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Reviewed By Rathead [read all by] on February 15th, 2012
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

I have both this VSTi, and the sampleset for Lady Anna Voice.

I have rated the VSTi as a 7 because I really love and enjoy the samples, but I am not in love with the instrument.

The samples are fun and I can see many uses for them, both by themselves and as textures and loop fodder.

They won't appeal to everybody, but if you like Left-Of-Centre they might be right up our alley.

There are moans, groans, random vocalese, clicks and slurps. Great stuff !.

The instrument plays these sounds, in four different banks, and offers semitone and cent pitch adjustment per bank which might be useful to help some of the unpitched samples, of which there are many. The pitch shifting on offer is +/- 48 semitones (!) but is achieved by altering the replay speed, so length varies with pitch. This is one reason why I prefer the samples loaded into another sampler, rather than use the VSTi. Another reason is that the samples are anonymously named and seem to be randomly distributed among the 4 banks so it is tricky to find what you are after.

Having said that, there is a free trial version with only 20 sounds.If the instrument works for you then great. If not, buy the samples instead. The 20 free samples are pretty representative of the full set which of course features many more variations.

I had a small sales related query and Dmitry was exceptionally helpful and very quick to respond, so customer service looks better than good.

Reviewed By Rathead [read all by] on May 6th, 2010
Version reviewed: 2.91 on Windows.
Last edited by Rathead on 6th May 2010.
Rayspace has been around for a while, yet I have not seen it reviewed or much talked about.
It is a 'Space Design' type reverb, allowing the user to create a room or space visually, and then synthesize its reverb characteristics using ray tracing techniques.

The UI is very clean and straightforward in typical Quikquak style.
The space in use can be viewed and edited in an overhead mode (where you can also 'see' the actual paths traced by the rays if you wish) and also in a 3d mode to aid visualisation. Pretty much all parameters of air and surface can be adjusted, as well as the positions of sound sources and listeners.

The number of 'rays' can be adjusted to control the density (and CPU use).

The sound is clean and reasonably free of artifacts, although the longer tails are not as smooth as some more recent algorithmic reverbs. It is interesting that multiple modes of reflection are clearly audible, giving the result a very complex but still well defined character. The controls allow results from subtle (where it works best, I think) to ridiculously over the top.

The feature set is good and a wide variety of spaces can be successfully modelled. Most parameters can be automated, including source and listener positions. As a FR for future versions, the option to pan from the dry signal in synch with the reverb would be useful.

There is no manual provided. Good help is available on the GUI and it is all you really need but a pdf to keep on the desk while learning wouldn't go astray.

Presets are numerous and very well illustrate the range of possibilities this plugin offers.

I have had a couple of occasions to contact QQ support and they are just the best. Prompt and useful replies to eMail and I am sure they would not rest until any problems were ironed out. Full marks here. It has been solid as a rock (Win7 64bit, Energy XT2.5).

VFM? As a general purpose instrumental reverb, there are many freebies out there that sound as good or better, so this is not for that. But if you like the visual approach (I do), or if you think in terms of shapes and spaces then check this out.
Also, it is great for designing spaces that are not of regular shape or acoustic properties.
If you do foley or make FX or audio post for radio, music or video, then Rayspace lets you cobble up soundspaces in no time flat.
For these applications, it is a bargain.

edit: The final reverb characteristic impulse can be exported as a wav file and imported into a convolution reverb / IR loader. Beware, some of these wav files can be quite large.
Reviewed By Rathead [read all by] on September 22nd, 2009
Version reviewed: 0.98 on Windows
TAL Reverb is exactly what you would hope for. A very smooth stereo plate type reverb. Not designed to simulate realistic environments or any piece of existing hardware, it is a plate plain and simple. But, damn, if a plate is what you need, this is sure a good one!

I have many freeware reverbs (who hasn't tried lots of them ?) and a dozen or so commercial reverbs and I have to say this is about my favourite plate. The presets are basic but sufficient, the UI is crap-free, it doesn't have any bells and whistles, it just sounds great.
No docs that I am aware of but what's to know?
Value is undisputable (ie. free)and it is versatile - works great on drums, percussion and guitar and has onboard filtering.
Never crashed on my system and TAL have a good name for quality products so entirely trustworthy I would say.

If you need a plate, try this.

If you don't think you need a plate try it anyway. If you need to put space around guitars or percussion, there is nothing like a tiny touch of low CPU plate, suitably filtered, and I have yet to find a better tool for that job than TAL Reverb. Love it.
Reviewed By Rathead [read all by] on March 27th, 2009
Version reviewed: 1.00 on Windows
Crowd Chamber from QuikQuak is a unique and powerful plugin.

It offers the ablity to easily create complex soundfields based on simple audio inputs such as speech, vocals or single instruments.
It is perhaps best thought of as a 'super chorus' which offers individual control of pitch shift and delay, with modulation capability, for a large number of 'nodes' (45 nodes, with close to 2 million virtual points).
This permits the creation of huge chorus/ensemble effects.
The randomising features are well thought out and quite necessary when manipulating so many data points.

The visual interface is very intuitive, if slightly disorienting at first given that there are three different views to be considered for each arrangement.

The demo is fully functional except for intermittent muting which makes more difference than you might imagine - practical use requires real time adjustment of quite a few parameters and the muting is very disruptive. The full version without muting is much more fluid to use than the demo would suggest.

I bought this plugin to solve a particular problem I had trying to create a swelling 'mega crowd' effect - it was perfect for the job. To my surprise I like it so much I have started to use it in place of normal delay and chorus effects. It is very rich and organic in character.

Often quite small adjustments are necessary and it is quite easy to create a messy, noisy shambles. A bit of effort is required to get good results but they can be quite amazing and would be difficult and time consuming to do any other way. There is also a homogenous 'feel' to a well structured arrangement that I was never able to create even with numerous tapped delays + chorus + pitch shift.

The presets are good to show the capabilities of the plugin in a broad sense but they do make it sound a bit like a 'wham bam' effect, which of course it can be. They do not however showcase the great subtlety available which is what makes the effect stand out as a long term usable addition to a VST folder already bulging with chorus and delay plugs.

The plugin cost 15 pounds (about $34 Aus) which I consider to be good value. Initially the site would not accept PayPal so I contacted QuikQuak by eMail. I received a prompt and friendly reply and was able to make my PayPal purchase. The key arrived by eMail seconds later and the job was done. Very easy.

I highly recommend this plugin. Play with the demo for a while and see if it works for you. I find a new use for it every time I start it up.

The Ratster