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All reviews by Phaedo

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Reviewed By Phaedo [read all by] on July 17th, 2003
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
It's a crime that this thing is offered for free. You've got a polyphonic 2 oscillator synth with effects, LFOs, and more routing options than a MiniMoog. And they're using it just to promote their other products.

A warning: this review is critical. That's not to say it's a bad review. Actually, the product is great.

There's a couple of nastinesses about the user interface. The full waveform name isn't displayed. The knobs to my mind sit rather uneasily between a 2d and 3d look. The worst bit, though, is the preset manager, which fails to open in the correct directory. This is, of course, a matter of taste. I just don't much like it.
On the other hand, the interface is simple and easy to use (unlike plenty of other synths). In particular, the ability to octave-shift the oscillators is very easy to play with.

Is the sound that "classic analogue"? To my ears, not quite, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The presets don't necessarily jump out at you, but there's a lot of workman-like, usable stuff in there.

There are, however, a lot of waveforms, and the jewel in the crown: polyphonic note stealing. Human played pads sound wonderful with this (you can also achieve the effect through careful editing, obviously...) It's a pity none of the presets have limited polyphony to show this off immediately.

As you've probably gathered, I use this thing for pad sounds. Synth basses don't really interest me, and, good though it is, I think there are better free synths for leads.

Feature-wise, I'd say it was "just right". There's enough features to be useful and creative with it, but it doesn't have the kitchen sink and if you want more, you can go buy Albino...

Have to admit, I've never actually read the manual or used the technical support, so I've given them 10. I've never seen it crash either, so that's a genuine 10.

Value for money and value for time is excellent. I guarantee that if you download it and start messing around, it won't be an hour before you can find something to use on a tune. I wouldn't have Alpha dominate the tune but frankly, too many synths try to.

If you've got too many synths already, you really don't need another. On the other hand, if you're starting out, or you just want a different texture for one song, go get it, it won't disappoint you. This isn't one of those free synths where you get what you pay for. It's one of those that leaves you feeling like you've stolen from the developer.