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Myriad [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 27th April 2018
Version reviewed: 4.x on Mac
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Best price feature ratio for a sound file batch editor. I couldn't live without it anymore. Though some of the "Actions" could need better description. They're not all self-explanatory.

Logic Pro [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 24th September 2014
Version reviewed: 10.0.7 on Mac
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Introduction
*******************
Logic X is a comprehensive DAW shipping with everything you need as a starter. Record audio, play your MIDI gear, mix your tracks. And even mastering is possible. It comes with a huge sound, loop and plugin library and Logic X now also includes a live drummer.

Features
*******************
Where to start... way too many features ;)
I will just list some of them off the top of my head
-) "Endless" no. of tracks (depending on your CPU power - and there is some max count, but never reached it)
-) Tracks can be audio, auxiliaries software instruments, MIDI, folders, and others
-) Each track supports plugins, MIDI plugins, sends
-) Insert Apple Loops and they automatically match key and tempo
-) Arrangement track that improves arranging (some features follow that track)
-) Track stacks groups instruments, so they can be played together from one track and summed together
-) Region aliases that point to the original. When you change the original region, the aliases in the arrangement change too
-) Full automation possibilities
-) Automation can be put into regions, then be looped or arranged with aliases
-) A lot of basic built in synths, worth mentioning is the the vintage synth that is good for starters
-) Mixing is fast and easy (compared to Ableton)
-) Complexe routing possibilities with the 64 busses
-) Customisable GUI. Just load the theme (found everywhere in the web). If you know how to program and create graphics, you can do it easily yourself.
-) Thousands of presets implemented, whether for audio or instrument channels, auxiliaries, plugins, MIDI files
-) New to Logic X is that channel settings can also include routing
-) Import complete channel settings plus regions from other sessions.

Sound
*******************
Sound is very good. From a certain point on, where your experience and requirement grow, you'll need to get 3rd party plugins. Most of the shipped plugins are ok or good, but there are way better developers of plugins. Does a DAW have its own sound? Have fun reading thru the gazillions of threads and webpages. I never compared "scientifically" the DAW sound. But then I make my own sound with the right plugins and the analog gear.

I noticed a sound change when upgrading to LX thought. I must say however, I also had to get a new converter at the same time, that features Thunderbolt. So I'd say the sound change derives from that.

Whatever you believe. If you're songs don't sound good in Logic, they won't sound good in any other DAW. Logic has definitely the capability of sounding astonishing. So it's up to you ;)

GUI & Usability
*******************
GUI is a matter of taste. Logic X became more modern, but the color palette is "muddy" and "toyish" (yes, there are ways to change that, but not to the full extent of RGB/CMYK). GUI can be customized with the thousands of available themes. As always with these themes, most of them are just experimental crap that hurt your eyes. A few are nice. I still prefer the default.

Logic X is easy to use. It's simplicity got better, which is neat for beginners. As a experienced user, it was somewhat tough, to go from L8 or L8 to LX. A little example: Changed standard short cuts! Again!! ... or how MIDI is recorded in loop and/or punch mode.

There are some GUI and usability issues. See below under cons.

Presets
*******************
Thousands of them, which is (again) great for beginners. Pretty much useless for me. Sometimes, here and there, I look them up and rarely I find something that I like. Most of the times, the "Logic sound" just doesn't fit my needs (I produce and mix electronic music).

Stability
*******************
Well, here are a lot of different experiences. I'm not at all satisfied with its stability. I waited almost one year before I upgraded to LX. And now I have at least a couple of crashes almost every day. That rarely happend with L9 and L8 before. I got the feeling, that there are more bugs than ever before. After almost one year it's still not on a pro level, although I don't expect a bug free software, because it is impossible. Crashes mostly happens due to plugins. You may now say, they should deliver an update, it's not Logic's fault. But when I can work with same plugin version crash free with L8 & L9, I wonder, what Logic X is doing wrong ;)

At least the automatic saving during a crash works fine and never let me down *phew*.

Cons
*******************
There are still a lot of bugs (not feature requests). Search the web and you'll see yourself. Here is a list of my experienced bugs, and also some features that could be done better.
-) Enhance color palette to full RGB/CMYK, so we can have more colors and also black, white and grey
-) Drawing automation graphs sometimes doesn't react in realtime, so you don't see where you are (can't read the value, until you let go of the mouse)
-) Window positions are not remembered. I think that happens especially when running a multiple screen setup. Dear reader: No it also doesn't work when the logic screen is locked ;)
-) In certain situations, the big time counter and the time line in the main window don't show the same (I experienced gaps up to 60 seconds)
-) Show in aliases to which region they point to (as it was in L8 & L9)
-) The difference between the region and its loops must be more clear. The arrangement overview is messier than it was before
-) The I/O labeling got worse and less understandable. I cannot use the long names properly. So why having the possibility of having long and short names. At the moment I have to use short abreviations for long and short names. And why are there I/Os that cannot be labelled as I want?
-) LX is still not as customisable as other DAWs. Especially when it comes to sizes of channel strips in the mixer window. And still it's not possible to change the order of the mix channels.
-) Still way behind other DAWs, like: region effects and region freeze, channel inbuilt gain staging possibilities, bounce in place is still not how it should be (best test: do a revers reverb effect in Pro Tools and then in Logic. With Logic you still have to time the effect manually), independent mixer and arrange window (see reaper), .

Conclusion
*******************
Logic X is a good piece of software. No matter what I wrote, you MUST have to make your own experience with it. LX is pro and will sound pro, as long as you know what you're doing.

If the learning curves for a new DAW wouldn't be that steep and would take less time, I'd be changing instantly to another DAW. Because with that update I got the feeling, that Apple isn't taking pro audio seriously any more. They can be innovative with phones, but not with DAWs it seems. I don't whine, but as long as I try to live with LX, it's not as fun using it as it was before. At the moment, I fear the day when I have attended sessions. That shouldn't be like this.

So I cannot give more than a 6/10, because of the reasons mentioned above. If it runs, it's a 8/10. Maybe you are lucky and won't be bothered with a lot of crashes.

Sigmund [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 21st August 2014
Version reviewed: 1.0.0 on Mac
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Introduction
*******************
Sigmund is a complex delay with lot of possibilities from D16 Group, consisting of 4 discrete delay lines that each contains its own filter, overdrive and a tremolo. The 4 delays can set to 9 predefined signal routings.

Features
*******************
Here the most important features:
-) 4 independent delay lines
-) each delay line separately:
-) its own multi-mode filter, overdrive, tremolo and signalflow
-) delay times for L/R or M/S from 0.1 - 1000 or synced to the host tempo
-) mixer with volume and pan for each delay line
-) each delay can have a pre delay, also synced or as ms, channels joined or separately
-) L/R or M/S mode for each
-) filter on the feedback loop (it's passive and shares the same parameters as the multi-mode filter)
-) the input signal can be made mono, L and R are summed
-)
-) 2 LFOs to modulate delay time, cutoff and delay line volume
-) LFOs can be set from 0.01 - 100 Hz or synced to the host tempo
-) 9 different signal routings for the 4 delay lines
-) limiter on the master out
-) block the mix parameter when browsing presets
-) preset browser features the possibility to lock delay lines when loading presets.

Sound
*******************
The sound is very good and not digitally cold. I wouldn't say it sounds totally analog and warm, but still very pleasant to the ears. The filter and the overdrive can give a nice grit to the delays. Hitting the limiter can also generates some cool distortions.

GUI & Usability
*******************
The GUI looks nice and modern to me. When it came out, I bought it instantly, but at the first time when I started it and wanted to create my own presets, I was lost in the GUI. So I needed some time to get my head around that plugin until I understood how to set it up and be fluent at it. Once you're delved in, you can easily create great and special results. I must say that the usability of Fabfilter Timeless and Soundtoys Echoboy is much easier.

Presets
*******************
A lot of cool presets are shipped with it. They cover a wide range and some special uses. And they show what Sigmund is capable of. The manager itself is very easy to understand and use.

Stability
*******************
Stability is excellent on my old machine running OS X 10.6.8 with Logic 8. No crashes have happened due to Sigmund yet. Haven't yet had a project using Sigmund on my new machine with OS X 10.9 and Logic X.

Cons
*******************
-) No tap delay, where you can set the amount of delays exactly
-) LFOs are set overall, so each delay line cannot have its own LFO settings
-) The multi-mode filter's cannot be changed
-) Feedback filter cannot be set independently to the main filter
-) Volume meter in the mixer section should more smaller elements to show low levels
-) Would love to see the possibility to freely set the signal routing of the delay lines.

Conclusion
*******************
The value for the price is okey, but definitely not a bargain. If you are in the market for a new high class delay, and you don't own yet something like Soundtoys Echoboy, Fabfilter Timeless or FXpansion Bloom, I recommend to demo all of them and then decide which one suits best your needs. All of them are great and each deliver a very good sound, each of them with its own distinctive character and different possibilities. Sigmund is definitely worth its money. I'm still exploring its vast.

SPAN [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 25th July 2014
Version reviewed: 2.7 on Mac
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Introduction
*******************
Best free frequency spectrum, volume and phase correlation analyzer out there! It should be an 11 out of 10!!! AND free!!!!.

Features
*******************
-) Real-time FFT spectrum analyzer
-) Volume meter
-) Phase correlation meter
-) Edit: Fourier block size, FFT window overlap percentage, visual slope, smoothness, and many more
-) Colors can be changed
-) Route different channels in one analyzer and compare them
-) K-Level metering
-) SCalable GUI
-) Statistics
-) Band-pass filter to listen to the frequency you're pointing at
-) Zoom in
-) Shows note as semitone and cent (not many analyzer do that)
-) more more more...
-) Freakin' free!!.

GUI & Usability
*******************
GUI is ok and includes different color schemes. The behavior of the analyzers can be adjusted to the situation and taste. And you can scale its x and y axis as you wish, make it double huge or just small, or everything in between. Almost no paid (and some for a lot of money) analyzer can do that. But Voxengo nailed it for free!!.

It's easy to use and self-explanatory. If it should be too difficult for you, delete the .component, no money lost because it's free!!.

Presets
*******************
It already includes very useful presets, for all different kind of situations. Albeit it's free!!.

Stability
*******************
It runs, and runs, and runs... for free!!.

Cons
*******************
I'd love to have the volume meter alone, but hey no complains here it's free!!.

Conclusion
*******************
If you don't have Voxengo SPAN, you definitely must get it right now. Because it's darn good and costs nothing, yes it's free!!.

Chromaphone [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 23rd July 2014
Version reviewed: 1.0.6 on Mac
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Introduction
*******************
Chromaphone, a physical modelling synthesizer mainly for percussive or stringed sounds, and if you are into: very experimental instruments. No samples, but real calculation.

GUI & Usability
*******************
The GUI is clean and straight forward, as soon as you understand its sound creation structure, that is divided into 2 main sections: Mallet & Resonator. The user gets a fast intuitive overview on what's going on. Unique colors for modulation and modulation amount are clearly readable, so are the labels and fonts, although I'd like to have a bigger skin (my screens are further away than in usual situations). In this case the small fonts can get unreadable.

Preset management is simple and easy to use. And Chromaphone includes also undo and redo functions.

Sound
*******************
Chromaphone has the possibilities to give you very organic, very expressive and dynamic sounds. If it's just a snare, or chromatic congas, or some real marimbas, or even out of this universe instruments.

It starts with the left section for the mallet. You design the mallet in two sections: Mallet and Noise. Within subsection Mallet you can define volume, stiffness, noise and color, and within subsection Noise: volume, frequence, Q and density. Both subsection can mixed with the big slider next to them. Or you just turn the whole section off.

The resonator section defines the body of the instrument you're creating and includes 2 bodies (resonator A and B) at the same time, that also can be mixed with the big fader at the right. E.g. choose as first body String and for the second body Plate, and blend them as you wish. Every resonator have the same parameters, but resonator A gives you more modulation possibilities.

And the modulations are one of the key features that give Chromaphone a very dynamic organic possibilities. On top of that you get an onboard reverb, plus chorus and delay. These effects are quite good, but surely not the best out there. Personally I hardly use any effects.

Presets
*******************
Chromaphone already ships a wide variety of sounds, neatly divided into clearly named banks. If that's not enough for you, there are already a lot of 3rd party banks you can buy.

Stability
*******************
Never encountered any issue, since I bought it right at day one.

Cons
*******************
Why just a 9, and not a 10? Because it is quite a CPU hog, especially when automating some parameters. Of course I have to tell you this experience derives from my old MP running OS X 10.6.8 and Logic 8. Still compared to Diva I've got the feeling it asks for more CPU.

Conclusion
*******************
If you're looking for expressive and "real" percussions, percussive instruments, chromatic percussions or for other percussive craziness and experimental sounds, Chromaphone is divine. And for sound tweaking nerds Chromaphone is definitely a must.

Pro-L 2 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 23rd July 2014
Version reviewed: 1.13 on Mac
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I give a 10/10 for mixdown purposes, and that's what I use it for.

The GUI is awesome and self explanatory. It gives you a very good view to what it does to the signal. But if you prefer to be not distracted by your eyes, just turn the graphic off.

Pro-L gives you an input gain, turn it up, lean back and watch the cool graphics and it will limit at the ceiling you set with the out gain in the right bottom corner. It's as easy as that and works almost all the time for single channel processing.

For further processing, e.g. for stereo signals, busses or even master, you can change the algorithm (called "Style"), lookahead, attack, release and how transients and release influences stereo signals (see section "Channel Linking").

Especially for mastering situations you can choose oversampling, dither, noise shaping and ISP (inter sample peaks [protection]). And if that's not enough just assign a MIDI controller to any of the parameters and tweak Pro-L for creative uses or simple automation draws.

I use Pro-L for channel processing only, when the signal has a wide dynamic range and needs more than compression to bring it up in the mix. It saved my life many times.

Battery [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 21st May 2014
Version reviewed: 4.1.2 on Mac.
Last edited by deft_bonz on 21st May 2014.
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Introduction
*******************
A great intuitive sampler specialized for drums including a lot of internal sound processing and warping features.
It's impossible to list all features and review them all. They're just too many :) I will concentrate my review to my workflow and just scratch the surface.

I'd give a 10/10, but unless they fix some little issues (see cons below) Battery 4 has to live with an 8/10.

GUi & Usability
*******************
The GUI change from Batter 3 to 4 is huge and I love it. Editing start and end points is now much easier and faster. Loading samples and assigning them to a cell is a piece of cake. So is layering samples within a cell. Layered samples can be still tweaked separately for some important parameters like pitch, vol and pan.
The new file explorer is also faster and gives you the possibility to tag your own samples, so you can find them much faster, because you don't have to search them on your harddrive. Thus creating your own drum set is done quick and easy.

Processing and sound warping your samples within Battery 4 is straight forward and features a lot of different ways. You can even group cells on a bus and then tweak and process the bus internally.

Sound
*******************
The sound depends heavily on the samples you use, of course. Battery 4 has basically no sound for itself, as long as you just play the samples. As soon as you start to process them it'll change. The inbuilt effects, compressors, filters, etc. are nice, but definitely not the best out there. That's why I route the sounds thru individual outs and process them in the DAW. But essentially you don't need that, in fact you'd be able to produce a whole song just with Battery 4. Everything's in there.

The samples sound very good and clean and come well tagged. The included library is huge and has its own sound character. I call it NI-character. It's a matter of taste. I personally don't like them and always use other sample libraries.

Presets
*******************
It also comes with a lot of complete drum presets. The few ones I checked out are well programmed and include a lot of details. Personally I just love to create new sets from scratch. For newbies the presets are a very good starting point, where they also can learn the features of Battery 4.

Stability
*******************
Battery 4 never crashed on my system (Logic 8 & OS X 10.6.8) and runs tight with 8 mono and 8 stereo individual outs. Some claim, that drums programmed with audio files on audio tracks are more tight and groovey than samplers (like Battery 4) triggered by MIDI. I did a test where the whole drum pattern was created twice with the exact same samples. Once only with audio files on audio tracks (what a hassle to set them and if you have to change the groove ;) ) and once with MIDI. Bounced both versions, switched the phase on one and they cancelled each perfectly out. So there was no difference at all.

Cons
*******************
Here are some issues, that left me a little clueless because they were implemented in Battery 3 and then left out in Battery 4. But I have to tell that they are not a killer:
-) Saving presets in the envelopes is missing
-) Previewing samples in a cell without overwriting the original sample is missing
-) Individual out assignment is not possible directly at the cell fader, but have to be done via right click on the cell and thru 3 sub menus.

Conclusion
*******************
Albeit the issues I use Battery 4 for all projects. It's fast, reliable and gives you a lot of features. I hope they will include the missing Battery 3 features in the future.

AudioRealism Bass Line 2 (ABL2) [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 21st May 2014
Version reviewed: 2.9.1.5 on Mac.
Last edited by deft_bonz on 22nd May 2014.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Introduction
*******************
The best 303 for Mac AU with an authentic sound, with lot of presets and great usability.

GUi & Usability
*******************
Simple and very easy to understand GUI. And you can swap to another darker skin. Most of it is very self-explanatory. 303-user will know what to do. New user to 303, will have to learn the sequencer, but it's not big thing. That's why the 303 is (among other things) so sought after. It's just very easy to get groovey sequences out of it in an instant.
The contender Phosycon from D16 has worse usability. It was confusing to me, so I wasn't able to start a sequence within one minute. But that's probably jus me ;)

Load the ABL 303 and start right away by hitting a note on your keyboard. Hit another note and listen to the next sequence.

It even supports 303-audio-file-import and recognizes and implements that pattern. I have to admit I've never tested that feature, so I can't really say how good it works.

Sound
*******************
The sound is as you expect it from a 303. Pretty authentic, but surely not like the real deal, because a real 303 hooked up to some fine high end analog gear will still punch better.
Then there is also Phosycon, which I think has a slight better sound, but the ABL has just a better usability for me. I believe the slight sound differences won't matter in songs, that don't build upon the 303 as a main instrument (like Acid).
ABL also has two types of distortion built in to pimp the sound. They're good, but meanwhile there are better external ones.

Presets
*******************
ABL delivers a huge amount of presets. It's so much, that I still haven't covered one percent of it. You must know, that every preset can have multiple sequences triggered by a note. There are presets for all kinds of styles. Straight bangin acid lines, funky crazy grooves, driving bass lines... you won't be bored.

Stability
*******************
Never had any issue. Runs and runs and runs.

Cons
*******************
There is one little issue. If you want to create a custom MIDI map, you have to reload it everytime you open the session. It is NOT saved, nor with the ABL presets, nor with the DAW presets. At least it is like this with my system: Logic 8 & OS X 10.6.8.

Conclusion
*******************
Everytime I want a 303, I go for ABL.

Pro-Q 3 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 20th May 2014
Version reviewed: 1.23 on Mac
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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10/10 for a clean EQ for technical and surgical usage with up to 24 (!!!) bands.

I use that clean, very versatile EQ every day on almost every channel at least as the LPF/HPF. It is my standard channel strip EQ right in the beginning before any other plugin.

Very helpful are the "solo" buttons to listen to the frequency range you're actually tweaking. Also awesome is that you can mark several bands at once and move them together in frequency and/or gain, whether you do it with the mouse or the knobs.

Thanks to the wonderful GUI, I also always use it to reduce resonance frequencies.

Want to work on MS? Easy done. Just change the whole EQ from L/R mode to M/S mode. Every band can be set separately to M, S or both, or respectively L, R or both.

The analyzer can be set to different settings (resolution) and on different signal path points: pre, post and pre&post. Very helpful.

On top of that, you can also choose between non linear phase with zero latency to different linear phase modes with different latency settings.

Although not my first choice for musical Eqing, the possibility to go up to 30kHz and work with a Baxandall bell curve can bring some nice high end shine.

For surgical and correction issues I wished you could switch every band independently to LR or MS. Let's hope that's possible in v2, although I'm not even sure if this is possible within one plugin ;)

And maybe Fabfilter starts to implement different GUI sizes in future versions.

Nevertheless: This is a must-have-workhorse-EQ for every DAW.

EchoBoy [read all reviews]
Reviewed By stardustmedia [read all by] on 19th May 2014
Version reviewed: 4.4.1 on Mac
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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No ratings yet?! Unbelievable.

Where can I start with such a wonderful piece of software... Let's keep it simple.

Sound: Overall EchoBoy sounds very good. I wouldn't say it sounds real analog, but not cold harsh or digital at all. Just very good. Huge variety of sounds are possible thanks to the 31 (!!) different delay/chorus styles (from known types like Tape, Space Echo, Memory Man, DM-2, CE-1, etc.). Then you can drive those styles very nicely with the input. There are also new unique styles like Telephone, AM Radio or reverbish styles and so on that give you instant access to cool new sounds you normally don't expect from a delay. Still not satisfied? Go deeper into the style edit mode and create your own styles and save them.

Delay: You can expect the usual, but no extraordinary long delays. In most cases it is way enough. But if you need delays longer than 1 bar, you'll need to look for another contender. EchoBoy gives you two parameters for direct groove access: Groove and Feel. Generate fast and easy funky groove patterns. Besides the style you can dial in extra LPF and HPF. And switch between different delay modes (Single Echo, Dual Echo, Ping Pong and Rhythm Echo. Rhythm Echo is a very complex mode, where you can tap or paint your delays (and save them next to the already existing Rhythm Echo patterns). The other delay modes also gives you further in depth parameters like width, accent, offset and more.

There is much more. I just recommend you to get the demo. I promise you will buy EchoBoy afterwards. I use it all the time in every project multiple times.

One of the very few plugins I give a 10/10.

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