but it basically gives you no choice, and CC stuff is a pain to set up, and impossible in say orion, where when you hit midi learn on a VAZ synth parameter, you cant even get back to orion's main window to draw in some data, you have to draw it in, and THEN it will learn it. And with graphic drawing you lose "realtime control".
Ive been a huge fan of vaz since i tried the original VAZ+ 4 about 4 years ago. The sound is better than any other VA softsynth imo. The step sequencer is great if you like authentic sounding analog seq lines. User interface is great, simple and effective. Would like a few more features but there is always Vaz modular when it come out. I would have liked more usable presets, but it is easy to tweak and has that strange quality that whatever you do with it sounds good. Customer suport is very good, very quick to respond. I can get about 48 voice polyphony out of my Duron 700 which is very good considering it seems to have no alaising in the sound.
I cant recomend this highly enough simply because it sounds so good.
This synth has taken over pro-52 as my most used vsti. The sounds you can get from it are so phat, and convincing, i really love it.
Ive always been trying to get really fat basslines for the sort of music i make and this thing is perfect for that. I also love the layout of the thing. Until i got vaz2001, i never really programmed my own sounds because..well..i found it too complex. But the way its laid out, seems to make it all so logical and easy. I dunno, if thats just me, but along with the sound, the layout is my joint favourite feature.
You get loads of presets, which are good, if maybe a little retro sounding IMO, but theres always loads of new presets over at the user area so even if you didnt wanna make your own sounds, you should find ones you like no problem.
Customer support seems good, and replies are prompt over at the user area.
Now ive deleted my critisisms (i didnt like the fact there were no numerical value on sliders...but there is, and i thought the sequencer was pretty much guess work..but you can get it to show numerical changes)this is gonna look like im kissing vaz2001`s arse! Lemme think....well personally i dont like the sequencer - moving sliders doesnt seem natural to me, but as i run it in cubase it doesnt bother me much.
I think if you make dance music/electronica, you will LOVE this synth.
Over all a brilliant VSTi, however, the way it integrates in Cubase is a little unusual. While there is no problem with the way in which it does integrate, it would have been easier to get to grips with the synth if it plugged in similar to the Native Instruments B4 etc (which are also stand alone programs as well as VSTi).
While the interface is not what I expected, I have come to realise that it is very functional in its own way. Okay, so you have to alt-tab to make changes, you still get another mixer, within which it is possible to plugin effects, and access to the full editing of multitimbral synths. It really is wonderful.
The availability of patches from user support pages are wonderful and certainly demonstrate the versatility of this synth.
The other important point to make about this VSTi is the incredibly small CPU usage. I was very impressed by the results.
The user interface is very good, everything is clear and in a sensible order and it looks the biz. All sliders etc. can be controlled via a midi controller easily by right clicking on the slider, selecting assign, and twiddling your knob.
The way the VSTi integrates into your host is the best I've seen with any synth. When you load it up you get a Vaz 2001 box and clicking on it loads Vaz 2001 into its own window with its own scroll bars. This means that you are not limited to the size that the host permits/has available.
The sounds are very good as you'd expect from any top class synth (great leads, pads, drumsounds, bass, effects, phat sounds, thin sounds etc). You can recreate great sounds from all the classic analogue synths (e.g. Moog etc.).
Features are great! 16 synth multi-timbrality, 16 voices per synth, a mixer, a sequencer, can use DX plugins, VST plugins, lots of routing oiptions, up to 3 LFO's, up to 3 oscillator, 2 assignable ADSRs, lots of filters to choose from, arpeggiator (which is very very good), built in FX pludings (delay, Phaser, Flanger, Reverb, Chorus, Autopan) slide function, portamento, can use waveforms and modulate external audio. The list goes on...
VERY IMPORTANT: Vaz VSTi/DXi is a VSTi host itself so you can load up VSTi's/FX into each channel in Vaz's mixer. This is great if you use Cakewalk products (e.g. SONAR) because you can use VST Instruments and Effects in SONAR through the Vaz Mixer.
The forum is very useful and you always get a response from the Vaz team within the day. There are loads of top tips and user patches/banks too on the site. If you post bugs reports they are always fixed in the next release.
The preset sounds that come with Vaz are available on their support site and are very usable.
I have been using this synth for about 2 months and to date it has never crashed - it is very stable