Many people are pissed of Steinberg because of their synths. Maybe they have reasons (I own the virtual guitarist and The Grand 2 and I'm not sure if I should like them). But Hypersonic is really a great piece of work! Version 1 was a really amazing workstation, but version 2 hits the top of all synths around in my opinion. Just ask, why I use it as my main workhorse in all of my songs!
The most convincing fact about Hypersonic is the sound and the presets. There is nearly no synth which comes near it! Instruments like brasses, woodwinds and ethnics are amazing! The sound is clear and realistic. But not only the real instruments are the strength of this workstation. The synth part of Hypersonic is although convincing.
Compared to version 1 Hypersonic has been opened to sound creators in any point. You can touch all parameters, have access to many effects, all neccessary tools like an great arpeggator are included. In short words: a great place for sounddesigners to play.
Let's go through the sections: USER INTERFACE: I think it looks great. Maybe it's not the taste of everybody, but I like it.
SOUND: Unbeatable. Would double the 10 if it would be possible.
FEATURES: There is as far as I have seen nothing left you can't do with this workstation.
DOCUMENTATION: It is rather good I think. The box comes along with a booklet which contains all you need to know.
PRESETS: What shall I say! They are unbeatable. And the loading times of sample sets are really low!
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: This is maybe the weakness of Hypersonic. There are even rumours that Hypersonic will not be supported in next times. But who needs support if all runs stable... :)
VALUE FOR MONEY: I think the price is more than fair, cause you need no other synth!
STABILITY: It never crashed my system until now. I would say, it is ROCK SOLID.
I really can recommend it to everybody. It will boost your creativity!
The M1 comes as a part of the Korg Legacy Digital Collection. After long comparisions and trials I have decided to buy it and trust me, it is really one of the best VST instruments I ever had the pleasure to play with.
Korg has really inserted all their experience in building Hardwaresynths into M1. The sound is clearly, the effects well defined (M-EX) and it is really easy to get into work with it. I never read the manual and I have found my way deep into it.
It comes with a huge collection of presets (Combis, Multis and Programs). And I was impressed how well they all sound! From wonderful pads, great basses to real sounding instruments like saxophone or accordeon: you can find all you need in one synth.
It isn't a soundgem only: the design is really wonderful. You need no guide to find everything you need. The included browser for sounds let you pre-listen how a preset will do and you can filter by instrument category's or by character of the preset. To manipulate a sound you will be confronted with it through an easy section first. If you want to get deeper you can change to the other sections beneath.
The price for the collection is around 220€ now. And I think it is underprized. Never found a better collection of instruments and effects. I love it!
I am someone who doesn't want to give synths a long time for tweaking many knobs to get a perfect sound from it. I tend more to use presets and easy to use virtual instruments. So I took a look on Key Rig. Because of the easy looking and wonderful design and some positve articles in some magazines I bought it. And I am really happy I did!
Key Rig is a wonderful collection of very useful instruments. With it alone you can make a whole production of a song. All needed instruments are available in it. And they sound mostly really great!
User Interface -------------- I have never seen such an easy to understand design like that of Key Rig. You don't need to search around a long time to find out where everything is. I love to look at it!
Sound ----- A real pearl is the organ simulation of a B3. It sounds really great. The same I have to say to nearly all sounds include. But the organ is top! In the GM-Set the Accordion is really fantastic! And some presets of the included synthesizer are very useful (especially the pads). The weakness are the included Pianos. They sound really good in the deep/midranges. But higher keys are too thin.
Features -------- The possibility of routing all 4 sections together makes this synth to a monster. It is so easy to combine instruments! There is a punch of effects included so you can experiment for hours to get new and strange sounds out of it.
Documentation ------------- The good thing is: you really don't need a documentation on Key Rig. Everything is so easy to find and understandable that it needs no description. The included documentation is ok.
Presets ------- There are not too much presets included. But that included sound great. And if you need more: it is really easy to make them. Believe me: you will like this synth for its easyness.
Customer support ---------------- Can't say something about it cause I didn't need it because Key Rig is rock solid. But as I remember before I had to deal with the customer support because of my M-Audio Firewire 410 and I was satisfied.
Value for money --------------- To say it short: you can't get more for your money! I think: It's too cheap for that what is included!
Stability --------- Rock solid, nothing more to say...
I have been waiting for a long time for RealGuitar because it seemed to be the only nearly realistic guitarsimulation. Now after using it for a while I can only say: I am not disappointed anyway!
The sound of the guitars included in the package is (for me of course) undistingable from a real guitar. Bending, whacking, slapping, muting, everything is simulated by this VST-instrument. Maybe there is a difference because playing on keyboard is not the same than strumming on a guitar. But nothing is perfect, even not the player himself!
The handling is well-thought and after a while playing around you get a guitarfeeling on the keyboard. It is one of my most used instrument now. Grats to the good work!
Addition for Version 2 (26.6.2007): First I have to say: after using RealGuitar for a long time now I have never got complaints because of a "synthy" guitar! I rather have heard: "Grats to your fine technique in playing guitar"! That's a symptom how good RealGuitar really works.
In addition to version 1 RealGuitar got a pattern manager which includes patterns in many various styles. They are really easy to select and can be handled in two ways: either they are played by RG itself or you can copy them via drag'n'drop into the pianoroll. And believe me: the sound you get out of is convincing!
So as a conclusion I have to state once again: this is one of the best products on the market you can get for simulating a guitar.
PS.: The only minus of this product is the customer support. I had troubles with the combination FLStudio and RG and it took a half year to get the problem fixed.