A short review of the LIRA 8 VSTi

While currently having the original SOMA Lyra-8 hardware here on my desk I was curious how the VST emulation created by Mike Moreno DSP might appear in comparison. The release is available in VST formats for Mac and PC under “Pay what you want or download for free”.

In case you never heard of the hardware Lyra, it’s basically a 8 voice drone synthesizer, providing some LFO and FM modulation capabilities plus a basic delay and distortion FX. It does not provide any Midi control but solely relies on manual interaction with it’s analog interface (plus some quite limited CV support). It also does not have any sort of filter, mod matrix or effect structure. However, it perfectly fits for different styles of experimental electronic and ambient music as well as all kinds of sound design e.g for film scoring and such.

The VST plugin resembles the overall appearance and usage concept almost identical to the hardware. All parameters are accessible via host automation in your DAW which indeed turns out to be really useful. To trigger the sensors, Midi notes C1 to G1 can also be used instead of clicking the interface. Since the original sensors are sensitiv to skin capacitance/resistance, I would have expected the plugin sensors to have some sort of velocity or aftertouch control accordingly but this is not the case.

Soundwise the plugin was a real surprise. While it might not stand an A/B test with its analog counterpart, it amazingly captures its overall sound aesthetic and gives instant gratification in this regard. Wobbling drones, shimmering soundscapes and fizzling FM weirdness – it can all do that and much more. But maybe even more important it is real fun to twiddle with and it appears to be very inspirational, exactly like the HW does.

What the plugin itself can’t give you of course is the tactile experience. Beside that there is an issue when it comes to tuning sounds. The oscillator tune parameters actually do have just very imprecise control given the huge frequency range across all octaves. This becomes even more of an issue if you try to finetune something in its FM sweetspot area.

Overall verdict: Highly recommended for all sorts of sound design or pure inspiration – if you can live with its constraints.

TDR VOS SlickEQ – video review

Read the whole story at modernmixing.com.

 

a very comprehensive review on Thrillseeker VBL

And don’t miss to read the whole review here with lots of hands-on examples.

 

Thrillseeker XTC review by Rick Saxby

This article is re-blogged from bedroomproducersblog.com with kind permission by Tomislav Zlatic.

When I first read the description on Bootsy’s website of the new Thrillseeker XTC I didn’t know what to make of it. It’s a 3 band exciter, um… I think that adds mojo?

Well, it is free and all his other stuff is outstanding, my favorites being his Ferric TDS, Tesla Pro and Density MKIII. Even though I didn’t know what to make of it, I was still excited that he finally graced us with another one of his free plugins.

The Master Bus

When I downloaded the two files it came with I noticed the blue version was for hot (loud) material and the black version was for quieter material. Both do the same exact thing but one has more headroom than the other. The first thing I tried was putting it on after my bus compressor on an entire mix. As always, with any mastering plugin, a little goes a long way. I found that the mojo knob was better off being completely off when mastering. Also, I turned up the EQ knobs just a teensy bit but still kept them on (with the red light still on). The mix sounded better with the XTC on rather than off. It’s sort of like how mastering engineers used to (and still do) put Pultec EQ’s in their mastering chain. It just adds that little flavor you can’t do without.

Individual Tracks

After trying it on the master fader I took it off and tried it on individual tracks. Wow! At first I noticed that you can give individual tracks way more EQ with the low, mid and air knobs and it still sounds good. Another thing I noticed was that sometimes (like with my drum bus group) I didn’t like the way it sounded compared to the original track when soloed. When the track wasn’t soloed, though, it would fit much better in the mix. I ended up playing around with the mojo knob and I can’t think of a better way to describe what it does to tracks than it simply adds mojo to them. Analogue mojo, if you will. I would turn the mojo up and down until that particular track would just warmly hug everything around it. The great thing about it is it’s extremely subtle so you can really crank it up, while still really affecting your song. [Read more…]

a Density mkIII review

Christopher A. Dorval Dion kindly gave me permission to re-blog his review he made for Quantum-Music.ca:

Variety of Sound – Density MKIII (Review)

[Read more…]

instead of donating

A lot people are asking me why I don’t charge for the stuff here and where the donation button is. Instead and if you would like to do me a favor then why not just write a short review about one of the VoS plug-ins?

Here are some as a starting point over there at KVR:

www.kvraudio.com/product/4692/reviews

www.kvraudio.com/product/4218/reviews

www.kvraudio.com/product/4047/reviews

and Gearslutz:

www.gearslutz.com/board/reviews/

 

new ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ box set, a review

DSOTM poster

This is a perplexing product to get your head around. It really is. I like it, or at least I like parts of it, quite a lot. Other aspects of the set I could do without completely. Some of it’s just plain useless. – Richard Metzger

Read his full review at dangerousminds.net.