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Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 2nd August 2014
Version reviewed: xp on Windows
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i see there's a new version of heliox.. this "review" (acknowledgement and endorsement) concerns the initial release.

makes my top handful of synths list.. not general purpose but utterly unique and extremely applicable for select timbres. the shifting harmonics make heliox an excellent source for signal chains producing complex ambiences, even emulative environments can be created if one is selective in processing.

the original release was pragmatic and appropriate for my applications. people who prefer self contained instruments with on-board effects may balk at the utilitarian form.

Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 3rd August 2010
Version reviewed: current on Windows
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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poor plate popped up as the random plug-in of the hour, so i gave it a try and was quite pleased with the timbre.

this isn't a particularly exhaustive review - the tail did have some 'discrete echoes' which may deter appreciation in sparse settings, for full program material i thought the smooth, murky lofi expansive, smudgy sound was the right effect i was looking for for my 1950's/60's pop sound. moreso than i would have achieved with the half a dozen other reverbs i use regularly.

thank you!

(ratings of 6 indicate n/a)

it's been a week or two since i finished the track, i don't remember the gui, which simply means that it wasn't offensive or an obstacle in use of said plugin. as you may infer, i'm blathering at this point to meet the requirements of 1000 characters for a valid review. i'll have to review that next, i've said what i've said, it sounded nice and "did what it said on the tin." it's very very very very very very very very very very very very very nice 1000 chars
Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 29th January 2003
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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look at the gui.. see those four functions at the top of the 'screen' part? see how it goes 1-2-3-4 top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right? (henceforth TL, BL, TR, BR)

this just absolutely destroys me.. how devious is the mind of mankind. perhaps this instrument was built to handicap the minds of would-be samplists.. because on editing menus, the top-of-the-screen position lists the names of parameters, and at the bottom of the screen, the values appear..

you'd expect some sort of pattern-based correlation, for easy reference, you know? symmetry, top, bottom?

but.. they are not arranged in the same order!!! instead of 1-4 TL BL TR BR, they're listed TL TR BL BR, changing the location of the values at-a-glance from 1-2-3-4 to 1-3-2-4.

now... "come on, man!!!!" i'm just not able to accept that this level of incongruity is a mistake. i spent $15 for this, i feel like they don't actually want me to make music.

with logic 4.81, i haven't been able to find an implementable budget sampler beyond one-shot 'drum machines.' if you're looking for one, give the 404 a miss.. because of the channel scheme difference between logic 4 and cubase, you'll find if you create a patch for use on track 16, you'll have to completely rebuild it to use on track 15. you'll be limited to one keymap running through one envelope/filter section. the upside is that it's stabler than helios et al.

the manual.. sheesh.. i got my first sampler in 1993.. open the manual, you get one long paragraph after the other. my suggestion to the author is to cap each section with concise referential statements for quicker orientation.. in-depth explanations as seperate paragraphs, please.

for some reason, ds404 won't load most of my samples. ie. the famed, vast collection of high quality 44.1 samples from the japanese akaipro ftp site.. clearmountain drum sample cd.. no go!

all in all a painful, disappointing and fruitless investment for me in logic 4.
Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 17th May 2002
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
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good news for logic users, you get to automate everything, including all of the waveform shaping parameters, which is a recipe for some peerless harmonics. it's a shame there's no unison/stereo output to go with it. cpu is reasonable.

..and i find the interface a little cumbersome for two reasons:

first of all, several parameters range from - to + values and there's no way to instantly center them by say shifting and clicking. it's a bit fiddly trying to zero out all of the envelope level settings for instance. -/+ swings are another nice feature but i'd settle for being able to patch it quicker.

is that really a valid criticism tho? too many options??

the parameters are also set with a rotary movement, ie. if you move the mouse further away you can make finer adjustments.. all times are set in milliseconds. since most of my patches require very short times i always find myself pulling far down to the bottom left.. an exponential scale as opposed to linear on pot values would suit me much better :)

..and a high pass filter would go a long way on this baby :p

but i feel like a cur listing my criticisms like that, because it's unique oscillators are a conceptual work of art, and for me the filter, oscs, et c. all modulate smoothly under external control. stable performance too. it's the first vst plug-in that has made me feel like paying up, which i've done :)

even though you really don't have to :) :) top vsti.
Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 17th May 2002
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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being my first phase distortion experience, i can't compare 'synthetic' to others of it's ilk, but from what i've heard about casios i'm very glad we've got an option..

there's way more to the oscs on 'synthetic' than your standard osc1/osc2 subtractive, altho it can work as such. runs the gamut of patches.. bass, pads, et al, the thing for bleeps and synth percussion, cascading 'algorithmic' sounds ala early 90's rave hardcore (always figured they were pd.)

the sound is, well.. 'synthetic,' in exactly the way that is good.. jorgen's aesthetic wins major points with me for being well organised and flexible. this is a synth designed to get some use instead of flicking through presets or twiddling cutoff.. a tool for synthesists.. :) but if presets are what you want, they're there.

i gave the presets a '6' since i can't be bothered to find a way to jury-rig logic yet.. (i guess it's not that hard..) there are several banks on jorgen's homepage and the mp3 demos sound great, but i prefer to master the architecture and custom patch each sound. no original sounds, no original music :p all it takes is some exploration and implementation.

there's no manual but the homepage has a run-down on the features, and customer support is excellent! at this time jorgen seems to be releasing new features for one or another of his synths every couple of days, and has asked me some questions about new features for audiosynth, which is kinda cool. all his synths offer very functional free versions, so why are you even reading this :) the pro version has some useful parameters, but the freebie is pretty darn capable.

plus i have to appreciate any designer that realises the value of including different filter types, esp. high pass (well there's two of them :)
Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 11th May 2002
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows.
Last edited by xoxos on 11th May 2002.
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paradigm shift! a free soft that gives and gives!

logic gold 4.8.1. w98se lookin' good

really i see this synth changing society. normally cynical, i've been overwhelmed by the amount of free development and education happening in dsp on the web. don't get me wrong, there are some great freebies for pc out there, but this is a MASSIVE step ahead.

i see companies going out of business from this synth, unless they find a new way to "get with it" and start helping people learn and being modest about their needs/'r&d expenses.' take note, because things are changing.

this synth is powerful.. check out the envelopes! unbelievable!!! think SIX lfos are going to be enough for you?

and it sounds GORGEOUS!

and the cpu meter? the busiest patches are running less than some fairly unsophisticated 2 osc, 1 filter softs. hitting maybe 10% on a 1.2g athlon, smaller patches are barely jumping a line. tight.

at first glance i thought the interface looked kinda busy with the oscillograph thingy graphic, but look again.. it's very neatly laid out, uncluttered, logical arrangement.. THIS is the synth to use and develop from.. i've been stuck looking for a softsynth to write a subtractive tutorial for, everything w/o enough features or prohibitive cost.. no more!

i think a lot of people will learn how to patch on this synth.. the current presets are showy and would require a lot of 'disassembly,' but i'm sure in no time there'll be thousands of user patches available. watch! better yet, forget watching, use it!!!

what next? not even going to worry about it. welcome to evolution :)

i'm just wondering about his motives!!!! ;)
Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 3rd May 2002
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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oh this thingy is lovely. punchy, deep and smooth sounds. perfect gui.. legible, no fuss.

multiple filters (well you see 'em) and cross osc mods make this vsti quite a little swiss army knife, esp. with some creative insert usage, and it's cpu friendly :)

the presets don't load up for me in logic 4.8.1, but no matter. you'll have your own bank in five minutes. like all wantech synths, it's got a flexible basic architecture that lends itself to cc automation.

finally, a viable alternative to static 808/909 samples for electronic drum fans..

and now it's FREE! brilliant!

that other guy must be feeling a bit ill since he obviously didn't pay for it. don't blame the tools, mate.
Reviewed By xoxos [read all by] on 30th April 2002
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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i just upgraded my daw and entered the world of freeware softs. aska ayum is imho the model of implementable softsynths.

wysiwyg.. a simple 2op fm, one envelope, nice filter, easily automated. i definately favour the aesthetic of a simple, flexible architecture. hi hats to bass in seconds and everything in between with a bit of fudging. great for techno riffs with cc sweeps.

a 9 for interface. btw i can't even see this synth running on my cpu meter. anyone who wants fancy colours hogging their system ought to be an interior decorator or such. minus the point because (tho i've never seen this) it'd be nice if all you ss developers would put the current cc# for each param next to it for easy reference. implementable, eh?

no doc, understandable under the circumstance. would be nice for newbies.

didn't even notice if there were presets. this synth requires use :p

cust support - designer has limited english, but i got a response to a question in a few days. hope he manages to continue his softwares.

stability - i'm using logic and an aw2, which as a host is sorta like a high class party.. not everybody seems to get in :) either ayum or swith took me down once, but since then i've had dozens of stable sessions.

something to use!