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Product Reviews by KVR Members

All reviews by Crossinger

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Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 27th, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows.
Last edited by Crossinger on 27th August 2002.
First impression:
The DS-404 comes like a full commercial product: an own CD including the program files (mac/pc), manuals as PDF files, and tons of ready-to-go soundfiles.

Installation:
As I like it best: a simple DLL to drop in your VST folder.

Starting the Sampler:
Well, to me, the UI isn't self explaining. Loading Patches is easy, but if you start creating your own sample-sets it's strongly recommended to consult the manual, or - even better - the quick step-by-step introduction in the CM-journal.

Handling:
The system of four buttons with changing meaning is somewhat confusing. I'm badly missing keyboard control and sometimes I instinctively tried to press a F-key on my computer-keyboard. OK, it's just a question of habit. But sometimes it's annoying. E.g. you set a new keyzone for a sample and intend to delete it. Then you have to leave the keyzone-mode first by pressing the OK-button before you can delete the last active keyzone by clicking F2. But that's of minor importance.

My personal PRO's:
+ Full-featured with keyzones, Layers and Multitimbral facilities
+ Small and reduced to the necessary functions
+ Single outputs
+ All-in-one fileformat
+ Simple and effective loop-mode

No "CON's", but rather "wishes":
- Sometimes hassle with handling (function-buttons)
- No request for saving of changed patches when closing the instance of DS-404 (!!!)
- Arrow-Mousepointers when changing the keyzones (compare e.g. mousepointers on changing System-windows)

What could I finally say? I've ever dreamed of a small but powerfull sampler-VSTi. 3S and Helios were too simple, VSampler, HALion, EXS, Kontakt, etc., were too overloaded with features I didn't want. And now a well-designed piece of software is available to everyone for a sensational price. Grab your copy! :-)
Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on July 22nd, 2002
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
First time I tried this VSTi. Over 80MB's of samples sounds promising - but for what?

It's the worst set of GM I've ever heard! Even some of the 8MB Soundfonts are better than this crap. Stability is average: Sometimes my song loses the channel settings and USM refuses to switch to another Patch.

Do yourself a favour: Delete it and save 80MB of valuable harddisk space for better VSTi's.

Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 2.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Crossinger on 15th July 2002.
Well, after the Release of the 2.0 version, it's time to revamp my first review. FreeAlpha has become a wonderful, full featured and fat sounding little tool. I instantly found some unfinished tracks where I could use FreeAlpha. Next to my Everyday-Bass TauPro, this one seems to become my favourite Analog-Synth! :-)


(My former review: My first contact to VSTi's. Compared to Muon's Atom (for free, too) this one sounds thin & plastic. Very digital filters and even the complex modulation possibilities won't compensate for its "cheap" sound.)
Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows.
Last edited by Crossinger on 26th August 2001.
The user interface is well done, but it sounds somehow like "plastic". Sometimes useful...
Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows
Yeah! This is the thing which makes my basses fatttt!
Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 4.2 on Windows
I don't like this Bassline. It sounds thin and squeeky. If it must be for free then I would recommend the Muon Tau instead. If you are willing to spend some money: Go and buy "ReFX TBL" or "Muon Tau Pro"!!!
Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.22 on Windows
OK - this is *not* my primary drum VSTi. I would prefer the RM-F. But as a One-shot trigger with 48 slots(!) you can't beat this little tool. It is very basic - and that's fine!!!

Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Windows
Atom Pro was the first VSTi I paid money for! And I still like its sound. But maybe it is a bit over age now...
Reviewed By Crossinger [read all by] on August 26th, 2001
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
Well, the interface seems to be a matter of taste. But personally, I like this sampler very much. Sure, the promotinal copy is a CPU hog and has some small bugs and glitches, but overall it's a nice tool to work with. And (quoted from the CW homepage) "Not to mention its sensational priceā€¦" :)

For the "full price" of $129 they should do some improvements, though.