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All reviews by Igrewsome

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Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 21st December 2014
Version reviewed: Vista on Windows
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I'm really surprised nobody's written a review of this piano yet! I've got several: 4Front, EVM, and this one. EVM sounds amazing, but has an out of tune note and is somewhat CPU heavier. If all you are doing is piano, by all means, EVM is great. But when you've got 22 tracks already loaded...

4Front is nice, but doesn't sound as good.

General is very nice in that it's right about the same CPU load as 4front, but has a tone equalling EVM. When I first went looking, I was put off by the apparent lack of any real reviews of it. Now that I've used it, I'm correcting it.

If you're looking for a CPU-light piano that sounds good, this one is it. I was blown away with it. Nice, rich, clear, heavy tone... if you're using a MIDI keyboard and a sustain pedal, this one would really shine.

As I've done in other reviews, so that everyone knows where I'm coming from, I'm mostly a heavy metal/shred style guitar player. I've owned a few synths over the years (Korg Delta, Korg Poly-800, Moog Taurus II, Electro-Harmonix Micro-synth, the cheezy little Casio sampler keyboard, and a Roland Sound Canvas) but I really only consider myself a keyboard player for about a year... and each and every one of you reading this are probably much better keyboard players than I am.

I put it in a downtempo tune right away, I think this really highlights the sound of the piano. It's free, sounds great, is CPU light... how can you go wrong.

https://soundcloud.com/igrewsome/new-creation.

if that link doesn't work, try http://www.reverbnation.com/igrewsome/song/22163887-new-creation

Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 27th September 2014
Version reviewed: Vista on Windows.
Last edited by Igrewsome on 29th September 2014.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I wanted this VST to basically create string sections. I'm going to explain it this way... if you're needing to write a chamber orchestra piece, and you're planning on using multiple instances of this VST, better have a dual processor, and some good RAM.

i tried doing exactly that using a Vista laptop with 3 gigs of RAM and a 32-bit OS. I got to the third instance of it, began playing some notes, and everything crashed. I don't know if it's a CPU issue, a RAM issue, or an instability issue.

UPDATE: I contacted their tech support, and got a reply within an hour. So the problem I'm reporting is present in a number of DSK synths, and they're trying to fix it.

Other than that extremely annoying situation, this is a great little VST. If you're used to the simple, almost brain-free setup DSK likes to use... this is a VERY easy to program VSTi. I ended up creating my own banks, simply by poking at existing settings. One thing I wanted was a nice Tubular Bell sound for a song (Okay, so I grew up listening to Mike Oldfield) and... I simply cut out all the other patches, and used two parallel Tubular Bell banks.

Here's the song...

http://www.reverbnation.com/igrewsome/song/20835345-heaven-or-hell

I've also used the Cello sound in several tunes. The only real drawback to this VST that keeps me from using it a lot is the instability issue. I just can't get around the issue of, "is this going to crash on me or not?" If DSK would re-tweak this VST, I'd be glad to rate it higher, and givev it a better score.

Bottom lines- GREAT sounds, EASY programming, Free... but instability for my laptop. Would love to see if it's just my older laptop giving me problems, or if other users are experiencing these issues? If you've got a newer PC, give this one a try.

Again, so everyone knows where I'm coming from, I'm self taught in keyboards, and my main genre is as a metalhead/Shredder guitar player. Keyboards have been one of the "beyond me" instruments until this year, when I REALLY got into trying them. Probably most of the users here at KVR are better keyboard players than I am.

The VST has a number of piano, harpsichord, organ, strings of different kinds such as cello, contrabass, pizzicato on the various instruments, brass and woodwinds in addition to the aforementioned tubular bells.

If DSK ever manages to fix the buzz, I would bring the score up to a 9, as it sounds VERY good, .

Anyway, here's my review - let me know if it helped any.

Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 22nd September 2014
Version reviewed: Vista on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This is my go-to Bass guitar VSTi. Absolutely one of my favorites. I've got a few others I've used, but this one coupled with the BassGrinder amp... MAN.

Yes, it's got the classic Fender P-Bass sound. it just needs coupling with the right bass amp mod to get the right tone for your needs. You could porbably do the "Another Brick in the wall" bass tone with very little tweaking on whatever bass amp mod you prefer.

As I've mentioned in other reviews, so that you all know where I'm coming from, I'm a metal guitar player, and like just about everyone else here, I'm self taught in keyboards.

I tried using the pre-recorded samples, and wasn't happy with those. So I downloaded about six different bass VSTi's, and I've used this one the most. very little CPU usage, decent sound right off the bat. I tend you like growly basses, like Gibsons (I used to have a G3 and a Grabber... never did get that Thunderbird, alas!)

I'd say that on probably 70% of my album, this was the bass I turned to right away. The others... well, I'll probably be redoing those with this VST.

It's free, low CPU, sounds great, easy to mix and match to whatever sound you need... To me, it's a no-brainer.

Now, if you're a knob tweaker, it's gonna frustrate you. There's nothing to tweak. but whatever Bass amp mod you use, hey, tweak to your heart's content.

I'm usually writing my MIDI with one instance of it, then I duplicate the track once it's done in Reaper. I'll pan them equally (between 8% and 12% to give separation from the drums). It helps to think like a bass player... octave pops are something bass players are fond of, so if you're doing a phrase twice, do one rep in an upper octave and one in a lower. But that's getting more into the territory of a tutorial, and not a review.

You can listen to it here! The Fifth Seal features my imitation of a Gibson bass...

http://www.reverbnation.com/igrewsome/song/20097125-the-fifth-seal-martyrs

A little louder in the mix on this one.

http://www.reverbnation.com/igrewsome/song/20097162-the-sixth-seal-earthquakes

Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 2nd August 2014
Version reviewed: Vista on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I would actually rate Raspier as a 6.5. The basic premise of Raspier is to be something of a hybrid between a funky 60's bass and a Gibson Grabber, with the moving pickup concept. Sadly, it's not a Grabber emulator, which would have been a must have if it was.

So everyone knows where I'm coming from, musically I'm Heavy nu-Metal/techno oriented. I like a punchy bass sound, which is extremely hard to find in VST emulators. Everyone wants to make deep bass tones.

Raspier is somewhat thin sounding for the deep bass genre, and lacks the oomph for the Grabber snarl. If, on the other hand, you like a punk sound, this may be the bass for you. Some experimenting is called for with the moving pickup. Couple this VSTi with the right bass amp and whatever other add ons you need, and it may be the right thing for you. I mean, it's free, so if you decide you don't like it, just delete. I was able to get a fairly good tone using BassGrinder Free and Kristalchorus.

It does have some smooth bass tones. I'll say it has a lot of parameters that can be adjusted that I really just don't have a lot of time to play with. I'd like to see someone else give it a try who's willing to invest the time to get a better tone from it and put their review up. A non-punchy Fender Jazz Bass sound can be achieved with the Silent Draft preset, and by poking at your amp sim (the Shark Cab on the BassGrinder amp mod).

Again, I'd like to see someone who's more into poking at parameters to review this. Since adding bass guitar is almost always the last step in songwriting for me, I'm usually at the point where I want to finish the song and move on.

Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 3rd July 2014
Version reviewed: XP on Windows
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Well, I really don't think there's too much to say - it's a 31 band graphic EQ. It's also zero latency, and very low CPU drain.

I've loaded this thing on 12 out of 31 tracks in Reaper, and no stuttering whatsoever.

I do like how easy it is to use, and even comes with a display to show you how your EQ curve is affecting your sound, and if you boost it too much it lets you see that you're clipping.

I pretty much use this EQ exclusively. The bands that are offered are exactly what you need to get rid of problem areas.

Helpful guide for newbies - when doing mixing on your tracks in your DAW, save each eq mix to a user bank. I tend to pick one user bank to start my master mix with, and make adjustments as needed for the new song, as really very few times will your EQ be set exactly the same way in every song.

Free, low CPU, no latency, and sounds good.

Here's one of my songs I used this EQ on for the master mix... https://soundcloud.com/igrewsome/revelation-the-second-seal-war?in=igrewsome/sets/revelation-armageddon

Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 30th June 2014
Version reviewed: XP on Windows.
Last edited by Igrewsome on 3rd July 2014.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I was pretty surprised to see that this VST has NO reviews.

First... it's really not a poly synth. If you're trying to create some kind of beautiful melody with bell like tones - this isn't the plugin for you.

It's pretty much a one-trick pony - but what it does, it does VERY well. Dronos is designed to be a drone generator. Very simple controls, and any novice can quickly start sculpting tones. But remember, it's designed to create a drone tone. Dronos comes with portamento, so that by alternating two notes as a bass line, the tone gradually slopes up or down to the next note. I've used it with great results. It can function well against a gated synth line, as the framework for your nice stuttering rythym line and your incessant 1/4 note bass drum at 150 BPM... and if you switch to around C5 or so, it even works for your J. M. Jarre style breakdown.

Or if you're a metal head like me, it's almost fuel for the framework for a thousand songs - I almost think it shines best in this manner. But being a metal head, it was an immediate "Oh, i'm using THIS!" moment when I first heard it. That song you wanted to write about the four Vikings entering the Dragon's Lair? Crank out a nice D2 range drone, slide that up to F#, then back... your drummer should already be pounding on the toms by this point. Until Spinal Tap serves you with a cease and desist order... So that everyone is clear where I'm coming from musically, I write both Metal with a techno edge, and slower, ethereal music. This isn't perfect for everyone. But it's free, and I do recommend it.

I'm rating it at an 8 as it is indeed basically a one trick pony. But with that in mind, I love this synth.

I used it on several tunes, including this one... https://soundcloud.com/igrewsome/revelation-sixth-trumpet and this one https://soundcloud.com/igrewsome/the-seventh-vial-hail

Give it a try, and understand what it's designed for...to make a drone.

Reviewed By Igrewsome [read all by] on 3rd March 2014
Version reviewed: 2/6/7 on Windows
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I'm a big fan of Riffworks. This was my first DAW. I still am pretty much using Riffworks exclusively even though I have other DAW's now.

The format is simple - songs are written in Riffs... why not record in them?

The technique is very simple - create a new riff by clicking a button. Choose your InstantDrummer (btw, the InstantDrummer track is a separate track, and does not count towards your max of 24 tracks), choose the intensity and pattern, then switch over to the layers view and click "record". It defaults to 120BPM 4/4 time 8 Bars (all of which are editable). Sonoma offers hundreds of Instant Drummers, all in a large variety of styles and genres.

The record function will automatically start the first track after a 8 bar click, and upon reaching the end of the 8th bar will start recording the second track. If you're set up and ready to go, you can continue recording up to 24 tracks. Each track is pannable, and you can add effects to any track. Riffworks comes with a large built in number of very nice effects, including a two-step flange that pans one flange left and the other right. In headphones, its a VERY nice effect with one flange at the top of the cycle at the same tie the other is at the bottom. Delay, reverb, octaver, compression, filter & wah effects, as well as phase, chorus and flange - all built in.

Track names are all editable, as well as Riff names.

Do you want to have the riff repeated but with a minor change? Just click "duplicate riff". This will copy the entire riff, and you can then edit whatever in that riff you want changed (say, adding a harmony guitar part). This is a VERY cool time saving feature.

Did you make a string noise? click the info window and "draw" a peak down, and it will silence that errant noise.

To build your song, simply drag your riffs into the song layer window. I literally can create a completed 5 minute song with 4 guitar tracks per song, two lead guitar tracks, 2 to 4 synth tracks, all panned and mixed, in two hours. As a song writing tool, Riffworks is absolutely amazing.

An overlooked feature is the "notes" window you can use to write down guitar settings, and even what synth patches you used.

Riffworks also can play REX2 files, a very handy feature which many of the Riffworks afficianados use in their tunes posted on Riffworld, a free service to any musician, but designed to function with Riffworks. Literally, after finishing my two hours of recording, at the press of a button and lots of typing descriptive labels for the song (you can upload it without any description if you're in a hurry), your song can be uploaded in about 90 seconds for a 5 minute song.

The important thing to keep in mind is - Riffworks is fun to use. Songwriting and recording is enjoyable, and not a chore. Try Riffworks T4 for a month (the 4 track free version) and I guarantee you'll spring for the full version. I've written over 100 songs in 1 year on Riffworks, and uploaded 80 of them to Riffworld.

See the screen shot on the Sonoma website to get an idea of how easy it is - and try it. i've been urging Sonoma to add VSTi support (they do work with VST right now, but not VSTi) and MP3 import/WAV import. Riffworks does Rewire into many other DAW's.