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All reviews by derek

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Reviewed By derek [read all by] on October 25th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
great plugin! it basically comes down to two things:

1. detailed sampling of drums. its not like BFD invented that, but the sampling is *really* detailed and makes the drum sounds come alive in a way i havent heard in a while.

2. the much more important point: it splits the samples into direct signal and crosstalk on the other microphones. i have done this myself with a few drumkits and it is *the* key to realistic drum sampling, but its such a lot of work, oh my...

...fxpansion has done all that work for us, and it shows. pressing the solo button on the basedrum channel and hearing the crosstalk from the other instruments is not only a cool jawdropper (in the traditional "look what this thing does" way) but helps the sound enourmously. being able to process only the overheads, or using an overcompressed basedrum mic as sole sound source for some fun lofi stuff, thats the way its gotta be.

so far so good. i dont know any other sampleset that does this, so that leaves BFD without any competition (asides from my own samplesets as competition for me personally ;-)

things i would like to see in the future:

1. random changing of samples. sample a full velocity hit on the snare drum 8 times and make them randomly chance. that makes it even more realistic and would be a very logical addition for the whole BFD concept

2. even though its hard on RAM: include the crosstalk on tom mics in future samplesets. let the user choose to load them or not load them. it might seem unimportant at first, but i.e. the low tom mic usually is one of the coolest SFX or pseudo-drumloop sources of them all :-)

3. make the bell samples of the ride cymbal accessible also via the keyboard (just put them on some other key) and not just switching. allthough maybe i just havent found that or my version is outdated.

4. some onboard effects, especially compression. it would be nice to have some good compression settings load as part of the instrument

5. on a somewhat similar note, it would be great if one had a way to rise the level of the "soft" samples with a knob somewhere in the UI. that may go against the ultra-relalism approach of BFD, but in todays ultra-stylized low-dynamic pop world it would be very helpful. right now i find myself mostly using the high velocity samples or adding another instance of BFD for the softer samples (thus killing my RAM of course ;-)

that may seem like a lot of complaints for an instrument i recommend, but thats only because its so inspiring and goes new ways. its the best plugin ive bought in a long time and outside of the KVR rating system i would give it a 10 out of 10, with my remarks being understood as BFD having the potential to go to eleven :-)

all in all, its the best in its category. its the only one in its category. the quality and detail of sampling are awesome, the UI is very clever (and beatiful! love the pictures in the panel to load drum sounds...not only eye candy but also useful to remember which drum was which).

a true masterpiece. i look forward for many more drum libraries. theres no such thing as a too big library of realistic real drum sounds.
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on June 17th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
waaaah ROFL :-)

(i hope KVR forgives me this normally unwanted review type :-)
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on November 4th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
aww i love the mysterion :-)

it really is a "one trick pony" but hey, this one trick made the theremin a legend :-)

you cant really review this thing i guess - the sinewave sounds like...well...a sinewave, the one sound it has does what its supposed to do, and the UI is cool.

one thing that would be cool would be more optional waveforms, saw, square etc to use with this nice UI, but hey, in a way that probably wouldnt be very true to the original, and its freeware...

*bows as always*

the funny thing is, i think i have used this much more often than some of the synths with full feature set. nothing like a good specialist plugin...
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on November 4th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
probably a nice sampler, but how can you tell when its functions are spread over 8749874 windows :-)

i dunno - i got the full version and used it during a song production. it sure did everything a basic sampler needs to do, but everything i did took sooo long with this user interface, and i dont really appreciate a plugin that fills the entire screen with sub and sub sub windows that are all set to "always on top"! :-)

filter is so-so, the CPU usage is *very* bad. much less efficient than vsampler for example, which performs almost twice as good on my system.

maybe if creamware redid the GUI and optimized the CPU usage i would have to rewrite this review (and it might actually be a pretty positive one then), but for the time being, all i can say is that this thing isnt as good as the competition and thus cant really be recommended.

sure, its freeware, but i do get the feeling this thing is so CPU hungry to make the user think "oh man i need creamware DSPs" LOL :-)
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on November 4th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
probably the best sounding freeware virtual analog synth there is at the moment. all the standard parameters are there, and if you feel its limited, then thats because, well, old school substractive synthesis is a bit limited in general :-)

i only wish it had a decent GUI - but it seems like were going to get just that with VST 5.1 so i can see myself using it even more than i did in the past.

its a great synth, and sheesh its again freeware

*bows before the freeware heros* you guys rock :-)
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on November 4th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
being a wavetable junkie (i used to create custom transwaves on ensoniq gear) i was really interested in this thing. its so-so IMHO.

pro: good interface, arpeggiator (useful in a VSTI IMHO), good ideas like the stereo spreading or the emulation of PPG hiccups :-)

con: well...the wavetables. if this thing had better wavetables, it would be a clear winner. but the ones it has really arent very good. they may have been impressive in the 80s when people used the real PPG (and made it sound good with lexicon gear :-), but these days this is just no state of the art anymore.
filter is also not THAT great IMO

as a result, it tends to sound a bit too bleepy and cheesy. wavetables always tend to do that, but this one does so more than necessary :-) i wish one could load user wavetables, but i doubt walddorf want to turn this into a real competition for their hardware anytime soon.

so personally, im still waiting for a good VSTI wavetable synth (and use reaktor in the meantime ;-)
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on November 4th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
being another old 8bit computer junkie, i can only agree with the other reviews :-)

one thing id like to add is that even if you take the "c 64-soundalike" concept out of the consideration, this thing really really sounds good. the oscillators have a very fat, almost rude and aggressive quality to them. cuts through in the mix like hell. so, whether you want a c 64 SID clone or just a good sounding synth with character, this is a true winner.

i even think the user interface is OK, but the one thing id really like to see would be virtual knobs in addition to the parameter readouts. shift dragging numbers is even less intuitive than turning virtual knobs with a mouse, so theres room for improvement here :-)

but other than that, this synth is perfect :-)
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on October 27th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
two things about the EVP to consider:

1, the plugin:

the one sound it does is OK. IMHO not as impressive as the B4, cause it tends to sound a little too clean and, well, "digital". OTOH its nicely "alive", so sometimes its better than a sampled rhodes, at other times its not. i would say that a sampled rhodes often "sounds better", but "behaves" less good. pretty much the old sampling vs. physical modelling argument i guess.

2. emagics strategy to release crippled versions of their logic instruments:

booh! you think ANYONE would switch sequencers because of a rhodes plugin? do you think anyone will ever use your crippled playback-EXS when theres halion and vsampler?

the EVP is nice, but the fact that it comes with one model where the logic version comes with many more and more effects makes me very angry. there is NO technical reason to cripple the plugin other than greed for more logic customers, so id give the support a zero if i could. shame on you emagic.
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on October 27th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
one of the best VSTIs out there IMHO. its understandable if people got mixed feelings about it though.

it isnt a feature packed monster by any means, just the bread and butter type analog synth. but the point is, it is by far the BEST SOUNDING bread and butter analog synth. i dont know what exactly it is, cause at times it sure isnt perfect, i.e. parameters arent interpolated, envelopes are a bit rough too, but for some reason it simply sounds better than other, similar VSTIs. so its definetly worth the money IMHO, i use it in every song, most of the time one voice for bass and maybe one for some agressive hookline (did i mention the awesome distortion? :-)

best sound. and thats what counts at the end of the day, isnt it :-)

CPU hungry (make sure to mute voices you dont use)
the monophonic mode uses highest note priority and not last note priority. thats really totally stupid, cause if you dont edit note lenghts all the time, timing might be off. doh :-)
Reviewed By derek [read all by] on October 14th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
totally outdated. good 3rd party drumkits, but thats all there is to it. if were really just talking about the plugin itself, then this is hands down the worst drummachine plugin out there.

editing drum kits via a text file or external editor, LOL what were they thinking :-)

if you take the wizzoo kits into consideration, ok, you could call the LM 4 a nice sampling CD for a reasonable price. i dont like the sound too much but i guess thats a question of taste.