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Phrase Synth Plugin by Steinberg
No Longer Available

Xphraze has an average user rating of 4.63 from 8 reviews

Rate & Review Xphraze

User Reviews by KVR Members for Xphraze

Reviewed By ew [read all by] on February 2nd, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows.
Last edited by ew on 2nd February 2004.
The introduction of the Xphraze manual is titled "Your musical life is about to change".Strong words-and they're true.
Most of the goodies have been covered here,so I'll only add my opinions and cover some things I haven't seen mentioned.
I happen to like the soundbank and multisamples myself-the factory combis give you a lot of insight into what's going on,and there's a lot going on with any patch.The Wizoo bonus bank has some nice things-an excellent guitar combi for one.I was able to fool my bass player of 10 years ago with a quick little ditty I did using that-he thought it was my trusty old acoustic:)If you're depressed,load up the CanCan combi and watch your host's VU meters dance along with the sound.
The envelopes are a real treat-up to 128 breakpoints apiece,with adjustable curves between each point.You also have instant normalization of the amp envelope,and you can set up a loop.Nice...
With four lfos,four envelopes and a comprehensive mod matrix for EACH patch in a combi,you have tons of modulation possibilities.The phraze generator is so much easier to use than trying to set up the old Wavestation wave sequences ever was.
The vector synthesis abilities blow the sound design possibilities through the roof.As a former Wavestation owner,I'm overjoyed!
A really handy feature-especially if you're using Xphraze live is the Xmode/Xmix function.Xmode is the simpler one-you choose an octave of your keyboard,and the G,A,B and C keys will change the phraze buffers of the patches you choose to have controlled by it(you have up to four phraze buffers for each phraze).The Xmix takes it a bit further-you set the Xmix receive channel for something higher than 4(1-4 are for Xphraze's patches),and the keys between c1 and c4 will mute/unmute patches and change buffers for each.Very handy in a live situation,or for switching pre-programmed phrazes when you're recording tracks.You can also send program changes from 1-16 on channel 1 to switch buffers if you so wish.
It's a true work of art.If you're a former Wavestation(or wannabee Wavestation owner),you owe it to yourself to try out the demo.
Highly recommended:)
Reviewed By peppy197 [read all by] on February 1st, 2004
Version reviewed: XP on Windows
I gave a 10 on presets as opposed to others because I was not expecting them to be my source of sets. I always tweak my way through life. For what I use them for, learning what can basically be done with this machine, they were totally adequate.
I bought this synth 2 months ago and use it every day either creatively or for fooling about having fun.
I gave a 10 on sound becuae other than the fairly large array of supplied sounds, you can easily add your own.
I gave a 10 on documentation because it was very nicely written and clear.
The first week I had a problem with saving combis and posted overe at Cubase.net, and Michael Kleps answered my querry the very same day! Amazing support.
Overall I really enjoy this work of art and re4commend it to anyone. If you cant make great music with it you can at least have a ball trying.
If you can only buy one synth this can be the one. It's price is reasonable considering lots of players are conmparing it to Korg's line of hardware synths.
Sabitlity is a cool 10 in my book. I have a song Im writting that uses 4 instances of Xphraze, 2 at a time are played with 4 phrases in each, each using 4 stereo outputs and lots of effects. All this is stable on my P4 2.4G with 1G on Win XP. More than 2 instances running concurrently does seem to get the meter in the reds. But that would be asking too much.
Reviewed By EnjoyRC [read all by] on January 27th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows.
Last edited by EnjoyRC on 27th January 2004.
User Interface: The interface is well laid out. I was tweaking and programming without ever opening the manual. It has a great visual of the values of each cell of the arpegiator steps.

Sound: Incredible clear high resolution sound. Very full sound. A huge variety of waves to build sounds. Honestly, this thing easily competes with my Korg Karma keyboard.

Features: Xphraze has a huge library of waves, very usable patterns, and effects. Each patch can be divided into four separate stereo outputs for individual processing.

Documentation: The book is easy to follow and thorough.

Presets: The included presets are very professional and usable. Wide array of pads, basses, and rythmic patches, and unbelievable Song Starter type patches. Also, there is a Bonus Set available. Soon there will be Xphraze Xpansions available. Tons more waves and presets.

Customer Support: Second to NONE. Mike is just about the best support you can find for software. Constantly available in various forums for help. Many don't know about the Xphraze forum.

Value for Money: As mentioned earlier, this thing definitly competes with some very sophisticated hardware synths, at a fraction of the cost. VFM = Incredible.

Stability: Rock solid. It has never locked up or bugged out on me.

Other notes: I noticed that Xphraze, different from my other synths, responds far better to musical control and playability. Very predictable and reliable. Xphraze has found it's way into nearly every one of my compositions.

Evidence Studio
St. Louis, MO
Reviewed By Wine [read all by] on August 29th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
I have to admit I am very impressed with this vsti synth. I would suggest that it is the first plugin synth which genuinely offers a "fresh" sound. While I obviously admit that the synthesis method is nothing particularly new, after wavetable synthesis has been arround for ages now, the quality of sound, cross rhythms etc, and the ease with which it is possible to find/create such sounds is a wonderful asset.

I would suggest that the strength of this synth lies in the more rhythmic elements, particularly in creating dense, rhythmically interesting pads.

My only real gripe is with the GUI which, while it is certainly functional, doesn't strike me as being particularly intuitive. Just my own two cents on that.

I would recommend that anyone particular interested in the creation of soundscapes etc using rhythmic, evolving pads will absolutely love this synth. Saying that, it is still quite competent for leads etc (not sure on base lines though?)
Reviewed By spmadmin [read all by] on July 11th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0? on Windows
User interface: Logical screen layout, good and relevant context menus and keyboard shortcuts (try arrow keys in phaze/cell editor). Personally, I don't like the "organic" GUI style, but that's of lesser importance.

Sound: Being - basically - kind of a rompler, the sound depends a lot on the supplied multisamples. They are generally good, but some of them are not looped as well as they could be --- and there are IMO way too few of them. I am sure that Wizoo will release extra sample refills, but that's just more $ up my pocket. Filters are OK, but nothing special. All in all, good - but not remarkable - sound quality. The FX are not really worth using, though, but this is even mentioned in the manual.

Features: The phraze/cell editor and the modulation design (including the vector modulation) allows for some real extreme sound design. With the option of using your own samples, the possibilities are endless. Personally, I especially like to use Xphraze as a quick sketching tool for polyrytmic and odd sig figures.

Documentation: OK - good. Some keyboard shortcuts are undocumented, though.

Presets: Too few and too narrow selection. These days, I expect no less than 300-400 high quality presets with a commercial softsynth in this price range, and with Xphraze there should have been *a lot more* to demonstrate the sonic possibilities of this instrument.

Customer support: If not for Michael from reFX, who is very active on this forum, I would have given a 0 in this category. Steinberg has the worst support that I know of. So as long as Michael is doing the support, I give a 9. When/If Steinberg takes over, I'll be back to edit :-)

Value for money: OK - even though it should have come with many more samples and presets. The options of the phraze editor and vector modulation makes it worth the $.

Stability: Not a glitch so far.
Reviewed By [read all by] on July 7th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by jendakub on 7th July 2003.
I bought xphraze a six days ago and can not stop to test it.

The manual is good written I found only one mistake{shift+click on button of patch = solo patch in win, no rightclick as is written:-]} but this is a detail :0] ... In demo manual PDF are not some usefull informations, but on the other side it is a demo manual.

Xphraze has a hudge potencial and features. I will not describe it, but must to say, that working with xphraze is so intuitive and quick. There are a lot of context menus and shortcuts to make working easy and quick.

The modulation is perfect. You have 4 syncable LFOs for one patch and it is 16 LFOs for one combi!!! The modulation possibilities have no limit. Modulation matrix has the same new concept as Tera or D'cota. No more knobs for filter/velocity , filter/mod wheel etc..
Just select velocity matrix button and modulate what you want without more knobs.

The presets are very good and usable. I like pads morphs leads more, than drum phrazes. You can make your own samples too, but do not forget that xphraze is not a sampler. You will have to add information of pitch to your samples, becouse xphraze automap samples from the information included in wave file, but it is not too much to do it in wavelab or another prog...

What to say about stability?, I thing that stability is good. Not to say that is perfect but qood. :-]

My opinion about customer support is not best. I thing that online registering of products like in NI is needed. You can register to customer support of Steinberg with the post card included in the box. The online "Xforum" and "Xpansions" will be done on www.wizoosounds.com so we must to wait..

Xphraze is a real nice instrument and if you buy it, you will get a powerfull stuff to make a music.

I wish to xphraze become a "live" instrument becouse some Vsti born and die but I think that guys from ReFX will continue to make xphraze better I hope. :-]

Reviewed By Dan [read all by] on July 5th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Dan on 5th July 2003.
This is one very cool synth. It has a very unique approach and lots of tweakability. I used to have a korg wavestation and this synth reminds me of it quite abit but its definately more powerfull.

The included waveforms are fairly extensive and creating patches is quite easy, the included patches/combi's are quiet nice and definately useable. The real fun for me has been in making my own.

The basic sound generation source is the "phraze". A phraze can be made up from only one waveform or many and you have tons of control over how the phrase sounds from very rythmic to standard subtractive like sounds.

You also have "mucho" control over how each part of the phraze sounds by means of many controllable parameters like gate time, cutoff, etc etc etc etc etc.

There is just so much fun that can be had with this synth that frankly Im not touching on in this review ... The main thing I can say is that if your considering it, download the demo ... I think you will like.

I think this synth was definately worth the purchase.

I do have a few critisms. The master effect FX mix parameter has a tendancy to lower the volume as you turn it up, this should just NOT be. Also the Xfading bewteen patches in combi also messes with the volume of the combi and therefore would be more tedious to automate.

The manual is pretty good, it only leaves ya guessing in a few areas
Reviewed By Ned Bouhalassa [read all by] on June 25th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on unspecified OS.
Last edited by Ned Bouhalassa on 25th June 2003.
Xphrase is so deep, I had to read the manual twice in order to get the most out of it! Fortunately, the manual is very well written. The only omission, IMV, is an index. Installation? A breeze. It comes with many very usable presets. I found myself unable to stop trying another out!

The starting block is a Phraze, which can be made up of up to 32 cells that are played in a looped sequence. Each cell can be edited in terms of pitch, amp, filter, gate, etc. You draw in the cell to change the parameters, so editing is fun! You can also xfade the cells, which is particularly effective for evolving pads. Four Phrazes make up a Patch, and four Patches make a Combi. This means that you could play 128 cells with one key! A the highest resampling resolution, chances are high that your CPU will choke before you get to a triad. Fortunately, you can change the resolution, and/or reduce the polyphony. Xphrase comes with a good selection of waveforms and multisampled instruments, from acoustic to electronic. There’s an excellent variety of synth waveforms, including a very good electro drum kit.

The GUI is busy in a good way, with an organic aesthetic, not unlike Absynth. At first, I found the knobs too small, but I got used to it. Most parameters settings show up in a Parameter window, which I find very practical. Each patch has its own amp, multi-mode filter and aux envelope, and editing them is a charm. Zooming in and out, scrolling left or right (time) are easily accomplished using mouse and keys, as is looping any part of the envelope. This last function can yield some very cool effects, especially given that the envelopes can be in sync with your tempo, and that you have a choice of direction.

The modulation section is comprehensive and also very easy to use. You get four LFOs, with waveforms that you can edit by drawing - very cool! A patch also has a great built-in FX section. Nice to see the cross-delay make an appearance! These built-in FX can add a lot to a patch. Note: some of the settings in the FX section do not show up in the Parameter window. There’s also a global FX section, but you might want to use your reverb instead.

Anyone who has played a ws will not be shocked by the sound of Xphrase, but that doesn’t mean it’s just a clone. It’s more like the next step in wavesequencing/vector synthesis. The pads are thick and have movement. The leads are also quite good. What makes this baby stick out of the pack are the rhythmic patches (instant tempo sync!). I don’t care much for the drum patterns. Then again, I never liked the drum loops in the ws either. I do however really like the gated synth lines, and can see myself using these often. Other nices touches include the shuffle parameter (swing), and the ELF mode, which will vary a bunch of key parameters by an unknown amount to give your patch an organic touch.

It’s almost too easy to make classy tracks with Xphrase, although this synth just begs to be edited (just drag your mouse).

Latest 8 reviews from a total of 8

Comments & Discussion for Steinberg Xphraze

Discussion: Active
18 June 2013 at 2:01am

What is the name of a product which comes closest to xPhraze or which can do most or all what xPhraze was able to do and more?

6 July 2013 at 1:38am

Spectrasonics Stylus? Korg Wavestation? Not really sure Im just guessing........

19 September 2013 at 8:11am

Check out the new Steinberg Halion 5 or Steinberg Halion Sonic 2. They come with a "FelxPhraser" that looks a lot like XPhrase.

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