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SampleTank 4 MAX [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 5th November 2019
Version reviewed: 4.08 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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What is the point of buying a software like ST4 Max, with so many sounds?

Look away from the shiny thing you just bought, and focus. Focus on one kind of sound.

Ignore the thousands of others, or they will blind and bury you in the same grave with your muse.

You don't have to install everything, let alone everything at once. Have a good plan, and.

a good purpose, and you will achieve good results. Max includes the SampleTank 3 sounds, .

so there's a goodly warehouse of sounds to deal with.

It's like having a sports team in some ways, star players, surrounded by good players, .

with a few average players, and you hope to win a few times, when everyone contributes.

My initial focus is on acoustic guitar sounds. Someone else may seek cellos, pianos.

or drumkits or fill_in_the_blank. I may want some choirs, brass and bells in December, .

but they can wait, or I'll lose focus, and learn nothing about which guitars are the stars, .

and which are role players.

Beware, some who buy Max may already own SampleTank 3, and perhaps Syntronik, .

or a legacy of ST 2.5 sounds. Enter the dilemma of preset tagging mania, .

with a hundred gig of sounds in the tag lists, before Max has even.

taken the boots off, and put on the studio slippers. I have not read the manual yet, .

so I'm hoping it will be easy to remove IK products from the browser system if desired.

If one has a vast number of sounds, the tagging can be too good of a thing, and by relying on it, .

rather than actually becoming familiar with the sounds, you might easily miss the best choice, .

simply because you quickly found a 'good' one.

Easy to miss the star, and make do with a role player. I plan on a leisurely year, .

rather than a manic month, to study what I paid for.

In my case, I'll sometimes put Syntronik and SampleTank 3 on tracks, before loading Max, .

simply to avoid the browser clutter, and start with familiar things. Then, cherry-pick new sounds.

in an uncluttered ST4, easier when stress is minimized. Plenty of time.

to peacefully get familiar with the collective of new ST4 sounds. ST4 also has a strummer.

and arpeggiator waiting, as well as a bundle of effects and deep editing possibilities.

More advanced users will of course be able to accelerate faster. For many users, .

there will be a dozen or two simple actions used repeatedly, to build.

enjoyable and diverse combos of sounds. The interface won't be hard to master, .

some icons, some lists, some panels, a mixer, and plenty of sounds to choose from.

Take off the racing gloves and goggles, put on some coffee, and enjoy making something.

special you'll want to hear over and over again.

Purple Mist soundset for Fathom [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 26th August 2019
Version reviewed: V231.02 on Any OS
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Out of the box, a lot of these Purple Mist sounds are quite brash and industrial, .

and many also have nice extras from the mod matrix, often rythmic elements, .

or swelling harmonic content. And because of the upfront energy by default, .

it's not difficult the alter the sounds for other purposes by just editing.

the waveforms/tables, and the adjacent knobs. So there is one type of soundset.

before your very eyes, and a couple more just waiting to be distilled. Which is easy to do.

using Fathoms friendly and efficient gui. The scrubbing Monkeys sounds expose.

Fathom's capabilities, and invite further exploration, .

core attributes of any soundset purchase. Hope you try Fathom, and enjoy it as much.

as I do.

Cheers.

Fathom Synth [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 9th June 2019
Version reviewed: 2.31 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I like things that are simple and symmetrical. The Fathom modular interface has the feel of a guitar pickers pedalboard, like IK's Amplitube, left-to-right and linear, easy to understand the flow at a glance, and easy to modify. The parts surrounding the modules panel have the same kind of symmetry I like in BlueCat's Axiom effects suite, very rectangular and orderly, an easy reach for something that's complex, but not visually cluttered by things not in use. I love that you only see a module's parameters when you WANT to see them. And I was shocked to see that many of the effects modules are the equal or better than popular commercial plugins, each one just waiting for a session to fully explore them. And what are effects, without great sounds to grind, pound, and croon at? The Fathom sound is hard for me to compare and pinpoint, because I don't have a vast collection, or deep experience, but I'll say pop the top off your blender, throw in SynthMaster One, Hybrid 3, Bazille, Reaktor Pprism, and Ugo's nicely metalic Texture II and M-Theory, whirl them to a frenzy, and ...be happy... When I see pics and reviews of modular synths and gear, the Muse usually throws on her parka, and runs to the truck to listen to an old 8-track tape of the Moody Blues, with the heat cranked up. But with Fathom, it's been different, she whispers tempting suggestions, with deep breathing. and high expectations. And speaking of high, the price isn't. The author has a target price range in mind, that won't lock people out of having such a great instrument, and a clear vision for imppovements, and new capabilities. Which don't include fiascos and wobblers in the copy-protection column. Buy early, update often, and help Fathom reach it's potential. Cheers
Free Amp [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 17th July 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by glokraw on 17th July 2018.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I love these amps, they have great responsiveness and dynamics, and the gui's.

are simple to use. These are a great start to a home-brew effects chain, .

which can put the BlueCat free plugin collection to good use, providing.

an overview of the quality one might expect from the commercial offerings.

I have used these in win 7, as well as in linux, both as windows versions in wine/windows-Reaper, .

and wrapped by LinVst as linux-native vsts, used in the linux version of Reaper.

I have also used them in win 7 hosted in BlueCat Axiom, as handy sources to.

gainstage, when you become familiar with the capabilities.

I give this five stars, out of five, or 9.8 out of 10, if there more accuracy, .

only because I'm spoiled by certain preset loading systems, but I suspect.

the Free Amp is also a testbed for new capabilities that will appear.

soon in their commercial products.

If someone has Guitar Rig, or the z3ta+ 1.5 effects plugin, .

these amps will be great additions to the effects you have available, .

Cheers.

Axiom [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 17th July 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Ben [KVR] on 9th August 2018.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Axiom is one of those rare tools that presents a great tip of the iceberg, and then continues to present greatness as you dive under the surface. To get started, there are six slots for pre amp effects, an amp slot with 22 amps to choose from, and six slots for post effects, with preset load/save for both pre and post choices, as well as a preset selector for Axiom itself.

The effects slots host both your own favorite VST plugins, as well as those provided internally by BlueCat. If you happen choose a preset that makes use of their excellent recent releases, Destructor, and Late Replies, those guis will appear in full form, so you actually have three great products in one.

At this point, there are several routes to explore, all of which are rewarding:

  1. start with the many Axiom presets, and get a grasp of the potentials awaiting.
  2. Use the presets of the three bundled products, in their several section, and enjoy.
  3. cherry pick a relatively bare starting setup, and add your go-to killer-app plugins.
  4. open Destructor after going through the manual, and craft or replicate a special tone.
  5. open Late Replies after going through the manual, and create an wonderful environment or climactic aftermath for your audio input.

A widget of three horizontal blue bars, opens a preset dialog.

I've noticed a lot of the presets load effects that leave an empty slot, where typically some user choice might go, for example, in post effects, compressor in slot 1, slot 2 is empty, and slot three has a reverb. A sign that actual players are involved in making Axiom great.

I give it four stars out of five, only because the preset selection system can be improved, but would give it 9.5 stars out of 10, were the review page set up for more precision. I feel like my purchase is a classic Jaguar at Renault pricing. Try the demo, it drops sound periodically, but you can verify if this three-in-one product meets your needs, and there is even a bundle offering more, for a reasonable price, should you so desire.

Cheers.

Atomic [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 24th January 2009
Version reviewed: xp on Windows.
Last edited by glokraw on 28th January 2009.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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After using this AMB/AlgoMusic gem for an hour, I had its midi out simultaneously connected to and controlling my Yamaha keyboard, M42, M51, Enceladus, and 2 instances of Synth1, using its sequencer to play 5 great patches, one of it's own fine synth preset sounds, and two twelve string guitar sounds on the Yamaha rompler! Totally gobsmacked, I paced, and drank more coffee, pinched myself, looked at the PDF manual a bit, saved the combo as a Reaper project, and went back to the Yamaha, which lets you load two different drumkits, which share some sounds, but by putting them on offsetting octaves, shared sounds are re-grouped with other sounds, toss in echoes on one kit, delays on both, and then having an Atomic sequence simultaneously play:
1. each keypress as a different pair of percussion sounds
2. many pairs in the sequenced pattern when a key is held down
3. many repeats of the pattern played in syncopation
4. Notes outside the selected sequencer keyboard range still playing the internal hardware combo.

Want to turn your favourite ambient pad into an athletic dancer? Load the Atomic and Enceladus demos from www.algomusic.net, choose the Enceladus Pad Sea of Glass sound, give it a very fast attack, and shorten both the release and and sustain to around 10-20%, and use the default Hypergate sequence from Atomic to play it, by creating a receive on the Enceladus track, from the Atomic track, and turning on the Atomic Midi Out port. You can choose or design Atomic sounds that compliment your chosen synth sound, like the sounds in this example, or mute/mix the Atomic sounds to taste, while also triggering midi rompler/rack-synth sounds with the same sequence, if desired. (Now go back and drag out the release on Pad Sea of Glass, to about 75% to hear some nice extras for the dancer!)

To those of you with midi enabled hardware drum modules and synths, and those using softsynths and multitimbral romplers, Atomic may well alter your approach to music making. Now all my favorite hardware combinations are right inside Reaper, sharing the turf with software.
To those looking for an afforable new synth, with great sound and effects, Atomic is a bargain even without using the midi-out feature. The PDF manual covers the many different editing features, which pop up when you choose to use them.
There are 31 preset sequences to display the sound and rythm capabilities, which really shine when combined with hard and software you already love to work with. 9.5 out of 10, and truly great support from the AlgoMusic team!

(used with linux, but that is not currently an option in the review dialogs
so I fibbed, and said xp )
Wusik Station [read all reviews]
Reviewed By glokraw [read all by] on 27th April 2008
Version reviewed: 4.6 on Windows
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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A short review of Wusikstation...
A great strength in music creation is having both bread and butter sounds, and then a vast array of unique sounds to customize them with. Using the General Midi collection for Wusikstation, I can start with a nice 'normal' instrument, embellish as desired with synth controls and the FX section, then use the 3 extra sound slots to import other waveforms, so the imagination, and familiarity with the thousands of sounds included with Wusik, are the only limiting factors. Using Minihost, I can qickly audition the array of soundsets with just the down arrow key, and pressing the letter s, even with the eyes closed during a headache :wink: and then write down the favorite sounds, or copy them with a filemanager for a 'greatest hits' folder later. While time consuming, the end result can be a composing environment conducive to unique and high quality productions, with a very small learning curve, in one central, well organized interface.
There are some utube videos available that explain arpeggios, wavesequencing, and other features, but for composing ballads, and the basic commercial genres, it is easy to create new sounds to liven up the most common styles of music.
When It comes to support, The author, his customers, and many sound designers are quick to offer good advice, and quite often, bugs are squashed within a day of being reported. New features have been known to appear based on an aside in a forum post, and there is nearly always a special offer to $entice$ upgraders, or new users.
New 3rd party synths and sound collections using the Wusik engine and sound format are also of the highest quality, and more are always in the works. For the professional musician looking for a stable, low cpu vsti for live performance, for a studio songwriter looking for that special edge, for a production jingle author needing fast efficiency, and for the hobbyist who loves the creative craft of making great tunes in the style of choice, Wusikstation is a great tool, that just keeps on getting better month after month, year after year!
I would say dollar for dollar, this is the best of the many fine $options$ available. I look forward to the new version 5 evolving, and to using more of the great 3rd party sounds, and my own new creations that they inspire.
I score it all 8, for personal taste categories, 10 for support and value for money, as they are among the best available...