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Addictive Drums [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trmupstage [read all by] on 12th March 2012
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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I have a hard time giving anything a 10, but this almost deserves it. I've owned BFD, BFD XFL, BFD 2, Battery and now Addictive drums. First, I'm a musician/producer who needs quick tools that sound great without having to tweak forever. When I was younger and had more time, I loved all the synths with tons of controls. I was one of the few people who bought a Kawai K5 and edited each partial. anyway... I digress. Now that I'm busy in the studio with deadlines, I no longer want to tweak. I want great results and I want them very fast. I made all my own drum samples for Battery and then moved to BFD to make things easier. BFD was pretty good but I still have a hard time getting exactly what I want from them. I've used BFD since it came out, so I'm not new to this. I have also mixed many records with live drums, so I don't think my experience is what is lacking. I made drum kits in Addictive Drums over a weekend that I can't rival with BFD after years. It also works great with my electronic drum kit (Alesis DM10 with extra pads). And let's talk about load times. AD is almost instant. A large BFD kit can take a minute or two to load.

To say the least, I'm happy with AD. The price is completely reasonable and the sounds are great. If there were better variety of cymbals, I would give it a 10. I know many people think "How good can it sound with so few velocity layers and samples?". At first, I was concerned about that too, but it's proven to be a non-issue. These drums sound more real than the largest BFD2 kit I've used. They sit great in a mix too. I never get that machine gun sound out of them. In short, AD is the best drum library I've used. Great sound and easy on the CPU and RAM.

I highly recommend AD to anyone who is tired of tweaking and just wants great results fast.

SV-315 Compressor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trmupstage [read all by] on 4th March 2006
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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Hmmm,
Hard to believe there are no reviews of this. How is that possible? IMO, this is THE vst compressor to have. I know it's very expensive, but I found that it was worth it. This is a very musical compressor. it's clean yet adds a smoothness to the source. It's not the compressor for getting a huge pumping effect from. But, I have never found a better VST compressor for vocals and acoustic instruments. If you have, name it, because I'll buy it.

Some of the controls on this are a little subtle. Like, the mode switch. I don't hear it do much. But, the over-all sound is fantastic. They has some feature in it that prevents the initial "pop" that you get from a digital compressor when you're coming out of silence with heavy compression. This is a great thing to have when working with vocals.

This was the most expensive plugin I ever bought. It's on every project that has left my studio in the last three years. It's money well spent.

A note about my ratings. Presets: I don't use them and there are only a handful, so I rate them as average. Support: I would give them higher, but they have not released any upgrades on this. Maybe it doesn't need any? I just get the feeling that "it is what it is" and I'll never see any new features. Which brings up the last point; Value: It's got a lot of value, but maybe not a 10 out of 10 value. I wouldn't want to work without it, but I would also have liked to pay much less for it. It's definately one of the most expensive compressors you can by as a VST. But still worth the cost.
R2 Reverb [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trmupstage [read all by] on 8th October 2005
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I find it hard to believe that no one has reviewed this reverb yet. I worked with Hans as a beta tester on this a year or so ago. I was always hoping that he would combine his room machine 844 plugin with his reverb. Well, that's pretty much what he has done. R2 has a very easy to navigate and edit gui interface. Han's has included two different reverb algorithms in R2. There is seperate early damping for both ER and reverb as well as a late damping configuration. The mixing possibilities are nearly endless. R2 is very flexible. But, "how does it sound?" you ask. Well, that all depends. Hans has included some presets with it that work as starting points, but to get the most out of it, you really need to do some tweaking. There is so much that can be controlled that is can discourage people who just want a few great presets. For me, this is my "go to" reverb. Not because it's the very best sounding all the time, but because it can do a good job at so many things without sucking the life out of my CPU. I have made some presets that I think are very good and I tend to use those.

In way of comparison, R2 is a bit like M2 but with an easier interface and less power hungry. As far as algorithmic reverbs go, R2 is pretty close to M2, but I tend to use it more becuase of the above reasons. I think the combination of good sound and low CPU usage is what makes R2 a great deal.

So, what's not to like? Well, some settings can sound a bit pinched or tight; not airy or open. (how's that for vague?) Also, at very long decays with a very large room size, you can hear some patterns in the tail. Note, that this only occurs at extreme settings, that I don't use anyway. And lastly, I sometimes wish the reverb were just a touch wider in the stereo spectrum. But these are all small points.

If you're looking for another reverb with a lot of flexibility, give R2 a try.
Peak Compressor [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trmupstage [read all by] on 11th March 2004
Version reviewed: 2.7 on Windows
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I have been a fan of this compressor for many years. Sinus has been great about feature requests that I have sent him. It's a shareware item, so you could use it without paying for it, but why not just buy it? It's very inexpensive and the only way we can keep good developers producing great products is to encourage them with our money. That's what I have done. So, what's it sound like? It really sounds like nothing and takes almost no CPU. It is a very transparent compressor that reacts to peaks using a "look-ahead" process. It's not a tone shaping compressor at all. I select PC when I love the sound of a track but need it to be a bit louder and tame the peaks. It does that flawlessly. Because of the attack speed, PC can be used to smooth out sounds that contain too much attack and not enough body. It's really quite nice on acoustic guitar and voice. It's not my first choice if I am trying to color a track, but to simply control peaks and get more body from a sound, it can't be beat. It also has a brick-wall limiter and dither integrated into it. I believe that Sinus intended for this to be a full mix finalizer plug, but I have used it more on individual tracks. By taking the release out of auto mode, you can get some pretty huge sounds from percussion sources. Another trick is putting PC after another more colorful comp. The first comp shapes the sound and PC evens out peaks and brings up the body. Follow that up with a good EQ, and you have a seriously powerful setup.

The UI is great. You can easily see exactly where your compression and limiting start. His wave display is wonderful and unlike so many others, it doesn't cause a huge CPU hit.

I gave presets only a 9 because I honestly never even used them. PC is intuitive and takes no time to master. It doesn't do everything (nothing does) but it does what it's supposed to do very, very well.
Uniquel-izer [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trmupstage [read all by] on 20th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I bought both Equium and Firium. Both are fantastic EQs. I use Equim in both Logic and Nuendo. None of the supplied EQs come close to these. I find them to be more open in the top end than most EQs. Equim does not have much color, but that's good for me. The controls are just great. It's very easy to dial in the sound I'm looking for quickly. I went on a long search for a great "bread and butter" EQ. Equim is the best that I found and the price is reasonable.
Pentagon I [read all reviews]
Reviewed By trmupstage [read all by] on 25th September 2002
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows
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I didn't figure I would ever hear a VSTi that did much for me. I have had most all the vintage hardware synth at one time or another and I kind of got bored with that sound. I have tried just about every available VSTi and I have to say Pentagon is amazing! The sound quality is better than a lot of the other VA synth and the presets really show it off well. I hadn't planned on buying any new synths, but after spending a few nights with it, I decided it was too good a deal to pass up. NI makes some nice VSTi, but they are fairly expensive. Pentagon is very reasonable in price and sounds great. Don't support cracks of Pentagon. At this price, $99, wouldn't you want to directly support the developer? I would and that's why I bought it. I can't wait to see what he come out with next!