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AnaMark [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 22nd February 2003
Version reviewed: 2.11 on Windows.
Last edited by exponent on 24th February 2003.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Been using anamark since 1.x and can only agree with what gargoyle says.

This synth isn't for everyone, but in the right hands it is a sonic gem. The osc section of Anamark alone is more novel and inventive than almost any standard signal-flow VA synth. There are 3 oscillators, each has a pulse control, symmetry, and phase control which works with all waveforms and has a graphic representation. The "pulse" especially has a dramatic effect for tailoring the harmonic content of the waveforms (in realtime). You can then modulate the waves with each other, using a varaiety of algorithms, then send to shaper and strange squelchy multimode filter.

The main strengths of anamark (imo) are
*hard leads.. metallic electronic, and beautifully digital and complex sounding, also
*rich warm, or cold electronic-sounding pads or keys, which remind of a vintage synth of analog/digital hybrid type, old strings synths, or even PM synths or Dx series.
*and lofi-ish retro sounds, synthetic wonderfully cheesy stuff that is hard to create with conventional synths.

Good for dark styles, psytrance, ebm, indust/electro, ambient and others

With this update anamark has been improved in various ways. First, there are a LOT of presets all ready within the plugin.. over 400. If you dont like those.. there's a whole random bank feature that will create a random bank of sounds to choose from or edit to your needs. The presets don't really show the best of the synth anyway.
There's now also a poly limiter, oversampling that can make it cleaner if you can afford the CPU, a mono-timbral mode, Midi-syncing effects, The Graphic Envelopes now have adjustable curves per point, making them similar to FM7 or Absyn type and a lot more effective.

Don't expect this to be a general purpose type VA synth.. it's too strange in its approach to synthesis to fill that role. It works best as a esoteric beast for edgy or strange sounds that normal synths cant do. It's a very under-rated VSTi.
Delay Lama [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 13th June 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by exponent on 13th June 2002.
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It is different. The tone is clean and precise sounding, the legato/glide is very smooth and nice.
No envelope control, but it dosent really need any i guess.

The x/y controller dosent really make sense to me, because grabbing it changes the pitch unless you are very careful, and being careful isnt the idea of performing changes with an x/y controller imo. If it changed two aspects of the formant like the vowel and the brightness knob on the right, it would make sense, but as it is, seems a wasted feature, mainly because there's no knobs to control the vowel or the pitch on their own, which would be better i think.

The interface brings an atmosphere to the plugin, it's cool in a way, but the animation has no practical use, obviously. It would be cool if there was a barebones animation-less interface for those who'd rather have their screen space unwasted. I reverted back to 1.0 because 1.1 hung orion on my system.

It seems it wasnt designed to morph the vowel in realtime, because automating the vowel parameter makes cpu use double and even triple under some situations. I guess maybe that's what a prior reviewer meant about stability.
I've already used it in a couple pieces and it holds its own, being very unique and recognizeable in a mix.

It's a cool instrument, i'd like to see a small compact interface version with dedicated knobs for vowel, delay, brightness, and glide.
Cheeze Machine [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 22nd March 2002
Version reviewed: 1.31 on Windows
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This instrument is very useful for chord arrangements. Sure it dosent have too many presets but basically it's just an AR envelope, a sawlike wave with nonres LP, and three effects, so it has a limited range. But that's no problem, because with this it's about the atmosphere created by that simple combination of DSP components, and it adds up really well.

Install it or start using it more today, it sits really well in a mix(esp with some eq) and you'll find yourself coming back to it for the backing of tracks a lot. I've had a problem with hanging notes in orion with specific sequences but i cant say this is cheezemachines fault for sure. Overall it's perfectly stable in my experience.
Aska Switch [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 22nd March 2002
Version reviewed: 1.11 on Windows
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This synth is actually extremly powerful for a certain type of very strong and precise type of "acid" bass sound. It dosent really have presets, or documentation, or suppourt (author is japenese) but that dosent really matter now does it?
I wonder if the fact that this is a japenese instrument has something to do with the way it sounds (wink, wink)
Overall it's very stable but i have experienced some problems with it in orion when saving songs that contain other instruments/generators. Nothing TOO bad though, i like it enough to still use it and get mad when i run into problems.

It's an addictive little beastie.
VAZ 2010 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 22nd March 2002
Version reviewed: 1.x on Windows.
Last edited by exponent on 22nd March 2002.
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Sound: Overall the synth responds in a very balanced and rewarding way. It really sounds like nothing else, it's got a nice arp, built-in sequencers, and some pretty good internal effects.

UI: The interface opens in a seperate window from the host which totally interrupts a quick workflow, but it saves everything with your song with NO problems in my experience, which many synths that open in a seperate window dont do, some other synth will even freeze your host when you try saving and make you lose work! The actual interface of the synth is top notch tho, minus a few quirks like patch selection.

Performance: CPU use is very acceptable, and good, but not as great as some people would have you believe with polyphony and release times.

Automation: Works fine with controller boxes or using cubase CC's or event editors. However, parameter automation from the front panel, IS NOT implemented yet. This is probobly the biggest drawback of this synth for those who do a lot of automation from the actual synth interface. I realize the idea of this is to make for more flexible assignment when using CC's but it basically gives you no choice, and CC stuff is a pain to set up, and impossible in say orion, where when you hit midi learn on a VAZ synth parameter, you cant even get back to orion's main window to draw in some data, you have to draw it in, and THEN it will learn it. And with graphic drawing you lose "realtime control".
DX10 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 20th March 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
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Stable, Flexible, Morphable simple fm synth.

Waay more capable than most people seem to realize. Good for everything from electric pianos to strings to basses to percussive.
Very low cpu useage means you can really push this instrument in many ways.
Fm is very clean and responsive on this instrument. No other instruments fill the little niche that this one does so nicely.
And it's free, or for 20 bucks pay and get an expanded version with another modulator and effects built in. Nice.
ZR-1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 20th March 2002
Version reviewed: 2.3 on Windows
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This is the best free organ imo. It has improved so much with the past few updates and now the jerky drawbar movement is gone, and the gui refresh problem is no more!

This is a very warm sounding instrument, somewhat vanilla flavored but not too much. It's pretty well rounded with the mono mode, saturation, rotary, virbrato, etc.

The sound is a little grungier than some other organs, but i think that's a good thing as it makes zr1 sound more meaty, differant. The author has put a lot of work into making this a very serviceable addition to your other specialty instruments, reccomended!
Junox² [read all reviews]
Reviewed By exponent [read all by] on 20th March 2002
Version reviewed: 1.4 on Windows.
Last edited by exponent on 5th June 2002.
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Overall this fills a nice void. There arent many other instruments that have the same sound charactor or specific programming possibilities this has. At the same time, it's somewhat of a workhorse.

It may seem one-dimensional at first but many types of possible voices are hiding behind the simple interface.
Support has been good, with all major and most minor issues cleared up pretty fast.

It has good oscillator tone, and a pretty dynamic multi-mode filter. The differant modulation oscillator types such as comb, digital wavetable, voice, sync, fm etc really are what make this synth stand out so much and have such a wide range. For the price with the features it's a must-have if you like the demo.
A top synth.