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BFD 3

Reviewed By Mr Arkadin [all]
November 17th, 2022
Version reviewed: 3.4.4.31 on Windows

A once mighty piece of software has been decimated by long periods of no development. Sadly the future does not look bright with the take-over by inMusic.

The new licence manager for BFD3, for example, introduced a 90-day subscription-style reauthorisation system. Even though you buy a perpetual licence you have to reauthorise BFD3 online every 90 days. This was introduced with no new terms of agreement and it was the users that spotted this change with no announcement from inMusic. I do not believe the website has ever been updated to reflect this new system.

Perhaps you're OK with reauthorising every 90 days. Except the software is so buggy it may not let you do this, or may do it at a seemingly random time period other than 90 days. You will not be able to use BFD3 at all if this happens.

I state this facts so that potential customers know exactly what they're getting into as inMusic surely won't tell you.

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Oddity2

Reviewed By Mr Arkadin [all]
March 14th, 2003
Version reviewed: 1.15 on Windows

i've waited till now to do a review because i wanted to see if i could create some presets for it first. i managed to create two new banks of sounds (which are available here at KvR) which i rarely do as most complex software synths don't seem that logical to me. This comes on CD-ROM held in a hardcover manual in a nice box with four Oddity banks of 64 presets, plus an Odyssey bank and a fifth Oddity bank is available via their website when you register (and this bank has some of the best sounds). Enter your serial number and away you go. No asking for the original CD every few days-type nonsense here.

i never owned a real Odyssey, but i've played with them and know my Odyssey sounds from Gary Numan (Music for Chameleons) to Herbie Hancock (Chameleon). This synth is very good and surprisingly flexible. The modulation routings can create some whacked-out sounds and are quite unusual in their execution. Some say they don't like the Oddity's sound, but i think this is because they probably don't like the Odyssey sound. With this you get a raw synth sound with no multi-effects to add gloss. You really need to add effects to this like they did to synths on the olden (golden?) days to recreate those classic sounds (get creative!).

My only real criticisms are: the opening patches in the preset banks could have been a bit more inspiring (particularly the first patch, 80s Bass, is a little, well, dull), the portamento isn't quite right yet and the lack of a PPC-style vibrato is a bit of a shame, but these are minor gripes and GMedia are very responsive to suggestions so these may yet be sorted. The only other VSTi i've bought is M-Tron and impOSCar so GMedia must be doing something right! (for me anyway).

Customer support from these chaps is very good. The manual also includes short tutorials explaining some of the more arcane functions like the odd S&H Mixer, which is a nice touch, especially if you're new to analogue synthesis and/or Odysseys.
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M-Tron

Reviewed By Mr Arkadin [all]
November 1st, 2002
Version reviewed: 4.6 on Windows

I'm on a Mac OS9 and when I first purchased it I had v2.05 which ran perfectly, installed without hassle or any security nonsense. Then I downloaded the v3.0 and it crashed when you played the top note. I emailed GMedia and a day and a half later they sent me an email with a fixed version which has worked perfectly. How's that for customer support. Now on 4.6 - the most stable version yet.

As I am a CreamWare SCOPE user most of my synth duties are handled by that card. This is one of only three VSTi I have felt the need to buy so far (the others being Oddity and impOSCar) as it covers a sound spectrum that I could only replicate in SCOPE with lots of multisamples from commercial sample CDs. And I mean multisamples as every note is a unique sample of each key of a Mellotron, giving rise to fantastic inconsistencies you don't get on S+S versions which spread a sample or two across several keys (and you don't get the famous/infamous eight second duration).

Within two weeks I was smitten with the sound and decided to fork out for the Tape Banks Vol. 1&2, which are absolutely fab and groovy and an essential purchase, still VFM even though it does hike up the overall price. i have also now bought Vol.3 - if you can still get the M-Tron Collection then this is the best way to get the whole package. Each 'tape bank' volume has about 26 or so tape reels - much more than you'd ever get for a real Mellotron. The are some M400 tapes taken from the direct out, and also MII taken from a mic'ed amp like some of the earlier bands used to (had to in fact). There are even some Birotron, Chamberlin and Roland VP-330 banks, with the eight second Mellotron rule still in place!

If you play this and think "This sounds great but it doesn't quite sound like In The Court Of The Crimson King" then just chuck it through a Leslie simulator and hey presto, that classic sound.

If you grew up on Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, The Beatles then buy this. If you didn't then buy all their records and then buy this (you'll want THAT sound for sure).
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