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Atmosphere [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 2nd December 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I had high expections for Atmosphere and I have not been let down. As a fan of Distorted Reality and Bizzare Guiter, I had reservations that this may just be a rehash of these sounds, which is cleary not the case. Atmosphere can sit along side existing Spectrasonics sample CDs nicely.

The sheer number of sounds on offer is awesome and of very high quality and attention to detail. The initial press press release of Atmosphere gave the impression of an ambiant and pad system. While it does this well, the sounds available have more on offer and should be useable in any number of musical genres, though clearly it is the ambient and movie soundtrack field that I feel this will be used a lot. Expect Atmosphere to be coming to a cinema to you soon. Really this is no wild boast, considering the number of movie score producers on the manual and demo credits, and Eric Persings association with the "LA Movie Producer Elite".

However there are a few gripes though not really reflective of the score I am giving, and are really minor if nothing at all:

a) I would have prefered a little bit more vocal patches and different "Choir" sounds. But I am not not too bothered considering it excels in other areas.

b) The GUI is functionally well laid out, but why those two stupid bars and the top taking up screen space. A minimum mode should have been incorporated.

c) The Layering system is an important and usefull feature. But why stop there, it would be nice to specify keyzones and velocity ranges, as well as even more layers.

However Atmosphere surpasses everything. It offers the sounds I like for Tangerine Dream, Jarre, Eno, Sylvian, Glass etc type sounds and "atmospheres". The Interface is so clear to use functionaly to the sounds that it was not really necessary to read the manual.

I used it on both Logic 5.5 and Cubase SX windows. On Logic it crashed on Cubase SX it did not. I do not know why, nor did I care since I am crossing to SX anyway.

Bluey.
Stylus Classic [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 29th November 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Very Refreshing drum loops (though a bit "west coast-ish"), that are clearly inspirational. You should be able to extract any drum beat from the clear editing and amazing choice. However I would have like to see a more european feel in some of the loops, but I guess it can be tweaked with a combination of the interface and the midi groove extracted into the sequencer.

However (somebody correct me if I am incorrect) but the system of corresponding slices to midi slices is rather cumbersome. It involves first loading up the slices, then finding the corresponding midifile to load into the sequencer. Rather it should allow a preview of the loop, allow you to then load the slices, and then drag and drop the midi file like phatmatic. For this I cannot give a higher user interface mark and hopefully one day this feature will be added.

Bluey.
pHATmatik Pro [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 6th August 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by bluey on 8th August 2002.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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While this appears to be a rex player alternative, it offers far more greater appeal and experimentation for incorporation into a sequencer. It is great to rip from a loop, even to only extract a snare or bass hit. The auto tempo and signature detection usually works fine.

However great this program is, I feel that the $99 is a bit much for certain features that are missing, and I cannot compare it to the other loop rippers that are included already as standard in fruity and orion.

A number of loops produced clicks upon playback, but this was a rare event and it is only 1.0 software. Given this can be avoided by automatically applying attack and decay to the hitpoint transcients (like emagic rex import), it is not included. Neither are there quick options to regroove the loop from presets, and this is left to the sequencer.

All in all a great combo especially with the drag and drop features to other vsti's and certain compliant hosts. Though as I say a bit expensive considering the lack of base material. Maybe the price should be dropped and an even more enhanced version brought to the current pricing.
Triangle II [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 3rd April 2002
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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This synth has a unique ability, the sound pallete can appeal to those seeking that punch to add to their dance arsenel or those wishing a powerfull electronic sound.

The fact that it is similar yet different to big brother pentagon means it can be used along side quite well (I figure the intention though is a showcase for Pentagon technology. It's hard to believe it was given out for free. Well done !!!

The GUI is clear and arranged with the signal path, left to right top to bottom.

However its real power is when you start to play with the multiple midi learn functions. Leads just rip while twisting a knob and altering multiple parameters at the same time with a single knob.

The presets are great, though a bit dancey at times.

Wicked !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(who says I like to give bad reviews)
FM8 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 9th December 2001
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by bluey on 9th December 2001.
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Yeah like "I HATE DX7 AND FM SYNTHS" but I heard it in the shop and it sounded quite neat, better than a DX7. Bit pricey though maybe $200 is better.
Pentagon I [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 11th November 2001
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows.
Last edited by bluey on 4th April 2003.
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I am ratching some ratings down, not because P1 is any lesser synth, but a lot has changed since its release and there are other comparable synths out, including Zeta that surpass the original synth.

Sounds even more wicked with the multi OSC modes, 50 waveforms and formant filters since my last review. I've not even tried out the separate fx unit yet that acts also like a vocoder (thanks emagic duuuh) ! GUI in 1.2 release is also a massive improvement and greater clarity. Your really appreciate the presets after a while because they are not trying to put themselves in a particular sellable category, you will find "danceomatic" presets there, but many other styles to suite your style which is refreshing somewhat.
-----------
Oh no I thought, not another "analogue" type VSTi again, how many more can we take. But on downloading the demo and running through the 300 presets I was awed by the sonic depth of this synth, it can do anything. I particulary liked the amp simulator which allowed the synth to sound really retro and old or completely modern, the filters were warm too.

This synth is better than I've heard a lot of hardware analogue emulation synths. And maybe the best analogue VSTi in general. The Demo is not really hampered too much, dropping out the volume every 10 seconds.

This synth seems the best "all in prebuilt" analogue VSTi i've used. Has extensive midi controller options (according to specs) so will rock with the Surface One I'll buy one day.
Battery [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 18th August 2001
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Simple to operate and load. Lots of features etc etc
which you can try on the demo download. But Hell , I bought it just for the quality drum samples all sampled, mapped and done for me. The quality of the samples is great and for the price, the package is cheaper than a lot of akai drum kit CDs of lesser
quality.
Waldorf Edition: PPG Wave 2.V [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bluey [read all by] on 18th August 2001
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Wow this is the real deal. I didn't even know this
thing existed until I heard it and bought it in a shop. Great sounds that I have heard in Tangerine Dream and Jarre and others. It does have a certain distinct sound that I would classify somewhere between analogue and digital.

Apparently even the PPG user group say this sounds
exactly like the original. Very clear interface and easy to program, and not a resource hog either.
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