Saturday, April 27, 2013

SKnote MatterTone Review – Because Tone Matters!

SKnote’s gentlemanly, unassuming admission into the league of transient shaping is not one that should go unnoticed or be easily overlooked. Rather, this robust, able-bodied dynamics-device merits serious consideration. MatterTone packs quite a whollop for its low, conservative CPU demands. It doesn't hit your pocketbook hard though; it’s priced at only $30 (USD). This plug-in holds up very well under scrutiny. MatterTone can stalwartly occupy the same DAW space as any of its more costly competition without shame or timidity.

Perhaps, dear reader, you're thinking that we already have enough transient shapers on the market to choose from. What makes this variant of transient shaping unique? For starters, it is a “Level-independent” apparatus. Unlike typical compressors, limiters and most envelope shapers, this plug-in does not react according to the amount of channel gain – it responds directly to the audio source. Secondly, MatterTone is truly a multi-band design, providing separate ‘attack’ and ‘release’ controls for each band.

MatterTone takes typical transient shaping, splits it into three separate bands, and hands it back to you, empowered with some serious BAM!

C’mon, gang, let’s get to know this new recruit better, shall we?


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MeldaProduction’s MDynamicEQ & MAutoDynamicEQ Review – Extreme, Dynamic EQ Power

MeldaProduction have long established themselves as one of the most avant-garde audio plug-in specialists out there. Not only are Melda’s digital wares innovative and feature-rich, but the quality of their products puts them forward, where they need not take a back seat to any competitor. MeldaProduction plug-ins are heard on prolific, professional recordings from all over the globe.

MDynamic & MAutoDynamic EQs are yet another couple  of Melda’s leading-edge “must-haves”. These binary wonders must be experienced to be fully understood! Once an engineer has been spoiled from relying on these astounding “GO TO” EQs, it would be most difficult to resort to any previous fan-favourite.

Yes, they are “that” good.

Priced modestly at €60/$78 (MDynamicEQ) and €120/$156 (MAutoDynamicEQ) , the wise, self-starting engineer who purchases these elaborate compilations of highly optimized DSP code, will be a very blessed individual indeed. Having conducted exhaustive, careful analysis, the lab reports are back. Reviewer’s Revival is very pleased to share the test results with you.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

LVC-Audio ClipShifter 2 Review – Changing the Shape of Things

A recent entry into the plug-in swarm of limiters, transient shapers, saturators, and distortion devices, ClipShifter 2 by LVC-Audio is a keen little handy-dandy “Go Go Gadget Clipper”. When I first chatted with developer, Mr. Matt Witimer, about it, I honestly wasn't quite sure what a “ClipShifter” did. To nutshell it for you, this tidy, cross-platform, native plug-in is a wave-shaping unit that functions like a clipping-style limiter. The sonic characteristics of its clipping/distortion are variable; from hard, brickwall-style clipping, to soft, compressed saturation.

Draw in a deep breath. The cost of this clip shifting goodness is not to be considered by the feint-of-heart. Only the most ardent, full-time professional recording engineer would even begin to entertain the notion of applying for a 2nd mortgage in order to furnish his/her studio with this exorbitantly-priced digital weapon. Are you seated and prepared? ClipShifter costs an overwhelming $1176 (USD). Retract that order and stand down! That was a typo. It should read, $11.76 *Grin.

Ok, comrade reader, fall out! Let’s recon LVC’s sassy, satisfying, insatiable, ClipShifter.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

4Front Technologies’ True Pianos Review – TRUE PIANO Modelling!

In the seemingly never-ending quest for glorious tone, authentic playability, and modest system requirements, many pianists are left disillusioned with many of today’s ITB offerings. Few musicians have either the physical space or the bankroll to actually invest in a baby grand; or even a high-end “Digital Grand”.

Many keyboardists struggle to keep their computers afloat in the sea of multi-gigabyte sample libraries; with each new library promising to deliver finer sound and greater piano realism.

I own a few substantial piano sample libraries, and for the most part, they are all very good. However, they consume a great deal of precious hard drive space, and available system memory. For those who own up-to-date computers housing fast hard drives, and large denominations of blistering-fast RAM, this isn’t as much of a concern . . . ‘ yet’; wait another year or two and maybe the newest sample libraries will be even that much more demanding.

But all is not lost! We can thank God and the good folks at 4Front Technologies for finally making the dream a reality. For the gracious price of only £121.55, or $180 (USD), 4Front’s suite of five modelled pianos is nothing shy of spectacular and splendorous. Furthermore, True Pianos is ‘truly’ multi-platform in that it is available for Windows PC (32 bit & 64 bit), Mac (Intel & PPC), Receptor, and vMachine!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

ValhallaDSP ValhallaRoom Review

Unless you’ve been comatose since 2009, when glimpses of ValhallaDSP were first seen on the DSP horizon, it is very probable that you’ve been aware of Valhalla Plug-ins. It approaches outright comedic lunacy to even contemplate comparing an independently-crafted $50 (USD) reverb plug-in with those costing upwards of FIVE times more.

Nevertheless, this true-stereo, cross-platform, algorithmic reverb plug-in deserves nothing less.


Sound quality.

The resultant reverberation quality heard on audio tracks having been processed with ValhallaRoom is nothing less that breath-taking. And don’t you know, the reverberation decay can be as long as 100

s e c o n d s . . . . . L O N G & O N & O N.

Acon Digital Acoustica 5 Premium GIVEAWAY

Acoustica 5 Premium Giveaway

 Review Revival Giveaway - Win a Copy of Acon Digital's Acoustica 5 Premium!

ABG Head Case Review

“You're traveling to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of aural creativity; a journey into a nebula of wondrous amplifier simulation whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop...the Tone Stack Zone.

Canada’s innovative brainchild, AcmeBarGig, have recently released the highly-anticipated Head Case into the wild. Head Case is the embodied culmination succeeding three years of deep-level programming, intense research & development, and exhaustive beta testing. Head Case is alone in its nebula. It unanimously has dominion of the sphere it occupies. There isn’t another for it to be aptly compared to. How do you spell ‘unique’? H-E-A-D C-A-S-E!

The $60 sign post is just ahead. Cast off your timidity and join me. If you dare.

Read the FULL review HERE:

PSP PianoVerb 2 Review

One of my absolute favorite types of naturally-occurring ambience is that which happens inside of an old upright-grand piano case. When I was an ankle-biter, I would squirm in behind the old 5ft’ tall, upright grand piano in our living room so I could sing - and make who knows what other awful squawks – ‘into’ the back of the piano. Sometimes I’d stand up on the bench so that I could open the top and yell/sing into it. (some would think I was ‘off-the-noodle’, but I didn’t care . . .)

When I first heard of PSP Audioware’s PianoVerb 2, my attention and interest was immediately all ‘jazzed-up’.

Read the FULL review HERE:
PSP PianoVerb 2 Review - A "Grand" Reverb That's Outta Sight, Man!

Endless Series 3 Review

Endless Series 3 is unique. Difficult as it to categorize, I would label it as a creative filter effect. Its most noteworthy feature, and primary function, is that of the Shepard-Tone generator. (Shepard-tone will be explained shortly.) Endless Series 3 also offers up blue-ribbon modulation effects in the tradition of flanging, ring-modulation, and phasing. ES3 will only require £29.99 GBP ($46 USD) of your earthly, monetary substance.

Read the FULL review HERE:
Endless Series 3 Review - The TONE Illusionist

Voxengo Polysquasher 2 Review

Russian audio-software developer, Voxengo, has been highly-visible on the global audio plug-in radar since a few years now. Voxengo is well-known for producing quality, cross-platform DSP software devices which capably address home/small studio needs for equalization, convolving reverb, modulation, delay/echo, compression, saturation, and etcetera. Polysquasher is purported to be a mastering plug-in - a plug-in that upholds the honourable estate of a studio-grade, mix-glue compressor. It isn’t ‘cheap’, but anyone looking for top-drawer performance on a budget, the $80 (USD) price tag is reasonable.
Read the FULL review HERE:

Blue Cat Audio Liny EQ Pack Review

From Paris, France, Blue Cat Audio has positioned itself as one of the world’s finest craftsmen of cross-platform, higher-end DSP software and frequency analysis tools. Not to be mistaken as eclectic, over-priced fodder, Blue Cat’s audio-software is deservedly held in high regard by professional audio engineers and studio owners as that of ‘blue ribbon’ excellence.

With a MSRP of 119€ or $159(USD), this studio-grade EQ solution is not necessarily one that some home producers would consider ‘affordable’ (read: cheap-software). Blue Cat Audio was founded by Guillaume Jeulin in the pursuit of achieving exceptional software quality and reliability. Blue Cat Audio soft-wares are enlisted and deployed by recording studios, universities, recording schools, home studio owners, and recording engineers; as well as professional and amateur musicians from all over the globe.

Having this precedent established, let’s investigate Blue Cat Audio’s LinyEQ Pack to determine if it upholds that bar of excellence.

Read The FULL review HERE:

Acon Digital Acoustica 5 Premium Review - Major League Quality, Minor League Price

Sound Forge Pro, Sound Forge Audio Studio, Audition, Wavelab, Wavelab Elements, Audacity, Waveosaur, Gold Wave; what to do, what to do? The upper crust of these products requires a deeply indrawn breath, a flush bank account, and a commitment to pro-calibre audio editing. The lower range of available audio editors provides decent audio-editing features that will appease novices or those who only want/need to make simple changes. If the user is not concerned about achieving professional results, or hasn’t a need for pro features, then a freeware or inexpensive audio editor will suffice.

Consider this question . . . .

What if you ‘need’ professional features, but can’t quite bite off the ‘professional’ costs associated with the upper range audio-editing software packages? You take a look in the direction of team Norway. Since 1987, Acon Digital has been diligently refining their powerful, affordable product-line. Heading up the roster is team captain, Acoustica 5 Premium.

With a MSRP of only $119 (USD), it is entirely plausible that Acon Digital’s Acoustica 5 Premium is poised to win gold as THE BEST audio editing software package within its price range. Competing products (in this price range) DO NOT offer the extensive, powerful features that Acoustica 5 Premium provides.

Sound Magic's Neo EQ Review

Ok, ok . . . I gotta start writing. I can’t just keep playing with this plug-in. Why should I get to enjoy myself and play with a plug-in when there’s work to be done? After all, I’m a professional reviewer and there’s a highly respected reputation of impartiality and unbiased reporting at stake here. Can you just come back later, maybe? NO?! Waddaya mean, “NO?!

*Sigh . . . fine then. I’ll write.

This nifty, whiz-bang EQ plug-in is one of the ‘neatest’ VSTs that I’ve loaded up in my DAW since some time.

€49 ($67 USD). Is this so-called “Next Generation” EQ plug-in worth the MSRP?

Read the FULL review HERE:
Sound Magic's Neo EQ Review - Next Gen Pitch Tracking