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Reviewed By quayquay17 [read all by] on September 22nd, 2012
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by quayquay17 on 13th October 2012.

Don't let the SynthEdit tag make you shy away.

This is the best synth I've found in my hunt for quirky, warbling, and unusual "analog" sounding synths.

It doesn't work like any other VST I've used, mainly because it doesn't have the same features. But everything is very familiar in terms of usability.

Features:

Two audible OSC's, one sub OSC, one OSC dedicated to FM or high frequency modulation, 3 LFO's, 3 envelopes (with a dedicated amp and filter envelope, and one assignable), a simple arpeggiator, a simple assignable step sequencer, a funky glitchy delay section, and the wonderful "melt" knob.

There's everything you would want for pads, basses and leads. I haven't gotten many percussive sounds out of it, but mainly because I have spent all my time so far exploring wide slow sounds with it, but with the extensive modulation and FM capabilities, plucks and scrapes are quite possible.

The filters are quite peculiar. There are 4 different lowpass filters, the first sounds very normal, thick, full, but usual. The second adds more "phatness", If I'm not decieved it sounds like a tiny bit of chorus mixed into a "thicker" sounding filter (definitely fun!). The two others cover the "thinner" sounding lowpasses, possibly modeled off of -6db designs.

Sound:

Awesome! Warbling, digital, analog, buttery, classic, space-age, lo-fi, lots of adjectives to use!

The oscillators come out well, with the sub half way turned up it's already thick. Use an OSC on soft ramp an octave down for the perfect warm mid-layer, this is all with no effects or mods! Now add some subtle filter modulation from a slow LFO and a fast step sequencer, bring in some FM for the attack, and boom! Fat, warping inspiring sounds!

Made something too boring? Just turn up "melt" (a somewhat random lfo that affects pitch and filter that makes it sound like you're using a budget soviet synth while your neighbor switches his heavy appliances on and off).

The delay is very peculiar. You couldn't replace it with a simple pingpong. It suits the synth perfectly.

Ariston pointed out something I left out, which is when the gain is turned up it begins to warm the sound up, and then distort for extra character!!

UI:

Not photo realistic (ahh fresh air!). Everything you need to see is on the main page. Different routings for LFO's and envelopes are one click away.

The color scheme is nice, and it's immediately attractive.

Presets:

They sound great and do a good job showing the synth's "designed" sound. Classic "analogue" sounding arpeggiations and pads, as well as some basses and plucks. A decent amount of ground is covered, from vangelis style sweeps to video game chirps. So much more is possible by making your own sounds, and thankfully the presets touch on a lot of the possibilities, making it easy to learn. There is also the praised "default" patch!

Downsides:

No built in aliasing effects

Can't load your own waveforms

For me the only big downside is the waveform restriction. Maybe we could see this in a future version?

Overall:

I bought it at the intro price of $34 but I could see it being much much more despite its synthedit heritage.

For a lover of lo-fi, this is "my synth", so glad I found it!

Reviewed By quayquay17 [read all by] on September 1st, 2012
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows

UI: Ugly, like a synthedit plugin with "wood" paneling. That said, there are no menus, and everything is accessible and easy to see/read/use. Even the calibration controls are on the front panel, and the mirrored layout makes a lot of sense! An extra feature that shows how much effort was put into it is that controls will go transparent if they aren't influencing the sound, which is REALLY USEFUL.

Sound: Surprising. There are a lot of "FSU" and "LOFI" synthedit plugins out there. This one really stands out as a gem. From a simple subtle tape flutter on a piano bus to full out warbling brian eno-esque synth pads, there is nothing else that can achieve quit the same effects.

Features: Everything to do with pitchbend, wobble, wow, and flutter, this has it. You can have multiple variations going at different speeds, with multiple time modifiers per, as well as operate it in a L/R configuration, or use it as tape style flange!!! It goes from authentic vibes to crazy layers just by moving some sliders.

Documentation: Not needed. Turn it on, pull the sliders, and enjoy!
Presets: There are a few presets, which give you an OK idea of what this plugin can do, but I've never used any of them. The best sounds are made by starting from scratch and tweaking for each song!
Customer Support: It's freeware, so don't expect a call center. On the flip side, I can't think of any reason you'd need it.

Stability: Use it regularly in ableton live with various buffer sizes. It never causes issues, and has a very low CPU hit.

If you like the sound of old electronic albums, with warbling loops and bending pads, or just want a little bit of vintage widening on a guitar track, snatch this thing. It's a freeware gem.

Reviewed By quayquay17 [read all by] on December 25th, 2011
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows.
Last edited by quayquay17 on 26th December 2011.

User Interface 7/10

The good side: It's like working with an mpc, there are little buttons all over to lcick to get things done, like importing samples, changing views, etc. For someone moving to a DAW from an MPC this could be a positive

The bad side: I like everything laid out in plain view, for me, i wasn't too hot on it, but i could find everything

Features 6/10
apart from the slicing feature it does nothing your standard bundled DAW or freeware sampler doesn't, a single filter, an envelope, an LFO for the filter, EQ, chorus, and delay.

For those in need of slicing, it works pretty well. The automapping to MIDI is definitely handy, but something i prefer to do in other vst's (or rather, natively in ableton)

It brings nothing new, or nothing very "oldskool" either. It could have done with a bitcrusher and saturator for some "flava"

Sound 3/10
I'll admit it, I first looked into this for inspiration. To play with some preset slices, throw down some synth hooks, and get new ideas.

WOW was I let down. The sounds of an MPC are nowhere here... they are closer to the bundled sounds of fruity loops.

If you want to produce some dirty south uber phat "rap beatz" to put on youtube, then the samples will work for you. For anything oldschool, genre pushing, or "dope", look elsewhere.

The demos of this plugin sound promising, but they are the perfect combination of the best loops in this pack. If you dont throw it all together like that, i doubt it would sound exciting.

Price vs Value

You're essentially paying for an automapping, slicing sampler here, with a lot of bundled content that is very very bland.

If you're willing to part with $150 for an automapping slicer, go for it. Me? I'll stick to ableton, or freeware for that matter.

Verdict:

Oh so glad I demoed it before purchasing. At first I was excited as I was starting a wonky/j dilla style project, and wanted some MPC inspiration.

Deleted it an hour after I installed it, yikes!

Reviewed By quayquay17 [read all by] on December 14th, 2011
Version reviewed: 5 on iOS

Let me start this off by saying this:

My ipad is a hell of a lot of fun. But since i bought it i have been wishing it could also be productive.

Nearly every app that i have tried or kept has not been much more than a toy, or a tool that goes nowhere beyond what a small laptop could do..

This was the first exception.

Sound:

It's a sampler.. so it really sounds as good as whatever you play. The bundled sounds are decent, enough to muck about with, the included keys (rhodes particularly) are pretty good, and some of the "urban" kits (blech) sound nice, and with some tweaking, very usable. I also purchased the true-school pack, when it was on sale, and the drums included in that are fantastic!

Features:

It has what you expect, and what you need. The fx is logical, and there are some nice units to choose from.

The pads work well for the interface, I noticed no lag whatsoever! the keys are decent for simple melodies and such (for a non-keyboardist, i like them).

overall:

It's finally a serious ipad music app. Once i found my way around (which was FAST), i was able to build the basis for a song in about 7 minutes... WOW, i then multitracked it into ableton and went about redoing some parts with drum racks/ keeping some parts as audio.

If you import your own sounds it's a whole new world of usabillity. This for me is a great tool, whenever i am at a coffee shop, on a train, taking a studio break etc. it offers me a sketchpad (although that's what everyone says about all apps really..), but this sketchpad is intuitive, and very usable. I see this being used live very soon!

IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED:

I would definitely like more fx, i know ios devices are limited power-wise, but we could have more than two i'm sure. Other than that I know NI will continue to tweak this, with regular updates as planned. I'm looking forward to seeing how much better my already good purchase will get!