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SR-202 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By dreibel [read all by] on 30th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.x on unspecified OS
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it took awhile for this VSTi to become stable enough for me to use it, but the current version of SR-202 has quickly become my drum sample playback device of choice. It's simply one of the most intuitive to use, with a great GUI and the ability to quickly load samples and then save all of them in a single kit file. The filters and distortion are great to manipulate and sculpt the samples, and the ability to tune the samples have made it a snap to tweeze the kit to the song so the drums are audible without having to crank the volume on the kit.

The kits that come with it are OK if a bit on the wacky side - I tend to be a guy who cut my teeth on more realistic sounding kits from the 1970s. But at least I have that option to find more old-school samples and build my own kits, or substitute some of my samples in an otherwise good kit.
It is cool that CM got Robert Miles to design one of their kits using his own sample collection.

There still needs to be some improvements on this - like, make it so you can load stereo samples instead of having to convert them to mono first. And I'd love to see at least another eight pads added to load more samples in, and more control over velocity. But for now, this VSTi does good for me in getting a kit down quickly. Muon did a great job building this, and CM made it cheap enough for me to afford.
Claw [read all reviews]
Reviewed By dreibel [read all by] on 30th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on unspecified OS
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Being pretty skint when it comes to affording plug-ins, it's neat that companies can release fully functional freeware as a taste of what their commercial products sound like - and reFX has something special with Claw.

It may be pretty basic in its synth architecture - it's only got one oscillator, and it's monophonic - but it's got some nice delay and distortion functions to fatten up the tone, and the gui features a nice retro knob look. And the basic sound is pretty warm for digital, with a nice high end for cutting through a mix.

But IMHO one thing that's really neat about Claw is how well it gets along with input from MIDI guitar signals - it even tracks better with my "ancient" Roland GM-70 than most hardware synths. If you're a guitar-head who wants to input synth lines with MIDI guitar in your compos, this VSTi is certainly one of the best tools to keep in your virtual kit