Reviews: Virtual Instruments


SoundBytes Freebie of the Month – September 2017

This month we will look at the marvelous free version of IK Multimedia’s latest instrument, Syntronik – a substantial free offering if ever there was one.

Read More by David Baer (09-2017)

Music for Tablets: UVItouch Ravenscroft 275 Sampled Piano and Beathawk

 An amazing sampled piano and a pretty fully featured music production powerhouse mark UVIs entry into the iOS platform.

Read More by Warren Burt (09-2017)

Review – Syntronik from IK Multimedia

Syntronik from IK Multimedia is a monster of synthesizer sound creation – a monster in a very good way, that is, with its rich, analog character and multitude of presets.

Read More by David Baer (09-2017)

Review - PolyM by XILS-lab

XILS-lab brings back a legend from the early days of synthesis - an expensive, hard-to-maintain synth from Moog is resurrected in software.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2017)

Oldies but Goodies - FM8 by Native Instruments

Does Native Instruments' powerful FM8 stand the test of time?  We take a look at a classic emulation of a very popular synthesizer from the early 1980s.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2017)

Review – UVX80 from UVI

It's yet another classic synth recreation.  Hmmm, it must be that UVI is at it again.  This time it's a rare Japanese 8-voice analog instrument.

Read More by David Baer (09-2017)

Review - Spire by Reveal Sound

Reveal Sound's Spire is a powerful synth plugin, one that is especially well-known among the EDM crowd, and one that easily stands up to the competition.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2017)

Music for Tablets: Mitosynth from Wooji Juice

Here’s a versatile new iOS synth that covers lots of bases very elegantly indeed, and offers tweakers a kind of modulation heaven to boot.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2017)

Oceania Choir by Performance Samples

Oceania Choir is a very easy-to-use choir library. All you need to do is to load it into Kontakt and play. The rest is done by developer.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (07-2017)

Review - Digital Synsations Vol. 2 by UVI

In this review we take a look at three hardware synths that UVI has brought into the modern world. Check out what these new instruments offer.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2017)

Review – Beatbox Anthology 2 from UVI and Rhythmology from Sample Logic

Boisterous beats and rabid rhythms: two new beat instruments show their respective sampling engines to great effect.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (07-2017)

Ancient ERA – Persia by Best Service

Ediardo Tarilonte strikes again. ERA Persia offers a wealth of sounds from the ancient past, not to mention soundscapes that are simply out of this universe.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (07-2017)

Review - Arpology by Sample Logic

Sample Logic combines a step animator/sequencer, great samples, and many powerful effects, resulting in a winning combination.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2017)

Review - BT Phobos from Spitfire Audio

Adding drama to a media score just got more interesting with another cinematic (but not just cinematic) library from Spitfire Audio.

Read More by David Keenum (07-2017)

Review - Curve 2.5 by Cableguys

New features that provide an edge in sound design throw the competition a "curve" ball.  With its easy to use waveform design, Curve 2 is powerful and intuitive.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2017)

Review - Crusher X 6 from accSone

One of the oldest and most sophisticated granulators, and an old friend, gets a makeover, which increases its capabilities enormously.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2017)

Cinemania - NOVO by Heavyocity

Our reviewer thought he owned all the string libraries he’d ever need, but then along came NOVO from Heavyocity. Long story short - turns out he was wrong.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2017)

Oldies but Goodies - Sylenth1 by Lennar Digital

For this month's Oldies but Goodies, we take a look at the legendary synth plugin Sylenth1. Find out just what makes this oldie still so popular.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2017)

Review – UVS-3200 from UVI

UVI delivers yet another classic analog synth: an amazing-for-its-time, rare, expensive and temperamental instrument, the UVS-3200 from Korg.

Read More by David Baer (05-2017)

Straight Ahead Jazz Horns by Impact Soundworks

Impact Soundworks’ Smart Voice Technology might be just what you need to come off as a master of pop horn orchestration (even if you’re not … but we won’t tell!).

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2017)

Review - Repro-1 by u-he

No stranger to vintage hardware analog emulation in software, u-he does it again with a virtual incarnation of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One from the 1980s.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2017)

Review – Synthmaster One from KV331 Audio

Synthmaster One is a new wavetable synth from KV331 Audio – it’s certainly worth a look if you’re a fan of KV331, and if you’re not a fan, you may become one.

Read More by David Baer (05-2017)

Action Strikes by Native Instruments

Need a drum/percussion tool for tight time schedule scenarios that can deliver highly realistic sounding ensemble patterns? Maybe Action Strikes is just the thing.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2017)

Review - Analog Strings by Output

Analog Strings – a string library that is definitely not just about the strings – it goes beyond the border of the well-known string universe.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2017)

Review - Oxium 1.5 by XILS-lab

XILS-lab's performance-oriented synthesizer Oxium is both easy to use and at the same time powerful, boasting zero delay filters and some unique modulation features.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2017)

Review – PX Apollo from UVI

UVI delivers another classic analog instrument, in this case by sampling a rare early prototype polyphonic keyboard from Moog that was lovingly reconstructed for this purpose.

Read More by David Baer (03-2017)

Review – Form from Native Instruments

Form is yet another Reaktor-based synth from Native Instruments – one we think is one of the most interesting ones to come along in quite a while.

Read More by David Baer (03-2017)

Review - ArcSyn by SPC Plugins

Do you need a creative/useful synth plugin with a great sound? ArcSyn from SPC Plugins just may be the synth for you.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2017)

Review – PolyKB III by XILS-lab

A powerful synth plugin has just been improved, with a better layout and more modulation possibilities. Our reviewer checks out what’s new in this major update.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2017)

Essentials - Session Guitarist - Strumming Acoustic 2 by Native Instruments

Is Strumming Acoustic 2 a virtual instrument or real session musician? One thing is for sure, the listener will never know the answer.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2017)

Cinematique Instruments Marble from Bestservice

A Full Kontakt instrument with over 900 presets ideal for cinematic and pop music in general that can add a beautiful, mellow atmosphere to your production.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2017)

Review – Predator 2 from Rob Papen

Predator 2 is latest synth offering from the prolific Rob Papen; following the original Predator almost ten years later, we think you’ll find it was worth the wait.

Read More by David Baer (01-2017)

Review - Modo Bass from IK Multimedia

Modo Bass – IK Multimedia for the first time tries its hand at a physically modelled electric instrument – this one an electric bass.

Read More by Luka Sraka (01-2017)

Cinemamania - Maximo by Sonokinetic

We offer a highly intense library with orchestral phrases having plenty of variation and additional options to make them sound even more dangerous.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2017)

Review - Synth Anthology II by UVI

If you long for the actual sounds of keyboards that are both legendary and on the leading edge, this may just be the definitive collection for you.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2017)

Review - Rapid by Parawave Audio

Parawave Audio's new software synth is a deceptively powerful, and easy to use polyphonic synthesizer. We take it for a test drive in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2017)

uBeat Drum Bundle from Umlaut

Kontakt-based drum beat library bundle with easy to use interface and great pile of trendy sounding kits and MIDI drum loops. Enough beats to make you happy for a long time.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2017)

Review – Analog Lab 2 from Arturia

Sixteen quality instruments (synths, pianos and organs) with a massive library of factory presets for well under a hundred bucks? Not impossible, not with Analog Lab 2!

Read More by David Baer (11-2016)

Review - Keyscape Keyboard Sample-based Virtual Instrument from Spectrasonics

OK, you know it’s probably going to be good, it’s from Spectrasonics! But you’ve already got gigabytes of piano libraries on your disk so do you really need another one? Find out here.

Read More by David Townsend (11-2016)

Review: - Substance by Output

The low end can be something more than just that which follows the main harmonies of the song. Output Substance offers a great collection of bass sounds that are everything except being just another collection of bass

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (11-2016)

Review - BioTek from Tracktion

An amazing new plugin softsynth/sampler from Tracktion that will keep you occupied for hours, if not days.

Read More by Warren Burt (11-2016)

Review - The Legend by Synapse Audio

What's old is new again, and in this emulation of the Minimoog there are some thoughtful extras added to sweeten the deal.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2016)

Review - Sonuscore Trinity Drums from Bestservice

Here’s a cinematic percussion library with a bit different approach that brings some advantages (and disadvantages). Trinity Drums has its purpose - instant solution for immediate results.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (11-2016)

And the Beat Kept Rolling : RealiDrums 2 and DrumCore 4

We look at two new drum software titles with more choices than ever before.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (11-2016)

Review - SampleRobot 5 Pro by Skylife

Sampling made easy? That's what SkyLife is promising, and we take a look at how it all works in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2016)

Cinemania - Soundiron Voice Of Gaia: Strawberry and Bryn

Orchestral strings, choirs and big percussion can make for a great passionate and intensive piece of music, but still can't give us that special emotive component that a superb single human voice can add.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (11-2016)

Music for Tablets - Droneo

The return of an oldie but a goodie - one of the earliest iPad apps gets a makeover, and the results are very pleasing.

Read More by Warren Burt (11-2016)

Cinemania – Emotive Strings by Native Instruments

Emotive Strings from Native Instruments can save you enormous quantity of programming time while offering better end results. It is truly an orchestra on demand.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (09-2016)

Review - Matrix-12 V by Arturia

The Matrix 12 was a mammoth synthesizer with powerful features, sporting many filter types and modulation possibilities. Arturia's latest software offering magnificently recreates it.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2016)

Review – Omnisphere 2.3 from Spectrasonics

We look at the latest release of Spectrasonics flagship virtual power synth, the elegant, potent and amazing Omnisphere 2.3.

Read More by Per Lichtman (09-2016)

Review - Attack of the Slice Masters: Geist 2 and Drum Direktor

It’s 2016 and beat slicing and sequencing has two new heroes Loop Loft’s Drum Direktor and FXpansion’s Geist 2.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (09-2016)

Geist 2 by FXpansion

It is not a live drummer, but thankfully it offers absolutely everything else in the drumming world - a Swiss Army knife for all your loops, kits and hits. A drum come true.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (09-2016)

Review - Emulation II by UVI

UVI's Emulation II takes you back to the early 1980s with many of the signature sounds from that colorful time period. Revisit the past with us in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2016)

Essentials - Chris Hein Violin and Shreddage Bass 2

A beautiful expressive violin playing passionate phrases followed by a highly skilled bass player - then comes a shock: there is only a computer in the room.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (07-2016)

Cinemania – Soundiron's Requiem Light, Mercury Elements and Olympus Elements

Three different choral libraries, all light versions from Soundiron, which for the price a major choral library, offer an extremely wide spectrum of choral experience.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (07-2016)

Review - Independence Pro by Magix

Independence Pro is the ultimate sample-player/workstation – a bold statement to say the least. Can the sample library and software fulfill the developers promise?

Read More by Luka Sraka (07-2016)

Review - Icarus by Tone2

Tone2's latest effort is a wavetable monster just waiting to take on the competition. Can it live up to the hype? We check it out in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2016)

Review – Softube Modular Software Synthesizer

Swedish “Rock and Roll Scientists” Softube introduce the Eurorack format to the world of screen-based software synthesis with an outstanding collection of modules by Doepfer, Intellijel and others.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2016)

Review – Kwaya by Best Service

Sampling master Eduardo Tarilonte has done it again with this intimate, realistic library of full of rich African spirit. Introducing Kwaya.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (07-2016)

Music for Tablets - Moog Model 15

Revisit the wild and wonderful days of early analog synthesis on your tablet or smartphone, with more power than the originals.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2016)

Review - IVOR2 from Xen-Arts

Another free plug-in from Xen-Arts which features extreme microtonal control and elegant timbre exploration potential.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2016)

Review - Strobe2 by FXpansion

Fxpansion's Strobe2 has some enhanced features hidden within it's slick and intuitive interface. Our reviewer takes it for spin and checks it out in detail.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2016)

Review - Attack EP88 Tacked Electric Piano by UVI

UVI's Attack EP88 Tacked Electric Piano is just about the most versatile electric piano you’ll ever come across – a sound designers dream.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2016)

Review - Synclavier V by Arturia

Arturia recreates yet another classic, and this one takes after an expensive, legendary instrument from the early 1980s. We check out its feature-laden interface and see how well it holds up.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2016)

Cinemania – Apocalypse Elements by Soundiron and Damage from Heavyocity

Two libraries that cover the full spectrum of percussion lines – from "normal" for everyday use to "abnormal" - the ones that can help you to spoil the party .

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2016)

eXploring the Marvels of Rob Papen Synthesizers

Rob Papen is a prolific developer of synths and other audio production software. We survey his extensive synthesizer catalog herein.

Read More by David Baer (05-2016)

Review – Chromaphone 2 from AAS

Chromaphone is regarded by many as AAS’s jewel in the crown. Now with version two, there are even more facets in that jewel to dazzle us.

Read More by David Baer (05-2016)

Essentials – EZ Keys and EZ Drummer 2 by Toontrack

Future is finally here. Now you can hire a virtual drummer and virtual keyboard player to play and record in your virtual home studio. The end result is real.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2016)

Review – Trio Broz Solo Strings from Fluffy Audio

Drawing its name from the performers recorded, Trio Broz Solo Strings is trio of highly expressive solo string Kontakt Libraries examined in great detail here.

Read More by Per Lichtman (05-2016)

Review – Virta: Voice Controlled Synthesis from Madrona Labs

Want to use your voice (or other sound source) to control a powerful synthesizer? Then try Virta.

Read More by Warren Burt (05-2016)

Review - Dagger by BeepStreet

BeepStreet's newest synth plugin is one of the newer contenders in a crowded plugin field. We take it for a test drive in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2016)

Review - BIG F*CKING DRUMS 3! Now with Horsepower!

FXpansion has got a lot of goodwill associated with the brand name every new product is usually a cause for excitement. BFD3 is no exception – find out why.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (05-2016)

Music for Tablets – Shoom by Yuri Turov

For your consideration: Shoom, a tri-timbral X-Y matrix synthesizer with full microtonality implementation for the iPad.

Read More by Warren Burt (05-2016)

Review - Falcon by UVI, Part 2

Falcon might very well be the most powerful synth/sampler ever made, with a large number of oscillator types, modulators, and effects. Our reviewer continues to go through many of its features.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2016)

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass Complete (& Compact) from Bestservice

Chris Hein has done it again. Orchestral Brass Complete instruments sounds so authentic and detailed that you can easily use as solo instruments or all together in a crowded orchestral arrangement.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (03-2016)

Falcon Synth Oscillators – a Close-up Look

UVI’s Falcon hybrid software synth has deep proficiencies as both a sample player and a synthesizer. We examine the capabilities in the latter category herein.

Read More by David Baer (03-2016)

Cinemania - Action Strings by Native Instruments

Native Instruments Action Strings is one of the most unique and innovative cinematic tools that has come along lately. Use your creativity and make some great action music – the sky is the limit.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (03-2016)

Review - Solina V by Arturia

If you want something that closely resembles the most famous string synthesizer of the 1970s and 1980s, the Solina V is definitely a candidate. We see what this emulation of a classic has to offer.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2016)

Exhale by Output (through Bestservice.de)

We examine one of the most unusual, appealing and original instruments found in VST world. It is truly unbelievable what can be done just with a collection of vocal samples and a few effects.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2016)

Essentials – Albion One, Fischer Viola and Emotional Cello

Santa brings to our Alex a virtual symphonic orchestra with two solo instruments. He had just one wish: that all presents should sound authentic, be simple to use, and not be overpriced.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2016)

Review - Falcon by UVI Part 1

Falcon might very well be the most powerful synth/sampler ever made, with a large number of oscillator types, modulators, and effects. Our reviewer goes through many of its features in this two-part review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2016)

Three High-end Hybrid Synths – A Side-by-side Comparison

Omnisphere 2, HALion 5 and Falcon are all superb software instruments of incredible depth which offer an overwhelming list of capabilities. We offer a comparative feature evaluate herein.

Read More by David Baer (01-2016)

CinemorphX by Sample Logic

Sample Magic has packaged three of their libraries into one brand new instrument, adding technology for a fourth, thus creating one of the most impressive tools in the cinematic market.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2016)

Music on Tablets (and Beyond) – Nave from Waldorf

Nave, a unique iOS favorite from Waldorf for iPad, is now available for desktop computers as well. We take a close-up look in herein.

Read More by Warren Burt (01-2016)

Review – Two Innovative New Drum Instruments for Kontakt Player

The march of progress continues, with many new contestants being introduced in the wonderful world of virtual drum instruments. We take a look at two recent entries, and compare them to the competition.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (01-2016)

Oldies but Goodies - Jupiter-8V by Arturia

The Jupiter-8V has been around for a good while and along the way has had various updates over the years. Our reviewer checks out this Oldie but Goodie to see what it has to offer.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2016)

Review - Samplitude Pro X2

Samplitude Pro X2 is a powerful DAW, with lots of horsepower under the hood and great plugins to match. We check out many of its features in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2015)

Review - Sunrizer by BeepStreet

There's a new kid on the block with a low CPU usage, lots of filter types, and a familiar supersaw sound. We put this one to the test to see if it has what it takes.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2015)

Review - CS-M 1.5 by UVI

UVI calls the CS-M a “Vintage Japanese Power Synth”. With its authentic raw waveforms from the CS line of hardware synths, dual-layer design, and expanded preset library, does it live up to the hype?

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2015)

Oldies but Goodies – Korg M1 Software Synth

Want a piece of electronic keyboard history for a miniscule fraction of the original price? Then maybe Korg’s software recreation of the storied M1 will satisfy that nostalgic craving.

Read More by David Baer (09-2015)

Essentials: Hive by U-he

U-he has released a new instrument with 2700 presets. All you need to do is to combine those presets with your imagination. It will be the perfect combination.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (09-2015)

Review - Mini Grand by AIR Music

Can a low cost, easy to use sampled piano plugin hold up to the competition? Our reviewer takes it for a test drive to see if that is possible.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2015)

SynthMaster Oscillators – a Close-up Look

SynthMaster lives up to its name in many ways, but nowhere more so than in the power and flexibility of its oscillators. We take a close-up look at them in this in-depth examination.

Read More by David Baer (09-2015)

Carbon Electra by PluginBoutique

Directly from a future: a modern aggressive sound with best step sequencer ever and lots of presets from star producers.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (09-2015)

Review - Syn'X 2 by XILS-lab

Syn'X 2 is an eight-layer monster synthesizer plugin which emulates the classic Synthex. With its great filters and modulation options, this is one powerful synthesizer. Find out more here.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2015)

Review - Structure 2 by AIR Music

Structure 2 is a sampler plugin that is very powerful, and yet still easy to use. How does it hold up feature-wise? Our writer checks it out in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2015)

Drumasonic 2 Luxury Bundle, through Bestservice.de

We examine a definitive new drum library for all e-drummers and audio engineers. Could there also be something for us everyday producers?

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (09-2015)

Review - DB-33 by AIR Music

The DB-33 hearkens back to the old days and that classic sound of the Hammond B3. Can this AIR Music plugin pull off a good emulation of that legendary sound? Our reviewer checks it out in detail.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2015)

Abletonalies – Summer Vacations

Why should you provide yourself with vocal packs and what else do you need to get your production to the next level? Abletonalies: from the old plug-ins to the new ones.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (07-2015)

Review – Rapture Pro by Cakewalk

Cakewalk’s Rapture synth has enjoyed a lot of popularity over the years and to a lesser extent so has Cakewalk’s Dimension Pro. Now they have become one in Rapture Pro. Find out more here.

Read More by David Baer (07-2015)

Music on Tablets – Elastic Drums and WretchUp from Mouse on Mars Instruments

A whole new world of sound generating and modifying possibilities are available today with tablet computers and smartphones. Here we show you some of the many ways that be accomplished.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2015)

Review - UltraMini 1.5 by UVI

The virtual analog synthesizer marketplace is a crowded place, filled with many types of subtractive synth plugins. Will UVI's UltraMini make a dent in the competition? Let’s see.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2015)

Review - PolyKB II by XILS-lab

Looking for the classic analog warmth and charm of those hardware synthesizers from the past? PolyKB II is a serious competitor in the virtual analog marketplace. Find out more in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2015)

Review - Iris 2 by iZotope

Iris 2 is Izotope's sample-based synth that uses spectral filtering. With a large number of samples and a great modulation system, it is easy to use and very powerful at the same time.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2015)

Review – Titan 2 from Best Service

Best Service has introduced an instrument that claims to be 266 synths in one, boasting a library of 12,800 presets. Too good to be true, you say? Decide for yourself after reading this review.

Read More by David Baer (07-2015)

Review – Strum GS-2 from Applied Acoustic Systems

AAS has released an upgrade to its already excellent Strum Acoustic and Strum Electric instruments. Strum GS-2 combines them both with plenty of new capabilities on offer.

Read More by David Baer (07-2015)

Era II Medieval Legends by Bestservice.de

Is this a tool just for media producers or it could serve as an ultra up-to-date library for modern Chill - Trop House production? A gift from the past for all our future needs?

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2015)

Review - Renaxxance by Indiginus

Renaxxance is a low-cost, easy-to-use nylon-string guitar (and more) library for Kontakt 4+ that is instant gratification in a box.

Read More by David Townsend (05-2015)

Vocaloid Megurine Luka V4X by Crypton through Best Service

 How real can fake be? Actually Vocaloids comes closer and closer. But the real point is that it is fun and easy to use. So, join the army of Vocaloid users and sing along with Megurine. by A. Arsov, May

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2015)

Abletonalies - May 2015

Time to make some additional noise: to learn how to whistle, to learn how to be original and creative with Hestibe, and finally to learn how jazz could uplift an EDM song to new level. by A. Arsov, May 2015Not so

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2015)

Klanghaus 2 by Best Service

  Klanghaus is back, now in version 2, it is even noisier, dirtier and more appealing. Let's discover how all those noises can be compiled in enjoyable music.by A. Arsov, May 2015 A new upgraded version of

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2015)

Review - Best Service Voyager Drums

Voager Drums is Best Service’s new horse in the acoustic drum samples race: a great drum instrument that sounds very good with intuitive controls that get you to your required drum mix fast.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (05-2015)

SoundBytes Freebies Of The Month

Two effects, a library of drum sounds and a synth – all available at the best possible price. Tomislav keeps finding the free stuff for you.

Read More by Tomislav Zlatic (05-2015)

Music on Tablets - A Taste of Some iPad Apps

A whole new world of sound generating and modifying possibilities are available today with tablet computers and smartphones. Here we show you some of the many ways that the Apple iPad can be used for sound production

Read More by Warren Burt (05-2015)

Review - ACE by u-he

ACE is a powerful, semi-modular synth plugin that's easy to learn, has many useful features, and is very flexible. We take it for a test ride in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2015)

Review - Aspect by Loomer

Loomer's Aspect is a semi-modular virtual analog synthesizer plugin with a rich, warm sound, and a versatile patch section. Our reviewer takes a detailed look at this powerful VA contender.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2015)

Oldies but Goodies – Rhino from BigTick

Rhino … well, it just has to be said … is beast of a synth. Under its simple-looking interface is a sophisticated and powerful instrument that’s most worthy of your attention.

Read More by David Baer (05-2015)

Review - Darklight IIx by UVI

The legendary sound of the Fairlight CMI is recaptured for the 21st century. Many of the trademark sounds of the 1980s are here. Check out the vintage powerhouse Darklight IIx here.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2015)

Review – u-he’s Diva

Diva is u-he’s magnificent homage to the world of analog synthesizer gear. It begs us to ask the question “who needs hardware?”. Find out why in this close-up look.

Read More by Per Lichtman (03-2015)

Review - Izotope’s BreakTweaker

Breaktweaker is a different kind of instrument, one that will surely become a favorite amongst electronic/dance musicians. It’s a worthy companion to Izotope’s Stutter Edit, and yet it’s a completely different

Read More by Suleiman Ali (03-2015)

Abletonalies – A Tropical moment

A long hot summer is coming, so, it is time to arm ourselves with new set of tutorials, TB 303 clones, bass instruments and some vocal packs that will help us to survive the season.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (03-2015)

Kaleidoscope from 2CAudio – Graphic Synthesis (and More) Taken to the Next Level

Kaleidoscope is a new approach to the use of graphics to control sound. Very powerful, and flexible, it uses a new paradigm – physically modeled resonators controlled by graphics to produce and modify sound.

Read More by Warren Burt (03-2015)

Review – The Loom Additive Synth from AIR Music Technology

Additive synthesis is a fascinating method of producing sound, but additive sound design is a considerable challenge. Or is it? Now there’s Loom and that storyline is changing. We take a close look here.

Read More by David Baer (03-2015)

Review - Xpand!2 by AIR Music Technology

SoundBytes continues its coverage of AIR virtual instruments with a look at Xpand!2, a four-part multitimbral workstation with a straightforward user interface that gets you up and running in no time.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2015)

Oldies but Goodies: Audjoo's Helix

The Helix synth, released by by Audjoo in 2008, is an Oldie-But-Goodie synth plugin with huge sonic possibilities. Read here why it is an instrument still worth your attention.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2015)

Review - CrX4 by LinPlug

We look at LinPlug’s CrX4 is a powerful synthesizer/sample-player, which is a major redesign of LinPlug’s previous product called CronoX3, that has many ways to manipulate your sounds.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2015)

Abletonalies – a New era

Santa brings a big collection of third party toys for our Ableton Live. A pack of instruments plus instruments inside packs ... and that's not all.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2015)

Review - MDrummer 5: The Future of Intelligent Drum Software, Part 1

Is this the drum programming game changer that the developer claims it to be? Suleiman dives in to find out.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (01-2015)

Review- Kaivo by Madrona Labs

Bored with the same old VCO-VCA-VCF model for sound synthesis? Kaivo is a very different kind of beast, one which might give you lots of opportunities for exploring new sonic ground.

Read More by Warren Burt (01-2015)

Review – MpowerSynth from MeldaProductions, Part 2

MeldaProduction has released its first synth. If you are familiar with Melda products and their often unique ways of solving problems, you’ll know why there’s a reason to be very, very interested in this new

Read More by David Baer (01-2015)

Review - Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology  

Hybrid 3 is a synthesizer plug-in that doesn't hold back. It has a modern sound with some powerful options onboard.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2015)

Review - VirtualCZ by Plugin Boutique

The Casio CZ line of synthesizers had a great sound in the 1980s. Our reviewer checks out VirtualCZ, and it puts a new spin on the classic sounds from yesterday.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2015)

Oldies but Goodies: Propellerhead's Thor

Welcome to our new column, Oldie but Goodies. This time we'll look at Thor, one of the many great instruments included with Reason 8, a classic but a favorite of many.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2015)

RealRick by Bestservice.de

Find how a virtual guitar instrument/library emulating the legendary Rickenbacker guitar compares with the Real Arsov - winner takes all.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2015)

Review - Groove Agent 4 by Steinberg

Finally we have a fancy virtual version of a drum-oriented Swiss Army knife, a magic all-in-all pack that could cover your every drum need - impressive functionality for a surprisingly low price.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (11-2014)

Review - Diversion by Dmitry Sches

Diversion is a software synth that offers subtractive capabilities as well as some elements of FM, granular and RM synthesis. Learn more about it here.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2014)

Review - PPG Wave 3.V by Waldorf

Back in the day, you'd have to spend around ,000 USD to acquire a PPG Wave synth. Fortunately, this software plugin version is much easier on your budget.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2014)

Review – Bazille by u-he

There’s a new synth from u-he – that statement alone should have gotten your attention. This one is a virtual analog model with 80s digital twists, and very flexible patching.

Read More by Warren Burt (11-2014)

Review - Blue II: Bluer than Blue?

If you've been thinking about picking up a Rob Papen synth but haven't been able to decide on one, Blue II would make an excellent choice. Find out why in this review.

Read More by Jon K. Carroll (11-2014)

Review – MPowerSynth from Melda Productions, Part 1

MeldaProduction is releasing its first synth. If you are familiar with Melda products and their often unique ways of solving problems, you’ll know why there’s a reason to be very, very interested in this new

Read More by David Baer (11-2014)

Review - String by Loomer

Loomer's String is an emulation of the string machines from the 1970s. Our reviewer thinks they did a great job of recreating that classic sound.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2014)

Review - Alchemy by Camel Audio

Camel Audio’s Alchemy is a marvel of inspired and elegant design making it one of the most versatile synths ever seen. Check it out in this close-up look.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2014)

Review - Tone 2 Electra 2 from Bestservice.de

Electra 2 from Tone 2, a very powerful workhorse synth, with a distinctive sound and a great palette of well-designed presets, is reviewed here.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (09-2014)

Review – SampleTank 3 from IK Multimedia

The much-delayed SampleTank 3 has finally arrived. Was it worth the wait? We take a close look at the instrument in this review.

Read More by David Baer (09-2014)

Review - Z3TA+ 2.1 by Cakewalk

Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ is a classic softsynth that’s been kept up to date with much enhanced version 2. We look at Z3TA+ 2 in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2014)

Review - Purity by Luxonix

Looking for a large variety of sounds and effects all contained in an easy to use sixteen-part workstation that comes at a bargain price? Maybe Purity is the answer.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2014)

Review - Synth Modular by KarmaFX

Synth Modular is a modular synth, exactly as its name suggests. Our reviewer finds much to like about this versatile and highly flexible instrument.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2014)

Review - Addictive Drums 2 by XLN Audio

Additive Drums 2 is the successor to Additive Drums. Our reviewer thinks that XLN Audio has done a terrific job of improving on the original and explains why in this in-depth review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2014)

The Others: Less Well Known Drum Software

This article hopes to show people how to venture beyond the much used-and-abused, and sometimes overhyped, usual drum kit players and to show the wide variety the market has to offer.

Read More by Suleiman Ali (07-2014)

Review – String Studio VS-2 from Applied Acoustic Systems

String Studio, an instrument from Applied Acoustic Systems, was first introduced about ten years ago. It's just been upgraded to a new version and there's much about which to be excited.

Read More by David Baer (07-2014)

Review - Xen_FMTS2, a FREE Softsynth That Opens the Way to Wild Explorations of Tunings and Timbres

Xem-FMTS2 is a free softsynth which has been designed specifically for those who want to explore the farther realms of ultra-accurate tuning, and the relationship of tuning to timbre.

Read More by Warren Burt (07-2014)

Review - Dune 2 by Synapse Audio

Fans of Synapse Audio's widely used synth, Dune, recently had occasion for a major celebration. Dune 2 is here. It's a rewrite from the ground up that our reviewer thinks very highly of.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2014)

Review - Ravity by Luxonix

Luxonix’s Ravity was a VST plugin synth discontinued to the dismay of many. Now it’s back. We take a close look at this rompler in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2014)

MeldaProduction Dynamic Equalizers: MDynamicEQ

Dynamic EQs are a relatively new type of effect about which, not surprisingly, not much is understood. This tutorial will explain it all in every detail.

Read More by David Townsend (05-2014)

Review - Nitroflex 1.92 by Synthblitz Audio

Synthblitz Audios’ Nitroflex is a five-oscillator synthesizer VST plugin for Windows. We take a close-up look at the instrument in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2014)

Review - Mux UL by Mutools

MUX is MuTools’ versatile modular synthesizer plugin. It is actually much more: a VST host, modular synth, and effect plugin all rolled into one.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2014)

Zebra 2.7 by u-he

The venerable synth Zebra is now at version 2.7. It continues to wow users with its versatile features, superb sound, and that undefinable u-he vibe.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2014)

Review - Strum Electric and Strum Acoustic from Applied Acoustic Systems

The wizards at Applied Acoustic Systems have a way with math. We look at how mathematical simulations can conjure up an impressive pair of guitar instruments.

Read More by David Baer (03-2014)

Review: Punch by Rob Papen

Punch is a drum synthesizer from Rob Papen. For some, that will be enough information to warrant to putting it in their shopping cart. If you're not in that group, you may be interested in finding out more.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (03-2014)

SoundBytes Freebies of the Month - May 2014

What's better than free? How about free and really cool? Tomislav Zlatic presents four notable freebies in an ongoing series of such coverage.

Read More by Tomislav Zlatic (03-2014)

Virtual ANS – Rebirth of a Classic, with New Bells and Whistles

The ANS Synthesizer was the most successful of the “light-controlled synthesizers” of the 1950s. Check out this emulation that extends the principles of the original in many new directions.

Read More by Warren Burt (03-2014)

Review - LuSH-101 by D16 Group

LuSH-101 is D16 Group's new multi-timbral polyphonic synth plugin, and it is actually eight synths in one ... eight really, really good synths. Find out more in this close-up look.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2014)

Review - ONE by kiloHearts

ONE is a polyphonic subtractive synthesizer plugin programmed by the Swedish-based kiloHearts. Should it be the one for you? See what our reviewer thinks here.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2014)

Review - Oberheim SEM V by Arturia

One of Arturia's latest synth recreations is the Oberhiem SEM V, which was produced in the late 70s. Our reviewer thinks that Arturia has a clear-cut winner on their hands.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (03-2014)

Review - Rob Papen Synth Bundles

Two synth bundles from Rob Papen nicely cover production needs for EDM and Urban genres and offer a good value in the bargain in our reviewer's estimation.

Read More by Jon K. Carroll (01-2014)

Review - Steinberg's Halion 5

If "God is in the details", then it’s fair to surmise that the design engineers of Halion underwent a profoundly religious experience when creating this instrument. See why.

Read More by David Baer (01-2014)

Review - XLN Audio's Addictive Keys Studio Collection

XLNAudio has expanded the sound capabilities of Addictive Keys to include the Electric Grand, Mark One, Modern Upright, and Studio Grand. Find out more in this close-up look.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2014)

Review - Tremor by Fxpansion

Our reviewer thinks that with a little experimental tweaking you will quickly understand why many electro-drum enthusiasts put Tremor at front of the virtual drum machine list.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (01-2014)

Review - Linplug’s Spectral

Linplug says that Spectral is the “result of fourteen years of synthesizer building experience”. Our reviewer thinks those fourteen years were well spent resulting in an innovative and elegant product.

Read More by Warren Burt (01-2014)

Review - Saurus by Tone2

Tone2 is a European software company, and the maker of many audio plugins. With Saurus they venture straight into the classic virtual-analog synth realm. Learn more about it here.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (01-2014)

Review - MOTU's Mach Five

Mark of the Unicorn’s Mach Five sampler has been around for a number of years now, but it was only last year it received an update, See what's on offer in this close up look.

Read More by Warren Burt (11-2013)

Review - DUNE 1.4 by Synapse-Audio

Our reviewer thinks Dune 1.4 is a powerhouse synth with a sleek interface. He suggests this is one that is not to be missed. Judge for yourself in this review.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (11-2013)

Review - ImageLine's Harmor Synthesizer

The Harmor software synth from Image-Line debuted several years ago, but it has just recently matriculated to 64-bitness. As such, a fresh look at this instrument is warranted.

Read More by David Baer (09-2013)

Review - impOSCar 2 by GForce Software

With this latest incarnation of an exalted emulation, GForce has dished out some great enhancements. Find out all about them in this review of impOSCar 2.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (09-2013)

Review - Rayblaster by Tone2

If you are looking for another typical subtractive virtual analog synth, you should look elsewhere. If it's something fresh, innovative and with nearly endless possibilities, read this.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2013)

Review – New Sonic Arts Nuance

New Sonic Arts have released a second offering next to their excellent granular sampler Granite. Please welcome the software sampler Nuance to the world.

Read More by Robert Halvarsson (07-2013)

Review - SynthMaster 2.6 by KV331 Audio

We take a close look at a highly capable software synth that would be impressive at twice its price. Synthmaster seems worthy of its name.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (07-2013)

Review - Waves Element Soft Synth

Waves introduces something new (for Waves, anyway), a software synth. Will it make waves in the market place? Find out more in this review.

Read More by David Baer (05-2013)

Review: ANA Synthesizer from Sonic Academy

We take an up-close look at the ANA software synth and see how it uses Analog, Noise and Attack to accomplish its purpose.

Read More by Rob Mitchell (05-2013)

Review: reFX Nexus 2: A Synth That Everyone Should Have

A. Arsov makes the case why sampled instruments somehow sound better than virtual analog ones – can this heresy be true? Read and decide for yourself.

Read More by Aleksander Arsov (05-2013)

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Welcome to SoundBytes Magazine, a free online magazine devoted to the subject of computer sound and music production.

 

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