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impOSCar [read all reviews]
Reviewed By slowdrive [read all by] on 16th March 2018
Version reviewed: V 1.1 UB on Mac
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Phantastic sound, not easy to edit but good patches. Good for drum and bass. No tuning possible to 432 hertz f.e.

MPowerSynth [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Apratim [read all by] on 14th March 2018
Version reviewed: 11.09 on Windows.
Last edited by Apratim on 14th March 2018.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Its dope ma bois it's dope.

Only waiting for wave table function.

Otherwise its a serum killer.

Nerve [read all reviews]
Reviewed By moonchunk [read all by] on 14th March 2018
Version reviewed: 4 on Windows.
Last edited by moonchunk on 14th March 2018.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I would give Nerve 5 stars - even at the $200 price point, but as it is I'll give it 4.5. It has great sounds (Although Chris Cowie's pack on Loopmaster is great as well - really gives the polish in terms of matching sample and pad levels, EQ and dynamics.)

I spent the week digging into the drum machine related vsts I own, or that I have demos of. Nerve is near the top of the heap in terms of dance music. I recently picked up Spark 2, and so far I'm waiting to hear back from Arturia on why so many of the sounds seem stuck in 2-state velocity (64 or 127)...

Nerve has very good sounds.

Nerve has quite, quite a bit more in its arsenal of EDM-modding of playback and filter properties than does Spark 2. Its slicer function is better as well.

Nerve sounds fantastic and its sound exports sound great.

While dragging individual pads and full mixes is a breeze and works flawlessly, I would rather have a GUI location where the full mix is dragged from (as programs like Spark 2 allow) - because pressing CTRL ALT SHIFT at the same time one is dragging is tricky.

Nerve has a per pad side chain compression - actually you can take the side chain "detection" signal from several pads and apply different amounts of compression, simultaneously, from that pad or pads. This is a tremendous and brilliant feature and more percussion plugins should implement things this way, because things like perc and hats in electronic music really need to be reduced at critical down beats - its just the way things are now for the modern musician and its so helpful that Steve understood this.

On the negative side, NERVE hasn't been majorly updated in quite a while, and the screen size of NERVE is fixed and small, although I like the horizontal mode (its also hard to see the name of your loaded preset - at least for me in Reaper and FL studio it is...I need to mouse over the place where it would normally be - where the current folder is instead of the preset name...)

Also on the down side, I feel the pattern methodology leaves a little something to be desired, Nerve could really use a refined song mode on a separate page - see my comments on Geist 2 and Spark 2 below.

Lastly, (and this is complicated - unless, especially, you are a Reason or Geist user and have become familiar with this..) to me NERVE has a fairly significant issue of too low a resolution of "Time Shift". Time shifting is how beat producers add unique groove to individual beat positions in the bar, often to individual pattern elements or kit pieces (as opposed to using the Swing Knob to effect everything - FL Studio, for instance, allows different swing settings for each instrument, and I'm pretty sure Reason has numerous features along this line). (This is why NERVE is an EDM tool and not so much a hip hop or dubstep tool, where those techniques are more common - I feel improving on this would BUST NERVE out of its rightful pocket).

Basically Nerve breaks the time space up into too few positions. Keep in mind that most swung feel has the first of two beats longer and the second one shorter. Such as a pair of 16th notes. So if we divide the space of those two sixteenth notes into 100 tick marks, useful swing, for the most part, is between 51 and 99 tick marks, and the most useful positions are really between 55 and 80 or something like that (at 50 the effect is almost unnoticeable, and nearing 88 the effect starts sounding more and more like 16th notes). So although the extreme range is 50 of those 100 ticks, the most useful range is about 25 ticks wide give or take a few (given that you will not ordinarily lengthen the second sixteenth relative to the first, but only the first relative to the second). (Shuffle feel is looked at in this latter way in some of the Sound Toys plugins, you can do that if you want - I think its atypical and mainly useful for FX and eccentric rhythms), but if you do so then you also accent the 2nd of the 16th notes, and I think people are just counting this wrong... The bar really starts at the 2nd 16th, or 2nd 8th (depending on which is the main unit being used) If you listen to the song "Black Velvet by Alannah Miles, you will hear that all her vocal lines start on the longer of the two.. Anyway, NERVE takes that entire 100 tick space and divides it into about 16 ticks. Remember that approximately 1/4 of it is useful.. that gives 4 positions that are very useful musically. I recall that there used to be more than this, and I made a suggestion about increasing them, but it looks like they were reduced instead. I wonder why more resolution could not be added - perhaps my suggestion was misunderstood. There is a workaround, which involves using the same sample, or thereabouts, on multiple pads, and adjusting the "Timing Offset" for the pads themselves, rather than the individual events in time. Its likely you can get what you want, but its strange..

Still though, for techno, EDM, and all its variations, NERVE is way up there with Geist 2, and Geist 2 has its issues as well; drawing in the patterns in geist 2 is at least a 2 step process for each event. You click the note into place, and then drag up or down to set its velocity. In NERVE when you click on the graph you've created the note at the velocity you want all at the same time. But Geist 2 has two better song-related modes that NERVE, lacks, and while Spark 2 (which has a lot of good one shot sounds) has a Song Mode, but Geist 2 has the edge on it by far. Another thing that Geist 2 does well is let you record loops on the fly, and even record a whole series of them, moving to the next pad, and the next, and so on, and the sample quality is superb.

So really I'm at a loss to find a single great tool for these kinds of sounds. I hope someone will comment on this review and add suggestions.

I also Hope that Spark 2, Geist 2, and Nerve will get much needed updates. Beat Anthology 2 by UVI is another tool, I have yet to use, Fxpansion Tremor is not geared exactly to the kind of ambient music I make, and I haven't gotten around to trying Rob Papen's Punch.

There are some other dance/techno/hip hop tools I have missed. (I'm not including BFD3, Superior Drummer 3, and the other acoustic drum vsts..)

Please add feedback. Thanks.

Hive [read all reviews]
Reviewed By ubailey [read all by] on 14th March 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Very powerful under-rated synth. My new go to synth. Bb. ..m........................... .................

Abstract Textures SFZ Edition [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Slaapstadseun [read all by] on 13th March 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Any OS
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So I got Audiority Abstract Textures on the $1 sale. The demo sounded good and it looked like a simple tool with which to create long evolving textures and drones.

The purchase process was simple and creating an account with Audiority was painless. The email with the download links and serial info arrived within a few seconds of the purchase. Then came the library download - about 4GB in total. Installation was quick and I was happy to see we can move the library files to a different location, I have a separate hard drive for all my samples and libraries.

The interface of the VST is pretty simple - you can make basic edits very quickly. The plugin comes with about 30 sound sources, each of which has 4 variations. The variations are sometimes quite different form the original, so it would be accurate to say you have 30 x 4 sound sources. The filter and EQ in the VST are great, you can alter the character of the sound with ease. The sounds are all excellent quality and interesting, and the CPU hit is very low. The samples load very quickly. The samples themselves are long and have lots of interesting movement in them.

I tried several instances of Abstract Textures auxed to Dmitri Sches' Tantra and immediately got some wild new sounds.

Abstract Textures truly is a total no-brainer - just get it if you are into ambient or cinematic music. Gotta love these $1 sales!.

80s Spaces [read all reviews]
Reviewed By BlackWinny [read all by] on 12th March 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Windows
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Incredible! By far the very best vintage echo unit plugin. It is the perfect emulation of the legendary Roland RE-201. I know only one other vintage echo unit emulated with the same quality, the Binson Echorec 7TE emulated by the Audiority's Echoes T7E plugin.

Echoes T7E [read all reviews]
Reviewed By BlackWinny [read all by] on 12th March 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Do you remember the astounding David Gilmour's guitar echoes in the very long track of the same name in the album "Meddle"? It was THIS echo unit! The Binson Echorec 7TE. It was also the echo unit used on all his albums by T-Rex.

And this emulation made by Audiority is wonderful. It runs in the same league as Nomad Factory's 80s Space which emulates the famous Roland RE-201 echo unit. Both are probably the most accurate emulations of these two legendary vintage echo units.

Repro [read all reviews]
Reviewed By alienimplant [read all by] on 12th March 2018
Version reviewed: current on Mac
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One of the best and most realistic emulations around. For classic synths in software, U-He is one of the few no-brainers. And with Repro, you get two synths in one.

Pink2 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By watchamagog [read all by] on 12th March 2018
Version reviewed: v1 on Windows
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I've been trialling a few of these Acqua plugins and they are outstanding, up there with the best. This one is superb. Sonically excellent plugs, up their with the best. Only downside is that are that they are a little pricey and their download/install/update app still needs some work.

Leveling Tool [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Halonmusic [read all by] on 10th March 2018
Version reviewed: 100 on Windows.
Last edited by Halonmusic on 10th March 2018.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Great all round comp inspirered by the LA 2A. Love that you can adjust attack, release and ratio to taste.