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All reviews by paul minot

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Lounge Lizard EP-4 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 23rd October 2003
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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I would like to generally concur with the reviews above--this thing is a great electric piano emulator. I am not concerned about the quality of the overdrive, since it generally sounds OK to me, and have an array of saturation/distortion plugs I like to choose from for different effects. The GUI is beautiful but a little daunting, but that largely has to do with the complexity and novelty of the physical modelling algorithm--it simply has nothing to do with the familiar subtractive synthesis format, although it is easier to get your brain around than FM, at least. The points I would like to raise about this instrument are:

-Even more than your usual synth, LL benefits from the use of a MIDI controller, for some reason. Having a controller (my recently acquired UC-16) REALLY increased my enjoyment of editing the patches.

-Although it is excellent at doing electric pianos, it also EXCELS at doing percussive timbres that are out of the ordinary, like "mutant xylophone/vibes from hell"--the kind of patches you generally turn to FM to do, but much easier to accomplish/edit in LL. Run these patches through the phase/tremolo/pan options, and you can get some really weird, beautiful, and cool shiznit going on.

The update includes enhancement of the release function, tempo sync, and much better patch organization, but costs a little too much IMHO. I actually like having an instrument I can't sync--increases the random quotient of my tunes. Anyway, a very classy instrument overall.
Delay Lama [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 8th July 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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I don't know if I will ever use this in a piece of music, but it is a WONDERFUL toy. When I show off my collection of VSTi's to non-musicians, THIS one is the hit--especially with children. And, truth be known, the child in me loves to play with it when I'm not engaged in more constructive pursuits.
ComboSister [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 8th July 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This plugin does what it says it will and does so very well. It is easy as pie to use, and has a really upfront nasal sound just like the real transistor organs did, with more editing possibilities available so you can make lots of messed up variants. I wouldn't mind a few more presets, especially some covering familiar vintage tunes ("96 Tears" and the like), and in fact I think it would help sell the plugin if Dash would go the extra mile here. Otherwise it's merely terrific, and just what I wanted.
DR-008 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 4th April 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
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When I start a song, this is all the drum synth I really need. Rock solid, versatile, and once you get over the intimidation of all this power it's really easy to use. Of course it's got great sampling options, but what I really love about it is the synth modules--the Triangle is not an obvious need, but incredibly sweet sounding and versatile. I have NEVER found the tambourine sounds I wanted until I used the Tambourine module in DR-008. The freeware module from DelayDots, the Synare, was exactly what I needed in one song I needed. The various kick modules are killer. And so on. And I love the versatility of the output configurations. A class product.
SR-202 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 13th February 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Let me start by saying the concept of this plugin is great. Like a previous reviewer said, this is a beatbox, not a full-blown percussion plugin like dr008 or Battery. It's easy to use, and has a lot of great editing features--especially FILTERS, and very good ones. So it's very good for taking samples and warping them into the electronic style, and applying global filter settings onto a full percussion track. However, I have had persistent problems with stability (I have an ATI video card), with frequent crashes when I try to load into the pads one too many times, and when I close the edit window during playback. Yet I did manage to make a terrific track on it while I was discovering these problems, and for now I just leave it alone and it does OK. I would like to have the option of applying a Global filter to individual drum tunings, rather than accepting a Global tuning value for all my samples--but hey it was free. Also, though the GUI looks great, the virtual shadows on some of the knobs makes lower values difficult to see. All in all, I will still fully love using this plugin for certain songs as long as they get rid of the bugs. (By the way, I downloaded the Windows patch and it only helped somewhat.)
Crazy Diamonds [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 11th February 2002
Version reviewed: 0.4 on Windows
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Another lovely free synth from Rumpelrausch Taips. I personally love "limited" freeware synths, if they sound as good as this one does. I don't know how stringy this synth sounds, more organish to me--but it's very creamy sounding with nice effects, and after playing with it only a few minutes I knew I would be using it soon in a composition, and it would sound terrific. Just a wonderful little pad machine--no more, no less. Yum! Thanks again for sharing this, RT!
Cheeze Machine [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 20th December 2001
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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This freeware is limited, but good at what it does. Little editing available, but it has self-contained effects that create a surprisingly broad pallette within its realm. Especially good for ambient effects. Nice GUI. I would have liked some more presets, but it is devastatingly simple to use, and you can only do so much anyway, so it's not really a big deal. Not a meat-and-potatoes freebie like mdaPiano, but cute, simple, and lots of pseudovintage fun. Thank you, Big Tick!
Junglist [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 4th December 2001
Version reviewed: 3 on Windows.
Last edited by paul minot on 4th December 2001.
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I know Pentagon's all the rage, now, but I must admit it SOUNDS to me a lot like a better, more versatile Pro52. (In other words, I wish Pentagon had been available at $99 when I bought Pro52 for $150.) But Junglist has a wonderful bunch of waveforms with a complex, organic quality, not unlike the PPG sounds IMHO, with a nice effects selection (delay and chorus, good distortion, unique pitch glide effects, and great bass enhancement features built in) that creates a wide palette of sounds that doesn't sound quite like any other synth I've heard. And while the GUI isn't outstandingly beautiful, it is simple and easy to get around. The result is a very versatile synthesizer capable of making a wide variety of useful and unique sounds--but especially gifted at making fat, organic bass sounds that rival bass guitar for complexity and...uh...meatiness? Also great at making pseudovocal and pseudoinstrument sounds with filters. And great presets. My next synth buy, for sure.
Piano [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 27th September 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Those who bemoan the sound quality of this VSTi aren't getting it, I think. Think of mdaPiano as not a virtual piano in the way that those old boring, in tune, but still unconvincing "MIDI piano" samples are. Think of it as more of a piano toolkit, of sorts. You could spend months searching the web for a funky old "real" piano sound in sample format and never find it--mdaPiano gives you a chance to create the sound you want, or something damn close to it. If you want an awesome Bosendorfer sound, get a Gigasampler. But I wanted a scruffy old Nicky Hopkins-style piano sound (think "Sympathy for the Devil") for a song, nailed it within minutes on mdaPiano, and the results rocked like hell in a way no "Grahnd Piahno" sample ever could. It also inspired me to heights of piano arrangement I never thought I was capable of. Ilove this instrument, it's up there with the B4 and Pro52 in its awesomeness IMHO--and it's FREE! God bless you, mda!
ePiano [read all reviews]
Reviewed By paul minot [read all by] on 15th September 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
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mda does it again! Thank you for delivering us the EVP73 killer that I wished for. I am SO fed up with Emagic's market manipulation tactics--I direly wanted an electric piano VSTi, would have killed (or PAID) to have an EVP88 because I love Wurly's so much--even kinda wish I had gotten Logic in the first place, just because of its qualities as a sequencer--but I'll be damned if I buy ANY Emagic product now, because of their dogged refusal to make their plug-ins available as unrestricted VSTi's. And now mda has put out this wonderful little freebie--no GUI, no presets, and no documentation, but so easy to understand you don't need any of that, just plug(in) and play! Sounds WONDERFUL, easy to customize with alot of versatility (but still doesn't sound like a Wurlitzer--DAMN!), but all the Fender Rhodes I'm going to need, for FREE! God bless you, mda. And wise up, Emagic.