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AFX (Acoustics Frequency Xperience) [read all reviews]
Reviewed By rahnrasen [read all by] on 29th January 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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die dll dateien sind etwas tiefer in der ordner strucktur. die mit dem download kommt, versteckt, aber durchaus finbar. das plugin klingt gut, und mann hat genug möglichkeiten die sounds zu personalisieren. einfach in die entsprechen slots die jeweilige sfz bank laden, dann kann mann pro slot, also z.b. bd oder snare usw durch die verschiedenen samples zappen, und diese mit den filtern. pitch, etc seinem persönlichem geschmack anpassen. hat man ein drumkit erstellt, unbedingt abspeichern als bank ...damit die arbeit nicht umsonst war. und hier kommt auch ein kritik punkt : keine drummkit presets mitgeliefert, mann muss also erstmal selber ran. und leider ist auch das interface etwas klein geraten, was meine betagten augen nicht erfreut, also ein skalierbares interface wäre echt ne bereicherung, aber ansonsten ein sehr brauchbarer klopfgeist !.

Nuance [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Gamma-UT [read all by] on 29th January 2020
Version reviewed: 2.1.157 on Mac.
Last edited by Gamma-UT on 29th January 2020.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Functional but packed with niggling flaws

This is one of those products that looks good at a superficial level. It tries to make the most of natty GPU techniques like fading boxes. But as a sampling instrument it suffers from a raft of niggly, baffling usability flaws that make it often frustrating to use. Samplers are often inscrutable lumps of software because they have to deal with complex combinations of key and velocity mappings. They inevitably lead to a lot of clicky-clicky as you make adjustments. But in a product that is supposedly geared up for fast, creative sampling, Nuance can sometimes makes things harder than they are in one of the supposedly more "bloated" products like NI's Kontakt or Battery.

You will welcome the fact that it at least has a decent undo feature. That comes in handy when a click on the "Pad Root" setting – which you would assume simply sets the base note of something like an MPD – sends every single sample in a group that you've painstakingly keymapped to a single random key for reasons that I still haven't figured out.

It's at times like these ("why did it do that?") you work out that the manual is pretty terrible. There are two reasons.

Reason 1: It's perfunctory. It's really just a list of subwindows and commands. As a result, it gives very little help on how to get started with Nuance. If you've never tried to build instruments in a software sampler before, unless you're just going to drag in a single sample, have mapped it across a large chunk of the keyboard and leave it at that, it's going to be a bumpy ride. There are entire things that are simply missing, like the zoom function lurking above the keyboard in the mapping editor. Eventually, you'll find it. Things like the "Reset Root Key" context-menu command you have to work out for yourself. Maybe it's in all the manual somewhere but good luck finding it because...

Reason 2: It's presented as a set of web pages that aren't searchable and despite being presented as web pages there are very few hyperlinks that take you to where you can get more detail. For example, the UI introduction mentions the drum-pad display and how it's meant to support layered drums but doesn't link to any longer explanation of how you actually go about achieving that.

The result: trying to work out how to apply things like the pad mode are pretty much just trial and error. There are groups (which you can't rename to anything useful) and pads (which you can' get it) but working out how they are meant to relate to each other? You're on your own. In fact, quite a lot you wind up finding through trial and error.

Instrument building

There's not much of a factory library to speak of, so you will realistically spend a fair amount of time creating your own instruments. That's where the fun, er, stops. Keymapping samples is surprisingly tedious unless you are lucky enough get it right first time when you drag a group of samples in from the browser. Like Kontakt, it uses the position in the window to determine how many MIDI notes each sample will take up. Drag a group to the bottom and you get single-key samples. Problem 1: At the default display setting you have no way of working out which sample is which without moving the mouse to the top subwindow where its name will flash up momentarily before fading away (using one of those nice but not all that useful GPU effects). Then you realise some are not really where you want them. I know, let's drag each one to a different position. Oh wait, nothing happens if I drag to the left and it simply stretches out the sample across multiple keys to the right.

Unlike Kontakt, you can't simply place the cursor in the middle and drag. Nothing happens. Well, that's not entirely true. There's a zoom function that's not mentioned in the manual (well I couldn't find it). If you zoom in part of the name shows up and eventually you'll to the point where the software will notice you're clicking in the middle and will let you drag it somewhere else. Not too far, mind. Because by this point, you've got a grand total of two octaves on the screen and you need to drop the sample and readjust the zoom position in the lower bar to get it to where you want it. Yes, it won't scroll the window if you drag the sample to the edge. If you've got a moderately large drum kit and you need to shuffle things around, this is not good news. Pinch and zoom with a touchpad kinda works, expect it will only scroll while you're zooming. A regular two-fingered scrolling gestures does nothing.

MIDI control? Not so fast

Another requirement for a lightweight sampler intended for creative sampling is that you might want to map some things to MIDI controllers. Unfortunately, the MIDI setup is built almost entirely around MIDI Learn. The only MIDI CC you can select as a modulation source in its own right in the modulation editor is the modwheel. Any other CC has to be mapped to a control on the Nuance UI using MIDI Learn. This gives you a choice of three controls – X, Y and Z – that aren't tied to a specific function that can then be deployed in the modulation editor. Want more than that? Unlucky. You can MIDI-learn a bunch of other targets but then you are stuck with full-range movements, so be careful with those controllers when you move them. Now, four probably sounds like enough but it's pretty easy to max out with something like a TECcontrol breath sensor and a Linnstrument or a ROLI before you even get started on foot pedals.

The second problem is that MIDI learn is only convenient if you have a control surface that is all discrete knobs. If you have something like a Linnstrument, something with motion sensors in it, like one of TEControl's breath units, or even the X-Y pad on an SL, MIDI Learn is a royal PITA. In Nuance, you have no way of editing the CC it learns if it picks up the one you didn't want. If you're not feeling lucky, the only reliable workaround for this is to have a bunch of knobs set up for things like breath on, say, an SL so you don't have to futz about hoping it will latch onto the CC you want rather than the others coming through the MIDI stream.

And if you map something like a Novation SL's XY pad you'll notice that the Y direction reversed. It's not a major deal from a performance perspective but there's no way to set the 0,0 origin in preferences that would make it slightly less confusing when you're programming the modulation. On the plus side, the X, Y and Z settings are also reflected in the knobs under the pad itself.

It's at this point you start to think: "Why didn't I try to build this simple instrument in Kontakt? Maybe that NI thing isn't so bloated after all."

Drums and layering

One of the claims NSA makes for Nuance is that it's good for drum layering. That's partially true. It has some built-in features that lend itself to that and perhaps more so than creating pitched instruments but it's another good-news/bad-news situation here. For those with a Machine- or MPD-style 16-pad controller, it's got a lot going for it. You can set up a 4x4 grid of pads reasonably easily and add a bunch of samples, each with its own set of envelope controls and effects, to the same pad. Be careful with the drag-and-drop though as it's easy to accidentally replace a sample when what you really wanted to do was add a pad layer. Undo, comes to the rescue once again.

At first glance, the pad-layer editing seems to go further than, say, NI's Battery. However, I find layering easier in Battery because that provides easier access to the samples and velocity switches and crossfades. The thing about Battery is that you can't add non-destructive envelopes to layers within a cell. But in Battery there's nothing stopping you from mapping the same MIDI notes to more than one cell to achieve the same thing.

If you want to combine samples into one edit group with a common envelope, you need to get out of pad mode (though you are free to map samples to the keys underneath the pads - though you might need to be careful when transposing the pad-root key, as mentioned above). Layering can get tricky here. The problem with Nuance's approach is that it can sometimes get really hard to pick the sample you need to edit because there's no way to click on it without activating another sample that overlaps it. Battery, in contrast, lets you switch between samples in a layer easily with a drop-down menu on the sample's name. There's clearly space to have this in Nuance, but Nuance doesn't do it.

What looks like a missed opportunity when it comes to layering is that Nuance doesn't have the features of something like the defunct Stacker that sets it apart. There's no sample offset to let you create layer flams and big clap sounds unless you add silence to all your samples and rely on the start/loop controls. You're also on your own if you're trying to work out how not to get phasing between samples mapped to the same pad. You've got no way to nudge samples or adjust relative phase short of opening up the sample in an external editor and messing with it there. Battery doesn't do sample offset either, but if you're trying to get a sample player into a niche, you probably want additional features that will attract those users.

There's a bit more in the discussion down below as this review exceeded the KVR maximum character count.

plasticityFilter [read all reviews]
Reviewed By TheDragonborg [read all by] on 29th January 2020
Version reviewed: idk on Windows
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This is a must have for Drum & Bass producers... especially for neurofunk... the fact that it's free is insane! Sounds great on basses with a huge helping of distortion! The only thing I would add be an option for it to automatically disable the filter when it reaches 0 for highpass or 100 for lowpass for some drum filter sweeps. You can accomplish the same thing by automating the bypass setting in your daw.

I did encounter a bug when I deleted the plugin from a chain in Reason 10 and it crashed the plugin instead of deleting it. The other plugin instance kept working though.

Phrasebox [read all reviews]
Reviewed By csanders00 [read all by] on 27th January 2020
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Linux.
Last edited by csanders00 on 27th January 2020.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Simplest harmony based sketching and composing.

I've tried many products on the in this realm of audio plugins and out of all of them PhraseBox was the easiest to setup, play with and understand. I was able to get going with most of its features in under 10 minutes:

  • Its easy: PhraseBox doesn't require you to learn a new mental model for abstracting musical notes and harmony. You put your chords in your daw, and you add or remove notes in Phrasebox, much like you would in your DAW's piano roll. If you know how to write chords and use a piano roll, you know how to use PhraseBox.
    • Contrast this with a product like Cognitone's Harmony Navigator and Synfire. In order to be productive, you're going to have to install multiple pieces of software, route your audio and then learn an entirely new mental modal for music composition.
  • Its not a limited or a toy: PhraseBox doesn't try to replace your own creativity, it assists in getting you "in the zone" faster so you can start creating. PhraseBox isn't a "Black Box", its more like simple way of using a piano roll for sketching melodies / phrases.
    • Contrast this with some products which say they will compose your the music for you but end up generating cliche garbage.

Couple of things I would like to see in future releases:

  • Ability to select a group of notes and copy / move them inside the piano roll.
  • Maybe some more advanced piano roll features, sort of like some of the ones featured here:
  • Midi Out. Easily get the generated MIDI out of the plugin, without having to reroute to another MIDI channel in the daw.
    • Some people have suggested MIDI Drag and Drop.
  • More Banks :).

I'm running Phrasebox in Bitwig Studio in ArchLinux.

PhybAce Pilot [read all reviews]
Reviewed By magmagwa [read all by] on 25th January 2020
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Amazing sound, can it do more than one string at a time? Did you model interacting strings? Yes, I love typing to 100 characters...Seriously, 100.

Signal Noise SN06-G Opamp [read all reviews]
Reviewed By eranmadi84 [read all by] on 22nd January 2020
Version reviewed: 12345678 on Windows.
Last edited by eranmadi84 on 22nd January 2020.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This plugin 64-bit free, it's not just for synthesizers, it perfectly works great for mix buss glue enhancer to mastering on the master buss. It's gives loudness life, it's a maybe kind of VCA dynamic summing mix buss saturation, I'm fine it as a special gift for mix and mastering for gluing mixes together with clarity and warmth loudness. I love this plugin 64-bit free download, love u ladies and gentlemen.

Psychedelic Tunnel T1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 22nd January 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I like on G-Sonique, that they always do things a little different than others or present products, which have their own individual character or are a little off-maistream.

I found that Psychedelic Tunnel T1 finally is a fresh, creative, different approach to the reverb theme, which enables a wide range of more spacious, ambient, unusual sounding reverbs with a very interesting character.

Usually I'm mainly - if any - using some tape echo and / or spring reverb, but this one I only tested shortly and liked it. You can get some nice, pulsating reverbs due to 3 combined sets of LFO modulation, but what I like most on it is the dark energy control, some kind of detuned octaver, which gives a very special, great sound to the reverb.

Not only usable for Psytrance, Dub, ...

Just for fun I even tested it with the lead channel of high gain guitar amp sims, and although you usually don't use reverbs and high gain, as this doesn't sound very well, the T1 also in this combination sounds very interesting and nice, the guitar tone changes to some kind of doomy sounding organ/synthesizer-like tones, which sound and work great and unusual also in a heavier or even metal context.

Another nice and a little weird combination is using the T1 in combination with some phaser, Leslie or Univibe, or with one of my all-time favorite pedals, the Electric Kingdom (also from G-Sonique). Or eg. try it with a B3, Rhodes, Bass or some percussion to make them sound different, new and interesting.

A very good special reverb for people who are looking for some fresh, new sounds.

And - it really is not expensive.

Lokomotiv [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Greenroom2 [read all by] on 22nd January 2020
Version reviewed: 1.1.3 on Mac.
Last edited by Greenroom2 on 22nd January 2020.
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Love the sound of this baby - very thick and ballsy synth. Like the simple interface. Beefing with good ole McDSP c101. Any updates on the horizon?

reDelay [read all reviews]
Reviewed By ortseam [read all by] on 21st January 2020
Version reviewed: 10 on Windows.
Last edited by ortseam on 21st January 2020.
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Unique and very useful plugin for inserting an easily controllable delay compensation into any complex routing. Different instances of this plugin can "see" each other and synchronize no matter where they are placed. The only plugin I'm missing to much after moving to x64 system.

Surge [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Jean-Loup J [read all by] on 20th January 2020
Version reviewed: 1.6.3 on Windows
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Fantastique synthé, qui permet des sons d'une variété incroyable.

Mon meilleur instrument, sans aucun doute .