This is a good synth. If you are just comparing raw capabilities, it has a basic sound and features roughly comparable to synth1, but monophonic. So if you were gonna start all your patch programming efforts from scratch, you should probably just get synth1 and concentrate on that. However, if you like to have lots of presets to listen to for song inspiration or just starting points to create new sounds, then you have to get Triangle II to mine the huge number of banks that are available here at KVR and other sites.
The basic sound of Triangle II is generic in a good way. It doesn't jump out at you the way that a Crystal or a Protoplasm does. It's 'in a good way` because you need those bread and butter sounds to round out your sonic creations.
Watch out when you hold down keys as you change presets, you will often be greeted by strange sounds that don't seem to come from the preset you started from or the one you ended up at.
Like synth1, CPU usage is tiny. Probably as little as any VST instrument.
The Tau Pro definately does what it's supposed to, and it does if very reliably. This is a good synth, but it doesn't justify its price in today's VST environment. For $35, you can get much, much more. Unfortunately it's not a very flexible general synthesizer. There are no envelopes, for example, making swelling-type sounds impossible to create. If you're looking for a 303 emulation, there is at least one VST available that is much more convincing. Search the forums for the latest if you're looking for a 303. If you a want general synth, you can get dozens of freebies that sound just as good, are much more flexible, better supported, and well, are free. This synth is also missing some convenience features that are assumed on typical VSTs nowadays: patch management, midi learn for CC control. The Tau was amazing in its day, but that time has passed and the developer has not continued improving it to keep up with the competition. One nice thing is that there are tons of presets available, a testament to the Tau's ease-of-use.
To describe VOX'd as a VSTi in it's own right, I'll quote from my Wusikstation review since it's directly applicable:
I really like the Wusikstation. To me, Wusikstation provides a very punchy and direct sound. Most VSTi's are like looking at a styrofoam ball painted yellow, while the Wusik, as it is affectionately known, is like looking directly into the sun. OK that's a little over the top, but Wusik is very, very nice.
Lots of layers of easy to grasp programmability. More LFO's and filters and effects and whatnot than you could ever need.
Support is fast and useful on the forum.
Now I will address the VOX'd specifics. VOX'd could be called Angelic Choirs of Heaven, but that's what you expect in a synth with such a clear focus on one type of sound. There are no presets that I can say I dislike but there are a lot that are similar. There are some real gems too. The three SEQ-type patches that use the WusikEngine's wavesequencer are outstanding. The patch called Amazing Breath is truly amazing. I've found a number of favorites and tons of great starting places, so overall I'm quite happy that I bought VOX'd.
Console is a decent modular environment, but for the same price you can get a whole lot more features & support from energyXT or Bidule. I bought Console because it claimed "sync to external midi clock", eXT lacks this, and I had some stability problems with Bidule. Unfortunately, I've not been able to get Console to work as well as I'd like and a number of bugs have cropped up. Support is poor, so I don't have much hope of seeing fixes anytime soon. I thought about selling my license (if that's possible?), but I'd rather not see anyone else have to deal with this. Console is pretty hard to get used to and can be laborious to use. For example, every stereo connection requires you to drag two times. Ugh. Small problem but very painful. The preset management is quirky and difficult to understand. The CPU usage applet is very neat. Shows the individual usage of each plugin separately. In summary, I've spent a lot of time trying to make this application work for me and at the end of several months of effort, I'm deleting it from my hardrive.
Big thick sounds that can get dirty as heck are available here in Rock World. I really like this synth. Complex distorted pads, fat hits, and hoover blasts are really grabbing my attention. Mod matrix is cool, instead of trying to show every possible combo like some do, you just send a source to a destination as desired.
I really wish every synth install was like this: put all files associated with a synth in a single sub-directory of a user-chosen VST directory, period. Seems like expensive synths want to dump stuff all over your file system and small ones tend to clutter your VST directory with unidentifiable junk because they don't create subdirectories. I also love the fact that the start menu items are listed under "Rock" instead of the developer's name. I've wasted too much of my like searching the start menu 'cuz I can't remember the vendor name of a program. Other vendors might think they're getting some kind of brand-awareness by sticking their name on my start menu, but in fact, I'm more likely to give a ConcreteFX demo a try 'cuz I know that they won't clutter my directories and menus. Anyway, Rock sets the Gold standard for installs as far as I'm concerned.
The GUI, though quite simple looking by default, is skinnable and the supplied XT-style skin replaces the dials with vertical faders, which I adore. The PDF docs are good, although they left out the bit about how to change the skin, the info is in the README.TXT. The GUI Layout is a good compromise between availability of the controls and space consumption with the less commonly used stuff on series of pages and the core functions always available for a tweek.
All the standard effects are built in, so it's not surprising that the CPU usage can be high. Unfortunately, the CPU spikes keep me from using Rock in a live setting on my current (very modestly endowed) laptop, but it's perfectly usable in the studio. Maybe next year a new laptop will cure this huge yearning in my heart to unleash this in real time in a real space.