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Independence [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 7th March 2019
Version reviewed: 3.7 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Independence is a great tool to have when you want to have a variety control over your sounds that other samplers seems to miss. Granted, this VST has not been updated in sometime, but it contains features that some new samplers even lack. MIDI Bank & Prgram changer for layers, presets saving & recall for effects & modifiers, internal VST fx & instrument support and more... all with being low on the CPU. Using it as is, you can make this a mainstay of your virtual setup. I have the version qithout sounds, as I prefer to roll my own, and it suits that purpose very well.

DUNE 3 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 19th April 2018
Version reviewed: 2.6 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 19th April 2018.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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I've had Dune 2 since it was released. I always have had a soft spot for Synapse products because Orion was the 1st DAW that I actually liked and started working with immediately about 18 years ago.

Dune 2 is my #1 synth.

Is this the most punchiest sounding synth? No.

Is this the most feature ridden synth? No.

Is this the synth with the best fx or filters? No.

Is this the best wavetable synth? No.

What Dune 2 is though is versatile. Dune2's sound fits a nice modern space due to he power of it's oscillators and how they can function. From the amount of voices, to the tuning, to the layers, to the different synthesis types... you have the potential for a really rich deep smooth sound that can work in all genres. Notice I said SMOOTH. Dune2 isn't something you grab for edginess, and it wasn't really designed to be. It was designed for you to add on sound sources & keep some flexibility in 1 synth.

What throws most people off about Dune 2 is they expect Massive or Sylenth fatness, or Serum or Spire power. Dune 2 is its own field. Dune 2 can do these type of sounds with some love from you programming them, but it's focus is rich & smooth. Dune 2's focus is not the leading man/woman of your sound stage... it's for everything else.

I use Dune 2 a lot for drums. Most ppl dont consider this a very percussive synth, but again, you can layer with this thing and make any kind of percussion you want. I also use it for basses, pads (of course), & atmospheres. It is super light on the CPU considering how many oscillators you can use, so using multiple instances isn't an issue in a modern computer. The reverb is so lush.. though sometimes maybe too lush LOL. The envelopes aren't the snappiest, but you can also use the MSEGS for that if you choose.

Which brings me to the problem. Dune 2 is one of those synths that fits its certain space SO well, that you which it could do more. A deeper modulation matrix. More flexibility to the arp, More envelopes, more LFOS. Better implementation of the wavetables with a wavetable editor. Multitimbrality & Multiple Outputs for the unison voices. Etc, etc. Currently Synapse is working on a version 3, and I cant wait to see what they have in store. Usually, from my experience of using their products & hearing requests, its something between what people want & what people aren't thinking of.

Even in its current state, it is one of the most top notch synths. If you are looking for a synth that may not focus on modern edginess or classic flavor, this is the synth to get. Put Dune 2 in your arsenal. You won't regret it.

(NO I wasn't paid for this LOL)

Addictive Drums 2 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 27th November 2017
Version reviewed: 2.1.7 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 27th November 2017.
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Ive been using AD since version 1. One of the best purchased Ive made. I don't use this all the time, but when I NEED acoustic drums this is what I always use.

It's not the most feature robust, or the most detailed, or has the most expansive library.. but that's ok.. because it falls right in between all of the categories to make it a really good product. It's dead easy to use. It wont kill your CPU & loading up things are a breeze. Version 1 was kind of limited, but with the new version having 18 drum pieces vs 12, with more tweakability & better libraries, it's come a long way.

Im a firm believer in practice makes perfect. The 1st libraries for AD were pretty good. Not highly configurable, but good nonetheless. As time has evolved I believed XLN has definitely upped their game. Each of their expansions has a particular focus, but they can all be used within in genre you choose. The new Boutique Mallet library is unique & probably one of the best so far. Along with the Vintage Dry, & Black Velvet & Session percussion, they really make AD functional for a wide range of uses that don't bog you down in the CPU or in creativity. Could it do more & have mroe features? Yes... but I think many more features will detract from its character rather than add.

Alot of people frown upon anything but the absolute best. Sometimes the best thing to use is what is functional & expands as you see fit. This is AD2 in all it's glory. Every year I buy something new from them. Good company, good product .Oustanding sounds.

XLN... can we get a Trap Drum kit & MIDI pak now? And a triangle??

Synthulator [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 12th July 2017
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 12th July 2017.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I'll start off by saying that I wrote a review on the Rhythmic Robot site jus now, so I'll just add that along with some extraness ;-)

I picked this up during their summer sale right now & The Professor & Mongo are pretty good at having their products available for cheap prices and on sale sometimes. This is by far 1 of my best purchases I have ever made for a Kontakt library. it's just what I needed. A retro sounding sound synth library with real world sounds but operates like a synth...however easy to control.

What I like best about Synthulator is that as complex as this sounds it's so easy to work with. Even just using the basic saw, sine, tri, & pulse sustain waves gives you something with character due to how well RR sampled it. Synthulator definitely has girt... but not sloppy grit. Soothing exfoliating grit if you will. Those reverbs play well in this instruments and it gives everything a nice smooth coating. I think what makes this synth so dope is the Glitch function. It's random but like a musically randomness. You can come up with some great ideas just by hitting the button & doing further tweaking. Again... this is not super complex to work your head around. It just feels right. Add a lil tape compression effect from Kontakt & maybe also for some craziness you could use Replika XT with this and you have yourself an 8 bit synth with lots of depth. My ONLY ONLY ONLY ONLY criticism of this that this scream for a mono poly legato mode to be implemented. I come up with nice lead sounds with this and to have that much more of control would make this perfect... and I don't believe in perfect LOL.

TAL-Sampler [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 30th November 2016
Version reviewed: 1.82 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 30th November 2016.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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This is one of my favorite samplers, hands down. It's perfect for when you need to manipulate a sound quickly.. but still want it to have character.

Keep in mind, when looking at this sampler, the question should be "how can I manipulate sound" not "how can I stack sounds". Tal Sampler is not meant to be an multi-layered sampler... but it could used in a realistic fashion if you think old school about how you use samplers (1-4 layers of good sounds with manipulation). Also... this is the ONLY simple sampler that has a realistic stretch function, 1 for each layer. The only other simple sampler hat I know of (that is not Kontakt, Halion, Mach 5, Falcon, UVI Workstation, Battery) that has stretch is the one included in FL Studio.

I now loads soundfonts & sfzs (although, only single samplers with a limit of 4 layers). This makes it super versatile for those who don't want to be stuck in Kontakt getting all scripted. You can slice, edit, stretch & loop each sample to your heart's content. It's also not just good for regular sampled instruments but for single cycle wave files as well. So if you have lots of Adventure Kid waveforms and want to give them some different flavor, this is a good ticket. It's not bad on the CPU and again... the sound! The sounds is one of the main reasons I chose it. A lot of us love that early vintage sound. his gives you a chance to come super close without a lot of effects. The onboard reverb & delay are a great addition & the EQ comes in handy. Also... LOVE the mod matrix. Everything is super simple if you need to work fast.

As with any instrument, I'd like to see a couple of things changed. Mostly, I like think that Tal Sampler would definitely use are some more filters. Granted there are 4 types of lowpass filters (4p, 2p, 1p, ) and 1 filter for each of the 4 sampled layers, it would be great if there was a highpass & a bandpass type included as well. (Personally, comb filters are fun, but not too many manufacturers include comb filters in their samplers.... such a shame!). I understand that there is a peak EQ included, but having more versatility wouldn't hinder this already versatile beast. Lastly... I think Tal Sampler could use a multi-out version...4 stereo outs, 1 for each layer. This sampler makes drums sound killer and if you have drum sounds on each layer going to different outputs, it could make a great simple drum sampler as well, though you can already use it like this if you just put everything to 1 output or have a separate instance for each drum sound.

I'm looking forward to whatever comes next with Tal. They make great products and I got turned on by the quality of their free FX & synths. Tal Sampler is not for te sample librarian. it's for the sample manipulator who likes samplers to sound like... well.. samples.

Transfuser [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 16th November 2016
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 16th November 2016.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Transfuser is like a workstation almost for people who like to use samples, loops & some basic instruments. You have multiple engines each with their own sequencer with patterns that can be controlled my MIDI per channel. If you like to actually make your own loops (or use a decent collection of ok loops) & have fun playing this might just be the ticket.

I bought this because I have for the longest time looking for a decent drum plugin that can sequence and gave me control over my samples. Transfuser definitely is that one that does it. You have 12 samples each with pitch, pan, filter, amp controls, plus 3 insert effects and each drum can be sent to individual outputs as well as be utlized by the send effects.

The slicer is bad ass too, as you can slice a sample & then copy a slice to a separate phrase synth to manipulate it separately. Also with effects & multiple controls. Take note that you can import rex files as well.. so you have a great amount of flexibility.

You all have ALOT of loops & samples to work with. Given just this VST, you probably wouldnt need much of an outside collection if you dont mind doing some manipulating.

Also it includes a bass synth, electric piano, & analog synth as well. These are not great but not too shabby. If you have other synths, you may not find a use for these, but still nice to have.

Take in mind this is an old VST. It is a little bit hard to read because so much is crammed in. This was made right before the craze of resizeable panels. Also, the phrase sampler could use a better resampling method to make it sound better... like Elastique. Also, no host automation... though you do have a few global smart controls and most of the parameters can be automated by MIDI.

That being said, Transfuser is super low on the CPU. With a few modules, I was hovering around 8-10% on my system (i7, 12 GB RAM, 2 tb hd). The sequencer for each section is str8 forward & MARIO is great for inspiration. You also get an FX version as well if you want to run other VSTs or audio through to get a consistent sound for your project. And finally... the sound quality is top notch.

If you like to get to your ideas quick and dont mind a few quirks... you should highly consider this plugin.

SH Poly [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 15th April 2016
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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If you're looking for a synth to use in Kontakt that actually works like a synth, don't want to spend a lot of money, don't want the library to be too huge AND want it to sound good, look no further than this baby.

For less than a ounce of weed, you have the choice to get something that you don't hide from the police... a synth in a sampler! I'll hit the good points first:

-Cheap (everything is about the money)

-Low footprint (About 170 mg download, so you're RAM will be safe & it's great if you have an older computer)

-Sound (Not oversaturated, unless you want it to be. It's not overdone, but it plays well. A great tonal range..sharp & tight at the high end. Consistent in the middle. Not too bad on the lows... it won't be able to do trap subs... but for playing actual bass lines it's terrific. It's the oscillators that make this synth, not the features).

-Versatility (This is the main reason I like SH Poly. The multi osc is great for pads, synth keys or even leads. You can tune each of the oscillators & modulate the pitch with very smooth LFOs. Those of which you have 2. The filter works great on them... with an envelope, LFO, & a highpass as well. A little bit of the white/pink noise can bring in some dark air if needed. If you need to get a stronger signal, that overload button will make your sound stronger, not just louder. Towards the back you have a well thought out effects section that accentuates rather than take over your sound. Not too mention you have a bass & high eq to further enhance things and the glide function can work in poly as well as mono)

-INIT patch (Most libraries are different instruments or NKIs that contain different samples. Especially the lower costs ones. It's nice to have a synth library that actually acts like a synth.. in which I can program all the sounds I need to with just the initial patch... just like a real synth. You can also hit the "Glitch" button when you don't feel like thinking or need some inspiration.)

Some libraries are meant to explore every sound possible by what synth (s) the developer used. Some libraries are meant to be focused. This is where SH Poly lies. If you know what you're doing with this, you can make it sound incredible. This is also a great synth to layer other synths with. It doesn't sound like tape. It doesn't sound like valve. it sounds like an SH-7. I'll be using this a lot in my productions in the future. Thanks Professor (and Mongo).

SynthMaster [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 12th September 2015
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 12th September 2015.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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My review for Synthmaster is based off of the new update v2.7.5 which has seen a lot of key improvements in an already flourishing product. I conduct reviews differently, as I try to initially give my expectations, the good points and then the points that I feel need to be improved. It also needs to be said I'm am not the deepest guy into making my own sounds, so I may be speaking from a different perspective than most.

My brother purchased Synthmaster a couple of versions ago. I was against it because it looked kind of complicated and around that time Synthmaster was EVERYWHERE. I'm kind of backwards and I like to go for tools (& music) that most don't listen to. However, he was dead set against my opinion and purchased it anyways. About 6 months later he upgraded to the everything bundle which was on sale at the time. I thought he was crazy, but since he is my brother, I couldn't resist trying out for free. (I see you pointing your finger! My brother chose to let me install one of his 5 licenses on my computer. Now back away KVR police!) Needless to say, my expectations initially weren't that high for Synthmaster, mostly because it didn't look like it would be my cup of tea.

I gave it an honest try and I was really blown away by SM's sound!! In fact, of all the synths I tried, SM has the most solid sound. What I mean by solid is SM is unapologetically a digital synth and puts out EXACTLY what you put in. It's like a Kotelnikov of synths and THAT I like. Whatever sound I used, I could definitely see myself using for productions. With the newest update, the CPU for using the analog filters was reduced. My computer is a little newer, so CPU usage wasn't really a concern initially, but now it's really better.

The things I like about SM are that with so many sounds, this COULD be the only synth that you could need/use to make music. Being it's mostly a wavetable synth, you can make it sound like whatever you want to, but have have immense control over the outcome. I usually never get past using 1 layer, but it's nice to know that I have another available. The addition of the oscillator algorithms & unison control gives more refinement to an already powerful synth. Not to mention being able to use the modulators as a sub-oscillators! The effects are simply outstanding and do not feel like they were just added on. The arp is implemented well. I love that you modulate each oscillators with 4 more oscillators AND... the kicker.... the ability to import SFZ files! Though many opcodes aren't supported, I can use sounds from some of the Zampler free downloads and load them up in this baby and have more control. The 4 ASDRS, 2d envelopes, 2 MSEGS & 6 LFOS gives you so much control that it's mind boggling sometimes. The filters are really digital sounding, but are VERY precise. Not to mention, with all of those presets, the browser comes in handy and is implemented fairly well for the most part. There is a mod matrix with 64 slots, 2 buses of effects, 2 XY pads, 8 easy knobs & even an FX version. Again, this is a VST I would use for all of my synth sounds.. ALMOST desert island territory here.

Now, what I don't like is with all of this power going on, most of the time, SM to me feel like it's always a work in progress. There are some quirks that are annoying that have been going on for a long time that are really annoying. For one, after awhile of using SM, some of the waveforms may start to disappear. There is a workaround for this which includes deleting a temp file, but it's something that catches you off guard and shouldn't be happening.

The display really still baffles me sometimes. It's the looks of the GUI but just how it's organized. In all other synths I have ever seen, you will see a familiar flow of oscillator functions first, controllers, filters then maybe routings later. Because the GUI designer was going for something different here, its not bad, but I get really confused when I start working because my eyes are tricked into going down to the Oscillator section first, the crossed over to the filter then down to the controls then at the top left for routing. I just feel this should all be switched around. I could probably just rearrange this myself and make a new skin, but SM has A LOT of elements in which making a new skin seems like too daunting of a task for someone like me. Sometimes, I feel the filters could have a little more UMPH to them as well.

In dealing with SFZ, it's understandable that not all opcodes will be used, but I wish the opcodes that are used was made more apparent in the manual. SM could be used as a basic rompler in this fashion if more people new exactly what was needed. Though there are tons of single waveforms inside, SFZ is a great way to import sounds in the same interface and have all of your sounds coincide (I guess you could also use the FX version for that as well with another sampler if need be).

When making favorites, I wish that there was a convenient way to browse them. As of now, the favorites folder is just a long list (if you have a lot of favorite of course) and it's similar to the rest of the preset browser screens in SM. With so many presets available, I think something like this is necessary. Also, the Bit Depth & Drift knobs have recently been removed from the ASDRs, though not heavily used by others, I personally would like them to stay as I use them to add some personality to my sounds. These are all really annoyances rather than extremities that takeaway from Synthmaster as a whole, but they should be addressed.

Bulent, the developer has stated a timeline of updates that will be coming, including granular synthesis & an internal SFZ editor. These are located on the following thread: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6203340#p6203340.

Let's hope that plans don't change at KV331.

Besides that, I really think that you can't really squeeze any more into an already bulging product. The SM Player is also available for those who just want to use the presets (this was released after my brother purchased however) and also an iPad version. It seems that SM is still gaining ground.

Personally, I can't find too much fault with this this synth besides it's layout mostly. For this reason alone it is my #3 synth to use and not numero uno. I'm not the GUI police, but I think with all of the changes a more understandable flow could be perceived. That along with a favorite's browser & stopping those disappearing waveforms, I would be all about using this for every production. The sound is immaculate and on that point alone I recommend that everyone try this synth if you know what you are doing with synthesis or try the player version if you are still learning.

DirectWave [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 26th August 2015
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 26th August 2015.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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This SHOULD be one of the greatest samplers around! However with lack of support, a lot of love has been lost by the users. I want go give another review on the good points since I just came across this sampler recently and it has been updated somewhat. Also, it now comes free with the Producer version of FL Studio.

The sound: Supreme! I know that sampler/vst aficionados will say that all samplers calculate 1's and 0's the same so all samples will sound the same, but I really don't agree. I think everything has it's own flair, and this sampler definitely has a great sound to it. It's like a really glossy clean sound that sounds "sturdy". Not over saturated, not too clinical... but pristine. I hope these adjective translate well with those who read it. The sound of the filters, I agree with the previous review suck, but they don't detract away too much.

Features: Being able to import basic sfz files, rex, sf2s & a variety of other formats (even Kontakt 4 files albeit no scripting) means you can have lots of fun giving your samples a new sound & feel. You can record samples (!! YAY !!!), and time stretch as well. The timestretch is not elastique pro quality, but for something like this you may no really want it to be. The loop points, effects, LFOs, filters, timestretch options & envelopes can be automated per zone or global. There are 3 global effects for your preset: reverb, chorus & delay. You can set up a Direct Wave Bank that has 128 different programs, it's multitimbral, 16 outputs, AND it can sample VSTs! Not too mention, everything is pretty much laid on one screen, so you don't ever feel like you're getting lost. On paper, this annihilates a lot of the competition.

Ease of use: And here is the bad part. Directwave is NOT difficult to use, don't get me wrong. There are just things that don't work well, which is surprising for a VST that has been around this long. Sometimes loading different formats doesn't translate well. DW will freeze if the file is too big. But this is working usually in the 32-bit version. In the 64-bit version, I can get larger files to load a little better, but it still takes a minute. Being that this VST was released about 10 years ago, one would expect some disk streaming as standard. Another complaint is that DW doesn't slice or recognize multiple points in acidized wave files. Being that Image Line has so many tools to slice and dice with (SliceX, Edison, Fruity Slicer), you would think that you would be able to incorporate that into DW somewhere. However, DW only deals with regular samples UNLESS it's a REX file (I Haven't checked Recycle files). With REX files. each slice or region shows independently as a zone in DW, and from there you can treat the zones as different samples. It would be nice to have his applied to other samples that are sliced from Edison or SliceX (with drag and drop from those tools specifically) as well to take advantage of the quick workflow.

As many, I wish that Image Line will really just listen to their customers and either revamp Directwave or take some cues from its versatility and make a new sampler. For owners of FLStudio, it would be a pretty basic statement to say that this is the missing piece that doesn't make FLStudio feel complete. They have at least brought it to 64-bit territory which is a start, but this sampler is begging for much more. For instance, there is no aftertouch or MIDI controls in the matrix. Better filters, maybe additional LFO shapes, more sfz opcodes as well would be great. It's a shame, because ideally this could the main sampler that tweakers could use for making their own instruments that is lightweight with a great sound. There are lots of options available now in this territory, but no one has really NAILED the VST Sampler yet besides Native Instruments. As time goes forth, someone has to come up with what people REALLY want. The groundwork is there! Directwave is almost it, but no one can justify spending money on a tool that its developers do not want to support consistently. Personally, I'll use it as is... but I'm always on the lookout for something better.

The Cassamplerette [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Saukar30 [read all by] on 26th August 2015
Version reviewed: 8.1 on Windows.
Last edited by Saukar30 on 26th August 2015.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This is perfect if you are looking for imperfect sounds. The focus of Cassamplerette is not accuracy, but of regular sounds that are, in my opinion, recorded wrong or long ago by your uncle Earl drinking whiskey at 2 in the morning and trying to record his ideas. In that context this works out, atleast for me...mostly because I don't like everything to sound super clean all of the time.

There are not a lot of controls to manipulate, but the ones that are there change the sound deeply (Reverb, Delay, Hi Damp, Low Damp, Wonkiness, Noise, Amp/Cabinet, Saturation controls). It could probably benefit more with a compressor on the performance view, though. With 2 channels of 40 or so instruments that you can blend, you can definitely get some great nostalgia working. I use Cassamplerette as more of a backing instrument for my more cleaner sounds that don't have a lot of "analog" depth.

My suggestion with a library like this is that one should go through each of the instruments individually and pick what you would like. Usually in Kontakt libraries you are after preset inspiration. This comes as two presets (instruments & drums), so it is meant to be explored versus exploited. The reverbs they added are usually just right for the sounds that are accompanied. The drum version has 8 pads with multiple basic controls & MIDI learn, so it is great for many types of uses. Don't expect fully sampled round-robin BFD/Addictive Drums type of drum kits, the caveat of the Cassampelrette drums is for those nasty drumloops that fill up clean space.

Because Cassampelrette is so contained, however, you will need a fast computer and lots of RAM to run it efficiently. The main instrument take about a good minute to load on my computer with i7 processor & 12GBs of RAM, but ti's worth the wait. This is not your regular Kontakt library where you zoom through the presets & judge how the instruments are from there. Take your time with it and it can definitely be rewarding if you are looking to add some instant grit into your productions.