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Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on 9th October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by andywanders on 18th November 2003.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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I really like this one, a really nice, very usefull electric piano sound. The user interface is the host's one (slider box, or whatever), but that doesn't matter when you start to play it.

The default sound makes me want to play old Stevie Wonder riffs (Sunshine Of My Life, In the City, etc..), or jazzy II, V, I, progressions. With a bit of tweaking, you can get it to sound a bit like a Wurlitzer, then launch into some Supertramp riffs.

I personaly like to use a piano for coming up with new song ideas, because a good piano is very expressive and you don't get bogged down with the sound (electric or acoustic). This is a great one for that, within half an hour of downloading it, I had written a new tune.

Of course, writing songs on a piano isn't for everyone, and I certainly don't write all my stuff that way. But this really is a great one to have in your VST folder if you like E Piano sounds.

User interface, manual, and customer support aren't really necessary with this one. It does what is expected. However, I wanted to give it a good mark so I've awarded points for those, even though they don't exist.

To sum up, I reckon this is the BEST free electric piano out there. Get it and see.
Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on 1st October 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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According to the developer..

"This module reproduces the classic sound similar to Rhodes/Wurlitzer pianos."

This is very misleading, as anyone who's ever played a real Rhodes or Wurlitzer will testify. The tone is reasonable around middle C, but not very defined in the low register, and way too thin in the higher registers.

The four parameters don't seem to alter anything worthwhile, apart from the volume slider.

If you're really into the sound of a Rhodes, or Wurlitzer, there are much better alternatives to this (mda epiano for instance).

As for value for money, when it comes to free VST's, VFM means "was it worth downloading?" The answer for me was... NO.

Brok said about this "if you dont use it for pro recordings its ok"

In my opinion, if you don't want to use something for pro recordings, you certainly wouldn't want it on demos either.

I understand 4front are looking for advice on marketing. My advice, forget your free stuff, it's getting you a bad rep in certain circles. Concentrate on making your pro versions really "pro", then people will sit up and take notice.

I have a strong feeling this review will be receieved badly, but that's too bad. I'm just giving my honest opinion.
Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on 9th September 2003
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by andywanders on 15th September 2003.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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Just one sound. No parameters to tweak. Not even a tone control. No pitchbend. No MOD wheel. No patch bank. Nothing.... Simple...!

Well, for what it is, it's quite a good bass guitar sound, and as long as you want the same bass sound on everything, it could be for you. After all, the Beatles had the same bass sound on all their stuff and it didn't do them any harm.

But it doesn't sound like a Hofner Violin Bass, more like a cross between a Squire Jazz and a Rickenbacker, plugged into a cheap practice amp.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes that's just the sound I'm looking for so I will probably keep this in me VST folder (for a while at least).

[Update] Had a reply to an e-mail I sent to George Yohng, the creator of this synth, regarding the lack of controls. He just said, "it's free so no controls."
Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on 22nd August 2003
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows
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I've only had this a couple of days now, so It's early for a review. But when something makes such a strong impression, you have to react.

Unfortunately the impression this synth has made is not too favourable. I've tried every pre-set, and other third party patches, and haven't found one decent sound. As for programming it myself, well, that hasn't yielded any decent results either. It just doesn't have any warmth or character (IMHO), and for a 2 osc synth, it's surprisingly bland and thin sounding.

I'm not really sure what the programmers were trying to achieve when they designed this. It doesn't seem to belong in any musical category, and could potentially slow down the music-making process, if one spent too long searching for a sound. Of course, you can always say "sometimes I need a really crappy sound for an arpeggio riff" and while that's often true, there's a big difference between crappy and un-inspiring.

I'm sorry if I've upset anyone with these comments, but it just doesn't stack up when compared to other VSTi's. The only thing I can say about it is, it seems quite stable. I don't know about support and I didn't get any manual with it, but that won't be necessary anyway as I shan't be using it.

Sorry LoftSoft
Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on 20th August 2003
Version reviewed: 1.05a on Windows
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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What can I say that hasn't been said before..? This synth is fantastic..! It sounds gorgeus, easy to program, there's a great patch saving feature and there's a lot of patches available for it (probably because it's so easy to program). Since I've had it, I've used it on almost every song, it's part of my default song now.

I've just read that back and realised it doesn't sound like a review - just praise. Well so what! This is one of the best VSTi's ever (IMO), and it's FREE..!

If you don't already have it, stop wasting time reading reviews and download it.... NOW!
Reviewed By Andywanders [read all by] on 20th August 2003
Version reviewed: free on Windows
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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I just downloaded this, and all the available sounds from the site, and on my dialup it took AGES..! There's a lot of big files here and it takes up more than 70MB on my hard drive, so if you don't need another piano, don't get one.

Sampletank has been around for ** years now, and I've always been curious about it. So far, I'm very impressed with this beast, it's very easy to set up and browse through sounds. After downloading and installing it you need to register it, but that's fairly painless and straightforward, though I'm not sure why it's necessary.

As for the sounds, well they're generally very good. The bass guitar is particularly outstanding, and very natural sounding. Also the acoustic guitar is very nice, and has a good range - lots of multisamples me-thinks. Get the vocals, they're excellent, oohs and ahhs. And "LA Pad", a very nice rich, milky sounding pad. The congas and bongos are worth downloading too, I find a lot of keyboards/samplers are quite weak in this area, but Sampletank's perc. is very nice. But don't bother with the drums, they're below average and most PC soundcards will have better drums than this.

I didn't think much of the piano, it's a bit too thin for me, but that means it will probably sit well in a busy mix. However, I'm sticking with my Kurzweil for piano sounds. Also the electric guitar is weak, sounds like a cheap, Strat copy, plugged straight in to a mixer channel. Anyone who plays guitar (I do) would hate this sound.

I don't know why synth sounds are included. While they're okay, there are much better sounding free softsynths out there. And I'm very surprised that there's no brass or woodwind sounds, these generally work well with samplers (there is an oboe, but it doesn't sound like one).

The FX are very good too - well chosen and very musical. You can modify the sounds a little using pre-set parameters and different FX settings, but it's not a full blown rompler in this respect - no real filters, envelopes or LFO's.

Choice of sounds is limited to what's available on the Sampletank site, and that's a bummer. These days, there's loads of really good soundfonts out there and I for one, prefer working with them. They're easy to edit, and cover just about every area. If Soundfonts could be imported into Sampletank.... Well..!

I can't see myself using this very much, probably the bass will get an airing from time to time, and maybe the vocals, but don't let that put you off. If you have a fast connection, get it. It just might be what you're looking for, and it's FREE... (Apart from the download time)