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ProF.E.T. [read all reviews]
Reviewed By rcrath [read all by] on 16th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
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Pro FET by Ignite Amps.

Distortion modeling of a hardware pedal made by Ignite.

ProFET, Ignite Amp's entry in the 2018 KVR Developer Challenge, gets a six-minute Digital Guitarist workout. It was the first place winner in the contest.

Drop it in front of a clean guitar amp for instant metal tones.

Professional GUI.

Easy on the CPU.

Nice sounding distortion made for a particular genre's tone.

Within that limited frame, ProFET provides nice tone shaping with a 4-band EQ and some nuance on the transients with the "shape" switch.

There are a ton of different free and paid distortions, each with its own personality. I'll do some more vids on them probably. Try out the demos and freebies and pick the one that suits your ears best. This is a good one if it fits your style.

https://youtu.be/aLZsY7F1YYI

Equator [read all reviews]
Reviewed By BONES [read all by] on 16th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.11.2 on Windows
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I bought a Roli Seaboard Rise about a year ago and it comes with Equator. Obviously it is designed to work with Roli's "5 Dimensions of Touch", which is achieved via MPE, which more hosts are supporting all the time. But don't think that means you have to have an MPE controller to use it because the VSTi works great with or without MPE.

What you get is a six oscillator synth with two multi-mode filters and more modulation options than you'll know what to do with. There are two sample-based oscillators, a noise oscillator and three V/A oscillators with around 50 different waveforms to choose from. The way it works reminds me a bit of Junglist/Hydra for those who can remember those instruments - you get a big, long list of drawn waveforms. The V/A oscillators can be used for FM, with four different algorithms on offer. Overall, it offers an incredibly broad range of options. You get a few samples when you install the instrument and there are more to download. The minimum size of the download is about 760MB and expansion pack adds another 1.2GB or so, which means you are getting a good range of high quality samples to work with.

Both filters are the same, with 13 different types available, covering all the usuals plus a comb filter and a few variations. The filters are OK, they get the job done, without really standing out.

Modulation is a stand-out feature. There are two LFO and five envelopes. The envelopes have four different modes - ADSR, ADR, ADADR and ADA-PR and, along with the LFO, can be synced to host tempo. The LFO have seven different waveforms to choose from. Beyond these features are the five dimensions of touch - STRIKE, PRESS, GLIDE, SLIDE and LIFT. You can set a response curve for each to match your playing style, giving you very fine control over how the instrument responds.

The way you add modulation is really simple - select a source, which is highlighted with an amber border, then go to the parameter you want to modlulate and adjust it's controls. The selected range will highlight in amber (normal settings are shown in blue). Once the modulation is set, the control for that parameter will animate so you can see it working. e.g. If you modulate the cutoff for Filter 1 with Envelope 2, every time you play a note, you will see the cutoff knob jump up and slide back, according to the shape of the envelope. It makes it so easy to see what's going, it is one of the most effective modulation schemes I have ever used. There is also a hidden tab with a "modulation list", which is just like the Mod Matric in many other synths.

The effects section is very good - high quality, great sounding and easy to use. There is a tab for routing everything so it's a breeze to set up complex signal paths to take full advantage of the effects. It's also where you can turn the overall volume of a patch up/down. The final tab is for global settings.

It's not perfect, though, The windows where you adjust the envelopes are far too small, making it hard to get precise values. At least you can zoom the 5D response curve windows (another tab). To be honest, I'd have preferred just two or three envelopes with bigger windows. CPU use is more than reasonable for what's on offer - 3% to 6% for a single voice on my Core i5 2-in-1 and 6-11% for a three note chord.

Overall, Roli have put a lot of effort into making Equator extremely powerful, yet easy to use in a way many other developers struggle to deliver. Almost everything is visible on the front panel, which can be resized by grabbing the bottom-right corner and pulling (it only gets bigger) and those things that are hidden behind tabs are all things you hardly ever need to see. The sound quality is stellar and using it as it is meant to be used, with a Seaboard controller, makes for an expressive experience out of the box that's pretty much unbeatable. But if you want to buy it as a standalone product, you won't get the full experience, which makes it's asking price very steep. If you ever see it for $99, grab it, otherwise think carefully before making a decision.

ReFine [read all reviews]
Reviewed By sokoleski [read all by] on 15th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Mac.
Last edited by sokoleski on 15th October 2018.
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I usually put this on a send, and bleed in different elements here and there, Gives nice subtil warm and width. I quite like this one, find to be unique in sound and very addictive. A real gem.

LoudMax [read all reviews]
Reviewed By juliandoe [read all by] on 13th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.22 on Mac
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Great free plguin. Compact and easy to use it does its job very well. It does not colour the sound and there's no distortion at all.

I've compared to the Waves L2 ultramaximizer and I can't see any difference.

Highly suggested.

Syncla-X [Large Version] [read all reviews]
Reviewed By juliandoe [read all by] on 12th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Mac
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Some sounds are cool, some other are nothing special. I've found some noise in too many presets.

unfortunately, with Logic Pro X 10.4.2 + High Sierra it crashes every time you change presets.

hope it can be fixed.

Sounds Of Life [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Crinoceronte [read all by] on 12th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Any OS
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This library sounds really great, it can be used in so many ways. The fact that the samples are true to their origin and unfiltered gives the chance to manipulate them the way you want to, something you can't easily find nowadays with this quality.

Vinyl [read all reviews]
Reviewed By juliandoe [read all by] on 12th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.8 on Mac.
Last edited by juliandoe on 12th October 2018.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Vinyl is a good plugin that adds noises to your track. You'll have a lot of option and all the noises generated are really great. It's maybe only my taste but when I use it I feel that all the noises are too much just at 30%. The best use that I do with it is to add noises to emulate vintage instruments or recording. For example, I use it in addition to the B3 Organ and a Leslie rotation speaker to have a 60' gospel organ sound.

I use it with logic pro x 10.4.2 and high sierra. never a crash or a problem.

SPAN [read all reviews]
Reviewed By juliandoe [read all by] on 12th October 2018
Version reviewed: 3.1 on Mac
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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SPAN is awesome. It has all that you can desire from a spectrum analyzer. All the info, all the analysis, everything you need to have all the data of your song. Put it at last of your master channel and see in real time how your mix/master is going. and it's free.

I use version 3.1 with Logic Pro X 10.4.2 on High Sierra. Never had a problem/crash.

Proximity [read all reviews]
Reviewed By MarcioRuiz [read all by] on 11th October 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Windows.
Last edited by MarcioRuiz on 11th October 2018.
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I love this plugin!!!! Really amazing!.

I've been used it in my all mixes. It's just perfect. But take care to get the correct version (32 or 64-bits).

Thanks to developer!!.

TB ReelBus v4 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By sramsay [read all by] on 10th October 2018
Version reviewed: 4.04 on Mac.
Last edited by sramsay on 10th October 2018.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Here are the tape emulators currently in my plugins folder:

CRTIV Tape Bus (Voxengo)
HoRNetTape
ReelBus 4 (Toneboosters)
Tape (Softube)
ReeLight (Beatskillz)
TCS-68 (Fuse Audio Labs)
Tapedesk (Overloud)
Satin (U-he)
Oxide (UAD)
Ampex ATR-102 (UAD)
Studer A800 (UAD)
J37 Tape (Waves)
Kramer Master Tape (Waves).

Plus:
Dopamine (Overloud)
TypeA (AudioThing).

And that's not including stuff like RC-20 Retro Color (XLN) that can do some tape stuff, and the tape plugin that comes with Ozone. (Noticeably absent, here, is Slate Digital's Virtual Tape Machines. I've tried it; it's great. Just haven't pulled the trigger on it).

So, yes. I am a man obsessed.

These all have different sounds and different levels of tweakability. Some are more-or-less "set it and forget it" (Softube Tape), some are painstaking recreations of particular tape machines (the Studer and Ampex from UAD are the pinnacle of that category), and some are more like "tape toolkits" for getting tape effects more generally (Satin is the probably the deepest tool if you want to go that way).

Reelbus 4 is solidly in that "toolkit" category, and so probably bears the closest relationship to Satin.

But honestly, as awesome as Satin is (and it really is), Reelbus is damn close. And it's noticeably easier to use. There's very little skeuomorphism in the interface; it's basically a set of sliders that let you play around with various elements of the "tape sound" (including such arcana as hysteresis and asperity). And it sounds great. The presets, while not extensive, are really good at hitting the fundamental tape sound categories, so you can just use it straight.

If you already own something more in the "set-it-and-forget-it" category (whether it's a straight emulation or not), and would like to go deeper into the weeds of what tape machines can do, this is absolutely your best bet. It's super cheap, but incredibly deep and sophisticated. And it might be the best way to learn how to tweak the tape sound, because the interface is so clear. You can really go bonkers with it. and that's a good thing to do when you're trying to learn how to play around with tape. Once you get your head around this, you'll have a much easier time popping the lid on, say, the Ampex from UAD or the service panel in Satin.

And even though I own tape plugins that cost nearly six times as much (man, those UAD plugs hurt), Reelbus 4 is perilously close in sound quality to some of those fancier plugs. If you're into tape -- or thing you might like to be -- this is really a must buy.