Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MemoryMoon ME80 Review – Real “Virtual” CS80

Yep! The title of this article is a deliberate phrase of irony and antonymic word play.

But ah’ll tell Yoo wut!” This old-skool Synthedit creation is one of THE MOST authentic-sounding Yamaha CS80 emulation that has ever been made. Yes, I know, there is another famous 64 bit, cross-platform CS80 emu out there, but not for only $40! And may I be so bold as to say that the “other” VSTi doesn’t ‘feel’ as authentic as MemoryMoon’s ME80?

There are those who feel that the fancy-schmancy, eLicensed “other guy” doesn’t exhibit the true-to-form quirkiness and subtle analogue drift of the original hardware.

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.


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

OverTone FC-70 Review – Fairchild 670, Really?

Many of us are familiar with well-established, somewhat expensive modelled plug-ins that promise authentic Fairchild 670 sound and performance. UAD’s ”Fairchild® 670 Compressor Plug-In” and IK Multimedia’s “Vintage Tube Compressor/Limiter Model 670” are two of the most highly profiled Fairchild emulations that come to mind. OverTone’s recently released FC-70 also promises to be a faithful digital emulation of the famous studio hardware compressor.

A couple of months prior to this article, I reviewed FC-70’s vintage EQ cousin, “PTC-2A”, from Overtone. I was highly impressed with that offering and as soon as I heard that these lads from England were releasing a Fairchild emu, I was more than a little bit eager to give it a keen “going over”.

I was not disappointed. The wait was definitely worth it, and boy, am I ever ‘jacked up’ to bring you in on it and share my findings with you. For the very conservative cost of only £25 of her majesty’s British Sterling Pounds, this amazing performer, from ‘the other side of the Atlantic’, is a definite must-have. At the very least it is a ‘must-try’. I strongly recommend that you download the demo and find out for yourself just how ‘sterling’ this upstart is.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

TAL U-NO-LX Review – Real Juno 60 Sound In The Box!

Many of us are thankful for Switzerland’s Patrick Kunz and his full line of TAL (Togo Audio Line) virtual synths and plug-ins.

Very thankful.

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 $40 (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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

IZotope RX 2 Review – Audio Forensics Specialist

To say that IZotope’s RX 2 is a respectable audio restoration suite is a grave understatement. Rather, RX 2 has become one of the most highly regarded speciality software packages available for professional-grade, forensic audio repair and restoration. RX 2 is priced very competitively, ringing in at approximately half the cost of most of its more expensive challengers. -- $349 (RRP). You may be able to find this powerful suite priced even lower at online stores such as AudioDeluxe.com or PluginDiscounts.com.

And yes, it’s available for both 32 and 64 bit MAC *and PC systems.

RX 2 is delivered with a total of five distinct and powerfully effective modules: DeClip, DeClick/DeCrackle, Hum Removal, DeNoising, and Spectral Repair. These are available to the user as both a multi-function, stand-alone application or as individual plug-ins that can be used in any DAW or audio editing host that supports DirectX, RTAS or VST. To lend itself to even greater convenience and effectiveness, the stand-alone RX 2 also includes iZotope’s powerful 4 band linear-phase EQ, gain control with smooth fade in/out, precise stereo imaging and phase correction. Completing the suite, iZotope have outfitted RX2 with a full-featured spectrum analysis tool.

Powerful enough for professional mastering/restoration engineers.

Easy to learn for beginners.

IZotope RX 2 truly is a “Complete Audio Repair” solution.

IZotope RX 2 Review – Audio Forensics Specialist

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rob Papen Predator Review – Roars Like a Lion, Purrs Like a Kitten

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.

The two Limited Edition bundles only cost €199 | $239 (USD) apiece.

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.