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Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 2nd January 2006
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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I tried this little utility out and it is superb. Really phenomenal for something to use as a sketch pad to whip up some great ideas. Doing smooth chord progressions is really easy with this little plugin.

I found a lot of time to play around with ChordSpace, and I'd really like to see some small improvements, most notably being able to choose your desired scale. There are plenty of scales out there, and I'm sure there could be the option of custom scales as well. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to implement, but programming is not an easy task as I've been a developer before.

Being able to cruise around the GUI on the screen is amazing. Those hexagrams make things so much easier because of the fact that you can change the emphasis and create diversions in the progression by simply clicking on one of the side panels.

This utility is great for beginners who don't know or understand how chords and chord progressions flow into one another. Definately worth checking out. And hopefully those improvements will be implemented in the not too distant future.
Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 16th June 2005
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Wow, and I thought the good old workstations sounded good.

This thing sounds infinitely better and the resolution is crisp and crystal clear.

All instrument categories have something special that anyone could find a use for, the saxophones in particular are beautiful.

The beefy 2GB Fazioli (after using the DFD extension) is phenomenal, just about every velocity you could imagine is there in all it's glory.

Listening to the demos, ranging from ethnic, jazz, rock, blues, even the synthetic soundscapes, I can easily work out how they were built and written. The number of sounds and combinations at your disposal is truly amazing. If anyone is looking for the perfect collection of highly usable instruments then look no further. Chances are Colossus has just about everything you'll need. A hardware version is also planned, so if you've got a good keyboard and want to set up a rack, and want a great collection of instruments that are always playable at your fingertips, then Colossus will almost certainly cover your needs!

General MIDI never sounded so good. If you're looking for a swiss army knife to cover up just about every hole in your collection, this is the mother bomb!
Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 28th September 2004
Version reviewed: Latest on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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This really is the most powerful sound module for guitars that you'll ever find at the moment.

The user interface is extremely easy to use. Everything is there for anyone who wants to tweak the sound, the ADSR is most useful to giving the basses more release.

The sounds are astoudingly high quality. The spanish guitar and the basses are the best of them, the overall sound quality is extraodinarily high. The whole range is covered, from acoustic nylon to electric strats and basses, even with vibrato!

The number of features are too many to list, but overall there is a great number of features that can be tweaked to your satisfaction, the filters are brilliant and you can mess around with the ADSR which can give you just the right type of music you are after.

Documentation is good, it's merely a reference for the presets and for dummies to get started.

The number of presets is unbelievable, with everything covered in the guitar department. There is no excuse for not being able to find a good guitar sound if you've got this sound module, everything is covered from acoustics to electrics and basses and even ethnic fretted instruments like a Celtic guitar and Historical luth and of course Banjos and harps. Absolutely terrific!

Customer support is good, but it's not really necessary with this sound module. It's so easy to use that any need for customer support would be negligible.

Overall, the value for money is incredible, you have just about every guitar sound you could want in your songs, and for a very, very neat price. I paid $175 in Australia for my copy, but I'm very satisfied, and even at that price it is still very good value. In a nutshell, it's a collection of the best guitar sounds for the money that you'll ever get at the moment.

Plugsound is very stable, and has never crashed, not even once.

This is a sound module that you simply cannot do without. You really need this if you are serious about using quality guitar sounds in your songs. It is most definately a key buy.
Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 28th September 2004
Version reviewed: Latest on Windows
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This is hands down the most complete synth sound package for the money. I got mine for $30 (an absolute steal) from Big Fish Audio and haven't looked pack.

The user interface is ridiculously easy to use, there is everything laid out in front of you and there are loads of things you can tweak.

The sounds are brilliant, there are very, very few sounds that I would change if I could. The sounds are very rich and enjoyable to play. The legato mode really makes for a brilliant sound for leads and pads. With just about everything covered, and very much so in the bass department, it would be hard to even use more than half of these sounds, there are just so many of them. The quality is all there.

The legato/mono feature is the king of the mountain and there are ADSR and tweaking with filters to create wonderful synth sounds. Everything is there at your fingertips, no need to invoke other filters, the filters that are included are more than enough.

The documentation is good, but only serves as a simple reference for dummies and to list the available presets. It requires no documentation, so I'll give it a 10 anyway.

The number of presets is ridiculously enormous. Every possible bass you could ever want is right there. There could be a few more textures and pads and vocal/choir sounds, but it's still very good for what you get, most musicians would never use all of the sounds, there are too many of them!

Customer support is ok. There is no real need for customer support, the product is so simple to install and use.

This product provides you with a great collection of synth sounds for you to use in your musical scores. There isn't much missing from this collection. There is so much bass in this that it's impossible to use it all. Overall GREAT value for money, this is a key buy and you cannot pass this up. You'll probably get more out of this than with a lot of other commercial synth modules and for much less.

Plugsound is very stable, there has been no crashes as I've used it several times, and have never had any issues.

Overall a brilliant product. This is one sound module that you shouldn't be without. This is a key buy.
Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 26th September 2004
Version reviewed: Latest on Windows
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Well, I have to say that GPO is hands down the most comprehensive selection of orchestral instruments that you'll ever find for the price.

The user interface is brilliant and easy to master, with a nice selection of knobs to fiddle with to get it sounding right. Very easy to use and even beginners can use it without any difficulty.

The sounds are very good quality and there are a lot of them with nice articulations for each instrument. It would be all too easy to fool an untrained ear with the rich assortment of string sounds. The violins are brilliant! The basses are not exceptional but they're still pretty good if you want a bone dry double bass that is rich and deep. Overall the sounds of GPO are brilliant and make up a very useful suite for anybody who is interested in composing orchestral scores. If you're looking for rich dry samples so you can use your own reverb effects then GPO is clearly your best bet.

The features are outstanding, and using the mod-wheel comes in handy when you want to increase the volume dynamically. The sustain features are second to none and there aren't many orchestral libraries that offer this at the same price point.

The documentation is good, but not exceptional. Most of it is emphasised on orchestras and this certainly helps beginners, and it makes a great accompaniment to anyone who hasn't got their foot in the door.

Customer support is second to NONE. Absolutely brilliant, and all questions asked on the forums are answered promptly by the very large community that is always there ready to assist you with any issues.

Overall value for money - very much so. There aren't any other orchestral libraries that offer such a wide selection of sounds at this price point. You cannot go wrong with GPO if you're looking for good quality orchestral sounds to add to your instrumental palette.

GPO is a very stable product and I've only had one crash but I fixed that with a recent update and never had any trouble since.

Overall a great product with a very wide selection of fine quality orchestral instrument sounds. I would highly recommend it.
Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 25th September 2004
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Windows
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Hypersonic is the definitive one-for-all sound and synthesis bank if you're after a bit of everything.

It is a jack of all trades, master of a few. The rich assortment of synth leads, pianos and string sounds really are powerful for any sort of arrangement.

The user interface is good, there isn't much that could be improved and the miniature keyboard is great for trying out presets and the lovely legato/glide mode is brilliant with the right presets.

The sound quality is good, there are some great quality piano and string sounds, and most of them are good quality. The drum kits are of decent quality too.

The amount of features with this instrument is incredible, with legato and glide mode for flawless screeching lead and synth sounds.

Documentation is good, with an emphasis on those who have not used an instrument of a similar kind.

With at least 1000 presets and more if you love mixing sounds for more variation, it really is the most effective instrument for any MIDI arrangements that you want to get sounding right. There is just about everything covered.

I initally had trouble with the copy protection and the customer support was very good and emails were answered promptly with plenty of suggestions. I got it working very quickly.

Overall it is great value for money especially considering the enormous amount of presets and sounds to cover almost everything from A to Z.

Stability is great, it does crash every now and then but crashes are very rare.

A brilliant VST and it's worth every dollar. Even at $399 it is a brilliant concept - a fully fledged workstation system in your PC for a mere fraction of the cost of the hardware equivalent.
Reviewed By benjamind [read all by] on 24th September 2004
Version reviewed: Latest on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Let me say this is one awesome instrument. I could never use all of the presets. Unbelievable, and it's darn near impossible to go wrong. My decision to purchase Charlie was based mostly on the sample MP3s of the various presets but I also heard other MP3s with some licks using Charlie's organ sounds.

When I started to use this to create some licks for my Band-In-A-Box MIDI arrangements that I imported into Tracktion I couldn't believe the quality of the samples. They are 100% true to life of the classic Hammond B3 organ. I was listening to "Old Times, Good Times" with Stephen Stills on the organ and Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar and a few of the presets in Charlie sound EXACTLY like the organ sound in that song, "Opening Fast" sounds just like it, and this made me even more confident in Charlie, there are just too many realistic organ sounds to even begin to use all of them. The Italian organs are brilliant and really shine through any arrangements that would use them.

The user interface is uncluttered and very polished, it is reminiscent of the classic 60s and 70s drawbar organs.

The sound quality is a clean 10 out of 10. Feature wise it is excellent, the only let-down is that there are only two rotor speeds for the presets that sampled rotary speakers, but the quality of the sampling will more than make up for it. And you can switch percussion on or off, whatever you please.

Charlie is a very stable VST. Only had one crash in an entire month of extensively using it.

The documentation is good, but this organ instrument is so easy to use that thorough documentation isn't all that necessary.

I found Charlie to be rather expensive, but for the price you will truly get what you pay for. Hundreds of organ sounds, each with their own nuances, it is impossible to go wrong with Charlie. If you prefer the ability to dynamically change rotor speeds and drawbar settings there are other organ instruments that will allow you to do this. Native Instruments B4 is one, and for those of you who have Hypersonic there is NB-3 that will be available.

If you're after true-to-life authentic organ sounds from the Hammond B3 then Charlie is what you're looking for. The rich authenticity of the classic organ sounds is breathtaking.
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