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Echoes T7E [read all reviews]
Reviewed By TheNeverScene [read all by] on 18th March 2018
Version reviewed: 1.xx on Windows
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All I can do is just "echo" what has already been said about this thing. It oozes vintage soul and you can easily lose yourself in it. Plenty of options to tweak your way back in time. Definitely not just another delay, it's almost human.

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 17th March 2018.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I'm still giving Xfer Nerve 5 stars - even at the $200 price point, but technically its probably only a little above 4.8.

Particularly the customer support is not to be beaten. (I own every plugin by Xfer Records except Serum, which hopefully will change soon.)

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 this past week digging back into the drum-machine-related vsts I own, or those 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 I also compared Nerve to Fxpansion Geist 2, and Izotope Breaktweaker. Regarding Spark 2, I'm waiting to hear back from Arturia on why so many of the sounds seem stuck in 2-state velocity (64 or 127)... Regarding Breaktweaker, I watched the interesting Plugin Guru video on it that shows how one can achieve Swing (strange that a swing knob functionality isn't included in Breaktweaker).

Nerve has not only a late graph (use the SHIFT key along with your left mouse button to drag on it, or you will be forced into a 16 division resolution.)

Nerve has extremely 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, the screen size of NERVE is fixed and relatively small by today's standards (although I like the optional horizontal mode). Its also hard to see the name of your loaded preset and drum kits, at least for me in Reaper and FL studio it is...I need to mouse over the place where these would normally be - where the current folder is listed instead of the preset name... I get why the current folder is important to know. But I would like to also see the name of the preset and the name of the currently loaded drum kit! For me occasionally looking up to see a kit name like that always helps to jog my memory into remembering a source of good sounds in the future... While auditioning, you'll be changing among several kits every few minutes if you're like me, and after hearing some "reasonably good sounds" and moving on, you'll realize maybe those were actually very good. Now what were they called? It just makes it more likely that you'll remember the names if there's a name written on the GUI. Same idea with the preset, it helps to see its name.

Also on the down side, I feel that although the pattern methodology is interesting and useful, relative to Geist 2's Scene and Song modes it leaves a little to be desired (even though it has an interesting plus which I'll get to. Geist 2 lets you organize a complete sequence that can play back for you automatically. It lets you record a complete song as well. So I think Nerve could really use a refined song mode on a separate page. One good thing in Nerve is the global mode off switch. When you turn the global mode off, your chains of patterns play back independently based on the pad row length, which can be independently adjusted. (Playing patterns in Geist 2, Breaktweaker, and Nerve can all be done with independent pad row lengths. However, Nerve pushes the envelope by literally allowing their to be an independent chain of sequences for each pad.. Wow.

One thing I need to recommend, is to be sure to get the latest manual if you purchase Nerve. I had trouble finding it and Steve pointed it out where it was. Some of the hotkeys in the 2010 manual included in my installation were not up to date and this left me wondering about certain of the features. For example, the SHIFT key.

Lastly, (and this is complicated - unless, especially, you are a Geist user and have become familiar with this..) NERVE allows triplets but they are accessible in an unusual way that takes a little getting used to. Basically its Alt right click while dragging horizontally over the "late" graph. This creates triplet timing. If you have 16 hi hats you'll think you've lost your mind, because this will turn them into 12 triplet sixteenths. Steve explained to me that the pads are not polyphonic, so even though the late graph for the last sixteenth of a quarter note position (one in each set of 4) is pushing the beat over onto the next quarter note, because this creates two quarter notes at an identical "tick" only one can play. Geist 2 has a similarly tricky method of handling triplets - well 2 methods actually. You can use engines and set one as the triplets engine, and play patterns from both engines simultaneously. A little strange, but it works. A second method available in Geist 2 allows the triplets to reside in the same pattern. It was difficult to find this:

Convert timing
This function, available by right-clicking on a pattern memory key, allows the 'resolution' of a
pattern to be changed without altering the position of events in the pattern. It can be useful if
triplet steps are required rather than 16ths, for example.

Well, personally I think Nerve's method is basically about as good.

Summary: For techno, EDM, and all its variations, NERVE is way up there with Geist 2 (which I haven't reviewed but which I would give at least 4.5 stars as well). Nerve has a great audio engine, does pre-calculated effects (which Geist 2 does not do to my knowledge - and this is an important advantage for Nerve) and Nerve comes with sounds arguably more suited specifically for the EDM style of music - add Chris Cowie's pack for about $30 and you'll have more EDM styles as well as some exceptional Hip Hop, Drum and Bass, and Dubstep to name a few.

Another advantage of Nerve over Geist 2, is that drawing in the note patterns in Geist 2, if they have changing velocity, is typically 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 you are presented with two options, 1 lane and 16 lanes. Since Nerve defaults to the 1 lane view, when you click on the graph you've created the note at the velocity you want all at the same time. You would think you could do the same in Geist 2, by accessing the velocity graph. But you can't. Geist 2 forces you to click twice, once in the note lane, and once to drag the velocity (whether in the graphs view or in the full lane view you still click to enter the note and then drag to adjust velocity). On the plus for Geist 2, it has scene and Song modes that NERVE, lacks. Spark 2 does have a Song Mode, but its not better than the version in Nerve. Geist 2 has the edge on these modes 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. Lastly, Geist 2 has 64 pads in 8 engines, whereas Nerve loads one kit at the time, but has quite a number of pattern chains, which can be configured to loop from 1 to up to 8 patterns according to your choice.

There really isn't a single "greatest" tool for these kinds of sounds. I'm glad I own Geist, and Nerve is exceptional as well. I don't use breaktweaker as much, but its probably something that needs, ironically, tweaking. (I think the "edge" sound its good for is partly due to the unique glitch modes, and also possibly the added synthesis in the drums - which I could adjust if I spent the time - but these are unique and worthwhile nonetheless).

I also Hope that Spark 2, Geist 2, Breaktweaker, and also Nerve will get more significant updates (Geist 2 needs some bug fixing primarily). Beat Anthology 2 by UVI is another tool, that I have yet to use - which allows mixing synthesis with samples. I haven't yet used Revolution or Evolution. Revolution has samples of 14 old school drum machines (not as many as Spark 2). But the sound of Evolution concerns me, because the synthesis seems a little over-simplified - it could be better than what's in Spark 2, but I don't know and won't know until I spend the $. 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.