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All reviews by liars&ashes

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Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on May 30th, 2007
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
User Interface - It's purple, very purple, with white lettering and lights. Yava 2 is layed out well, and easy to navigate, (and yeah, white on purple is kinda weird, but not that bad really), if anything, the Gui size is a slight bit large, but not without reason. Let's go 7, it's not really a "beautiful" sight, (unless you really like purple, I wonder if Odo has this synth ha-ha), but it's more than good enough to use and doesn't give me a headache or anything crazy ha-ha.

Sound - Yava 2 is listed as a *hybrid* synth, but the manual says it's a *virtual analog* synth. Well, I thought it sounded warmly digital, or digitally warm ? If this was a blind test, I'd have guessed an fm synth with lots of fx and modulations. You can get some pretty fat sounding brassy, pad, and just old skool "synth" sounds out of it though, and many of those types are included in the presets. Overall, it sounded a bit digital to me, and the presets seemed to lean toward a more fm sound, but a warm and complex fm sound. I'm going 8 here, it's got one foot in analog land, and one in fm land, with enough modulation to wobble and gurgle with the best of them.

Features - Lots of features, this thing is feature-ridden ha-ha. There are 72 knobs just in the mod matrix alone, in addition to some gating and dual frequency sequencers ! I could go into detail, but lets' just say, tweaker's heaven and leave it at that eh. I'm giving it a 9 here, despite not really getting into programming this synth. In addition to the massive modulation matrix, it also has some other unique-ish features and oscillator setup. :)

Documentation - A good .pdf manual with many pictures is included to clue you in. I'm going 9 here, there is some extra info about the unusual features, and some close-up pics to really make sure you're seeing what is being typed about in the manual. This is how it should be done.

Presets - A full bank of 128, and quite a variety overall, some wild stuff in here including some rhythmic loop type stuff, and lots of morphing/evolving type sounds. Let's say 8 for the presets, a lot of them are ready to be played right out of the box, and lots of variety.

Customer Support - Hasn't been an issue, but Krakli is a K-v-R reg, so no worries. Another 9 just because Krakli has been around these parts forever, and is a very experienced dev, I can't imagine it would take long to get a response about this synth.

Value For Money - As with most SE built plug-ins made by K-v-R regs, it's above and beyond in the value department. Other that cpu usage and a few clicks, it's comparable to the $100 big time synths out there in many ways. 9 again, sure there's probably something out there that's a better value, but this is a rare value.

Stability - No crashes or lock ups yet. As mentioned above, the cpu can go up a bit depending on what all you have going on, but the absolute most I saw was about 24%, and it seemed to average around 12%-16% with a couple notes going, and with some longer sounds trailing and burbling away. I'm going to go 8 here, since the cpu is a bit high sometimes, and I did get some clicking on a few patches, no crashes or lock ups occured though.

Final Thoughts - What happened, why didn't this synth take off ? Maybe it actually has too much going on in a way, but even so, with 128 good presets, anyone could've at least tweaked some new sounds out of it from those. A treasure from the past for sure, yeah, there's better out now, but not in this price range. Perhaps this synth will someday be resurrected and updated, with newer/more efficient SE modules and given new life, we can only hope. :)
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on March 8th, 2007
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows
User Interface - Pretty cool, arcade 80's looking, buzzsaw knobs, really easy to find your way around and a decent color scheme. No complaints, pretty well packed really, almost wish more synths were as efficiently planned out. (Rez 2 is maybe the pinnacle of compact efficiency in my mind, but it only has 1 osc, compared to this one having 3.) I'm giving it a 9, for efficiency, and cause I think it matches the sounds a bit eh.

Sound - All the bleeps and bloops you could want,
it's an old skool videogame system sound effect/soundtrack buffet. This synth is about 3/4 or so geared toward classic arcade and home videogame system sounds and sound effects. You can get some cool lowfi elektro basses out of it, and some creepy untunable radio static pads, as well as some glitchy arps and whatnot. Bottom line though, it's what you want if you like Nintendo and arcade game sounds and soundtracks, if you do, get it, or at least check out the demo. I'm going with a 9 rating here, because I'm grading it on doing what it says it does and how well it does in that genre, not compared to other kinds of synths.

Features - 3 oscillators each with an arp, and various effects. 3 types of LP & HP filters. Tons of weird modulations. Yeah, it's got some features, and still maintains a nice compact Gui by making good use of drop down menus. Did I mention the modulations ? They are many, and some are quite odd. You can, and probably will, make some incidental music with this syth once you start tweaking the presest a bit. And whether you decide to record it or not, making weird videogame sounds, is actually fairly amusing ha-ha. Another 8 here, for both features, and because the cpu rarely jumped about 12% or so on the presets, and usually hovered around 7%-9%.

Documentation - There is a .doc file included. No fancy pictures, but something tells me that wouldn't help much, this one's a bit wild, you just have to experiment some. Eh, I like manuals with pictures, and this synth is kind complex, so it loses points here. There is a manual, but I didn't like it, so it gets a 5.

Presets - About 100 or so. Range ? Yes. More than just videogame bleeps ? Yes. Everyday workhorse ? Well, no, but it does more than just videogame sounds eh, and not all of them are copycat sounds, there's some cool take-offs on old favorites here. A healthy amount, and a bit of variety to boot, you won't be disappointed, assuming you read this review, and/or know what this synth is about. :) Again, an 8, based on what kind of synth this is, compared to what it's "supposed" to sound like for that genre ya know. (I almost forgot, there's 2 presets that have a very *vocal* quality to them, those alone are worth mention, in addition to all the layered presets that sound like mini-soundtracks, or pads/arps with basslines.)

Customer Support - Jack's around, and if you have a question, he'll usually answer publicly on the forums, or you can email him and he'll get back to you. Jack's kinda salty sometimes, but he does care about his customers, I'd say 7.5, but we'll round it up, since most of his insults get hurled at Mac users, and people like me who want synched delays and hate SE waveshapers ha-ha :P

Value For Money - At $20, it's cheaper than a used Nintendo eh :P I'd have to say it's a more than fair deal, I'm sure there's a few other videogame sounding synths out there, but this is the new version of one of the older best ones anyways, and it can do a bit more than just videogame emulation sounds. It's kind of boutique and not for everyone, but for the people who dig these sounds, I would have to assume $20 will be considered a bargain really. A 9 here, it really is a great videogame sounding synth, and it's only $20 man.

Stability - This is a pc only plug, and it seems to run fine in FL, on a P4 system. The cpu usage is pretty low too really, and the only thing I've noticed, is an occasional spike when changing presets mid-note, which tons of synths do. I'm going with a 9, it seems rock solid, especially for an SE plug.

Final Notes - I belive this is a free update to all previous customers of NeoRetro, so that's a nice bonus for some folks. And yes, this synth is pretty much what you think it is, but, I bet it's at least 25%-50% *more* and better, than you think it is. I give this review an 8. I didn't hardly crack any good Galaga jokes, and I couldn't really describe all the features that well ha-ha.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on January 9th, 2007
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows
User Interface - It's colorful, and it's layed out well, your graphic arts tastes/opinions may very, but you can't hardly argue that it's good/usable overall. I gave it a 7, rounded down from 7.5, it's not really my favorite look, but it's very functional, and pretty easy on the eyes.

Sound - This one has the filter, it's musical in a way that I can only imagine is people talk about when they say "liquid". I have little experience with analog synths, very little really, an old Juno 106 and something else a few years back, but their filters didn't hold a light to this one. You simply have to hear it yourself. What didn't I like ? The waveshaper can get really harsh really fast. And the reverb while good, has a bit much of it's own "character" to be used all that much. Other than that, it sounds as good or better than you'd expect, and the chorus is actually pretty usable/good. It gets a 9 here, the reverb is a little less than generically useful, but it's good the chrous is usable, which is rare of ya ask me, and the filter pwnz.

Features - It's feature packed, this one is a programmers dream come true. With the version 1.2 update, you can re-order all the effects, yes, all of them, any order, drag-n-drop easy. The features are pretty much what you'd expect in a multifx, other than the re-ordering capability I don't see much to comment on, expect to say it is full featured. I'm rounding up to a 9 here, because you can re-order the effects chain, beat that if you can.

Documentation - Ugh, the manual question, lemme look. A 5 page .pdf is included, with some pictures and directions. It's a bit skimpy, but if you know what the effects do individually, then getting them all going together is just something you learn kind of intuitively anyways. The manual could be better, but it's acceptable for anyone but a newbie. I'll round up to a 7 here, since I already know what a waveshaper does, and even if someone doesn't, it ain't rocket science.

Presets - Quite a few presets, probably close to a hundred all total. I didn't find al that many of them useful personally, but do I ever ? You get a variety, and if nothing else, they'll get you halfway to the sound you want, and help you learn to use the plug-in along the way. I'll round up again and go 8 here, while they weren't all my cup of tea, they had quite a variety and were interesting sounding at least.

Customer Support - Haven't used/needed it myself since I tried to run the demo on a Pc with Win98. Alex is around on K-v-R though, so I doubt he's hard he's hard to find or get ahold of. We'll go with 8, cause I've seen Alex on K-v-R at least once every 2 weeks all through 2006, he's available.

Value For Money - This one is very reasonably priced. You could pretty much pay this much ($60) or more, for just the filter on this unit. I'd have to give this extremely high marks for value, much like almost any good multifx, they are usually a bargain if they have good components. I'd say 8.75, but K-v-R hates decimals, so let's just make it 9, and consider it earned with the addition of the compressor in v1.2

Stability - very stable for me on a Pc with WinXP. The cpu usage varies a little bit, with longer delay times, you can get it up pretty high, but how often do you use a really long delay, and doesn't every long delay do that too ? I'm gonna give it another 9 here, for Pc's with WinXP, I can't comment on Mac stability, sorry.

Final Notes - O.k., so it's a multi-fx, it's got bright colors, it maybe isn't thrilling you all that much right. Here's 2 reasons why it should. 1) The filter. You won't get it til you hear it, then, assuming you have ears, you will. 2) It doesn't have numerical readouts. Why is this a standout feature ? Because it causes you to use it differently, more musically if I dare say so. You have no choice, you have to just turn the knobs and move the sliders etc., until it sounds good. For the asking price, and the feature set, you will have to search high and low to beat it, I can firmly recommend this one to anyone looking for a musical multi-fx.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on December 31st, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows
User Interface - It looks like a wooden xylophone ha-ha, it's a bit quirky looking I guess, but it's layed out well, and the colors aren't bad really, just a hair unusual.

Sound - It sounds pretty organic/ethnic, as advertised. To be fair, it's a bit limited in range, you've basically got from hand drum-ish sounding hits, (as well as some kind of ringing triangle/bongo combo sounds), to plucked type sounds, but, you can get quite a bit of mileage out of them with the included effects and modulations etc. Overall, it sounds good for what it does.

Features - V1.2 has added some 5th Modulators, to get some extra harmonic/overtone sounds. It has a built in (ping pong) delay (with an actual *on/off* switch), and the resonators can almost act as reverb, to help give it more *space* in the mix. Other than that, there are 4 main controls, and the octave setting, to sculpt your sound with.

Documentation - It has a .pdf that explains the controls, but doesn't go into much detail. If it were any more complex (the synth that is) I'd complain, but since it's pretty straight forward, I suppose this manual is acceptable.

Presets - This is a bit of a weak spot, only 38 included, but again, since this synth really specializes in 2 main kinds of sounds, how many do ya need to get going eh.

Customer Support - Liqih has a forum here, and seems to be an active K-v-R member, so while I haven't used the support, I'm pretty confident it's there.

Value For Money - Well, considering it's only $19, how can you go wrong if you want hand drums, and ethnic plucks eh.

Stability - I haven't had any problems with it. The cpu usage is low to medium, but that (medium) might be because it's made with Synthmaker.

Final Notes - As I mentioned (directly above), this is a Synthmaker creation, so if your computer has problems running those, this might not be any dfferent. I found this synth to be both user friendly and useful. If you are looking to add some ethnic-ish drum sounds, and some various plucked sounds to your tracks, for $19 this is certainly one of the cheapest ways to go, and it sounds good to boot.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on December 31st, 2006
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
User Interface - It looks like something from a Skinny Puppy video, or from Saw IV - "Jigsaw In Space". If "retro cool" is a meaningful combination of words to describe something, then Rez 2.0 is "future cool" looking. Ugo has reinvented simplicity and workflow, not to mention is helping bring back *sliders* as controllers with this update. A lot of features packed efficiently into a small space, this is how it should be done eh.

Sound - Considering it's a mono synth, unbelievable in a word. This is a slice of modern electronica, from dance to industrial, there is truly sounds here for everyone. It just sounds great, I could go on and on, but you just have to grab a copy and fire it up. If this were payware, it would cost $39.95+.

Features - Not a ton of features, but the ones it does have sure make it sing and dance. It's a mono synth, so that leaves just one oscillator and filter for the main body of the sound. It's got an LFO of course, and some overdrive, a rather complete phaser, and a stereo delay effect that all add up to more than a 2nd oscillator to my ears. Did I mention the arpeggiator ? Yep, it's got one, and while it's pretty basic, it's got a few features itself and works just fine.

Documentation - A small .pdf manual is included. While the manual is a bit small, it tells you what each control does, and come on, it's a freakin' mono synth people, even I can sorta program this one ha-ha.

Presets - 2 full .fxb banks, so that's what, 256 presets ? You simply can't go wrong here if you do electronic music at all.

Customer Support - Ugo is a pro/payware dev also, so he's got his customer support act together. He's a K-v-R reg, and he has his own website http://www.ugoaudio.com/ where you can reach him with questions, and/or grab demos of his payware plug-ins.

Value For Money - Is there an 11 score here ? Seriously, this is the one I nicknamed "Zebra Jr.", it would be at least $39.95 if not closer to twice that if it had 2 oscillators and was hyped to death.

Stability - I've never had a problem with it, low on cpu usage, fast to open. It is an SE creation, but like I've said in past reviews, if you're still having probs with SE stuff, it's most likely your computer at this point in time, cause the rest of us aren't having those probs anymore these days.

Final Notes - If every freeware synth was this good, there'd be almost no market for payware synths. If you didn't grab this V2.0 update, then you have officially missed the boat in 2006, go get it now, and thank Ugo in 2007.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on December 31st, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.0.2 on Windows
User Interface - Smooth 3-D, gray, yellow, and orange, not your everyday look, but not as ugly as it sounds either really. Super easy to use layout, despite the somewhat odd colors, high score for ease of use and layout. Once you learn how it all works a bit, you are extremely unlikely to get confused with such a linear layout.

Sound - The sound is a bit mixed, it's capable of some quality sounds, and capable of sounding a bit retro. I'll assume you are at least partly aware that Audio Damage is kind of into the retro/boutique sound to begin with. The pitch shifting has 2 modes, and the LFO's can be shaped seperately, as well as modulated for some wicked variations. This is a slightly left of center delay/filter/pitch shifter multifx, let's just leave it at that.

Features - Again we get slightly left of center for the feature set. Dischord 2 features dual everything, and some LFO features not often found, delay and shift those are. Also worth noting is the crossfeed controls on the delay, and the midi to pitch function for live use. As simple and straight forward as the GUI layout is, this one still packs quite a few features in really.

Documentation - Lemme look. There is a small .pdf included. The explanations seem pretty short, but with enough illustrations and plain speak to make it a competent manual. No complaints here.

Presets - Not very many presets, about 30 or so, but they cover a wide range of sounds, and definitely give you ideas of things to try with the less-than-common features. I guess I'd have to say it's quality over quantity here, although still a bit skimpy, let's say a 6, since I can't give it a 6.5

Customer Support - Chris Randall seems to deal with most of the customer support for Audio Damage, and to call him a fanatic, would hopefully only be a compliment. If you have a problem, they will find a solution for it, or you will get a refund.

Value For Money - This one is a tough call. As far as pitch shifters that do anything else, well, there's not a ton of competition that I'm aware of, and this one definitely offers more than just pitch shifting. And how many delay effects offer pitch shifting really, so if you're looking for a delay, well then with everything this one has, it might be one to add to your list then too. If you're willing to pay more for something a bit unique, then this one is a good value. If you just want bread and butter fx, I'd have to suggest you keep shopping around. I found the price to be more than fair, but I'm not too into the same old same old.

Stability - Very stable on my Pc, so no problems to report here. Although it does require that C++Runtime_vcredist_x86.exe be installed, so be prepared to have that on your computer, whatever it is. I believe it's just some Windows optional code, something to do with the graphics perhaps, nothing too radical, just something to be aware of.

Final Notes - Like I said under the *Sound* section, this plug in seems to aim for a bit of a retro sound, with some post modern features. And the presets while few, are very interesting, and not your usual delay multifx fare. If you want something boutique and different, and you're on a budget, this might very well be one to get. I found this plug in to be one of the more all around useful ones of 2006, even if it wasn't a do-all or a knock-out-glamster plug ya know.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on December 30th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.02 on Windows
User Interface - In a word, Retro-cool. It looks like the dashboard of that ufo they say crashed in Roswell in the late 40's might've looked like. It's a unique interface/GUI, but it's layed out well, and overall not super complex in my opinion, although there is some depth there, and probably more in the full version. I'm going 7 here, since it is a hair unusual, and I rounded my 7.5 down, for the sake of people who like things more normal, don't want to be trying to fool ya here ha-ha.

Sound - Hmm, well, I don't know what *transmodal synthesis* is, but it sounds, (let's just talk presets here, there are somewhere a bit shy of 100 included I believe, and they cover a decent range), like a mutant cross between an electric piano and a physical modelling synth, (no need to name any names on the physical modelling synth part, let's just say it's the mega modular one I'm thinking of), in a good way. It has quite a range really, but seems to specialize in those physical modelled/organic timbres, you either love them or hate them, but that's what this one sounds like to me. I'm giving it an 8, I'd go 8.5, but K-v-R hates fractions and decimals I guess.

Features - Ufo light has I guess, 1/2 the parts of Ufo ? Anyways, it's got all the normal goods feature-wise, so no complaints. The in-side television screen monitors with their drag-n-pull modulation routings and adjustments are way cool, every bit as fun as knob twiddling for us mousers eh. Actaully, after looking at the Audeon site, there's a chart that shows the differences, and there's actually a few more goodies that the full version has that the *light* version doesn't. I think the light version is a great little synth in it's own right though, even stripped down a bit. I'm going 7 here, but that's just cause I know the full/pro version has more goodies, otherwise I'd give it an 8, and like above really feel it was an 8.5

Documentation - I hate this question, am I the only one who never reads the dang manual ?! Brb, gotta look at it. It includes a .chm file manual. Looks alright, lotsa pictures, it's in sections, like a real book/manual, seems pretty solid to me, that's a solid 8 at least.

Presets - As mentioned above, it comes with a bit under 100 presets I believe. Definitely a few that sound like repeats, or the same old same old, but, it's also got 10-20 standouts. If you aren't inpired to make a new track with this synth the first day of going through all the presets, then quit doing synth music now. This is quality over quantity here. I'm going 7 here, it was a tough call, but these days, as good as ya do with presets, someone always does better, so your being graded on a steep curve in that sense. But remember, this synth is about quality over quantity, so if that matters to ya, then my 7 should read more like a 9 in that way.

Customer Support - Not much of an idea here. I emailed them a question about how many presets it came with before I bought the light version, and a day later he replied. So far so good, but my knowledge here = limited to say the least. Let's go 8, and give them the benefit of the doubt, after all, they have a forum here on K-v-R, how tough could it be to get their attention eh.

Value For Money - If this were the full version at $139, I wouldn't be raving, but this one is stripped down to 1/2 the stuff as the full version, and it's still an awesome litle synth for what, like less than 1/6th the price of the full version ?! If you like unique, playable, inspiring synths, and you don't have at least the light version of this, then you missed out on the gem of 2006. This is a 10 value, period.

Stability - It has only locked up/froze once on me, on a Pc running WinXp etc. So overall, that's pretty darn good, what plug-in asn't had a problem once, sheesh, picky picky. I'm going 9 here, -1 point for the one problem I had, that's more than fair as a warning that it *might* not run 110% perfectly every time, but come on, 1 little problem so far isn't anything to worry about.

Final Notes - You cannot do better as far different-yet-good, for this $22 synth in 2006, can't be done my friends. You get a 30 free trial of Ufo light, after which you need to register it for $22. This is the one you missed in 2006, grab the 30 day trial, and see what I'm babbling about. *shrug*
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on December 22nd, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows
User Interface - Very Mad max 2K6, a little on the dark-ish side (no pun intended) and a hair big, as I had to try several times to get ahold of the bottom reverb controls, since they were getting 90% cut off of the screen in FL Studio. Layed out pretty darn linear-lly really, considering the complexity of what all is here, and maybe especially considering what you might expect if you hadn't seen any Jack Dark creations lately. It wasn't too tough to get some sort of pseudo-control over these audio monstrosities screaming for from my speakers, within 20-30 minutes of careful squinting and knob turning. (The squinting was just cause I half expected a decaying half metal hand with a spiked leather glove to reach out of the speakers and slap me if I adjusted too much at a time, not because the GUI is small or that tough to read at all.)

Sound - Well, this is most of what yer paying for right here. Good luck finding a synth, not a rompler, an actual synth, that makes the sounds Jack's make. That said, this one seems to be about horror/sci-fi with a touch of videogameness. It can sound very low-fi Casio circuitbent, or like am old Galaga standup arcade game being run by a revving Harley motor/battery, or if yer lucky, it can remind you somewhat of Hollywood's latest gorefest minus the bad acting. Some of the presets had a cool *metallic* ringing/scraping sound to them, and I dunno what all caused it, but I liked it. Down-sides ? It can be very harsh, loud, distorted, etc. But in most cases, that is part of this synths sound in general, just watch the volume levels kids, or start saving for new eardrums and monitors.

Features - Well, it's made up almost entirely of effects, so I guess sound sculpting-wise it would rate pretty high, and the modulations are many and good too. Other that, again, the fact that this synth makes sounds I don't hear other making ha-ha, take that how you will, it is an effects machine kind of makes it's overall output sound a feature as much as anything right ? I would rate it a hair above average here, and unique in how the features play out in the end. Plus, each oscillator has pitch shifting and a granualizer. Did I mention the bit crusher ? And mind the lfo's, as there are many.

Documentation - Lemme look for a manual or something, hang on. O.k., there's an html manual, and a .jpg IMAGE REFERENCE, both included, so there ya go.

Presets - Well, this one has quite a few, more than some of Jack's do, and they are pretty cool. If you are into this kind of sound, you won't be dissapointed much with the presets I don't think. (Sorry, I'm reviewing this from the standpoint that people might not all be that familiar with what Jack Dark specializes in, and what kinds of rather extreme music styles he caters to.) There's quite a variety of sounds in the presets within this digital-horror genre. Is that better ?

Customer Support - Well, other than the dead cat picture he posted on the forums once, Jack is always glad to listen to your complaint, then tell you to set your worthless Mac computer on fire you infidel !!! Naw, he's cool, he's a K-v-R reg, and easy to get ahold of really. Jack has also been known to do some radical (free to existing customers) updates, this being a case in point. Added value anyone ?

Value For Money - Well, this isn't a workhorse/daily use synth, but you are not likely to find another one that sounds like it this side of over=priced boutique circuit bent ebay creations. That said, it's well worth the money if you like this sound, ie = try demo ya lazy $?#@! See above Customer Support comement above about free updates also.

Stability - It hasn't crashed on me. I will add, that it's an SE creation, so if your host doesn't like SE, then talk to the maker of your host, cause most of us out here dun have any problems with SE stuff these days. Another side note, and this one kinda goes both ways, and I am almost hesitant to mention it, but you'll find out if you try the demo, so whatever. This synth uses massive cpu. However, again, the flipside of that is, 1) it sounds like the end of the world in a good way, and 2) it has sooo many built in effects, that you aren't likely to need to add much to it, so in that sense, you should perhaps cut it some slack in the cpu usage department.

Final Notes - This review and the ratings given, are based on the fact that I more or less knew what I was getting into. If you do not have any real idea, and this review, and Jack's description of this synth don't help, by all means, try the demo first, this is specialized boutique digi-gear eh. Anyways, Jack is still Dark, and if you catch one his bundle deals, you could get this synth, and several others for about 1/2 what a $100 "pro synth" costs. And I'll say it again, if you like these kinds of sounds, this is where you get the hookup, and if not, then pass on buy and wait for the next $100+ VA with tarncegate I guess. Merry x-mas and have a noisey 2007 Jack.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on December 19th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.4 on Windows
User Interface - Well, it's easy on the eyes in a colorful way, no squinting at least, and it's a good size. The graphic waveform display is a cool addition, although it doesn't always work for me, sometimes it kind of sticks in one place for a while, or disappears, but oh well, it's just like a bonus feature anyways, and does not affect the sound at all. The knobs turn easily, and Ctrl-*click* resets them, although *shift* to fine tune would be a bonus feature. Overall a good, easy to use interface.

Sound - All over the map, as far as filters go, in a good way, tons of filters to mix and match. Beware the randomness though, you can easily get some toxic sounds fast, too fast sometimes, but hey, calm down and turn the knobs slowly eh. It seems a tad *harsh* sounding overall, at least that's the general filter sound I think of when I think of Filterbank 2, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, I just wouldn't call it all that analog sounding ya know. Perhaps with a masters' touch it could be tamed into a creamy Moog sounding delight, I just didn't hear it myself ya know. Oh, and bonus points for the 1=L and 2=R setting, talk about mind warping stereo sound yo. I ended up giving it an 8, because I couldn't hack a 7.5 into the K-v-R sever ha-ha. :)

Features - I like the step sequencer feature, that is great to me, because you can get some cool clicky, or burbling accompaniment to your sounds. The delay is a bit lacking in settings/controls if you ask me, but again, we're kind of talking bonus features here really, this is a monster mega filter plug-in. (I'd love to see an expanded delay section in the future though, that'd definitely add even more value and function to this already capable and featured filter.) The modulation routings are easy to understand for the most part, so it would have to score pretty well under user-friendliness in this section.

Documentation - I didn't read it, but that kinda tells you how easy it is to use right ? (I went and looked at the .pdf manual before hitting *post* for this review. The manual/guide looks fine, some close up pictures, some filter explanations. Good enough, could be better, in fact, could be a lot better just because there are so many filter types to mention in it, a possible thing for an update, add improved manual. *shrug*)

Presets - The presets are pretty decent, I've heard better, I've heard worse, you get a good amount (64 I think?) and there might be a 2nd bank on the Tone2 site, not sure, as I always just make my own presets.

Customer Support - On this one, it's been really good I feel. It was updated fairly promptly after being released if I recall, fixing a few issues, and the dev showed some concern and got on the problems.

Value For Money - Yes, yes it is. High marks here, especially if your budget is low, this is one to check the demo out for sure.

Stability - It has not caused me any problems, so pretty high marks here also.

Final Notes - To summarize : I just can't see anyone really not finding something to like about this plug-in. And while it's not the ultimate filter, it's certainly a good nu breed filter, and still retains a pretty wide range of sounds. It's filed under contemporary, and "best value" in my book, but that is just my opinion, grab the demo, and see what your ears think.
Reviewed By liars&ashes [read all by] on February 25th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by liars&ashes on 25th February 2005.
----Yes,another free reverb,but,this one rings,for a long time,if you want it to.
----I am no reverb expert,but to my ears,this thing is a poor man's dreamverb. It sounds more or less like the big boys,and has enough presets to satisfy even the pickiest of us,or at least I felt there was a pretty generous amount of presets to choose from.
----If you already have a high quality reverb,then 1) why are you reading a review of a freeverb plug in ?! and 2) I wouldn't say toss it and grab this,but you might be surprised if you compared the two.
----The GUI is nice and clear,adjustments are made with 4 knobs and 10 sliders,and they work well,the whole layout is modern looking,yet clean and simple.
----What really makes this reverb worth mentioning is the variety of reverb-ish sounds it can produce,and the cost. This is not the greatest,clearest,brightest,whateverest reverb ever,but for free,it is great,top 3 of the freeverbs I've heard.
----To be honest,I haven't used it as a sendverb yet,and may never,I have my workhorses for that,but,for some special,extra flavor,it's my insertverb go-to these days,and that's where it shines I think. No matter what kind of reverb you already have,there's always room for other flavors of verb,it's that simple,and this is a good enough flavor to check out.