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Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on April 11th, 2020
Version reviewed: 19.10 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 11th April 2020.

Been updated since I first tried it:

CPU Usage has been dropped into the ocean.

Seems infinitely more stable than the beta (duh).

The BEST dynamics representation I've seen in any spectrum analyzer. Smacks hit high and quick AND LOOK IT, even with a fast DnB loop - you can SEEEEE exactly ----when---- the pointy bits bounce out the most/highest.

I think this is why the bass representation is being touted; if the bass responds as accurately as everything else, then it is able to show slow, undulating swells, and thus, clearly offbeat bass movement in the subs that my compressor might have reacted to without actually hearing it or otherwise knowing it was there - and certainly not seeing it as offensively in my other FFT's. I always looked for detailed frequency representation in them. I have only now learned the degree to which DYNAMICS can be discerned from a good FFT.

Only wish for a VST2 version.

Hats off.

Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on April 11th, 2020
Version reviewed: 1.0.9 on Windows

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaddd!#@!!!$ BAAAD - ASSSSS - MMAAMAAA - JAMMAA! Some of you might remember the oldschool North Pole Filter?! This monster picked up those pieces very nicely indeed. Very simple interface. Decent CPU usage. Sound is Fuh-LAMING!!! Very sweet DENSE filter cutoff quality with an insanely complimentary distortion algorithm. C(s)hould cost money. Eleventeen out of Eleventeen!!!.

Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on April 24th, 2019
Version reviewed: 1.2.522 on Windows

PROS:

Fast, fast, fast. Low CPU, EXCELLENT visuals and with stout plugin scanner providing thumbnails; gorgeous GUI. Stable. Highly intuitive macro control implementation. You CANNOT do better for a simple modular environment with basic functionality.

CONS:

Just one definitive one for me - inability to split l/r audio. This is one of the reasons to want such a thing. Used this in someone else's setup, and when they implement this, I will buy it immediately.

Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on December 1st, 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 1st December 2018.

Ten stars if I could for this most incredible algorithmic wonder. It's not the monotone flavour type of distortion/ exciter plugin. It sounds like it's doing may things all at once and is BY FAR the most natural sounding plugin I've come across in this category. It is a crime it goes so unnoticed. Painfully simple, gorgeous tone and crackle provided in such refined increment. You might normally line up several plugins to whittle this class of polish and control. The best.

Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on May 13th, 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

OK... THIS badass JUST took over s(m)exoscope as my default oscilloscope. Fantastic display, re-sizable, easier to get the image sitting in one place - great for viewing compression, kick designing and whatever. Very simple; very great.

Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on April 4th, 2012
Version reviewed: 2.0.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 4th April 2012.

Absolutely fantastic.

I have some Chinese classical music playing beside me, and I'm beside myself with the authenticity of this instrument. Hitting a couple of notes on my MIDI keyboard along with the music, and what I get is perfect timbre.

The GUI is very intuitive for intermediate+ users. There's plenty of expression in the layered velocity sensitive samples, allowing for MIDI mapping "erratic range" control (brilliant) and plenty plenty more to get you just the sound you're looking for. Very impressive quality. When they say "meticulously edited samples" they really freaking mean it.

Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on February 28th, 2011
Version reviewed: 1.24 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 28th February 2011.
Only one thing is wrong with the Attack, and it bothers me sorely - FINE CONTROL - so direly needed in a respectable drum synth with such nice exponential envelopes, and horribly implemented in Attack. There's a shift option to dial things by smaller increments, but it's still very very chunky, and it seems that within the alloted values for any knob, there's just some numbers you will never see displayed because you can't dial into them.

Otherwise it would be my only payware Drumsynth. I'm glad there's not too many presets so you actually have to learn to use the thing. It lends itself quite easily to most things. Additional envelopes might have been nice for all such assignable parameters, instead of only two, but this is somewhat offset by the number of voices available.

Bottom line: needs a small overhaul to bring it into this decade. The last updates are 5 years old! (might be a goner). I've never had stability issues with it and despite my gripe, I'm glad to have met the Attack and intend to keep it.
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on April 15th, 2007
Version reviewed: 1.0.4.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 14th November 2011.
+++ This review was given for Synthmaster V1. Much is changed in V2; much improved - not only do I still stand in praise of the original, V2 improvement is an enourmous accomplishment by KV331Audio. Phoenomenal plugin allround+++

Coming to grips with so many different kinds of synthesis so easily could not have been made simpler. SynthMaster is a fat, fat feature packed plugin that has reignited an excitement about synthesis for me in a way I haven't felt since I first discovered VSTs.

...and it's all because of control. From your choice of simple subtractive, additive, phase distortion, AM, or FM synthesis (or ALL at once), the very aptly named SynthMaster is at heart a sound designer's synth. And even though it's robust mechanical specs avow a remarkably cultured and highly adaptable instrument, it's the meld of this immense power with a clear and functionally brilliant workflow that elevates Synthmaster high above its peers.

It takes NO time to find your way around SynthMaster. In fact, if you are already lightly familiar with synthesis, then you probably know this synth inside-out before you've even used it. This means that you can comfortably indulge in the business of sound design in courting and unimpeding fashion.

So where would you start? At the simplest functional level, each one of the three OSC's comes with 8 voices tweaked by a rich compliment of controls that include unerring phase, tone, and harmonic adjustment, syncing options, and a flattering equalisation scale - all tamed by highly flexible envelopes that should make for some pretty rich patches own their own, well before you've started toying with the cross-modulation and effects features that exponetially multiply SynthMaster's potential.

And if I had to choose a synth to begin exploring the product of cross modulating synthesis then this would be it. AM, FM and phase distortion synthesis are masterfully covered in SynthMaster - by their ease of induction and intuitive exposition; easily THE greatest strength of this plugin. These are arguably the most challenging kinds of synthesis, but because of the way SynthMaster accomodates them, the level of control provided, and the ease in exploring and manipulating tone and timbre feels... absolute.

Another highlighting feature of SynthMaster lies in its paragraphic EQ - 5 configurations possible for 8 bands, with each band having 18 possible distortion algorithms. Lots more fun to be had here. The 3 filters available are equally impressive with just as many options in distortion and 3 selective configurations that can shape each OSC individually or in combination.

The effects section leaves little wanting from a chorus/flanger, delay, vibrato, tremelo and 8 algorithm reverb. Oh yeah... there's also 2 step pattern sequencers, an arpreggiator, and a vocoder that functions with internal and external audio input. More features please? SynthMaster will also operate as an effect plugin, allowing use of it's unique temperment with other audio sources... or as a standalone.

Automatability in SynthMaster is yet another fantastic feature. Whether through assignable internal LFO's, the host, or MIDI, the synth is fully configurable and supportive of automation.

So shaping sound in SynthMaster pretty much comes down to one's imagination. What I feel makes it really special is the way it shepards the user into trying complex new things while still being able to maintain a firm grip on everything that's happening. The degree to which one can temper sound design in SynthMaster will accomodate even the most discerning tastes, and I still can't stress enough on the ease with which it operates. It also happens to be very CPU friendly, and in that price range, absolutely has no competition in my opinion.
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on June 17th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 12th July 2005.
Here is easily one of the most amazing free modulation filters there are on this website, and I insist (INSIST, I SAY!) that everyone here get it and try it out!

If you are producing anything that requires textural modulation, you cannot go wrong with this plugin. It has really opened my eyes to a whole new approach of enrichment simply through the use of filtering. This plugin will demonstrate to you how filtering can be used to obtain effects that range from the definitive, to heavy modulation scapes such as flanging, phasing, delay and echo, wahs, panning, formant type vocoding, gating and tremelo...and all tempo synced...it is fantastic! You MUST check out the preset bank that comes with the download.

I think that coming across this plugin has made me truly understand just how little I new about, and appreciated, exactly what extensive filtering can do for you. Before this beauty, I would have been trying to modulate using several effects to acheive the same as can be done with this plugin alone, and yet, it's not some huge horiffic monster with a learning curve from hell.

I believe everyone who tries the Obertone Filterbank is going to appreciate this plugin tremendously, but most importantly, it serves, in my opinion, as a most esoteric expletive to the importance of attaining a surgical and familial understanding of the frequency spectrum.

I found out that the writer, Markus Feil, is presently at reFX. He updated the Obertone page, so for those who were asking, the plugin IS now available for downloading.

Now...lets see if we can get him to update this gem! I would GLADLY pay for a newer version if asked to do so...and so would you.
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on May 25th, 2005
Version reviewed: 1.21 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 1st June 2005.
This is an AWESOME eq. Its somewhat cpu hungry, but the sound just can't be beat. I can't believe its free. All you guys who crave that "warm feel" should check out what this thing does, particulary to lower frequencies. It also brings out high mids extremely well, and absolutely sparkles at the highs.

The GUI is pretty sharp though a little compact and the readout is a little small in some places, but its perfectly legible and very clearly labeled. And although this allows the NWEQ to sit nicely in a corner for convenience, like many others, I like this kind of equalizer to provide a visual representation of the whole frequency spectrum as opposed to a numerical readout. A collapsable screen for the spectrum would be perfect if they insisted on keeping it small.It's just alot more convenient when you don't have to tweak a knob to know where its set when using a parametric equalizer. If you're good at EQ-ing with numbers then THIS IS the freebie eq for you. With an enhanced GUI, and less cpu usage I would like to know of any other freebie EQ to rival this one.

With 5 adjustable bands the NWEQ gives alot of space to work in. It's quite simply my favourite free equaliser plugin.
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