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Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
August 30th, 2012
Version reviewed: 1.12 on Windows

Synth1 is one bastard when it comes down to software synthesizers. Take it from a pro, I've been using Synth1 since I think around 2003, always loved this plugin a lot. It gives the user almost a hardware feeling to the sound. You can hear me using Synth1 on most of my skweee albums. The presets is rather awkward, and doesn't hold the quality one really wants to have. But there is a mother lode of banks made by users who love this synth. The delay and chorus has some anomalies from time to time, but the phasers is spot on. I always use external chorus and delay effects anyways. Still if you want a really cool sounding synth with that 80s flavor then I'd say that it's the time to give it a try. It certainly cannot hurt anyways.

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FL Studio Mobile

Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
January 28th, 2012
Version reviewed: 1.3 HD on iOS


  1. Step sequencer with up to 24 drums per track.
  2. Export to soundcloud and AudioCopy.
  3. Record pitchbend / filter sweaps by tilting the iPad.
  4. Access to the user forum from within iPad.


  1. Under developed piano roll.
  2. Very limited song editor.
  3. No virtual plugins.
  4. Only a sampled selection of presets from their plugins.
  5. Lack of useful effects.
  6. No help provided at all.
  7. A tad bit overpriced.

Image-Line has taken FL Studio from the PC platform to iOS devices, but is it as good as it is on the PC? Let's find out shall we?

Now first you need to know that I haven't used FL Studio mobile Pro mostly due to the piano roll. It's really disconcerts me to see how under developed it is. More on that later.

It starts off with a nice with the classic step sequencer people is used to in FL Studio 10. It is very easy to lay down a drumloop which takes less than a minute to do. Playing it, and it sounds pretty good. Time for a rhodes piano. And what do I find? They haven't included a sampled rhodes piano. They've provided a sampled synthesized rhodes piano that ofcourse sounds pretty realistic, as far as synthetics goes that is.

FL Studio has a keyboard layout that lets you record the song live on your iPad, which is prolly the best way to record the song, because the piano roll is very under developed. They've emulated the mouse approach, which on the Ipad slows the creative usability down to an unbelievable excruciatingly slow pace:

Instead of just tapping the screen where a note is to be added you have to move a cursor and press Draw to draw a note. It's the same process but much faster on the PC except:

  • You cannot adjust the length of the note other than predefined lengths.
  • You cannot adjust the velocity on a per note basis.
  • You can however set the volume for a selected group of notes.

It would've been better if you tapped where a note should be placed, tapp again to resize the note, and double tapp again at the note to erase it.

The song editor is clip based, you don't even have blocks in iPad to start with. Now I've addepted to use clips, so this is not an issue for me anyways, but you cannot as far as I know remove a single bar in the midst of a song.

FL Studio comes with some pretty rudimentary effects (limiter, reverb, delay, eq, amp, and filter) which sounds quite good.I don't know if they work on a track to track basis, but I think so anyways. The filter uses the accelerometer to record the filter, which is quite fun to do, tilting the iPad around almost dropping it in the process.

Regarding the sounds: FL Studio mobile uses samples for everything. There is no virtual plugins to use here, only a sampled selection of presets from them. You cannot load your own samples, but you can create samples from other sequencers on the iPad that supports AudioCopy.

You can save projects in flp format, as well as export to wav, aac, and even upload directly to soundcloud no less!

Now for the conclusion:

Is FL Studio mobile worth getting? Yes and no. Yes for their step sequencer. No because of their song / piano roll which really lacks a lot that FL Studio has on the PC. Maybe I'm a little bit too hard on FL Studio, 15 years ago I would've loved to work with such a tool, because back then I didn't have FL Studio. If you can live with the limitations that you get in FL Studio, then go for it. And as for the price of FL Studio mobile Pro I paid around €20 for it, it's more like worth €7.50.

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EZdrummer 2

Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
November 28th, 2011
Version reviewed: 1.3.1 on Windows

EZ Drummer has been my main source when it comes to realistic drums. I've been using this since 2008, and I must say that the quality is plain and simply awesome. That's just that simple. It delivers quality each time, every time.


EZ Drummer comes with 2 different kits for a starter, at least when I bought EZ Drummer it comes with a pop / rock kit, and a cocktail kit. The pop kit is a regular 5 drums 4 cymbals configuration, a kit covering the most basics. Comes with several different drums to choose from. Putting a dream kit takes just over a minute, then the fun begins. The sound has a bit too much reverb default though, but that is easily fixed by lowering the room level in the mixer. There's not much to say about the realism in the drums apart from that it really stands out from the majority of drum samplers I've worked with. Of-course sometimes you get the machinegun effect, but these are pretty much limited to expansions that has very few samples per drum.

User interface:

Straight up simple and good overview of how the drumkit is arranged. No verbose knobs to tweak the individual sounds. You get the drums and can select the ones you need for your upcoming session. The mixer is easy to understand, configuring multi-track setups is pretty cumbersome for beginners, but once you've learned that then there is nothing stopping you from fulfilling your tracks with killer drums.


Cannot say I've used it very much since the plugin is very much self explainatory. There has been a few times I've read the manual though, but that was merely to read up on how to configure the plugin better, but there is really no need for the manual once the installation is completed since the interface explains itself rather nicely.


EZ Drummer comes with a basic collection of presets per installed expansion, they cover both kits and mixer settings which makes them pretty useful. You can load in a kit and then load in a different mixer configuration. Not that I use many presets since it is so easy to configure the kits.

Customer support:

Toontrack has their own online forum where the most support issues can be handled. They've got a good ticket system and are present on different social medias where people can post questions and show off their creativity.

Value for money:

I have to say that this is one plugin I don't regret a single day that I bought. It costed me 1500 SEK (€150~) to get, but the plugin gives back more than money can provide. The expansions are really cheap, so getting new sounds is always a really good deal. The point is that the more you invest the better the plugin gets. So far I've got 6 expansions on their own disks that gives an awful amount of fun considering that they are really awesome recordings of mostly real drums.


I've used this plugin over 1000 days now, and it hasn't crashed a single time. No matter how intensive my projects is EZ Drummers has withstood all the pressure and delivered each and every time.


Looking for a lot of tweakable drums then look some place else. Are you intrested in good real sounding drums then this is for you. I've spent the last 3 years helping underground hiphop artists getting fresh homecooked beats for their music, and the major plugin I've always chosen to use for the most part is EZ Drummer. This is a must have for me. The inprint this use on the computer is pretty much non existant, but the inprint it does on the sound is maximized!
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Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
April 21st, 2010
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

This is one of the earliest VST instruments, if not the earliest of them all. I heard back in 1998 that a friend talked about a synth called Neon that was software, but I didn't believe him. It wasn't until 2001 that I had the chance to test it out on my own when I bought Cubase VST.

Neon is a pretty useful synth for it's era, nowadays almost all analog VST's can produce similar sounds. But the sound in itself is pretty slick and smooth. Good for sturdy synth basses, pads and brass sounds. Not that special as I said but back in the days this was the synth I went to for new fresh sounds. The interface is pretty straight forward, nothing strange here. Featurewise this gives lots to wish for, but for the money what can you really expect? If you can download it from Steinberg then this is worth trying out, but if not... Well there is plenty of other plugins with similar features. I wouldn't lose any sleep over the failed download. So does it beat the plugins with stockpiled SynthEdit components? Yes I have to say because it has a bit phatter sound than most synthedit components can produce.
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Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
October 11th, 2009
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

Saw this as a random plugin for the hour, and thought I should give it a shot. This synth tries to mimic some 19th century harmonium, which it does quite good. The sound is rather warm but has a big problem with missing loops at some parts. It also constantly plays 3 semitones below the scale, so you are forced to retranspose before you use it. This is a function that the developer definitly should've fixed before releasing this plugin. He could just as easily added the detune prefab, remove the menus and the knob and set the semitone list to 3 semitones above Then he should've connected the detune prefab to the incoming pitch of all samplers he uses. This would save some time for musicians who wants to start playing directly. Stability it is quite decent. Haven't noticed any behaviors that synthedit plugins normally has. The presets is quite average in quality, but shows the potential this instrument has. No documentation to speak about, haven't had any issues with the support (haven't tried it yet:) ), and the GUI looks proper except for the sliders that could've been looking better. Also there is a problem with the patina of the logotype. It looks 20th century with it's bright yellow color. Enough bitching around. So how is the sound? It is like a pipeorgan in some ways. If the loops where consistent then it could replace as a cheap pipeorgan.
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4Front E-Piano Module

Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
July 22nd, 2009
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

This plugin has over 6 years on it's back, and still this plugin finds it's way into many users. If you need a piano plugin that you can tweak the hall out then this ain't for you. This is a basic one sound electric piano in the DX range. Do you have a MIDI keyboard and want to play some piano, then this is a good step on the way. If you need some soulful crappy balad piano then this is for you, but I would much rather let this one rest peacefully when there is a whole lot of samplers who allready posesses sounds like this one, and more. So is it any good? It's a twoedged sword I'd say. Perfect for beginners who need a solid piano to practice their skills on, quite lame if you need a piano for studio recordings. So limited it is most likely you won't find much use for it, but what the heck it is freeware so one can't crave it all here.

GUI: Not important. Nothing to tweak
Sound: Semigood at best.
Features: Limited to say the least.
Docs: Unavailable
Presets: One only, the default one.
Support: Haven't needed it yet.
Value for money: Freeware, so id doesn't matter.
Stability: Had a few crashes, but that is most likely to be due to the hosts I've used.
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Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
June 20th, 2009
Version reviewed: 1.6.1 on Windows

Korg M1 is an old synthesizer, but due to the age one can still hear this synthesizer in many tracks nowadays tho. When this synth came out it was equipped with 100 sampled waveforms, 100 presets, 100 combination's and a sequencer of 4200 notes split up on 10 songs. You could reconfigure it to have 50 presets & combination's to get an additional 3500 notes in the sequencer.

The M1 VST has vastly expanded beyond these boundaries. First of all you have all the cartridges for the M1 built in from the start. Lots of these cartridges has extra waveforms beside the presets and combination's they hold. That's not enough. All the diskettes released for the Korg T1, T2 and T3 synthesizers are also built in. Some of these disks has extra waveforms beside the presets and combination's they hold expanding the sound database even further.

The VST has a special multi mode that lets you use one instance to play 8 presets at once. This replaces the sequencer mode in the original M1. There is the same problem of voices suddenly being silenced due to the fact that you played too many notes at once. Luckily the Korg M1 VST can compensate with up to 256 voices polyphony.

Selecting a preset is simple. You can either do it through the categories available, or you can do it on a cart / disk basis. So if you want a fat electro bass you just click on the bass category, then the fat and synthesized sub categories and you got a list to choose from. A similar process is utilized when you select waveforms.

If you are after a "bread & butter" synth then there is enough marmalade here for you to enjoy it. Although a tad bit oldskool presets there is still enough variation available for you to actually get some decent sounds out of it. Adjust the waveforms and you're ready to go. The price is a theft if you ask me. €199 for all these presets and combination's a definitive bargain with all the benefits this plugin has. If you are after a good hiphop synth then this is the way to go. Looking for a trance / dance synth with all the basic building blocks then this is your best bet.

Over and out.
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Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
July 21st, 2008
Version reviewed: 1.6 on Windows

Time to review ForteDXI. Allready from the start this plugin looks oldskool with a MSDOS command popping up showing what files are being copied. I don't mind that at all, but the developers should at least focus on getting a nicer installer.

So when the install is completed, and one load the plugin the first thing that strikes one is the slim design. A really fresh designed GUI faces the user. The same cannot be said about the sound. The sound fizzles in the upper frequencies. Doesn't matter if you turn off the high resolution resampler. Wouldn't be much wrong with that, but there is some of the sounds that is shipped with this plugin is just plain crappy. Some samples are even off key! But there is hope.

Since this plugin supports GIGA samples you can replace the samples you don't like with samples from other giga sampler packages. This means that you can get a fullblown soundbank with some work from your side. Note that the low sound rate here in this review is for the included sounds. It needs to be said that if you expand with your own sounds then the sound will become much better.

There is onboard effects but I haven't so far had any luck of hearing them in actions apart from demo songs downloaded from the author's site.

Value for money: Hmmm I cannot say this is the best plugin I've bought, when it comes to the sound it is a totally disapointment, but when it comes to the expandability of this plugin then it really knocks the socks off. I guess that $40 is a bit heafty due to the onboard sounds, but then again you can expand on it with better samples.
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Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
March 6th, 2008
Version reviewed: 1.3.9 on Windows

In the 1990's each decent producer owned a workstation with a decent set of presets and a good sequencer. Nowday's composers use a decent sequencer and a workplugin. And it is as a workplugin Nexus really steps in like a gusty wind with a heck alot of decent sounds, good looking user interface, a simple and effective modulation matrix, and a heck alot of inspiration for that matter. It took me 15 minutes to finnish a track with Nexus.

People complains about that you cannot do much with it since it is a rompler, that is Nexus strongest side. Having over 600 sounds and 100+ per expansion makes it definitly useful. I cannot give this 10/10 on VFM because it lacks a decent way to expand it further.


The expansions that Nexus can use is rather useful and gives the user more sounds to use. The Bigtone expansion gives very decent pads, Dance drums unleches over 676 single drumhits + 600 drumloops, Dance Orchestra brings you 128 top notch orchestra sounds.


Nexus has several different skins that you can load and use. For instance there is a decent metalic skinpack that gives you nexus as gold, silver or bronze. Also there is for the retro's classic looking skins from a TB303, Comodore C64, and Vengeance (a slightly purple skin).

What Nexus lacks.

There are a few things that Nexus lacks. First and foremost an editor so you can expand the sounds on your own. What expansions also lacks is first and foremost a decent General MIDI expansion, since Nexus allready is decent doesn't mean that it could live without the GM patches. Also wanted on my wishlist is a jazz expansion, since Nexus allready got a really good orchestra expansion, but it is way too much layered sounds and the sounds are quite mudded. I definitly miss single trumpets, saxes, and other jazz instruments that could be useful. GUI wise it could be good if there was a high contrast skin for sight impaired persons. The skins that are available are decent, but they are somewhat hard to read for sight impaired persons like me. Apart from that it's all good with me.
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Blood Bucket

Reviewed By jobromedia [all]
February 10th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

Bloodbucket is a strange little critter to deal with. It has some nice sounds but it looks more or less like a test project thrown together without any consequential design in mind.

User interface

When loading it into the host it appears like a semibad user interface with poor drawn features, knobs are basically a white square with a direction marker in it. The synth seam to be designed with alot of haste in it since there are no consequential labeling of the knobs, but rather the classic SynthEdit tooltip names. The controls looks like they've been drawn in Paint or Photoshop and they don't look too well.


The sounds are really experimental and has some nice electronica feeling to it, not likely the synth you'll go for when it comes to good strings or other instruments, but it is more for synthetic sounds á la Kraftwerk.


The synth has the basic synthedit waveforms and a simple modulation matrix for modulating the two oscilators. You have 3 envelopes controling different aspects of the sound. The matrix modulation has 3 knobs named Dog, Cat and Rabbit that controls the 2 onboard LFO depths.
Automation wise this the synth is pure hell to work with since many parameters are named the same, you don't know what decay parameter you're about to tweak, so it's some gamble when working with it.


None to talk about.


The synth has 16 mediocre patches named after the heads organs, yet another sign of how hasty this plugin was created.

Customer support

Email on its site.

Value for money

This is freeware, and the synth should remain so. I can't see a valid reason why someone would pay for it.


Same stability that is known from SynthEdit plugins.

Final conclusion

This synth is really booring and it should have had some more time put down into it. It is yet another experimental synthesizer that is granted a place in my allready overcrowded Test folder.

JoBro Media.
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