I own Rhino and have demoed Sytrus, Blue and FM7 - all fine synths, but I am attracted to Toxic for two main reasons:
1. The layout. Having EVERYTHING one on page makes it v-e-r-y easy to edit and see what makes up the patch. It becomes much more accessable rather than to be spread out over many pages. The look is clean, easy-to-read and, with the exception of a few minor quibbles, makes "sense".
2. The sound. Of course that is what it all comes down to, but with some more complicated synths, I get a headache tweaking thousands of parameters long before I get to the sound. Toxic is lush and full and quite "playable". While it can be coerced to do weirdness, it seems best suited as a performance instrument though it lacks aftertouch. Pads, organs, rhodes, strings, basses - all quite convincing without too much of the "metallic" overtones present in some FM synths.
It also features a decent arpeggiator and a rich but simple filter section. Effects are limited, but do the job.
The manual is nicely designed, but too basic. Would like to see a little bit more on the FM part of the synth or at least some links to information rather than assuming the user is already experienced in that area.
Does it have every bell & whistle and an endless list of features with highly tweakable multi-point envelopes? No. Will you miss them? I doubt it. You can get to where you want to go fairly easily and are rewarded with a thick, organic sound. Don't be put off by it's relative simplicity. I had long wanted a Yamaha FS1R hardware synth and now the desire is laid to rest in this well-designed, tasty instrument.
BTW, check out my new soundset soon to be added to the Toxic website to see what this baby is capable of. (Tom Johnson)
Minion is awesome! Can't believe it is free. (Thank you!) It is my favorite effect. Period! The graphics with the bouncing balls are just plain fun. (Got 'shrooms?) The sounds are totally cool and with four channels of changing panorama, filter amounts and delays, rates and patterns; this is definitely a tool for the trance fiend or psychedelic explorer. One could dabble for hours. I like to customize a different effect for each synth sound. Flavors can be subtle or overwhelming depending on your mood. I would use the word toy in the most positive sense of the word. It filled a "need" that I didn't know I had - LOL! I also give it kudos for uniqueness. It is like nothing else in my folder.
While not as deep as the Antares Filter, it has put my lust for that product to sleep (not easy to do). Yup, it is that good.
(Note to developer, there are some occasional dropouts that need to be addressed. Don't think it is my CPU as it is not taxing it. If I hold a note down, it will stumble every fourth cycle or so.)
WTF? ONLY two oscillators? Don't think of it that way as with the zillion programmable envelopes and shifting waves, it sounds thicker with one oscillator than many with three. This is the synth the Waldorf XT and Ensoniq Fizmo were trying to be, but is magnitudes ahead of them.
This is the perfect "desert island" synth. Unless you are immortal, you will NEVER even scratch the surface of this tool. Yes, it is deeper than Rhino and Absynth (also two very fine instruments).
What is seems to do best at is incredibly moody pads and otherwordly soundscapes and effects. Kubik is perfect for painting sonic pictures and while it can do "standard" synth sounds and has a full complement of modulation controls, is not the one you would likely reach for as your main performance synth.
Kudos to the author for creating a v-e-r-y different kind of synth that will never grow stale. You will be amazed each and every time your explore this beast.
For all it's massive firepower, the CPU hit is lower than expected and is quite stable. The layout is pretty straightforward and has a clean and usable look. With most synths, I have a wish list and mine on Kubik is very short: add more tools to make it easier to dive into.