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All reviews by EgonTwo

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Malibu

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
April 25th, 2024
Version reviewed: 0.1.0 on Windows

Very nice. I'd use it for the tremolo only. I'd use it for the reverb only. I'd use the two together. Both are perfect for that certain guitar sound. It's simple and does the job well. I have nothing bad to say about this great plugin.

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Maim

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
January 22nd, 2024
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

I really like this plugin. I've long thought that the more obvious artifacts from MP3 compression would make for cool effects. Similar to bit crushing but with a more interesting character. Now, rather than running samples through numerous generations of MP3 compression, it can be done and quickly tweaked in my DAW.

The variables/parameters available in "Maim" are very interesting and fun to tinker with. Great on individual tracks or parts of whole mixes.

The plugin description states "knobs can be smoothly dragged and automated". It looks like this can only be done using the native automation of the DAW. I would really appreciate the ability to have each knob learn a MIDI cc. This is much more practical when migrating between DAWs and for the general posterity of the session file, since MIDI cc are standardized.

There is one notable annoyance that I must note. When I save my DAW session, Maim makes a short but loud glitchy burst of noise. Be careful to turn the volume down... [UPDATE] Maim does not seem to be making that loud glitchy noise when I save my session today.

My DAW is the last version of Cakewalk by Bandlab on the latest update of WIN10 64.

I know this will be part of my tool box despite some of its shortcomings. I applaud the developer, Wildergarden Audio, for this fun plugin.

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StompTuner

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
October 25th, 2023
Version reviewed: 0.2 on Windows

I was not able to get this plugin to work. The GUI would gradually disappear and then my DAW would freeze and crash. I'm using Windows 10 64-bit with the latest (and apparently last) version of Cakewalk by BandLab.

I was going to try the other plugins by Brummer but I'll wait to see if they can fix this. Maybe by the time it gets to v1.0.

UPDATE:

I'd like to thank Brummer for the quick response and update to v 0.2. Unfortunately the update still causes the GUI on my DAW to malfunction and eventually the whole DAW to crash. I'll stick with Gtune, which has worked well for me for years.

Response from brummer from brummer on October 25th, 2023

Hi.

Sorry for the hassle. Indeed there was a issue running StompTuner under windows which I haven't noted before. I've fixed that now and updated the release and download links. Let me know if you still have trouble with it.

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Wavetable

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
September 24th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

My first impression was "another Vital"? It turns out, yes. More and/or less.

The comparison is unavoidable because they, as well as Serum, are spectral warping wavetable synths with morphable waveforms in 3D..

Vital is more refined - with clearer and easier modulation implementation, more effects and rudimentary sample playback.

Wavetable has more wavetables than the free version of Vital. While I was able to figure out most of the modulation matrix, it feels a bit awkward. But it generally works well.

However I did have an issue with the LFOs. I was unable to find a way to get them to NOT retrigger at the beginning of each note. I would have liked to be able to introduce a bit of randomness to some of my patches using slow LFO settings. But because they retrigger at the beginning of their cycles at the onset of each note, they end up only working like an envelope.

Another annoying glitch happens when I reaload a session, the patch name is incorrect, though the patch sound is correct.

All this being said, as a first release this is an excellent sounding and very usable synth. It seems to be very stable, never crashing during the few hours I tinkered with it. Despite its limitations I will be using it in some of my productions.

I encourage the developer, Socalabs, to keep building on this really solid foundation.

Response from FigBug from SocaLabs on September 25th, 2023

Hi.

Thanks for the nice review. It's still early days of this synth and I'm going to keep working on it. Suggestions are more than welcome. I'll will add an option to disable re-trigger on the LFOs.

I need to write some documentation or do a intro video. Hopefully you figured out the modulation, but here's a quick rundown:

  • Double circles are per voice modulation sources.
  • Single circles are global modulation sources.
  • If you assign a per voice mod source to a global parameter, it will use the oldest voice.
  • You can assign by dragging a mod source to a knob, modulation will be applied at full strength.
  • You can click a mod source, and while it's active, any knob you touch will have modulation applied. Hold shift to adjust knob value. Click mod source again to disable assign mode.
  • When modulation is assigned, a dot appears next to knob. Click and drag to adjust mod depth. Right click to un-assign.
  • You can also adjust depth and un-assign from mod matrix.
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CabOne

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
September 6th, 2023
Version reviewed: 0.0.5 on Windows

A quick test of this guitar cabinet emulation plugin left me quite impressed. I appreciate the concept of adjusting parameters rather than sifting through endless impulse responses (IRs). It's quicker and more convenient to tweak one aspect of the sound at a time, rather than having to reset for each IR.

The sound quality is impressive. I don't mind if it doesn't precisely emulate a specific speaker cabinet, as long as I can achieve the desired sound. I'm confident that skilled programmers will be able to fine-tune the settings to closely match well-known models. The stereo feature is excellent, and the other parameters for making subtle to significant sound changes are also noteworthy. Additionally, I believe this plugin, when used as a filter, could be intriguing on other tracks such as vocals and drums.

Since this is still in early development, I have high hopes for future iterations of this concept. I encourage the developers to continue their excellent work. Thank you.

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EQ1979

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
July 29th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows

Very nice sounding EQ and saturation.

It seems to process only in mono, so don't use it on your master bus. For this reason I won't be giving this plugin 5 stars. The developer has indicated that this mono/panning is an issue in Cubase, as well. I am using Cakewalk by BandLab. Hopefully they can fix this problem in an updated version.

[UPDATE]
A day or so later... Belles Ondes have issued a bug fix update version 1.01 for the stereo problem. Great customer service. This plugin now gets the full 5 stars from me.

The input saturation stage sounds really great and can be used without the EQ turned on. A great way to fill out a mix and make it feel warm and glued together. Or push it right up to make your tracks sound hot without any grating breakup.

The EQ section sounds really good as well, very effective and musical even when pushed.

The GUI knob interaction is a bit counterintuitive for me. Where I would prefer to click and pull up on the HPF knob and frequency selector under the MID and LOW knobs, one is required to click and pull down. The disruption to my habitual workflow is minor in this instance and would not prevent me from using this plugin.

File/patch management is through the DAW wrapper and works fine.

https://corporal-salt.bandcamp.com/.

Response from D4p0up from Belles Ondes on July 30th, 2023

Hi, thanks for your feedback. I just release V1.01 that should fix stereo pairing issue.

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MShift8

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
July 25th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

I had high hopes for this plugin. Unfortunately it is uses a lot of CPU, so I wouldn't use it on my Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4790 CPU @ 3.60GHz, PC win10, 24GB RAM. The GUI is also rather dark and the knob behaviour is really annoying - designed in the old style, to rotate, rather than click and drag up and down. It just ends up being too fidly. I wonder if this were built with a newer framework if it would work better. Sadly, I must take a pass on this.

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Turbo Paco

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
July 13th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Windows

There are so many great free reverbs now available that I almost feel like I have too many and any more are really not needed. Regardless, I like to try everything, just in case there is a new sound or feature that might be useful. Turbo Paco turns out to be a very interesting plugin.

Much like the famous Valhalla Supermassive, Turbo Paco has list of different algorithms, from an assortment of reverbs to chorus effects. This means new algorithms can eventually be added. But the existing ones offer a great variety of creative color. The reverbs sound very good.

Another feature that really stands out for me are the Dynamics controls, which are essentially a gate. This is very rare in reverbs these days and an essential tool in some instances. It has a fully resizable GUI and seems to be completely glitch and bug free.

One thing I'd like is the option to save a custom file patch menu path. And having the version number shown would also be useful.

Highly recommended.

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Piano Forte

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
July 12th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Windows

Sadly not a very realistic or even interesting sounding piano. Not like an acoustic piano or an electric Rhoads type piano. Sounds almost like a toy keyboard. GUI seems more focused on web clicks and notoriety that making serious music.

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Odin 2

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
October 7th, 2022
Version reviewed: 2.3.4 on Windows

A very nice sounding and interesting synth. I like the semi-modular approach and the ample modulation matrix. A great compromise that offers lots of flexibility without becoming overwhelmingly complicated. I find it still a bit buggy, at this point, so I can't give it the five stars I'm sure it will eventually deserve.

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BandShaper
Enhancer
by 2B Played Music
60%
Off
Best Budget Audio Interfaces for Music Production Studios Under $250