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DreamStation DXi2 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By johnmorales [read all by] on 28th March 2008
Version reviewed: 2.3 on Windows
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Dreamstation is a synth meant for the advanced user.

Dreamstation is best described as a "team player" sort of synth. In tandem with effects or layered with other synths it can turn a 'good' sound into something "fantastic and unique."

Intermediate and beginners will NOT get this thing. They will say its boring, dry sound is a waste of sound Etc.

Dreamstation also has a longer than usual learning curve thanks to graphics that are dissimilar enough to make their use initially confusing.

Like most synths practice makes perfect. Eventually the confusing things become so easy you are manipulating sounds faster on Dreamstation than almost any other synth.

What it can do is limited.

It does NOT have onboard effects to pretty up the sounds.

What it does do though it does extremely well!

What you get out of Dreamstation depends on what you are willing to put into it.

For me it is the perfect layering synth. No matter how great a patch is, I've found by layering a couple of patches from Dreamstation into it makes it sound even better.

Its tone melts into the sounds of other synths and makes them sound better.

As time goes by its sound is becoming more and more unique.

Also as time goes by, fewer and fewer people know about this gem.

It's only a matter of time, before it becomes a 'secret' sort of synth used by a few producers to create sonics that no one can identify, but really love because its fresh and new sounding.

Use Dreamstation correctly and you'll be able to make your songs sound stand out in a very crowded environment, because nothing really sounds like Dreamstation.

Dreamstation
4ormulator Vocoder Extreme [read all reviews]
Reviewed By johnmorales [read all by] on 24th November 2007
Version reviewed: 4.01 on Windows.
Last edited by johnmorales on 24th November 2007.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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I don't think I've ever felt so let down by something I really looked forward to buying in all my years of buying music software.

It's not that the "basic" sounds and free version are bad.

The basic sounds one can get with the "free versions" are in fact what made me decide to buy this.

The big let down was the realization that "buying" the full pro version got me basically nothing extra.

The free version I'd recommend to everyone who can use about 30 or so preset vocodor effects with some minimal shaping. They're great.

But if you like me and you're impressed by the free version, and start to think of buying it, DO NOT.

Generally speaking pro versions of any software will outdo the free version/demo version, if simply for the lack of limitations.

Once able to access the full functionality of a bit of software, the true potential is revealed.

Sadly the 4ormulator pro offers almost nothing extra.

The more in-depth gui is so counter-intuitive and nonsensical it's worthless for creating your own new patches.

Almost none of them do a damn thing, except for one slider. It's effect is pretty profound.

Add to that, that the terminology is opaque. The labels themselves make sense, but what each parameter does if anything rarely has anything to do with the name it's given.

After spending many long hours working with the parameters, I quit in disgust.

This was quite disheartening, because I prefer to use patches I create. I usually dislike presets. Add to that, I'm usually extremely good at creating new patches with hard to work with instruments, like Klangformer, Albino, NI Etc. and you can start to get why I'm so disappointed.

Creating a sound was more like being asked to pull a puzzle apart, then put it back together again - blindfolded, and as you try someone keeps taking a piece away for a little while just as you need it most to make sense of what you're doing

The instruction set is minimal. At first I figured oh this must mean using it is very intuitive.

Ummm, it's the opposite of intuitive.

Trying to create new sound with this thing "on purpose" is extremely tedious and frustrating.

Nothing seems to have the same effect on a sound twice even if you do the exact same thing with the same parameter albeit on a different patch.

The true irony in this piece of software is the good presets are all included in the 32 that come with the free version. NONE of the extra in the full set are worth a damn.

OF COURSE, if the complete package of presets lived up to the free 32 I received in the free version, all of this would have been forgiven.

I get the feeling those 32 were truly an effort by the developer to create some great patches, but when it came time to make patch 33 and after, he got bored and just started randomly tweaking this or that, and then giving it some "name" to make it sound like he made some effort.

If there is one thing I can say about a lot of mid-line softsynth n effects makers is they quite often give quite a big bang for the buck, Re-FX Wusikstation come to mind. Sadly I cannot say this about 4ormulator pro.

Robert Wolton seems to have given away the very best of 4ormulator pro in the free version, and left himself nothing to justify charging $50 for the pro-version.

Considering the near nothing a person gets for paying extra, this really should be re-marketed as donationware rather than actual commercial software.

For as in donation ware, he's giving it all away.

But by calling it commercial, he creates a set of expectations that he fails to meet on every count, for you get nothing extra for that $50 save for a serious case of "buyer's remorse."

And for those who bought only one heck of a case of "buyer's remorse."

I can't even call the commercial version a "one trick pony," because all the tricks were done by the free version.


The ratings I am giving it are so low, because they reflect solely my experience with the "Pro Version." I would rate the free version positively, but the "Pro-Version" gets the worst rating I can give, because I truly feel deceived by what I read about it, that helped me decide to buy it, and for the fact it offers nothing extra to make it deserve anything but the lowest rating
Linear Phase Graphic EQ [read all reviews]
Reviewed By johnmorales [read all by] on 2nd August 2005
Version reviewed: n/a on Windows
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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Hey this is such a useful little EQ, it really gives you an idea what sound is where in the mix when you increase or decrease a certain frequency.

The really nice thing is it is so intuitive and easy to use. Which means it's a time saver over other EQs who display their information in a relative way.

Merely by holding down the mouse button and dragging it across the screen you can se the entire EQ shape. Clicking each individual parameter quickly moves the level to your pointer.

If you are just getting into mastering or mixing this is a must have EQ. Just using it will teach you a lot about what EQ is all about.

I've never been a fan of overdone GUIs, because they generally subtract from the understanding of the plug in. Too often developers will try to make up for something lacking in the plug by making it look real neat. This plug is very useful, and has a nice simple GUI, which is one reason it is so easy to use.

We're all familiar with the typical EQ with 5-6 or 7 levels to adust the overall sound. This is a version of that on steroids. The added flexibility is what makes it so useful in understanding the underlying dynamics of any production ;)
GalactiX [read all reviews]
Reviewed By johnmorales [read all by] on 17th May 2005
Version reviewed: 1.a on Windows.
Last edited by johnmorales on 18th December 2005.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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If you are into any sort of electronica, trance Etc. Galactix is one of the best VST Synths going. It's taylor made for that type of music. It's a great layering synth, because it ads lots of harmonics (but you have to know what you are doing)

Galactix does what it does extremely well. It is also one of the easiest to tweak synths out there. Just a bit of fiddling with the controls and completely new and hot sounds can be created. People talk about its awesome pads, but I got some unique bass sounds, I haven't heard anywhere else.

I use this synth to inspire my writing more than any other.

If you are into hard rock, heavy metal, any type of guitar music, or harsh conflicted industrial music this synth is NOT for you, you will NOT get it. Just pass it by, and don't waste your or anyone's time saying how you don't get it. It's not meant for your type. LOL

Alex made the presets initially hard to find. To display the presets, RIGHT CLICK in the scrolling field where the pre-set name is displayed. When you do a selection list will pop up.

The only drawbacks are it's CPU usage, and it is becoming harder to wrap for DXi hosts like Cakewalk. A workaround for those who would like to use this synth with newer versions of Cakewalk would be to use OLDER versions of the VST wrappers. The newer ones bend and twist the VST completely.

All freeware comes with quirks. This one does to, but after you learn what they are (like notes don't obey the off command when triggered by stopping play of your sequencer) it's easy to work around them.

I sincerely wish Alex would come out with an updated version. I'd gladly pay for it. What ever happened to him and smartelectronix by the way?