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Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 10th March 2021
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Mac
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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i've been using nuance since forever. when i moved to logic pro, i missed the sample player in reason; i wanted to be able to flip thru samples, before committing to anything. nuance let me do that.

i live by this thing; i use it all the time. easy to audition samples, try things out. i have several custom drum sets in the plugin, and, worth mentioning, the 2 drum soundsets are pretty amazing; check those out. lots of great kits, sounds.

my usage is pretty basic, but i can do everything i need to do. the GUI is great, simple, logical. and plenty of options (modulation, trimming, looping... etc) and version 2 is filled with new possibilties (i've barely scratched the surface, to be honest).

anyway, a great plugin, and worth checking out.

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 3rd December 2020
Version reviewed: 1.0.3 on Mac
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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this is my new fave synth plugin; it's a thing-of-it's own, has it's own character, possibilities. have been playing with vital for a few weeks, and barely scratched the surface, and am using it on everything (it's like my new 'salt'); it's inspiring (the thing i look for most in a new plugin). for a version 1, it's pretty amazing.

am a music-maker, not a sound designer, so looking forward to soundsets (i do tweak everything tho); the yuli yolo set that's out is great, the vital community is making some great sounds too.

vital is well-thought out, well designed. and that sound.... def worthwhile going for the pro version, but the free version is an exceptional deal... it's free. get it.

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 30th May 2012
Version reviewed: R4 on Mac.
Last edited by fisherKing on 30th May 2012.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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(i wrote this review yesterday morning, then got an email from discodsp last night about an updated wave library for corona. just dL'd; there are now an insane number of waveforms to play with).

In my ongoing mission (hmm…should i mention the stardate?) to find the 'right' synth plugins, i've been downloading demos like crazy. but have added very few synths to my arsenal.

i have discovery pro, so got an email inviting me to check out the corona demo. this looks like a stripped-down DP, so skipped it at first. i finally decided to check it out, and it was worth it.

to be honest, i actually like this better than discovery pro. not because it's cheaper, and simpler, but am liking the SOUND of it, always the most important thing (to me at least; this is how i live with, say, 'ugly' plugins…it's the SOUND that hooks me).

the GUI is, at first glance, very simple (a good thing in my book). i was tweaking immediately, it's a very-basic layout. having said that, there are a lot of great options tucked in drop-down menus. and i like the 'subtle' touches, i.e. the indicators (the live mod movement, for example, in the filter cutoff knob, or the oscillator phase knob). so lots to explore (versus a stiff learning curve).

i LOVE exploring, that's the point. rather than spending a day with a manual, i want to spend the day turning knobs, hearing what happens.

the new filters are great; a lot of patches work much better with them (and some patches sound better with the 'normal' filters). really interesting, the difference between the new and the original filters.

there are some great presets, but corona still needs lots more. was looking for (and not finding) arp presets, but…it's really easy to add an arp (i use these a lot). the arp definitely needs more presets, but it's easy to make your own. i'd love to be able to lock in an arp, and scroll thru sounds (i posted the idea on the 'instruments' forum here, and the developer said he'd add it to his 'to-do list'…). what's really impressive is the number of waveform choices: along with the usual sawtooth, triangle, etc…there are a LOT of 'classics' (roland, waldorf, korg, etc.), and some others as well. this should keep soundbank designers busy (and out of trouble).

this is very important thing to me: ease. am a preset-tweaker (as opposed to a sound designer), i want to be up and making music as soon as Logic opens; that's my modus operandi, and it works for me. so plugins with very busy architectures, too many 'hidden' functions, or half-assed soundbanks (and i've encountered all of these things) don't work for me.

overall, like this one. i can see myself actually using this more than discovery pro… and will add some soundsets to the mix (i think most of my income goes to soundsets).

what i like:
the GUI (for it's directness)
ease of use

minor quibbles:
extremely minimal effects section, and no reverb (easy to add one in a channel strip, i guess).
the mod wheels, as they're reversed from the way they are on physical keyboards
needs more (& better) presets, new ones especially to make use of the new filters and waveforms.

am an avowed minimalist. i don't need very many synth plugins. but like this one, and will see where i can fit it in on new projects.

last thought: there's been a lot of discussion on the forums about the quality of reviews here, too many '10's'. for myself, am only reviewing plugins i OWN and can recommend. if something is below par, i wouldn't use it, or spend time writing about it.

as always, check out the demo.

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 13th May 2012
Version reviewed: 2.5 on Mac
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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i've written several reviews here at kvraudio recently, almost all 10's. i'm writing about the plugins i USE, and therefore appreciate. so, just so you know where i'm coming from…

i've downloaded a LOT of demos lately, trying to find a (very) few plugins to use to make music. i deleted some long-used and very good synths to make room for new sounds (and, importantly, to challenge my work methods).

am new to synthmaster; i played with the demo...and now own the plugin (AND the rob lee soundbanks). so synthmaster passed my 'acid test', and joins my 3 other main synths (sylenth1, dune, and zebra).

more than anything else (architecture, the GUI, features, etc), i care about the SOUND. and synthmaster sounds amazing. there is depth and color in the sound; i love that, some plugins seem very flat, or grey, to me.

there are some great presets in the factory soundbank, and the rob lee banks are (as always) essential.

my biggest concern is the architecture; this synth is quite different from what i'm used to, and i need to make time (a full day or two) to really explore the GUI; it's a bit of a foreign language right now, so…will get to that.

meanwhile, i am really into preset tweaking. i need great starting points, and will then make changes to get what i want. am more into music-making than sound creation (a big subject here at kvraudio).

i did an entire track in synthmaster in the first hour, including drums, and was deeply impressed with it (am talking about the sound of the synth, not my playing…which was pretty good too, come to think of it...).

sounds blend well, yet retain enough personality to be 'heard'; that's a great thing, as i like lots of layers, and contrasting lines; getting a dense sound AND retaining clarity is a huge challenge, and i've worked with synths that don't do that well.

and playing synthmaster is a joy; it feels expressive, and reminds me of my hardware days (mostly, a roland XP-60).


the SOUND.
the options (lots of parameters to tweak!)
a good preset library to start with.
great price.
64bit AU (altho it's listed as a 32bit plugin…).

CONS (minor, really)
the architecture: am a little lost right now. i hate manuals and prefer to explore on my own.
lack of soundbanks; programmers, get to work! we need more preset libraries for SM.

overall, this is one of the best plugins i've found in my search for 'new'…and i've already added it my default template in Logic.

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 29th April 2012
Version reviewed: 2.5.2 on Mac.
Last edited by fisherKing on 30th June 2012.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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first, a disclaimer: i've reviewed 3 other synths here in the last few days, almost all "10"s. i mean, i OWN these plugins, and live (or die) by them, so am writing what i feel, but...i REALLY love what i use; that's WHY i own what i own. so "10" is the right number for zebra.

i've been using it for a couple of years now; added it when a friend showed it to me; i was immediately impressed with the sound.

i haven't been using it so much lately, but yesterday spent the day REALLY exploring it, and…was reminded of how good zebra really is.

the architecture is logical, intuitive. the GUI is great. there are also a lot of soundbanks for zebra (i own quite a few).

the sound is the thing, of course, and it's awesome. zebra is more metallic, rounder-sounding than my other plugins (which i value for their buzzier 'analog' sound). so, zebra is great for animated pads, hard or melodic leads; exceptional soundscapes. i made 2 tracks with only this plugin (and drums) and it's great. there is a lot of color and depth in the sound (some plugins sound very flat, very 'grey' to me).

presets can be busy, dense (they can have several things going on at once, i.e. a drone, chimes, an evolving filter). so it takes a…different approach to layer parts; 3 busy parts together can be like 9 parts on a simpler synth.

i find this makes me think differently about what i'm doing; that's a good thing, i don't want to always work the same way.

the bottom line for me is this: nothing else i have sounds like it, and that's what i want from a plugin, for it to justify it's place in my arsenal: to be distinctive.

u-he has some amazing synths (diva is ridiculous), but this one is my fave (probably because my other 3 synths are all 'analog'-inspired). zebra is just different, musical, and very modern.

i've sold several plugins recently on kvraudio; i wanted to 'change my game up', challenge my workflow. this one you'll have to pry from my cold dead hands...

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 27th April 2012
Version reviewed: 2.2 on Mac
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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i just started reviewing plugins at kvraudio, and now am developing an addiction to reviewing. :-)

i've been using sylenth1 for less than a year, which makes it still very new to me, although it's been around for centuries (in computer years, anyway).

i have acquired and/or made a LOT of presets for it. so i use it all the time. in fact, it's been my 'go-to' synth for a while now.

here's what i love: the sound, and the simplicity of the interface. it's GREAT for arps, basses. buzzy pads, leads, weirdness. it's defined the sound of my work for a while now, and am very happy about that.

it's easy to work with; 2 simple layers, and a very logical layout. some plugins give me a headache just looking at them (or hunting down, say, the master output knob)...sylenth1 is easy to program or tweak.

it IS ugly. so it goes. no one listening to music cares about that LOL; the SOUND is the bottom line.

here's my issue: it hasn't been updated in YEARS. so it's still a 32bit AU on my mac (while EVERYTHING else i use has been upgraded to 64bit); and the very-last version (a beta), does not play nice with Logic and Lion. ugh.

i LOVE this synth, and will continue to use it. but newer plugins (dune, for example), are starting to fill in space in my music (and am keeping an eye on where logic goes next; am dreading the day i can no longer run ANY 32bit AUs).

otherwise...for the sound, it's a great buy. AND...there are a MILLION soundsets out there for it. despite it's age, there are NEW soundsets coming out all the time; it's obviously a beloved synth.

it's a 10star plugin really, but am '1 star disappointed' it's not being maintained.

we'll see where things go, but right now, i live or die by it.

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 27th April 2012
Version reviewed: 5.6 on Mac
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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ok. i decided it was time to change things up, and throw some challenges at my workflow.
so i sold a couple of synth plugins (right here at kvraudio), and decided to add some new ones.
discovery pro is one of them.

i had heard it several years ago thru a friend; so i googled it a couple of days ago.
was pleased to see it had recently been updated, and (important for me) was now a 64bit AU for mac (am on lion).

downloaded it yesterday, and have been exploring it since last night.

there's a lot more to it than meets the eye; i need to check out layers, and sample import, for instance, and definitely will need some time for this.

but there's a huge sound library to start with, and there are commercial soundbanks available. that's good…i like having a LOT of presets to play with (and then i will tweak them to where i need them); that's my modus operandi.

the sound…it's pretty good. i made a track entirely from DP (including drum sounds), and am pleased.
but, again, i definitely need 'study' time with the plugin… i kept changing a sounds attack but not really hearing it..until i realized i needed to change it for all layers.

lots of great pads, arpeggiated lines. very synth-sounding, but, hey, it IS a synth. if i want a piano, or real strings, i'll turn to the sampler in Logic.

it definitely has it's own character, sounds very different from my other plugins. that's good, am trying to keep my setup minimal, so everything should be distinctive.

it's all new, again, so i need more time to really get in to it. but it's a great, deep synth; can sound both modern and/or vintage; i want both of those things.

highly recommended. check out the demo, as always, a good place to start...

Reviewed By fisherKing [read all by] on 22nd April 2012
Version reviewed: 1.42 on Mac.
Last edited by fisherKing on 22nd April 2012.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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DUNE is the latest addition to my arsenal; am extremely picky about the plugins i have (i recently deleted two very-popular synth plugins, both excellent, but not what I personally needed); I only keep what i use…(am an avowed minimalist).

What I need most is presets, lots of them. Lots of USEFUL presets.

My workflow goes like this: I open a custom template in Logic, start making music. SIMPLE. I want nothing interrupting my workflow. Once I'm on my way to a worthwhile track, I will THEN modify a sound, customize things. I just want a lot of great starting points.


The architecture is excellent: no layers, pages to click thru, no scrolling. Everything is right there; the GUI is nothing much to look at; instead it is useful. (BTW, is there a way to 'lock' the effects panel so it's ALWAYS there? I can't see any reason to look at a mini-keyboard…I have a real one right next to my mac; please give us a way to hide the keyboard panel).

I can tweak, customize sounds without much thought; this is a very intuitive synth. And there are a great-many things to tweak. (I need to explore the modulation matrix more, seems pretty extensive).

Ultimately, it's the sound that matters. Listeners don't care about what DAW, what plugins we use; it's the sound (and of course, the song) that matters. And DUNE sounds great: Clean, clear, well-defined. Noisy when I need that, lush when I want that. Great for leads, pads, fx...

I feel that I can make a whole song with this (and did, in fact, with just the demo, when I first tried DUNE out).

This is EXACTLY what I want from a synth; to be versatile, and rich (as I am versatile, and want to be rich :-) )

I want nothing to get in the way of music-making; no extreme learning curve, no constant need to check the manual; nothing that ISN'T intuitive, direct, obvious.

So am very happy, and will be using the plugin a lot. PLUS it runs as a 64bit AU (thanks for that).

I rarely find anything worth 10 stars, but DUNE qualifies. It's a 'must-have'.