The first VSTi I ever played was Neon - I was a bit underwhelmed! As my arsenal grew, I judged synths based on the WOW factor: that initial preset with the giant, stacked, fat wall of sound, hitting where it hurts and blowing me out of my seat. As I've matured in my sound designing tastes, I've discovered those enormous sounds never make it into the mix - they simply dominate the whole frequency spectrum. I found myself longing for a more *professional* product - great presets, endless creative capabilities, but most important, a sound mystically between the pitiful Neon and countless unnamed synths - strong enough to play by itself, gentle enough to to sit in a mix with 8 other concurrent sounds.
Albino is that product.
GUI: The prototype interface. Synths this big need multiple pages to host all the parameters - but with Albino you have several mini-pages contained on one main page (see the demo if I'm confusing). Wonderful design and colors too. Every synth should have the modulation matrix. Sound / Features: Amazing! Versitle! Lush! Inspiring! I love the digital osc's - greatly expands the palate of sounds. Great filters too. Presets: Without the presets, this synth would be a good deal. With the presets, it's a steal! As someone stated in a post - these presets are not just excellent launching pads for your own sounds, they are an education in synthesis. Plus - almost every patch has modulation wheel, velocity, etc. linked to filter envelopes, LFO's, etc. for performance tweaking on the fly. Just look at the matrix. Stability - Never crashed. Not once. VFM: Before hearing of the Albino I was seriously considering the EMU Orbit 3 to get Rob Papen's sound. The Albino saved me $500 USD. Gets used more than allt the other synths I paid over $150 for. Combined. The first synth I go to for *any* sound. Case closed.
This synth has a great Demo that can do the rest of the talking. Why don't you play with it for a while already?
I have no reservation about giving this amazing kit 10's across the board, with or without KVR's inflated rankings. My only regret about this synth/sample-rom is that I did not purchase it earlier. If you are limited in any way on money or time, forget samplers like Halion, Kontakt, or any other flavor of the month. These samples are amazing, and so easy to play & use.
I originally had reservations about the sampletank engine. I will admit I don't like how it adds FX when you load it. Now I can say I love the sampletank engine (I only wish I had XL or L so I could have all Midi channels). The interface is beautifully simplistic, and the ability to scroll through custom made sample folders is a breeze. You can actually make music, instead of struggle with programs!
The VFM on this is through the roof. Literally. I don't expect to get such an amazing deal/package for $249 ever again in my life - It's just to good to be true. As others have said, if you can only buy one VSTi - this is it. If you are just starting out, get this before any other, you won't regret it.
First let me say I have not been programming synths since the 60's, so I do not judge gear on how well it "emulates", only on how it sounds and its usefulness. Also, the ratings I give are based on inflated KVR averages (ie 'average' score is a 7-8, not 5), because I do not wish to bring down an instruments relative ranking if I think it outperforms others in its class, but give an honest review. So now on to the review...
I purchased this synth after playing around with Vaz Modular, which I was very impressed with. I wanted a VST client, so this was my only option. I am hoping Martin will provide an upgrade path to the Modular version from 2010 when he finishes its VST implementation. I was amazed at the simplicity of programming, but most importantly, the sound. I have not played any virtual synth which is as raw, crunchy, or analog as this - and I have played most of the high-rankers here at KVR. I wish the rating system went to 12 for sound, because this is simply in your face! As looks go, I think it is just plain ugly. However, it is also the most easily programed synth I've played, so it gets an 8 for usablitiy. I don't give a flying fudgesickle about the presets (and there are hundreds) or navigating through them - in 5 minutes or less I can dial up the sound I hear in my head! This is not the case with other synths (like Pentagon), where I scroll through preset after preset looking for something I can build off. Documentation is poor, but as mentioned already, not really needed. I can't believe people are calling this a one trick pony because some of the presets sound the same! Consider the arpegriator, the analog step sequencer, import of your own wavetables,it's ability to host vsti's & any VST or DX effect you have (it's own FX are usable by the way), it's wonderful seperate window interface - this is my #1 go-to synth for bass, leads, and arps. If Vaz cost twice as much, it would still be a steal for its pure sound of analog warmth!