If you have trouble hearing or visualizing what's going on with your audio, Inspector presents a wealth of information in a tidy window that helps you understand the bigger picture. I use this plugin with everything I do, as a track insert and/or on the master bus. It wraps well with a DX wrapper, too.
The free download will also install demos of Elemental Audio's excellent and very professional Eqium and Firium plugins. You owe it to yourself to try them out. (Just know that, after you've read through the succinct and clearly written help files and played with them for a few hours, you probably won't be able to live without them.)
One discovery I made when using Inspector with Chainer is that, if you open a bunch of instances of Inspector (one to a slot), then solo one slot (which could be a not-used slot), the other Inspector instances will freeze so you can scrutinize the displays at that moment in time. This is incredibly helpful when trying to home in on troublesome areas.
The folks at Elemental Audio have been very responsive to my questions and suggestions. Top flight.
With the new R6 update to XS-1, I am in sampler heaven. The most important addition, for me, is that the midi channel I've selected for an instrument holds when I change to a different soundfount, rather than jumping back to a default setting like it did before. This makes it super-fast and easy to audition tons of different instruments to find just the right one. The samples load fast, and XS-1 responds well to real-time switching.
XS-1 is making it possible for me to realize the value of the 6,000 or so soundfonts I have acquired. Even some of those that I didn't think sounded very good can be made usable by tweaking the settings in XS-1.
I use XS-1 more than any other plugin, and it's paid for itself many times over. Great work, Oskari!
Well, I was excited about downloading this since they said it's now free, but when I clicked on the download link, I got a setup file that asks for my CD key and registration info. Oh, well. I'll try back later. I left all the ratings buttons at 1 except for the "Looks" one, because that's all I have to go on at this point. KVR, by all means, when this is fixed so we can actually review this, delete this review.
Update: I was kindly given a download link for this that takes you to a download page--where it tells you, if it asks for a license number, what to plug in--rather than just starting the file download directly with no explanation and then you having it unexpectedly behave like it is not a free plugin.
Go here: http://www.fxpansion.com/skunkworks/
I've updated my ratings now...especially the customer support one.
Chainer is going to single-handedly keep me from losing my mind. It was just what I was looking for. Making music up until now has been just way too hard.
I'm using Chainer to play VSTis from Harmony Assistant (scoring program) so I can hear what I'm doing in the instruments I intend to use. I'm happy to report the waves record out flawlessly from Chainer through Sonic Foundry's Virtual Midi Router. I can do precisely what I want to do: Get dry audio waves out of HA without having to export to midi, revise the midi files to fix what didn't export perfectly, jump through hoops to try to sync everything, have all these files littering up my system, and yadayadayada. Of course, if I want to, Chainer will allow me to add effects as well at this stage.
The only thing is I have to close Chainer before Cool Edit will recognize the wave file; probably an ASIO conflict thing. Also, and this is specific to HA, I cannot mix digital and midi-out instruments and play them in real time; I have to shape and render out HA's Goldbase instruments first, then relate all the instruments to the midi out for Chainer to render the non-HA instruments. This is no biggie compared to what I was having to do before.
I've crashed Chainer once when I was just loading everything but the kitchen sink and changing a ton of settings while playing it. I haven't yet figured out how to get the panning controllers from HA to be read by Chainer, and it's only routing out to the left channel of one of my Mia virtual outs; not sure but this may be a limitation of the demo. I certainly plan to buy this excellent program. CPU usage is barebones minimal, and all my VSTis load VERY quickly...even SampleTank! Chainer is an awesome piece of work!
An addendum: When you load a VSTi into a slot, you need to set the proper transmission value (from the pulldown arrow to the left of the VSTi name). It defaults to Channel 1, which could lead to your thinking it doesn't work right.
Ganymed was the first VSTi I ever played with, and it pretty much sold me on switching to a VSTi-centered workstation. I keep coming back to it for the Fairy Harp, Warm Bell Pad, Reso Guitar, and Pad 2 presets. Some of the other presets are strange for the kind of music I make, but they are interesting nevertheless. The more Indian-sounding presets might be right up your alley.
Ganymed--Vivaldi, too--has more versatility than I know what to do with. The presets alone convince me that it's capable of a plethora of interesting, even soul-stirring, sounds. Last time I checked, there was no manual, and I want one so badly that I offered to help edit/code the thing if it'll help get it out. (I try not to email developers of free programs, because I figure they're already giving away enough of their time without having to respond to tons of email; but I did write the author when I first downloaded Ganymed and got an immediate, very nice reply.) I want to understand how to tweak the settings to get sounds like those of my favorite Ganymed presets, so some tips on how to do that would be really nice.
Finally, I like the look: easy on the eye, smooth, well-organized, definitely classy.