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Thorn [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 28th February 2020
Version reviewed: 1.21 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 28th February 2020.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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There is not much to say about Thorn that has not already been said...

Everything about this synth is top shelf...

This is coded by a very smart cookie who knows a thing or two about DSP and the importance of having a clear and functional layout...

Because everything is basically on one page, the workflow of Thorn is fast and efficient...

This synth is capable of producing so many different sounds - from warm analog to harsh digital - and it has it's own "character" which blends well with other instruments in the mix...

Because of it's unique nature, when you are tweaking things to sit it in the mix, you can find so many nice surprises and that makes this not only an enjoyable, practical tool but a fun toy as well :).

The glitch sequencer is extremely cool and you can really dial up some rhythmic goodness there...

I am a fan of Tantra, so to basically get Tantra built into a synth is a serious bonus...

One of the smart features is that you can save the presets for the sections separately, so importing those into other patches is really easy and so helpful...

This is a desert island synth for me...

I have some solid soft synths that I use and most of them have been with me for some time, but Thorn has quickly become a real workhorse and part of the handful of synths that I consider indispensable....

5 Stars to Dimitry for coding such a wonderfully inspiring piece of software...

Thank you...it is greatly appreciated....

Blue3 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 2nd October 2018
Version reviewed: 2.0.5 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 2nd October 2018.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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The B4 II from Native Instruments was the very last x86 plugin in my toolbox and I was hanging onto it until a replacement finally came along...

I tried EVERYTHING out there and nothing hit the spot for me and I can't stand the sampled organs...Truly horrible...

I almost pulled the trigger on the original Blue3 and although it was close, there was no cigar...

But after just a few moments with v2 of Blue 3, I knew that I had finally found the B4 II's replacement....

This organ is wonderful to play and it has that really organic sound of the tonewheel organs...

From angelic purity through to dirty, filthy grime....it's all there...

I just wish I had a double manual keyboard with pedals to capture all of the magic wrapped up inside this plugin...

I remember a few years ago being backstage and watching a keyboard playing with a top international act closing his laptop and taking his B4 II home to the hotel...

I was impressed and I thought..."Man, that is so cool and it sure beats lugging the beast and the Leslie around everywhere"...

Nothing can truly replace a real B3 with a revolving Leslie, along with the service charges and the chiropractor sessions, but GG Audio's Blue3 is the closest yet...

I'm pretty sure that Jimmy is dialing up some soulful sounds on his Blue3 at his Chicken Shack gig in the heavens :).

5 Stars to GG Audio for this magnificent virtual instrument....

Analog Studio Rack [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 25th July 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0.4 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 30th August 2018.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I like channel strips, so I thought that I would give this one a go, especially as you can insert each plugin individually....that's a bonus...

The same team that are involved in the ASR project were responsible for Bus Comp and that one's a winner...In fact it shares some of the same features and probably much of the same code...

In many ways, ASR represents the "best of" Nomad Factory's development over the years.

A bit of the valve stage, into an EQ, some channel comp, a touch of exciter and widening and then into the bus comp....very nice....

When you bypass the rack, you notice just how much those little subtleties add to the overall sound..

All in a single package with almost no CPU hit and zero latency...Impressive...

It's important to pay attention to the gain staging to get the most out of ASR and Bus Driver...

(In fact, proper gain staging is one of the crucial factors in making any mix sound good...).

Some "SSL purists" made some rather unkind comments about ASR when it was first released because they were unable to disassociate themselves from their elitist preconceptions...

It doesn't matter if is not exactly an SSL or a Pultec or whatever...

In the brave new world of digital coding, we've moved beyond the constraints of hardware...

All that really matters, is if something works or not and the ASR delivers the goods...

It's versatile, efficient and effective...

What more you need in your toolbox ?

Thanks for an inspiring plugin...It is really appreciated....

TB Reverb v4 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 28th November 2017
Version reviewed: 1.0.6 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 28th November 2017.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This is a very sweet sounding reverb....

It is difficult to describe what makes a reverb sound great, because as listeners, we are more absorbed in the emotional response, rather than considering the algorithms and the technicalities involved...

The TB Reverb v4 has a lovely density to it and like most well coded reverbs, it adds the ambience you need within a perfectly natural soundstage....

You can create virtually any reverberation you can imagine with this plugin....

One thing is for sure....

Jeroen knows how to code top quality plugins that are some of the best audio tools on the planet...

I've been using the Toneboosters tools since their inception and even though I have many great plugins to choose from, the TB plugins are permanently on the top shelf of my toolbox...

I just bought the update for Reverb 4 and it is going to be used extensively...

Thanks once again to Jeroen for coding these very high qualty, practical plugins :)

REAPER [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 21st December 2016
Version reviewed: v5.30 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 21st December 2016.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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After Henry da Vandal AKA Gibson bought out Cakewalk, I knew that it was time to get out of Dodge...

I had been a Cakewalk user since the stone age and a Sonar Pro user since it's inception and I knew the program pretty well and I thought that they really got it all together with the X3e Pro x64 update...

So I have started using REAPER 5 and I love it !

The install is minuscule, it loads faster than a speeding bullet and it is very well coded...

The workflow is extremely fast and it has never crashed or given me any grief...

Of course there is a learning curve, but like anything, if you log in the hours and check out the manual and the menus, it's not that painful...

Step by step and it all makes a little more sense...

Also, the tutorials that Kenny Gioia did are really great...very informative...Take a bow Kenny G :)

One of the things I have noticed through changing DAWS and adopting a slightly different workflow, is that I am using a lot less plugins and the sound is more "open" as a result of this...

I used to use the channel strips in Sonar X3e Pro extensively and they sounded great, but by using less effects in REAPER I feel that the results are much better...

It really does reinforce that the quality of the sound at the source is vital...

Anyway, I am happy to be using REAPER and it's great that Justin has this project on his menu..He made mega miilions out of Winamp and is blessed to be able to now spend his time pursing his passions..

That's a very cool thing...

REAPER is one of those passions and we are fortunate to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labour...

5 Stars for REAPER :)

Freeverb3_vst [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 17th August 2015
Version reviewed: 7 x64 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 17th August 2015.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I feel privileged to write the first review for Freeverb3 here on KVR....

I have had this one lying around for a while, but it is only recently that I have opened it up and really started to explore the potential that it offers and quite frankly, I am blown away...

I have a few high quality reverbs in the toolbox, but Freeverb3 is my preference over many of those ones now...

There are a few starting templates and then it's just a matter of digging in and tweaking the parameters because it's not instant karma here ...

I found the information and the links on the Freeverb site very rewarding and it helped me to understand a few things a little more clearly with greater perspective...

As many of us know, there is a great deal of BS in the plugin world and many people listen with their eyes - drawn in by the sexy GUI's with the photo realistic images.

After all - if it looks like a pig - it must be a pig.....Right ?

Well...the GUI of this plugin is 2 dimensional and quite plain, but all of the parameters are there and the bottom line is always going to be the sound quality anyway...

That's where Freeverb 3 steps up to the plate and hits many of the other guys with their boutique GUI's right out of the ballpark :)

I have mainly used this plugin on lead vocals and strings - two very important elements in the scheme of things - and it has been a winner every time....

It's hard to explain in words just exactly how it sounds, other than to say that it sounds "natural" and that the parts sit perfectly in the soundscape...

Talk is cheap and words can't really describe how wonderful this plugin is, so do yourself a favour and give it a whirl...

But make sure that you close your eyes and listen ...

Because with Freeverb3, it's all about the sound and it sounds funking great :)

Ivory Italian Grand [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 22nd June 2012
Version reviewed: 2.0.5 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 22nd June 2012.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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This is my favourite sampled grand piano...

I have tried most of them out there and this is the only one I really need...

The detail is stunning and the whole playing experience is a pleasure...

It is easily the most realistic "sampled piano" that I have ever heard...

The Italian Grand is very versatile and it works in every situation for me perfectly...

There are so many debates about what is the "best" piano and we all keep our ears to the ground to consider new options,but at this point I am happy just to play this piano and leave the debates behind..

I hate iLoks but I was so impressed with the Italian Grand that I bought 2 copies and 2 iLoks to run them...

Now - that's love :)

This is the one sampled grand piano that I would recommend above all others...

It really is a winner....

5 Stars and much kudos to the team at Synthogy for a fantastic sounding instrument...

Diva [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 27th April 2012
Version reviewed: 1.2b on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 9th May 2012.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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Diva is my favourite sounding VA and she's a real game changer in the world of soft synths...

The Spice emulations come at a heavy cost to CPU consumption,but the sound is absolutely sensational..

I have never heard a soft synth with this amount of dimensional depth and the soundstage is HUGE....

We are getting closer to "analog" in the digital domain and Diva has raised the bar and got us the closest yet...

In fact,with the increased versatility of the digital modelling,I would say that Diva has transcended the physical constraints of the analog world and surpassed it....

Now that's something for the analog snobs to consider :)

u-he is on a bit of a roll at the moment with a great development team and some 3rd party sound designers who know how to make these synths sing and things are only getting better all of the time...

I have all of the u-he synths and every one of them fascinates and inspires me...

Zebra and Rapture are my main workhorse synths,but Diva is quickly becoming a daily driver :)

There's some elements of great instruments that are intangible - a little difficult to define in exact terms... But every instrument - both soft and hard - have these elements... It's got nothing to do with specs and everything to do with tone,"feel" and touch....

Diva has a very "organic" feel - really seductive - and you feel like you are touching the heart of something very special when sounds are pouring out of her....

Diva is the most impressive soft synth I have ever played....

5 Stars and much kudos to Urs and the team at u-he for such a wonderful creation...

UPDATE : The v1.1 update has significantly decreased the CPU consumption by introducing a Multi core mode and other optimisations...The improvement is really noticable...Also - the "touch" has also been tweaked and is even better than before...Diva really is a very special musical instrument and anyone looking for something extra ordinary should put this one at the top of their list :)

Tyrell Nexus 6 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 26th April 2012
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 28th April 2012.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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This has to be the best VA freebie out there right now and it is extremely generous of Urs to code such a wonderful soft synth and then release it for no money down - drive away - with nothingmore to pay....

That makes it a no-brainer right there...

I think of this as a mini version of Diva which is my favourite VA of all time and a lot of the goodness in Diva is trickling down into Tyrell...

Like Diva - Tyrell is a bit of a CPU hog,but that's the price you have to pay for a such a wonderfully deep and dimensional sound...

This synth has real character and a "coarseness" to the sound which is exactly what you need most of the time..

All those prissy synths with their fruity FX just get lost in the translation and clog up the mix.....

This one is straight foward,has real punch and it sounds great !

The only thing they got wrong is the name...It should really be called the "Uno Slix" :)

Ohh...and it could use the reveb and a few other FX from Diva...There's room to slot them into the GUI...

Urs is on a bit of a roll at the moment with a great development team and some 3rd party sound designers who know how to make these synths sing and things are only getting better all of the time...

Zebra,Ace and Diva are all fantastic synths and the freebies - Tyrell N6 and Zebralette are no-brainers....

So grab Tyrell N6 v2 and a new skin and give it a whirl...

It's a winner that will put a smile on your dial and make you feel like a winner too :)

5 Stars and much kudos to Urs and the team at u-he....

SynthMaster [read all reviews]
Reviewed By digitalboytn [read all by] on 7th April 2012
Version reviewed: 2.6 on Windows.
Last edited by digitalboytn on 12th December 2013.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I was given a NFR version of SynthMaster and I was a little overwhelmed when I first starting playing around with this synth ...

There's so many features and it takes a little while to get your head around it all.....

This synth can be so many things - from cold,brittle and digital to FAT,warm and "analogish" - and there's a lot of territory in between - with a multitude of programming options every step of the way...

SynthMaster would appeal to many people who want an affordable all in one solution...

You'll have to take your time and dig in a little to get the full benefit of this synth,but you'll be rewarded with a comprehensive range of sounds that will cover most of the bases .....

The sheer power of SynthMaster is a little overwhelming,but when you get your head around it all,it's a bit of a mind blower....

UPDATE 2013-12-03 : There have been significant bug fixes and improvements in SynthMaster since I first reviewed it and I am really enjoying the flexibility and sound of this synth now...I still don't like the GUI, but it sounds fantastic and there really is a lot of power under the hood....The sounds are very useful in "real life" and there's some top shelf programmers that have contributed some great presets that are a very good starting point for any "tweaking and exploration".... SynthMaster is a winner :)

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