In a manner of speaking, there are 16 of Softube’s most coveted plug-ins crammed into this collection. The mix and producing gamut is amply covered with kit pieces dedicated to Compression, EQ, Limiting, Summing, Amp simulation, Reverb, Delay, Echo, Flanging and Doubling/Chorus.
If that weren’t enough, Softube’s “Heartbeat” is an innovative, virtual drum machine that can handle most nearly any beat-making situation imaginable. Last, but far from least, the deluxe, expandable synthesizer, aptly named, “Modular”, attends a dizzying spectrum of flexible synthesis.
Purchased separately, all the included accessories would set you back a little over $2000 (MSRP)! Thankfully, a perpetual (lifetime) license for this crate-load of plug-in glory can be had for a reasonable $499 (USD). Monthly and yearly subscriptions are also available - $20/month and $200/yearly respectively.
Many of us are thankful for Switzerland’s Patrick Kunz and his full line of TAL (Togo Audio Line) virtual synths and plug-ins.
Many DAWs have been blessed with TAL audio products over the past 6 years. There has been the illustrious TAL-chorus, the reliable, ear-pleasing Tal-Reverb (II and III), the fluid, silky TAL DUB-Delays, and the easy-to-dial in TAL Effects.
While we’re listing the wealth of products that TAL have blessed us with, let’s not omit the worthy VA synths, TAL-Elec7ro, TAL-NoiseMaker and the perennial U-NO-60.
After years of giving his hard work and exemplary programming efforts away for free, Mr. Kunz now offers the FINEST “Roland Juno 60” emulation that has ever been heard ‘In The Box’ for both MAC and PC. Originally slated for a MSRP of $70, TAL made U-NO-LX available for a paltry $17 as a pre-release offer. At present, the RRP is only $60 (USD).
I strongly recommend that interested parties hurry over to the developer’s web site to grab this VSTi now! Once the news gets out about just how “good” this TRUE-modelled VA synth is, I suspect that there will be a whole new generation of synth players who will consider the $70 price tag a small amount to pay.
The title of this article is a deliberate phrase of irony and antonymic word play. RE: "Real Virtual"
This old-skool Synthedit creation was one of THE MOST authentic-sounding Yamaha CS80 emulations ever made.
This delightful nod to the golden age of analogue synthesis has been unfettered from it's original development platform. That's right, this sumptuous creation of 'filtery' prowess is now a bona fide compilation of native 64-bit code. For backwards compatibility sake, 32-bit builds are still available.
Ringing in at $40 when purchased directly from the developer, this scrumptious delicacy of coding is also bundled with Mixcraft Pro Studio 7.
The CS80 was an expensive unit when it was released in late 1976, costing upwards of $8000, but it could never actually be accused of being “versatile”. It had some very distinct sounds; notably the huge brass and delicate, ambient strings. MemoryMoon’s ME80 is verily dripping with those distinctive tones. ME80 not only emulates the sounds of the original hardware that it is modeled after, but it realistically reproduces the famous polyphonic “aftertouch” which the Yamaha CS80 was so greatly prized for.
PolyKB, Diva, SynthMaster, Dune, Predator, Tone2 Saurus, ZT3A+; what do these all have in common? They are each industry-leading soft synths, that’s what. Most of these are not “dedicated” emulations of famous synths from yesteryear – albeit, each of these may certainly be considered a “new” classic. That’s not to say that products such as Dune, Synthmaster, Predator, and etcetera, aren’t extremely well suited to modern dance and electronica.
I would never be so bold as to try determining that any one of them is “The Best” because they are all very good. Of course, it’s generally understood that many synth players typically have a personal favourite or two; one of my absolute personal favourites just so happens to be the PolyKB II. And, this synth just so happens to be an emulation, but it’s not the standard fare – not by a long shot.
Are you one of those who like to visit a developer’s web site and keep “checking out” a favourite plug-in or VSTi? It’s ok to admit it; you’re among friends. *Wry, knowing grin. Long before I actually had PolyKB II in my possession, I would visit the XILS-Lab web site and listen to the remarkable audio samples of this fantabulous synth in action. It has a “vibe”, a sound, a character that is uniquely its own. It’s deep, lush, ‘alive’ and decidedly analogue-sounding. I am excited and more than a little bit happy to bring my review of the astounding PolyKB II to my friends and visitors here on Reviewer’s Revival.
I’m glad you dropped in. Grab a snack and a fresh cup of joe. Please settle in for one more peering investigation of yet another “must have” VA synth. We’ll do ‘er up in good ol’ Reviewer’s Revival style.
Rob Papen’s Predator has become one of the electronic genre’s perennial favourites for its wide breadth of sound types and synth flavours. This dynamic synth is not as easy to pigeon-hole as some of Mr. Papen’s other famous designs. Predator will pounce on its dance-floor prey with the agility of a hungry, West African Lion, or massage your cochlea with its soothing, analog-like purrs.
Predator is the Alpha male leader of the pride in two bundles available from Rob Papen; EDM and Urban. Each Limited Edition bundle only costs €199 | $239 (USD).
While Predator may be considered by some to be ‘Bigger Game’, where it is listed at €149/$179 (USD), the astute electronic musician will be duly wary to keep an ear out for it as a very worthy cross-platform all-rounder. This synth is elusive – difficult to trap into any one genre cage. Pred is as capable of emitting piercing, phat leads, as it is to peacefully lay down bedded layers of warm, comforting pads. What’s more, Predator is as likely to be seen prowling on a MAC desktop as on a Windows PC.
As always, I’m glad you’re here, dear reader. Reviewer’s Revival would be nothing more than lonely, empty chambers if it weren’t for my ‘netizen’ friends coming and making it a home with me. Please join me and let’s go on a little internet safari, without leaving the safety of our rooms, and hunt the “Predator”.
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