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Ambience [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Rozzer [read all by] on 15th October 2003
Version reviewed: Jun11.03 on Windows.
Last edited by R0zzer on 16th October 2003.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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User Interface:
Looks pretty good. The layout is excellent. Every knob feels like its in the correct place. My only gripe is the font size, which, on my 1600x1024 monitor, is squint-tastic!

Actually I'm very impressed. So far ambience has done a great job with any audio I've thrown at it. The tails are sharp and clear. In my opinion this Reverd stands very well amongst other plug-ins costing hundreds of dollars.

Special mensions should go to the Quality/CPU parameter, which can help tame cpu useage whilst mixing, and the 'Hold' parameter which effectively freezes the reverb tail until the button is released. Nice for automated madness! I'd say Ambience has just the right amount of features. You don't get bogged down trying to find the 'size' parameter in amongst 400 others, but there's enough to meet all but the strangest reverb requirements. The demo is fully featured, but has a nag screen, and no time restriction.

I honestly haven't had to use it! Ambience is super-intuitive :)

Comes with about 60 or 70 presets. Many from KVRians! You can almost always find a good starting point.

Customer Support:
I've not needed it, but the Smart Electronix Forum here at KVR is the place to look.

Value for Money:
11/10 on this. This is probably the best donationware plug-in I've come across!

I've never had a crash, but the CPU can load can be heavy. There's always the 'Quality' settings if you find its too much.

I'm extremely happy with this plug. Its become my staple reverb source, due to incredible ease of use, and wonderful sound. You'd be daft not to download it really!!

Additional Note: We as consumers should be encouraging more of these wonderful Donationware projects. Please do donate something (anything) if you use this... it can only benefit everyone :)
Classic Chorus [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Rozzer [read all by] on 17th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.22 on Windows
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I have no negative comments about this free little plugin. It sounds great, its free, the CPU useage is minimal, the GUI is clear and functional, and it seems to end up in every tune I make at the moment.

It excells at adding a touch of width and weight to anything you apply it to, but it can also be quite unsubtle if desired.

There really isn't much more to say than that.

You should also grab the other 'classics', Classic Flanger and Classic Reverb.
Synth1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Rozzer [read all by] on 9th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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There's probably enough reviews here, but I'd like to add another, if only because this little synth deserves it. I will, however keep it short, so as not to repeat whats already been said

Many synths now seem to suffer from what I call "patch bloat". Presets are made to sound huge and lushious for that immediate Wow factor. You won't find that with Synth1. It has a very clean sound that cut through a mix in a very refreshing way.

My only negative comment is that I get stuck notes sometimes in Cubase, which can be annoying, but at the end of the day, its free, it lovely... go grab it :)

Devine Machine Pro [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Rozzer [read all by] on 8th June 2003
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows.
Last edited by RD on 8th June 2003.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Devine Machine! Well, there's a name.

On first impressions it appears to be another loop chopper (think Recycle), allowing you to slice up, re-order and 're-groove' your sample collection.

However, look deeper, and you will also find 8 tracks in which to load loops and which can store up to 5 variations on each loop. These can be played/muted/crossfaded and loops within these tracks can be manipulated in real-time. So its a Live 8 track mixer too, with DJ type functions.

'Live Loops' are another method of playing back loops, more akin to a traditional sampler. These Live Loops are triggered via midi (or a PC keyboard for the growing army of laptop performers) and have all the usual pan, level and trigger settings.They can be organised into mute groups, where they can interact with the 8 tracks described above, and they can be generally mangled further by some innovative 'Live Tools' which are also triggered via midi and affect Live Loops in real-time.

So its really a kind of performance based remix tool. Feed it some loops and it will spit back seemingly endless variations. Then rack em up and play them like an instrument.

What sets Diving Machine apart from any other loop based product, for me, is the speed at which you can do certain processes.

Let's take an example... I have a 2 bar drum loop. I can load it in and within 10 seconds it will be sliced and a shuffle groove applied. This includes the manual fine tweaking of EVERY SLICE POINT (think about this.... in other slicing software this can take an annoyingly long time).

Another example... I have 2 drum loops, both very different. I would like them all to play the same drum pattern (k-hh-hh-sn-hh-k-hh-sn). Each loop must be sliced first (10 seconds each remember), after that it is a one click operation. Imagine..... I can have the sounds of the Loop A to be playing the pattern of Loop B in one click. I don't know of any other software that has managed to automate this normally fiddly operation. ((tm) this now Devine-Machine crew!!!)

Devine Machine is clearly a labour of love, and I know for a fact that the author regularly uses it on stage. (notice I give it 10/10 for stability - not a single crash). Its clearly been designed as a live tool, but I've found it to be a complete star in the studio aswell. There is no way I can cover the breadth of features in 3000 words, so I urge you to spend a little time with it and see what it can do for you. So fond of it have I become, that I am now writing songs just using DM. For me DM is a liberating product. It saves a great deal of time when doing the boring tedious work of chopping loops, but also offers a great suite of tools allowing you to perform live and sequence.

It does have a slightly candy-sweet GUI. Some mouse click assignments seem confusing and it is generally an unconventional piece of software..... To some people, it will make no sense.....

To the rest of us however..... its divine!.