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Straightliner [read all reviews]
Reviewed By goldenanalog [read all by] on 7th January 2012
Version reviewed: 10 on Windows.
Last edited by goldenanalog on 7th January 2012.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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I agree with the previous reviewer that this soft synth deserves greater recognition! Perhaps this soft can best be described as a function generator in the disguise of a synth; at it's core, it's an exceptionally powerful wave-shaping engine that extends the oscillator and envelope toolsets in bold and beautiful ways. And it sounds fantastic! Some may not like the GUI because of the lack of eye-candy (no knobs, for one thing); but I found Straightliner's GUI fast, easy, fun, and very readable causing no distraction as I manipulated the synth's parameters. The waveform displays provide the user with immediate feedpack to adjustments made to many of the oscillator parameters; and there's a large osc parameter list to work with! It really does feel like you're playing with pieces of string that directly represent the oscillator waveforms; I would guess that with enough knowledge and practice, you could make almost any waveform shape that you could think up! It should be noted that Straightliner uses flac and XML file formats which are well known and widely used.

Yes, indeed, this is the golden age of the soft-synth industry-many of the soft synths that we all know and love are produced and supported by micro companies like rs-met.

Bottom Line: Straightliner is a found treasure, a jewel. It won't capture you with a gadget-filled, breath-takingly gorgeous GUI-it doesn't have one of those; But what it does provide the user with is complete, and noteably the oscillator and envelope toolsets are superb; really well though-out. And to repeat for emphasis: The sound of Straightliner is excellent!

A solid 10/10

SynthMaster [read all reviews]
Reviewed By goldenanalog [read all by] on 30th December 2011
Version reviewed: 2.5 on Windows
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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If you were to ask me for an example of a soft synth that 'grew up' here on KVR Audio, my first pick would be: Synthmaster. If you were to ask me to name a versatile, reasonably-priced soft synth, again I would say: Synthmaster. but I'd be doing both you, and Synthmaster, a disservice to leave it at that.

Synthmaster is literally the 'Swiss Army Knife' of soft synths. What immediately comes to mind in comparison to Synthmaster is the Korg Kronos. It contains a wealth of different things, thanks to a relentless, pro-active developer who seems to live here at KVR-the Number of revisions that Synthmaster has gone through borders on the absurd, but to great benefit to both the software itself, as well as those of us who love it...over the months, implemented feature requests, refinements, 'fixes', etc. have made it more stable, easier to work with, more versatile, better sounding...virtually ALL areas of Synthmaster have been addressed that would make it one's go-to tool.

My #1 question when it comes to any synth, hardware or software, is how does it sound? It can sound superb; but that's almost a paradoxical question when talking about Synthmaster, because it can sound like almost anything that you want it to sound like, since it uses several significantly different technologies. It can sound sterile and cold, warm and fuzzy...At it's core, Synthmaster has a number of oscillator types which can run concurrently; coupled with a large selection of filters, and filter types; many envelope configurations and modulation options....it is capable of being CPU efficient, and can also overload your computer if you ask it to do too much, which you can. You are given so much with Synthmaster...

And again: It can sound superb.

I think that Synthmaster is one of the best software synthesizer options available for the user that wants to limit the size of his or her toolbox, in order to specialize/get the most out of what they have-Quite frankly: If there is a more versatile, great-sounding soft synth out there, that is constantly refined and improved by an approachable developer here at KVR (kv331), I am unaware.

10/10 all around.

Syn'X [read all reviews]
Reviewed By goldenanalog [read all by] on 27th December 2011
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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My review lacks specific details, but I must assert that to my ears: XILS-Labs' Synthix and U-HE's DIVA are the finest software-based analog emulations to date. This is not to argue with there being many other analog e-mu's on the market that meet aspects of a Gold Standard, but as of late 2011/early 2012, I have not heard any soft synth that come closer to truly emulating an analog synthesizer. And to me, That's what it's really all about: The SOUND. Yes, admittedly, there are issues with Synthix that make it's present incarnation less then perfect; primarily a somewhat sluggish GUI running in some environments (keep in mind that I'm evaluating a 1.0 release) to not-so-positive comments regarding the front panel-whilst the first issue will probably soon be resolved (XILS-Labs is deadly-serious about all aspects of their work-I know this from being a license holder of both their XILS 3 Full as well as their brilliant Polykb), the second concern may be regarded as one of personal taste-the front panel/layout/etc. poses no obstacle to me getting work done.

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