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HurdyGurdy [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bobsled [read all by] on 23rd January 2007
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was it helpful to you? Yes No
HurdyGurdy is a sample based VST instrument.

User Interface- A well laid out colorful GUI makes this plugin both easy and a pleasure to use. A few of the controls, such as Chanter and Trompette, require some knowledge of the actual instrument. No worries, there is an excellent explanation of these terms and their function (as well as nice pics) on the product page.

Sound- There is something quite special about the sound of this instrument. Evocative, stirring, plaintive, and accurate down to the very buzz and rattle that a real HurdyGurdy produces. Amazingly realistic.

*WARNING* I'm about to get all cheesy here. This instrument does make me feel more than a bit emotional while playing, as if, well, giving voice to my heart. Song to my soul? That may seem a bit much but it is honestly how I feel. Maybe it's an ancestry thing.

Features- Soundbytes has tried to give the user the means to tailor the sound of the instrument to his or her needs and tastes. It seems that it was also important to the dev that the instrument sound like what it was meant to sound, though there is an extended playable range. Two stereo outputs allow for even more flexibility and customization.

Documentation- There is an included manual as well as additional on-line information which will have you up and running in no time.

Presets- There are relatively few presets but due to the nature of the plugin how many do you need?

Customer Support- Support has been excellent, replies to my emails prompt and the dev has shown considerable class while dealing with questions here on KVR.

Value For Money- Again a rating of excellent, included with HurdyGurdy is the StringVerb stand-alone effect (the same StringVerb you see on the main panel).

Stability- Stable, stable, stable. HurdyGurdy does not crash, is CPU friendly and produces a predictable performance.
Aethereal [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bobsled [read all by] on 1st January 2007
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was it helpful to you? Yes No
Be warned, this is only my second review. Here goes.

User Interface- The GUI is well laid out and easy to understand. Various output analyzers provide handy visual displays of pre-filter and filter output intensity. Vector position points on a vector grid also provide GUI movement. A nice compromise between visual aides and functionality has been struck, eye candy without being obnoxious.

Sound- Aethereal, as the name implies, can sound very light and airy as well as heavenly. Think bright, evolving sounds full of movement. Like it says on the box, this is an ambient synth for textures and atmospheres. Credits mention samples provided by Les Productions Zvon and Claire Fitch.

Features- A much more flexible synth than I had initially realized, various tools make it relatively easy to create, sculpt and manipulate unique sounds. Four wave oscillators, a 4-Way TransMixer, a Multi-Vector (using three X/Y Position Points) and a 16-step mod sequencer are just some of those above mentioned tools.

To borrow from the website, "All of this along with two multi-stage filters, a dual delay, three modulation envelopes and assignable modwheel and pitchbender make Aethereal a very flexible and expressive ambient synthesizer with many possibilities.".

Documentation- The .html manual is nothing special. It describes all the synths features, lets the user know what all the buttons do and includes a MIDI chart.

Presets- 64 presets are included, most are quite impressive. They are definitely a good starting point, though some stand on their own without any tweaking.

Customer Support- Never had need for support, but Psychic Modulation does maintain a forum here at KVR.

Value for Money- An excellent value, the synth is also available as part of the Neurosynth Pack.

Stability- Very, very stable. When I use this synth I expect certain sounds and it delivers them.

I really enjoy Aethereal, I use it often and look forward to using it for a long time to come. Check out Psychic Modulation, I doubt you'll be disappointed.
FilterBank3 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By bobsled [read all by] on 19th December 2006
Version reviewed: 1.4 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was it helpful to you? Yes No
What a great plugin this is, hard to believe it hasn't yet been reviewed. So here goes.

The GUI- Easy on the eyes, the user interface is simple to use and well laid-out. There is even an info box with brief explanations of each control's usage.

Sound- From "subtle" to "not so subtle" to "tear your face off" FilterBank2 delivers. Quality sound, very nice indeed.

Features- Among the features I most enjoy would be the simple MIDI-learn and the randomizer. The plugin also smooths the tweaking of controls so that parameters may be adjusted "live".

Documentation- The FilterBank2.pdf manual is put together well and should answer most questions folks might have.

Presets- 100 for the synth and 86 for the effect. Impressive starting points, the presets need very little (if any) tweaking to get the sounds you're looking for.

Customer Support- Tone2 maintains a forum here on KVR and seems to respond promptly to all posts. Dealing with some of these posts must be the hardest part of any devs job.

Value For Money- An outstanding value, definitely worth the price of admission.

Stability- Very stable on my system (P4 2.4ghz WinXP SP2). Have never had any problems.

Go ahead. Buy this plugin. Once you open the the synth and the effect together in your host, you will be impressed with your wise decision and your friends and neighbors will be impressed with the sounds you're able to make.
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