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Reviewed By origami [read all by] on March 21st, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows
This synth is one of my favourite free synths available.

It basically consist of one oscillator (!), a filter, effects (reverb, delay and 'metal') and an onboard sequencer.

It's incredible what you can do with just one oscillator, you can't believe it. I'm not making allowances, this synth is capable of everything: pads, basses, leads and even percussion, and thanks to its filters and effects, including that 'metal' effect, it almost always sounds crisp, hard, very very suitable for industrial music, for instance.

Its's a bit absurd to describe its basic functions: oscillators through effects, modelled by an adsr envelope with also a filter envelope, then through effects and voilá you have a great sound.

The user interface is clear. The sound is amazing, but again, you have to love abrassive sounds, though it can do many other things of course. The synth used to be monophonic, but the new version is polyphonic. The documentation is very correct, Ugo even give us a manual with everything explained in detail. There are many presets, and most of them are very very good: from basses to pads through leads. It's free. It's very stable, it has never crashed on my sequencer (FL). Its cpu usage is not low, mind!, but it's not too high either. The synth deserves it.

All Ugo synths are very good: String Theory, Motion, Rez. But Texture is my favourite of them all. Try it.
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on March 14th, 2005
Version reviewed: 4.0 on Windows.
Last edited by origami on 14th March 2005.
No review for this very good synth which is moreover free? Well, though I'm not very good at reviews I'll try to make one.

The Unknown Synth is probably the best sounding synth from Odo, and that's not saying little. The synth has two main oscillators and two other oscillators for phase modulation. You can achieve great sounds from this. The sounds are fat and perfect for leads and pads and basses, but basically for long strong sounds.

Then there are two filters which are actually not amazing but they do the job perfectly. They have adsr envelope. But the real gem of this synth is the arpeggiator. Perfect for trance melodies, when you'll listen to the sounds you can make from this another synth will come tou your mind. It starts with V. Unknown doesn't sound as good as this other synth but almost, but that's mostly because of the onboard effects of the latter. When you pass Unknown through a good chorus or a good reverb, you'll be amazed of the results.

But it's not only good for techno or trance. It's perfect for more industrial sounds, which is what i use it for. Add to it some distortion and you'll know what I mean.

The user interface is easy on the eye and the knobs are big. It aslso reminds that other synth...

There are not many presets, and those present are just ok. This synth would deserve a good bank or more of presets by good programmers.

Value for money: well, it's free!

Stability: it has never crashed on my host, Fl Studio. Never.

Its developer is also very accessible and always eager to improve his products, and that's something one cannot fail to appreciate.

All in all, though this synth is not the best sounding free synth available, it's definitely one of the best, and it's a bit underestimated I would say. Download it, you won't regret it.
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on January 29th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
This is a bitcrusher. well, more or less. as with all e-phoniq free products, you can be sure you'll get much more than what's expected.

I remember some months ago I was searching desperately for a bitcrusher. My host didn't have one, and I had read that a bitcrusher could do amazing things on your drums. I found a free bitcrusher and it covered the need for some time...until I found LOFI.

LOFI is a plugin for mangling your imput signal to the extreme. It consists of 4 effect chains plus an amplifier. They can be turned on and off at your will, and the signal passes through all the on ones till coming out.
First there's the Down Scaler, which allows you to extremely play with the pitch of the imput signal. Then comes the Crusher, the most extreme effect onboard, which basically reduces the quality of the audio till turning it into a noise but never losing its musicality (well, that depends on you); third comes the Filter, a very good one, with LowPass, HighPass and BandPass, cut off and resonance, so that the sound may become even more extreme, and finally the Shaper to add a final extreme touch to the sound.

As an extreme effect that it is, it depends on the audio signal and more important on your ability to make it musical that the final results will be great or simply unlistenable...which is sometimes good too, don't you think?

For heavily noisy industrial drums this plugin is seriously recommended. it can slip out of your control easily, but even when it's noisy this effect stays elegant. I'm not lying to you, just try it.

It's free. Together with e-phoniq Retrodelay you can appease your experimental and extreme inner self same was as I do.

As with all e-phoniq products, stability is guaranteed. never had a crash with it.
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on January 28th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.03 on Windows
You think of a delay and what comes to your mind? an effect that simply repeats the imput audio signal. forget about it when you consider Retro Delay. It's a lot much more.

Retro Delay is a plug in by e-phoniq, and as such you can expect it's great. not simply good. amazing. why?

well, first it's a delay so it repeats the signal. right. what else? there are a lot of delays, many of them free and some of them quite good. Well, Retrodelay is full of features. first it has a reverb, a distortion, filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass, etc), it has a LFO with lots of different parameters. and it is still a delay.

But it's not a delay for those who just expect a repetition. when you try passing your audio signal through it you must be ready to experiment, cos that's what this plug in is for. the delay repetition can be looped forwards and backwards, the included reverb and distortion and lfo and filters are inviting you to experiment. it's capable of giving new life to your drums, to your bass, pads, etc.

it's free. yeah, lots of free stuff so that doesn't surprise you. what if I tell you this is one of the really top delays including payware ones?

the gui is clear, and no matter the number of presets may be limited, since this plug in is demanding your own touch of experimentalism.

I use this plugin in most of my songs. a hint: duplicate your percussion and put one of them through Retrodelay in a slightly lower volume and experiment. it will add life to your drums, I can tell you.

enjoy it.
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on January 4th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows
The world is full of free substractive synths,and though some of them are really good, others are just repetitions of the same patterns producing the same songs. This is logical, and in spite of that that's always something to praise.

Now Oberon belongs to the former group, being a very good sounding synth.
It has 2 oscillators, and the filters are really quite good actually, making this little beats sounding very very analogical. Its sound reminds me of the best analogical synths, it seems it's inspired by the Oberheim, but I can't judge that. It just sounds good.

When you browse the presets you'll think it's a quite limited synth, very far from Synth 1 or Polyblit for example. But when you play with it you'll realise of its full potential. You can get really good electronic basses,and truly analogical pads. It's much more than what it appears at simple sight.

Its interface is simple and clear: the oscillators, envelope, filters...are very clearly separated and visible. and the GUI is not spectacular but very decent though, with those orange over black.

It has never crashed in my computer, and it uses very little cpu. that, together with its good sound, has made me use it more often every day.

100% recommended
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on December 7th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.06 on Windows
There are many free synths. That is something great and that helps a lot musicians like me who tried to make their first steps into electronic music creation and didn't or couldn't spend much money.

But there's always a but. Many of these free synths are not that good. Ok the good intention is there, but when you try the thousands and thousands of free synths available, you see there're only 2 dozens that are really good.

Synth 1 is one of the best.

What does this synth have so special? It has 2 oscillators, that's nothing uncommon. It has 2 lfos which can be linked to the filters, the oscillators, the envelopes, etc. well... It has a filter, a chorus, a delay...

But what a filter! what a delay! what a chorus! All top quality. Only a look at some of its presets can make you aware that this is not another synth. They say it's based on Clavia Nord. Maybe, maybe not. It just sounds great. You can not only create any type of sound: bass, pads, strange effects, etc. You can create great bass, great pads, great effects.

It has an arpeggiator to make things better. And fm synthesis too. and ring modulation too.

This synth could perfectly cost around 100 euros and wouldn't be expensive related to the price of other soft synths. Many who have tried this synth know the great and many qualities of this synth. (great sound, versatility, analogic feel, ridiculous low cpu usage...you can even change its colour!)

And apart from the fact that it sounds great, it's so easy to understand! Synth 1 has been the synth that's helped me to learn substractive synthesis.

Now that I've bought Reaktor I know my studio has improved a lot. But Synth 1 will always have a special place in my songs. There are things that one always knows.

Buy it, I mean, get it. It's free but you won't make allowances. It's just one of the best soft synths available.
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on November 22nd, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0.0.6 on Windows
Polyblit is one of the synths I've used most frequently. Being based mainly on free synths, this is one of the most important and versatile synths in my humble arsenal.
why?
well, to begin with, this is one of the best substractive synths available. and I'm not only referring to free synths.
The thing has got 3 oscillators, every one with all the possible and usual waveforms, and all enroutable to 4 lfos (!), filters, etc
In that way, you are able to create almost every possible sound: pads, basses, strange effects...
It sounds very analogue, and I would compare it to the Polysix.

It may lack onboard effects, and that may make you think sometimes that some sounds are too plain. Add a reverb and maybe a delay and you'll be blown! you'll see it can compete with many of the best soft synths available.

I like the GUi, it's very clear; it's not completely easy to use, since it has a lot of commands and modulation routes, but it's worth the effort.

The presets are many and good, they cover pads, basses, etc

And the price...well that can be tricky. When we talk about synths that cost ehem... 0 euros, we are usually inclined to make allowances. Well, forget about allowances here. This synth is one of those you're amazed they're free. get it, you won't regret it.
Reviewed By origami [read all by] on November 22nd, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0.0.6 on Windows
Polyblit is one of the synths I've used most frequently. Being based mainly on free synths, this is one of the most important and versatile synths in my humble arsenal.
why?
well, to begin with, this is one of the best substractive synths available. and I'm not only referring to free synths.
The thing has got 3 oscillators, every one with all the possible and usual waveforms, and all enroutable to 4 lfos (!), filters, etc
In that way, you are able to create almost every possible sound: pads, basses, strange effects...
It sounds very analogue, and I would compare it to the Polysix.

It may lack onboard effects, and that may make you think sometimes that some sounds are too plain. Add a reverb and maybe a delay and you'll be blown! you'll see it can compete with many of the best soft synths available.

I like the GUi, it's very clear; it's not completely easy to use, since it has a lot of commands and modulation routes, but it's worth the effort.

The presets are many and good, they cover pads, basses, etc

And the price...well that can be tricky. When we talk about synths that cost ehem... 0 euros, we are usually inclined to make allowances. Well, forget about allowances here. This synth is one of those you're amazed they're free. get it, you won't regret it.