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NuBi [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 2nd December 2004
Version reviewed: 1.071 on Windows
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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I've also been following Nubi since the early days and though those early betas were already good the most recent updates have really made it formidable competition for B4. First thing is first, the sound: frankly I've played with B4 quite a lot and also own DaOrgan and in the raw sound department Nubi beats them both. It just sounds more organ like and present than either of those with great sound throughout the length of the keyboard. The leslie (rotary chorus) isn't a perfect emulation just yet but as of the most recent update holds it's own with most leslie emulations available in VST format. Now on to features, Nubi is without a doubt the most flexible organ emulation allowing you for control of the foldback points, multiple types of percussion, tuning scales, percussion harmonics, drawbar leakage, etc. If that wasn't enough there's more to tweak in the config file, that PJ didn't want cluttering up the GUI (which was smart as these features are already more than enough for most). The only reason Nubi didn't score a perfect 10 here is due to the lack of vibrato which I'd personally love to see implemented in the future. The GUI is a good size, easy to read, and has just the right amount of features present, so another big score there. The User Guide is a .txt file which covers all of the features and explains them very well. Nubi get's a low score in the preset department though as very few are available, but the real fun in Nubi is coming up with your own sounds anyway. PJ is great as far as taking care of his customers whether it's a technical problem, or feature suggestion, etc. And finally for less than $40 I can't see how you can go wrong with Nubi, check it out.
FIREQ / FIREQ LE [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 20th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Firium is a linear phase EQ, which means two very important things: the first being that it makes it an insanely clear and transparent EQ as it is not adding any phase distortion to the signal, and the second is that it introduces quite a bit of latency, making it a less than perfect track EQ. Well where does this you? If your host doesn't support delay comp you're still left with the perfect mastering EQ. Is it that good? Yes. I defy you to listen to Firium and not be impressed with the sound. Curves are drawn in by hand, so as far as ease of use goes, this would be a hard EQ to beat. Secondly, Firium includes a spectrum analyzer in the GUI which allows you to spot out problem points in your mixes quickly, and also allows you to see how your EQ adjustments are effecting your mix. This is just an unbelievably clean, transparent, and sweet mastering EQ that bears no faults whatsoever in that task. Buy this EQ, and sound better. It's that simple.
Uniquel-izer [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 20th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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What to say about Eqium? Hmm, what not to say? It allows for an unlimited number of bands, all with adjustable Q settings, has two types of low and high shelves each, as well as low/high/band-pass filters, as well of course as the stock parametric filters, and don't forget about those notch and the two types of harmonic filters (hit the down button under the filter types to see those). So can you have more flexibility in an EQ? I think not. In fact, I can't think of any other EQ that approaches Eqium in terms of flexibility. Ok, but that doesn't mean a thing unless the EQ itself actually sounds good, and Eqium sounds fantastic. As already noted, it is highly transparent. This is not a character EQ by any means, which makes it the perfect all rounder. It has a fantastic low end, extremely well defined mids, as well as fantastic smooth and open sounding highs. Other EQs at similar settings, simply do not hold up in as many scenarios anywhere near as well as Eqium does. The one thing Eqium could use, that it doesn't feature is a frequency analyzer built into the GUI, but guess what? Elemental Audio has a free plug-in that does this called Inspector, and while not being as convenient as having it within Eqium's GUI itself, it's free. Oh, did I mention that Eqium is light on the CPU as well? This is the best all round native (non-linear) VST EQ on the market IMO, and by far. Download the demo, then take out your credit card and place an order, because that will be exactly your response upon using Eqium for a few minutes.
PSP VintageWarmer [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 4th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.53 on Windows
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Have you ever wondered about those magic boxes we hear so much about by pro-engineers? The LA-2A's, 1176's, and Fairchild's? Did you ever wonder what about these particular unit's "characters" made them so particularly great, and why hardly anything in the software realm can seem to add a similar kind of voodoo to a track or mix? Well, Vintage Warmer can. This is a dynamics processor, but it's not quite a compressor or even multi-band compressor, nor is it quite a stock limiter. It's more like a multi-band limiter connected to a tape like saturation device that can even perform some EQ like functions, but can make absolutely anything sound magical. Vintage Warmer is most often pidgeonholed as a mastering tool, and to look at it simply as such is really a shame. Run VW through an acoustic rock drum set and watch how it's magic can give you an instant John Bohnam sound. Listen to how vocals suddenly get pushed up to the front of the mix, or how acoustic guitars suddenly sound so much more present and smooth. This plug-in can make just about anything cut through a mix, the only downside to using it during mixing is its rather large CPU load though. As far as Vintage Warmer's skills as a mastering device; most times Vintage Warmer can suffice as all you need in a mastering chain. It's really that good and that versatile. This plug-in can be driven extremely hard as well with very pleasing saturation sounds allowing you to get loud mixes when you need them without some of the harsh artifacts of other limiters. Vintage Warmer really is one of the few plug-ins that you absolutely must own. I can honestly not think of one other native dynamics processor that I can say comes anywhere near doing what VW can.
Classic Reverb [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 24th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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Though I loved all the other Kjaerhus Audio effects, I was extremely apprehensive about this reverb. Why you ask? Well VST reverbs aren't necessarily well known for being smooth and sounding great. But when I loaded this up I was surprised at the quality. Sure it's no Lexicon verb, and isn't quite as smooth as SIR is capable of being with the proper impulses, but it's still quite amazing. The "drums room" preset for instance is amazing at adding a nice space around sharp percussive instruments, which is where a most VST verbs fail. Also this plug-in is extremely light on the old CPU for a verb, making it a great choice on a send. The GUI looks like the other Kjaerhus Audio ones, but I have to complain about it a bit in this situation, as I've never been a fan of knobs on plug-in reverbs. Doesn't really need docs, but doesn't have them. All in all though this plug-in will be getting a nice amount of use even though I've got a lot of other commercial/freeware verbs.
Classic Flanger [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 24th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Now I've absolutely hated flanger effects almost all my life, but damn this one is good. Kjaerhus has been making some of the absolute best bread and butter VST effects even when you compare them to hardware. This flanger can do sounds anywhere from subtle soft flanging, to all out jet noises and does them extremely well. Not the sexiest GUI but functional, and lacking some docs, but those are my only complaints and they are fairly minor. If you're looking for an amazing sounding flanger that will rival some old classic guitar stompboxes, or more high end rack gear, this may be it. Best of all it's free.
Classic Chorus [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 24th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows
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Kjaerhus Audio is taking the concept of bread and butter plug-in effects to the next level in terms of sound quality. This is probably the best, most lush sounding chorus effect on the VST scene, even when one compares it against commercial offerings. The GUI is functional, though looks a tad bit like an old 80s bit of 1/2 space rack equipment, and looks almomst exactly like all the other Kjaerhus Audio GUI's making it hard to distinguish it from the others so it lost two points from me there. Also it seems to lack a proper manual, though anyone who has used a chorus effect in the past will have no trouble figuring out how to use this. But these are my only qualms, and it's the sound the counts most and this where this chorus really excells. In all honesty I've never been a big fan of chorus effects in general, but this plug-in has me running vocals, guitars, basses, and keys through them like there's no tomorrow (ok I'm exagerating a bit, but suddenly I really do like choruses). Anyone using VST effects should have this chorus on their hard drive.
Free Alpha [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 24th January 2003
Version reviewed: 2.01 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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This is another fantastic bit of freeware, and definately a must have in any VST arsenal. It's fully featured and then some, with polyphony, glide, a mod matrix, a huge selection of waveforms, and four different filter types, not to mention a chorus! I mean really, as far as features go this is one of, if not the most fully featured freeware synths. The oscs are probably on the duller side, as they aren't as bright, or in your face as some other synths, but it's a nice break from things. On the flipside to that I'm not sure if the leads FreeAlpha produces would cut through a busy mix without some help from other plugs. Also it doesn't seem to alais very much at all at the higher frequencies, I suspect the dull nature of the oscs could have something to do with that though. The impressive thing here is really the mod matrix, which is very nice to have around on a freeware synth. The GUI is professional and very well laid out, featuring the stock Linplug look. The presets are actually some of the better ones on a freeware synth, especially the pad sounds, something about the seeming simplicity and mellowness of some of the preset pad sounds really had me excited. I really think FreeAlpha could really shine as a pad machine, for those times when you really need something cool, but subtle to just round out a mix. All in all this is an excellent analog synth, especially for newbies who can't afford some of the bigger stuff. Kudos to Linplug for giving it away for free.
ZR-1 [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 24th January 2003
Version reviewed: 2.8 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Let me preface this review by saying that I'm a big organ fan, I love them and can never have enough organ sounds. The ZR1 though doesn't get much use from me anymore. To me it just sounds a bit cheesey, more like the kind of organ you'd hear at a funeral parlor as opposed to a real tonewheel, or combo organ. That being said, none of the organs in my collection sound quite funeraly either :) . As far as freeware goes than the ZR1&3 are probably the best freeware organs on the VSTi scene, but neither is going to quite nail that real tonewheel kind of sound, nor does either sound very much like a true combo organ. Also the bass on it just seems kind of muddy, and not at all well as well defined as I'd like, while the high end just sounds a bit cheesey without that metallic harmonic quality you'd expect from a tonewheel organ. The GUIs are functional, but within Sonar always seem to be resetting the graphics in a wierd way which makes me think the plug-in will crash at any given moment (but it hasn't yet). If you're not one to use organs very much in your music, than the ZR1 may fit the bill nicely, but if your inclined to use them frequently going for something like DaOrgan or Combosister (depending on which organ flavor you want, or both) would probably better suit your needs even on a tight budget. I haven't found a place for the ZR1 just yet, but it's still going to stay around on my hardrive just in case.
Iblit [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Funkybot [read all by] on 16th January 2003
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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As of late I'd been becoming a cynic in regards to freeware virtual analog VSTi's, I mean let's face it, there's been a lot. Thus I almost never even downloaded Iblit, luckily I paid attention to the positive word of mouth and it had me curious enough to give it a go. I put this up there as one of the best sounding freeware VAs, with the other being Triangle 1 (funny that they're both monosynths). Iblit, was everything I expected from Synth1, minus the polyphony and arpegiator. In fact whereas I was disappointed with Synth1s sound Iblit has done nothing but exceed my expectations. It's got a very nice character, warm, and big, and very analog sounding. There's no hint of alaising in Iblit, but it is not at the expense of high end frequencies that would make it sound dull, no, Iblit sounds great across the board. On paper there's nothing about Iblit that's going to have you jumping for joy, but Iblit's charm is its sound, do not pass up on this one.