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Product Reviews by KVR Members

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Dark Four [read all reviews]
Reviewed By gridsleep [read all by] on 22nd May 2017
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
10.00
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Very fulsome, as Nick Batt is wont to say. It's like an Oberheim Four Voice, only distinctly different.

TB ReelBus [read all reviews]
Reviewed By sjm [read all by] on 22nd May 2017
Version reviewed: 3.1.4 on Windows.
Last edited by sjm on 22nd May 2017.
9.00
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I picked up Reelbus maybe a month ago - I was working on a 60s style track and wanted something that would impart that "tape feeling" to my recordings. It only took me a short demo period to decide Reelbus does what I want and does it well. I ended up using multiple instances all over the project.

Now my personal experience of working with tape is limited to mucking around on an old Studer (same model as the Beatles used) and using a 4-track tape recorder back in the 90s. But I grew up with cassette tape and walkmans, so I am definitely familiar with the sound of consumer-grade cassettes. Reelbus seems to be a pretty good emulation of this sound: if you drive the signal too hard, you get that "tapey" distortion; you can get a nice warbled effect if you turn up the W&F.

What really struck me about the Studer was that no matter what you recorded to it, if you sent in the signal with a nice level, it would do wonderful things to your audio and make everything just sound "betterer". OK, the tubes obviously played a big part, but tape also has interesting characteristics in how it reacts to different signal levels. Reelbus has similar mojo. If you drive your signal just right, it'll saturate and compress the signal in a really nice way (to my ears). And as said before, if you don't drive it right, you have the potential to mess up your sound just like when recording a signal that is too hot to tape.

But Reelbus goes further than just simulating compression and the frequency response of tape though. You can add all the blemishes associated with tape recordings such as hiss, tape defects, wow and flutter etc. What I really like is that all of these settings can be set independently of each other. On top of that, there are several different models to choose from, all of which have their own sonic characteristics.

The fact that you have various different settings that are all independent also makes Reelbus more than just a tape simulation. The Hiss and Asperity settings include a -30dB switch; if you turn these all the way down, it's basically inaudible in a mix. That means you can selectively use Reelbus just for certain sonic characteristics of tape - meaning you can use Reelbus as a compressor with the right settings. Or turn up the W&F and leave everything else low to get a nice subtle warbly effect. I've actually used Reelbus as a drum compressor on a new track, and really like the results. Having a decent amount of settings and different models also means that Reelbus is great for simulating different scenarios. In my 60s song, I had a few old& dusty tapes that had been lying around in the studio for a while as well as a newer, well-serviced tape deck for the main mix.

One of the coolest things about Reelbus is the auto gain setting, and I have simply kept it engaged whenever I have use it. It's a great way of avoiding the effect of something louder inherently sounding better, as well as meaning you don't have to be contantly setting your mixing levels if you make changes to the settings. Brilliant.

The interface is very clear and well organised, but I would recommend taking a quick look at the manual which goes into a bit of detail into how the Spectrum and Saturation knobs affect the sound depending on the signal your are processing.

The price is very affordable, which was one of the reasons I decided to give the demo a go. I'd definitely recommend Reelbus to anyone looking for this type of plugin - although you really should just try the demo and see for yourself.

Aroma [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Lazylefteye [read all by] on 19th May 2017
Version reviewed: 1.1.0 on Mac.
Last edited by Lazylefteye on 19th May 2017.
9.00
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I am sure that if Aroma were a plugin by Plugin Alliance, Waves or any of the other big names, it would be getting more attention. It is primarily designed for mastering but can work very well on individual tracks. It has a less conventional, some might say quirky approach to adding analogue vibe to your mix.It doesn't set out to copy this or that piece of vintage gear. It does enhance the mix in a really nice gluey way. The GUI is clearly laid out, uncluttered and easy to use. That is one of the things that really draws me to this plugin, I like plugins that don't need a degree in rocket science to use. I like plugins that sound musical, Aroma does sound musical. It can sweeten, roughen, smooth and add wonderful warmth to both instruments and mixes. It is one of those plugins that brings things together and glues them (yes that word again!) It is a refreshing change to use a plugin that refrains from using the words tube, tape etc on it's interface. Whether something sounds like real valves or tape is irrelevant at the end of the day. The important thing is does it sound good? The answer is yes it does. Personally I prefer what Aroma does to a mix to what many highly rated plugins can do. Switching to the Mid/Side processing is a breeze and gives another dimension. This is one of the easiest to use sound enhancing plugins that I have come across. I guess that is why there are no presets, it is so easy to tweak to taste, that even a preset junkie like me can use it. That said it would be a good idea if there were a few included to show off what Aroma can do. Many people download demos and try a few presets to see what a plugin can do. I am so glad that I was not put off by the lack of presets and started tweaking. Give it a go, a pinch of Salt and Pepper can work wonders.

SynthMaster One [read all reviews]
Reviewed By xabilon [read all by] on 19th May 2017
Version reviewed: 1.0.4 on Windows
9.00
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Synthmaster One is a true wavetable synthesizer with wavescanning. You can also load your own waveforms and wavetables (you need an external program like Audioterm to create them)

2 independent ocillators (waveform or wavetable) with one sub-oscillator each (waveform only), 2 multi-mode filters in serial, parallel or split (each oscillator + sub has his own filter).

An effects rack, arpeggiator, 2 LFOs, 4 enveloppes, and an easy dag-and-drop modular modulation matrix. This synth is complete, very versatile and very good sounding.

Compared to Serum, the interface and ergonomy is less intuitive and clear (the waveform display is very small), but the sound is warmer. In my opinion, the Synthmaster One sound with the Serum interface will be the perfect wavetable synth .

Roland Boutique JP-08 Editor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By babistrihos [read all by] on 18th May 2017
Version reviewed: 10 on Windows
9.00
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It's perfect tool.

If you run it as a VST can memorize the patch you created inside the project.

When you re-open that project it loads the patch to JP-08 back.

Great work.

Outer Space [read all reviews]
Reviewed By hivkorn [read all by] on 18th May 2017
Version reviewed: latest on Mac.
Last edited by hivkorn on 18th May 2017.
9.00
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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AudioThing: Outer Space

PROS::

  • Very very good sound .
  • The GUI have a good size.
  • CPU usage.
  • Easy to use.
  • The price.
  • very stable.
  • Very good preset (ready to be used !).
  • Mono or Stereo (Very usefull !!!).

CONS:

....nothing to say .

GOOD TO KNOW:

Piracy protection : key file.

Easter egg : click on the wood and enjoys :)

Audiothing have done a master piece with this FX, i tested it on synth it sound good every time !
The price is low compared to the quality of this FX.

A must have.

Audiothing : WELL DONE !

Renoise [read all reviews]
Reviewed By mortfell [read all by] on 17th May 2017
Version reviewed: 3.1 on Mac
10.00
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This is a very special piece of software. It's obviously not for everyone, and the developers know that.
That being said the scope of what it can do is unbelievable
They nailed it, best tracker ever IMO.

Awave Studio [read all reviews]
Reviewed By sonicvision [read all by] on 16th May 2017
Version reviewed: 8-11 on Windows
9.00
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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If you need to get samples off old floppies, exchange samples between samplers, convert banks from old samplers to Kontakt, Awave Studio is your huckleberry.

LinnStrument [read all reviews]
Reviewed By arcane [read all by] on 16th May 2017
Version reviewed: V2.10 on Any OS
9.00
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I've had my Linnstrument for about a week.

I've really enjoyed getting into it and learning to customize some settings, etc.

Here's my quick, initial response:

Great design, craftsmanship and overall layout. Roger's customer service is unprecedented.

I found it's been a great instrument to help push me into new directions, especially because I can't just rely on habits and chops.

The more challenging side is trying to learn and perform music I have already learned. Not so much because of the places my hands want to go by default, but primarily because the Linnstrument doesn't have physical references like a traditional music keyboard, and because the pads are quite small.

I've noticed that so far, I've never seen a video where the performer is just playing without looking at the instrument. On other instruments, I can quite easily play with my eyes closed. This controller requires more attention.

I'm not saying that as a negative, just an observation...

Will Chapman.

FL Studio [read all reviews]
Reviewed By johnny.w [read all by] on 11th May 2017
Version reviewed: 12 on Windows
7.00
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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I am, I admit, a newbie to FL Studio, and not an owner yet. But I have a few things to say from my evaluation of the demo. THe program has among the best VST synths included of anything else I've tried. What is a drag, tho, is the need to use the presets "browser" over and over--due to the lack of a true well-done browser in the softsynths, even on flagship Sytrus. Having a "spreadsheet" preset menue, as on Sytrus, which upon selection of a preset closes is absurd. The process of selecting a preset can take time, and SHOULD NOT involve dozens of unnecessary mouse clicks. For examples of a great browser in a synth see Tone2 Rayblaster or Electra2. SO, despite being a newbiw, I'll drop a feature suggestion right now for FL Studio. In the browser, under "generators", each icon should have a sub-icon which on clicking opens that generator's presets. The way it is, having to return to the main browser menu, find the "generator presets, than the particular generator, then the presets is a very poor example of "workflow".

I also find the step sequencer over ridgid, and involves way too many clicks to work smoothly. DragnDrop is always good, but the program's architecture needs work. What I would think should be "intuitive" is not so intuitive. Part is my inexperience with FL Studio, but I am no novice to using DAWs in general. The DrangnDrop is not as intuitive as it could be. The program is not quite--tho almost--worth the VSTs alone.Having said that, FPC does not work, makes no sound, even the presets don't play. The drum implementation --in terms of poundage of drum dreck in the machine, with specialized Kick, Sampler, etc----- requires making "beats" from scratch. Why make ridiculous drum loops when there are so many great loops available? FL Studio should include a bunch of high-quality MIDI drum loops. Final word: way too much clicking needed in the browser.