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Virtual Tube Preamp (VTP) [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 1st December 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 1st December 2018.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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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.

Oscilloscope [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 13th May 2018
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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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.

ChineeGuzheng Classic [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 4th April 2012
Version reviewed: 2.0.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 4th April 2012.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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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.

Waldorf Edition: Attack [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 28th February 2011
Version reviewed: 1.24 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 28th February 2011.
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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.
SynthMaster [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 15th April 2007
Version reviewed: on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 14th November 2011.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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+++ 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.
Filterbank (free) [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 17th June 2005
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 12th July 2005.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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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.
NWEQ [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 25th May 2005
Version reviewed: 1.21 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 1st June 2005.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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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.
Artphase [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Debutante [read all by] on 1st April 2005
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows.
Last edited by Debutante on 2nd April 2005.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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THIS IN NOT A ONE DIMENSIONAL SYNTH!!, although by just looking at it, I can see why there isn't a review for it yet, in spite the fact that this one is a GOOD-ER! In freebee world, anyone who likes the Algomusic's Phadiz is going to LOVE this one. The Artphase generates very deep and wide soundschemes that can be surprisingly thicker and heavier than one might expect. I think it is a fantastic addon particularly for anyone needing ambience or other rolling background FX and textures, as the sound has quite the substance to it.
The GUI at would at first peg the Arthphase to be an overly simplistic first attempt and looks a little utilitarian, but in fact contains quite a few "hidden" parameters that you would miss if you were just browsing. Click on the arrows/pointers (on the headers that have one) to discover bonus bits that include 2 more modulation matrices (one of which is assignable tempo synced), chorus, distortion, a left/ right delay and a total of three different envelopes for each oscilliator making for a pretty versatile instrument.
One NEEDS to load this plugin to really see what it is capable of. It will leave you wondering why you hadn't tried it before. It is extremely easy to use and becomes intuitive within a matter of a few moments of exploration, but don't be fooled by its appearence. This is a STANDOUT synth among its freebie peers.
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