So, I just got my hands on the brand spanking new Purity. Purity is in many ways an extension and improvement of Luxonix previous synth Ravity and they share many of the same pros and cons.
Like Ravity, purity atempts to emulate a hardware rompler very closely and does so with some success. If you like the way you work with a roland or korg rompler, you should definitely check Purity out.
Where Ravity only emulated the patch layer of a rompler, Purity takes it a step further by adding an over arching combi structure. This means you can have several patches loaded at the same time, arrange them in key and velocity zones and have them respond to different midi channels. Or, you can have several patches playing together as layers.
It's a very versatile setup, that should work whether you prefer multitimbral synths, or (the standard VST) one-synth-per-track style which would give you 16 patch layers.
The second largest difference with respect to Ravity, (and most romplers) is the built in sequencer. Again the word is versatile. It can serve as a regular sequencer for melodies and drum loops, but also as sort of pattern arpeggiator that plays the incoming notes.And given that each patch has its own sequencer you can use it to build casio style auto accompaniments.
It's not 100% obvious how the sequencer works at first, but that's to be expected given it's capabilities. Once you get it, it adds a whole new dimension of fun and inspiration.
Filters, effects, presets and the over all structure of the synth all look/sound good and self explanatory to me. But given that I have spent so much time with Ravity, I may not be the best judge. There are a lot of controls on screen, all clearly labeled, but I suppose a newcomer to the realm may find it bewildering at first.
Moving on. At the heart of any rompler is the sample rom, which is Purity's weakness. About half of the sounds come directly from Ravity, and the other half are base samples for GM sounds. The quality varies. I like the Ravity sample set very much, so I have nothing against it returning here.
I am a little disappointed over the new additions though. I hoped that Luxonix would take the opportunity to add some kick ass samples of acoustic instruments, which was Ravity's big weakness.
The GM samples are OK, but nothing more. They work in a mix, but most of them won't do for anything more critical. Again, it's the acoustic type sounds that are not really up to today's standards.
The quality of the rom samples obviously carries over to the patches, so if you are looking for some top notch GM sets, look elsewhere. Atleast for the time being. The sample rom can be updated so it's possible that addtional sample sets will be released. Time will tell.
Having said all that, I still _love_ the sound of Purity. I have no need of emulating 'real' instruments. What I want is a tool for crafting new sounds that are inspiring and unique. The kind of sounds that can carry a whole track, and Purity delivers that.
So, if you are looking for a GM player or the best piano ever, Purity will disappoint you.
If you want a creative tool with both character and charisma, Purity will make you happy.
If you like romplers you'll like ravity. The style of editing feels very much like sitting with a JV1080 and an editor/librarian app. The UI appeared a bit fiddley and imprecise at first, but after reading the manual I found out that there are several ways to enter data, and then everything was all right. Though its not a tricky synth to use, giving the manual a quick look is recommended. (There are some grammatical errors in there though.)
I gave the presets an 8. They are quite good, but a bit limited in their range, and I dont think they demonstrate the full capabillities of ravity.
The selection of waveforms is great and so is the sound quality. I havent spent more than about 8 hrs actually editing yet, but so far I am 100% happy with what Ive heard.
You can use 2 oscilators per layer, and a maximum of four layers so there is definatly room for complex sounds. The arpeggiatior is like they usually are, but since you can use different arp settings on each layer you can create pretty nice stuff.
Its easy to lose track of time playing with this baby. Its intuitive and inspiring to use.
Bang for the buck.. well, its pricey no doubt but it also has the potential to be a real workhorse(its very easy on the cpu). Personally I feel that I got more than my moneys worth, but I also feel that its exactly what I have been waiting for so I am clearly biased.
(Update: This review deals primarily with Ravity(S). It was written before the split. Perhaps some friendly Admin can move it?)