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Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 4th January 2021
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Nothing fancy here but overall quite good for freeware. I've also used their other sound shaping plug-ins. They work. Sure, the interfaces aren't like expensive counterparts but still a very good effort. I LIKE.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 1st January 2021
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by Zig on 5th January 2021.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I got off on the wrong foot with this VST and the online program. In my initial review, I wrote: "When I signed up for the "free 7 day trial", the company wanted my credit card details. It read: 7 day free trial followed by a monthly subscription".

Pierre from Soundpiece kindly contacted me and wrote: "Users can currently sign up and use soundpiece in their browser without having to provide a credit card..." Pierre gave me 7 days access to try both the online music creation tool and the VST.

Unfortunately, I won't be changing my score in this review. It stays at one star. Following is what happened:

  • I used Inspire online and chose chords, piano, complex, 80 bmp and 1-10s length. When pressing the 'generate' button multiple times, the same piano chords were generated. When I chose guitar as an instrument, I could still hear piano. Once I changed from chords to song, different melodies were generated.

  • After trying chords, guitar, complex, 80 bmp and 60s+ length, the same chords were generated over and over again. Twice, the generate button rotated indefinitely so that I had to refresh the page.

  • When I chose strings, essentially the same chords were generated but with slight variations in either sound or rythm.

  • When using the VST PLUG-IN, it said "Internal Server Error". There was no manual, no play button. How is this supposed to work as a VST? Do I insert the VST with an instrument plug-in?

While I wish this start-up company success, especially in these trying times, the online software and the VST have serious bugs. I have 100MBs internet and can surf worldwide. But if the backend software just generates the same chords but with slight variations, times out etc. then this software is useless. If the VST says "Internal Server Error", then that is also useless. There are no help files and no manual.

I use Reaper as my DAW.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 27th October 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I purchased HALion Symphonic Orchestra, order number 215888648. I downloaded the download centre to download it. I use Win10, 64-bit.

My DAW is Reaper. I installed it. When opening Halion Sonic SE, a pop up says "no valid license". So, I downloaded the License Control Centre but it wants me to insert a USB stick. I don't have a USB licensey-stick thing. The eLicenser doesn't give me the option of using software activation on my PC. Instead, it tells me to contact Nexway to get a PC activation. Nexway says contact Steinberg. It's not their problem. They only take the money. The run-around continues. Also, I can't log in to register the software on the Steinberg page as the username and password THEY generated does not work. It would be really, really helpful if Steinberg would for once in their life provide one simple installation and activation process without confusing instructions, broken links and damaged passwords or mindless runarounds. I will never purchase a Steinberg product again. I work for a living and have things to do. I will seek a refund now.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 29th March 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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I bought this as I was looking for a double bass with different articulations, sounds and noises. The samples and approach taken by Karoryfer are fantastic. Great sounding double bass quality played by a true professional. With the heavy introductory discount, how can you not go for this unique library.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 15th September 2019
Version reviewed: 1.5.8 on Windows
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Really usable, high quality tools! Nothing more to say except that they work fine. All effects sound as they should but I've been partial to the chorus.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 11th August 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by Zig on 11th August 2018.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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OK, it's free. Thanks BlueCat. While the clean sounds were 'nice', the overdrive sounds were akin to a chainsaw in a plastic box. They were very noisy and the hissing was unbearable. The mid range was boxy and artificial. It was almost as if no cabinet simulator was being used so that I added one which improved the sound quite a bit. Overall, I wasn't convinced. BlueCat make great stuff. But in this case, there are other freeware amp modules that actually do a better job.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 11th August 2018
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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The drums are free and basically OK without any processing etc. Did I mention that they are free? No crippling features as far as I could tell. Good sound that takes me back to my rehearsal room in the mid 80's. And this is where they excel. As the developer says, they're akin to punk drums: raw and unedited. Thanks guys.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 22nd January 2016
Version reviewed: 5.12 on Windows.
Last edited by Zig on 22nd January 2016.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I bought Reaper around five or six years ago. I'm not going to go through the features list as Cockos (www.reaper.fm) can do it better than I can. What is important though is that after Logic was sold to Mac, and I didn't want to buy a Mac (not just because I didn't like them - but because Mac were forcing people to migrate to a system I just did not prefer), I had to find another DAW.

Reaper back then was an insider tip and after comparing other free or lower priced DAWs, Reaper beat them all. I tested it until I bought it. Guys, for the little money you pay, you get a fully fledged DAW. This is not to say that Cockos should increase the price - on the contrary. The price was what initially attracted me to it (apart from the specs). It works! After transferring all of my songs from Logic to Reaper, I have never looked back.

What also sets Reaper apart from the overpriced competition is that you get loads of high quality VST plugins and the software is updated on a regular basis. You don't have to wait a couple of years for a fix and then pay for it. No, Sir! Every few weeks or months, Cockos has an update. It may not even be a fix but just an improvement. And as I am writing this, Cockos has a new update: version 5.12. This is what I call good service. Cockos have done the right thing by the consumer by offering a system that does the same as most other DAWS but even better in my opinion. They listen to users.

There was one minor issue I did want to raise. This doesn't reduce my overall rating but some people might think otherwise. I really miss the notator so that you view the score and print it out. I've since learned to to use the piano roll editor, but a proper score would be very helpful, especially for those who study music and or need to print it out for whatever reason. I have written a few orchestral arrangements, and if I were to have a classical musician play it, they'd expects notes. Music students may buy Logic or another program just because of this. A couple of my friends are music teachers who have stayed with Logic for this very reason. Cockos: you're losing a huge demographic here.

Otherwise, great program.

PS: I upgraded to Windows 10 a few days ago because I heard that latency issues had been improved. Reaper has always been stable. But Windows 10 has resolved the latency and popping/crackling sounds coming from my lexicon Omega (which I am currently updating). Reaper works fine in Windows 10.

Reviewed By Zig [read all by] on 20th December 2014
Version reviewed: Win7 on Windows.
Last edited by Zig on 20th December 2014.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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I downloaded SampleTank 3 free a while ago and could not get it to work. The Authorization Manager did not work. I then downloaded an updated Authorization Manager as instructed by IKMultimedia. I still could not authorize this program. Let's fast forward some months and I finally got SampleTank 3 free registered. However, the sounds did not show up in SampleTank. I read in forums that many people have had this issue since at least July 2014. IKMultimedia had no solution and merely noted that this was a Windows related issue. I then checked the default path where IKMultimedia's install manager installed the sounds. It installed the sounds in the following path: C:UsersPublicDocumentsIKMultimediaSampleTank. BUT the windows path is actually C:UsersPublicPublic DocumentsIKMultimediaSampleTank3. (Note: there are backslashes in the folder names but KVR's word processor deletes them when saving).

Note: Windows 7's 'Documents' folder is called 'Public Documents'. SampleTank cannot recognize a folder name with a space in it. It therefore deletes the word 'public' from the folder name. Therefore, the program cannot find the sounds. I would say that this is an issue with IKMultimedia rather than Windows. It's a programming issue. I therefore copied the contents into C:Program FilesIK MultimediaSampleTank 3Instruments. Then I went into 'settings' and searched for the folder and that was it. The sounds load.

Another issue was that although Patterns can be loaded and played (since I see the keys move), I cannot hear those sounds.

In terms of sound quality of the instruments that I played, they sound alright. I would't give them anything beyond mildly useful.

Overall, SampleTank 3 free is a disappointment because of the failed Authorization Manager and the fact that IKMultimedia haven't resolved the issue with sounds not loading. This shows that the company does not test their products before entering the market, and perhaps even worse, they haven't resolved the issue which is so easy to solve, namely, install the sounds in a different folder.