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RoomVerb M1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By AKJ [read all by] on 4th September 2006
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows.
Last edited by AKJ on 4th September 2006.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Originally, I just got SpinAudio Fx-Designer, but since SpinAudio discontinued selling it separately, they offered a free upgrade to their essentials bundle which includes besides FX-Designer their SpinEQ, SpinDelay and, yes, Roomverb M1. Well, very generous SpinAudio! The whole suite is superb and a very good value for money.
But back to the Roomverb M1. The M1 is the predecessor of the Roomverb M2. Actually, as SpinAudio claims and what I also believe by testing side by side: the M1 has basically the same sound engine but just lacks some advanced features (like reverse reverb etc). For me that is not a negative thing since the M2 has too many of them. The only thing I miss is being able to adjust the out level (you can adjust the in level though), but that's not a major thing.
The Sound: it is almost all I need from an algorithmic reverb. There are many controls, and the user interface makes it really easy to edit. The really weak part are the presets. These do not show how nice and smooth the Roomverb M1 can sound. So I did some which imo show this better. You can download them from:

http://www.power-xs.net/download/roomverbpresets.zip

The documentation is nice and I had no stability issues. Customer support was therefore not needed so far (but in other regards SpinAudio was not very responsive lately). The value for money is incredible. The Roomverb M1 alone is worth the money they are charging for the bundle, and FX-Designer (you can use this as a multitap delay, but it is a very flexible unique tool) and the SpinDelay (true stereo delay with many features) make a valuable addition to any fx folder. SpinEQ is ok, but there are better ones out there.

To sum it up: the Roomverb M1 (resp. the Spinaudio essentials bundle) is a good product for anyone who needs a good algorithmnic reverb, but does not want to spend the money which other companies are charging for a similar sound quality. But be aware: the M1 is quite cpu intense. So don't through away more cpu friendly freeware gems like the kjaerhus clasic reverb or glaceverb (which has a very special sound).
Tube Booster ST [read all reviews]
Reviewed By AKJ [read all by] on 27th June 2005
Version reviewed: 2.33 on Windows.
Last edited by AKJ on 29th June 2005.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Tube Booster is a tube emulation. I found it through a KVR-search since I was looking for something thta would provide a more overdriven sound than lamphtruster. of course, psp vintage warmer would come into ones mind for that purpose. But then, VW is expensive and also a compressor. what is more, I think it's much better to have the two separate: a tube sim and a compressor. so I searched and found Tube Booster.

How does it sound? I did an a/b test with VM and I found Tube Booster to even sound better when it is not driven too much and when the eq is adjusted properly. I think the presets are just ok and do not show the full potential of this tube sim. tweak it according to your taste and you will be amazed.

the GUI is not bad, in fact quite functional, but it could be improved. if TB looked more professional people would maybe easier realize that is an absolute pro-level sounding vst. (unfortunately, it is like that: looks count even in audio).

there is no doc provided but it's not really needed so I did not cut the rating too much.

customer support: not needed so far.

stability: great so far.

value for money: unbelieveable that this is free.

addition: I made some presets, you can download from here:

www.power-xs.net/download/TubeBoosterPresets.zip

have fun!
Topaz Clav1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By AKJ [read all by] on 27th June 2005
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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The Clav-1 is a Clavinet simple sample player/vsti and it sounds quite good (for a clavinet). At least to me it sounds in fact better than the Ticky Clav VSTi which many people here seem to like a lot.

The user interface is nice and clear, maybe a better font could be used (to much vintage style for me).

All basic features are there, I do not miss anything. The modulation fx could be better but for that purpose many free vsts are avaiable so an improvement in this sector is not really required.

The presets are ok good/but but not too many. The docomentation is just one sheet, but more is not really
needed.

Unlike the EP1 of Topaz (which I cannot get to work here) this thing just works fine. no crashes so far. thus I did not need customer support and so I cannot complain about it.

Since it's free: the value for money is great.(hey, but anyway, for a clavinet vsti I would probably never spend any money...)

give it a try! it's free and so there is not risk in trying it.
Classic Chorus [read all reviews]
Reviewed By AKJ [read all by] on 27th June 2005
Version reviewed: 1.27 on Windows
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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This free chorus plugin sounds absolutely great, not any worse than the commercial Kjaerhus GMO (which imo means: it's the best chorus available as a VST plugin at the moment). Actually, I prefer it over the GMO (don't need 192 kHz support and oversampling) since if you are going just for a chorus in the Classic Chorus you have all what you need and nothing unneccessary, while GMO is a little more complicated. So I decided to stick with the classic series instead od getting GMO. However, I would any time be ready to pay (a reasonable price) for this plugin. Since it's free the vfm has to be unbeatable.

Feature-wise everything is there what you need to tweak the sound, maybe a phase control and a selection for the lfo-type would be nice, but it's not a must. the documentation provided is minimalistic but, anyway, a doc is not really nedded for this.

I never needed customer support so I can't rate it worse than 10, and the plug was very stable on my system so far.

The presets are good, but some more would be great. however, just play with the nobs and you will get the sound you are seeking.

user-interface: not really beautiful but one can live with it and it is functional.
BuzComp Free GranComp3 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By AKJ [read all by] on 10th May 2005
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows.
Last edited by AKJ on 11th August 2005.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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This 3-band compressor VST plugin is part of the free BuzzComp Bundle from Buzzroom which I highly recommend to anybody. I picked the GranComp3 plugin to review since it is my favourite one in this bundle.
I would not use it for mastering since it can be too much coloring and I got Soniformer for this purpose, but I use it a lot for tracks as coloring is desirable to me here. Actually, apart from crunchessor (also very versatile and easier to set up) and blockfish (which has its very own character) it is my favourite track compressor plugin. I know, many people will not agree, but I rate it even higher than the Golden Compressor of Kjaerhus Audio (which is indeed a very good one). I just want to stress by stating this how much I like the sound and the versatility of this compressor. It has a sound full of character and, if you use it as the last plug in your fx chain, it is very useful that it has a (brickwall?) limiter inculded.
Minor points of criticism are the lack of documentation (however, a documentation is not really needed since, if you are familiar with compressors, most things should be self-explanatory) and that not too many presets are included. I never needed customer support, so I rated it 10 in order to not bring down the rating.
I did not experience any stability problems with this plugin so far.

Highly recommended!!! Make the download, it's free! Thank you Buzzroom!