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All reviews by David Abraham

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Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on November 28th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.00 on Windows.
Last edited by David Abraham Fenton on 30th November 2002.
DISCLAIMER: I Beta tested Atmosphere on Cubase SX/Windows and SONAR.

Atmosphere is the most incredible sounding synth I've ever played. I enjoy a number of great softsynths, but Atmosphere is the first one to give me way more than I wanted or expected, it's forcing me to grow musically, and I can't complain about not having the right, or enough sounds anymore. I'd say it tripled my expectations.

The sound is rich, bigger than life, and when wearing headphones I frequently get fooled into thinking my studio monitors are on, when they aren't.

The string ensembles...OMG what a suprise, the best strings ensembles I've ever played.

The number of sounds is stunning, almost too many! Basses, Synths, Pads, Strings, Ambient patches... I'll never get through all of these.

The interface is very clear and user-friendly. Well designed.

I was tempted to vote a 9 for features because I would prefer mult-timbrality...but I couldn't do that -everything else about the synth goes so far beyond my expecations that I have no choice but to give the product a perfect score.

As of now, The best synth in history...IMO :)
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on August 22nd, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.62 on Windows.
Last edited by David Abraham Fenton on 22nd August 2002.
I took a chance and bought this plugin, and I love it. The most important thing for me was finding a believable mono/legato implementation for certain bass styles that I enjoy playing, and from my perspective this is nailed in the UVI engine. In general the sounds are rich and inspiring and there are plenty of them. The Pads are expecially nice. The UVI Filter sounds great and the LFO tied to the amp, pan, filter, pitch is pretty neat and useful.

The GUI has two modes, and the newer 'advanced' mode (which is now the default) makes the synth feel stable and professional.

I found that I couldn't navigate the patches from any of my HW controllers (so it requires using the mouse on the screen). I think navigating patches from HW is important when working with other people in the studio, hopefully this will be considered in an update. Also the patch and bank names don't appear in the Cubase SX or SONAR/DirectiXer MIDI tracks inspectors.

Relative to other popular VSTi's that I have, I find the Plugsound staff to be relatively invisible on the web so it's hard to get that warm feeling that if there's a problem or concern that it will be addressed in a timely manner.

Copy protection is done via online authorization, tying the synth to the harddisk (two authorizations are allowed) which worked without a hitch. However I noticed after buying my second plugsound module I had to re-enter all my information again for that plugin as well...(there doesn't appear to be a "Customer Account" type database in place)

At any rate I'm now a confirmed plugsound addict, and I'll seriously consider additional modules as they come out. It would be nice to see other sample library producers consider the UVI engine, it has a lot of promise.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on April 13th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.02 on Windows
Finally had a chance to really check out some rgcAudio software, and Triangle II really impressed. Loaded up an ACID loop in SONAR, the ran through some Triangle 2 presets till I landed at "Trinitarian" then I proceeded to jam for 45 minutes straight, very usable mono/legato mode "finally"!

Sounded very good, and has a good set of basic presets. now I understand all the the raves about rgcAudio software, looking forward to the Pentagon DXi release.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on April 7th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by David Abraham Fenton on 7th April 2002.
I only use ACID loops for ancillary percussion in some projects, however Cyclone makes this less of a chore and more of a creative experience because now I can "play" the loops live instead of hunting and dragging across the SONAR timeline.

Basically Cyclone allows you to assign individual loops to MIDI notes, the main advantage being that the loops automatically stretch to project tempo (and also pitch for pitched loops). Once the candidate loops (up to 16 per instance) are all loaded it's just a matter of arming the MIDI track and playing the various loops in real time. You can also mangle/rearrange/tweak indiviual slices, which is powerful, but was not immediately intuitive (to me)

The quality of the stretching is on par with SONAR and ACID, not bad at all.

My main complaint would be that there are two few pads for holding samples (limited to 16 per instance) 24 or 32 would be a better number. Also it's not possible to play loops using the built in virtual keyboard

On a positive note up to 16 stereo outputs are available (enabled by the Multi-output support in DXi 2.0)

Overall I think it's pretty useful instrument, especially if vendors provide pre-packaged loops. I look forward to ACIDizing and loading up high-end performance libraries like Spectrasonics BackBeat and GrooveMasters Drums and triggering these live.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on January 28th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
Fantastic product. Compelling sound, the GUI is very easy to navigate and the CPU performance is excellent. Very hard to find fault with this instrument, one minor request would have been multi-timbral support, but with Multi-instancing this is not really a problem. As with the NI B4, the FM7 is essential to any virtual studio. A very important breakthrough.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on September 8th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
Battery is pretty good, I especially like the ability to attenuate and pan different instruments directly in the user interface. The included kits are above average guality but not "outstanding" for my purposes (latin/pop/r&b). The interface is a bit large...but honestly I can't see any other way way to achieve the same usabililty. The ability to shape individual sounds is very useful and intuitive.. My one complaint isn't shared by many...but I'd really like to see integrated pattern sequencing (synced to the sequencer's clock), also integrated effects (like Sampletank's approach) would be fantastic especially if settings could be saved along with the kits.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on August 19th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows.
Last edited by David Abraham Fenton on 19th August 2001.
Very decent Soundfont/Sample Player. LiveSynth has the best performance (in terms of CPU) than any other sample playback plugin I've tried. So for that reason it's the one I'm primarily using right now. The GUI is a little bare and uninspiring, and it currently has no editing facilities. However combined with CDXtract Multimedia Edition and some high-end AKAI libraries LiveSynth adds serious power to my Sequencer/Studio.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on August 19th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by David Abraham Fenton on 19th August 2001.
This sofsynth dethroned the B4 as my alltime favorite softsynth so far. Infinitely playable, and *very* easy on the CPU. The Tremolo is on the money and really helps the e-piano show some character in the Mix. My one complaint? Emagic currently has no plans to update it with the other e-pianos in it's proprietary big brother (the EVP88) which only works in Logic Audio.

I use the EVP73 in SONAR through FXPansion's VST Adapter.
Reviewed By David Abraham [read all by] on August 19th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows
Very realistic, very inspiring, easy on the CPU. The best sounding B3 emulation there is, hardware or software. No Kidding.

....um sorry not a single complaint about the B4.