Some Quick and Dirty Product Reviews

Hi guys, I know at times it may seem like I’m a bot or something because of how generally speaking I come to the forum when I’m asking for product advice. Actually I’ve been using Renoise for about 6-7 years even though I’m sure many of my questions reveal how much of a noob I am in many of its technical aspects. Before Renoise I used Impulse Tracker for about a decade and I mainly stick to choose instrument -> edit notes --> mix and don’t know much of the really technical stuff such as beat splicing but I want to learn! Point: I am human and not affiliated with the products I’m about to give a quick and dirty review on. I just thought while I have a minute at my computer I’d give anyone else who may be looking for a little product advice a few of my impressions. You also need to know these are my first commercial VSTs I’ve ever had so maybe a couple of you have also been using free VSTs and instrument samples up until now. Anyway here we go!

OrangeTree Samples Products I Bought:
Evolution Electric Guitar
Jaco Iconic Bass
CoreBass Pear
Grand Kalimba
TinyBox (music box)
Angelic Keys
Hulusi (free with newsletter)

I love all of OrangeTree instruments! But not only that the service with these guys was faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar and away the best service I’ve ever gotten from any online vendor EVER. Right now, the head of the company is keeping contact with me and just asking me generally for my thoughts and he’s willing to personally help me understand how to use these instruments. OrangeTree quality and service are beyond and away the best I’ve ever experienced. And in one week of being their customer I am now a 100% loyal fan boy. For example, if one company comes out with an instrument that Orange tree plans on making I will not buy from the other company I will wait on OrangeTree to release theirs instead. So be warned. From here on out I have OrangeTree fanboy stamped across my forehead. They are THAT good! Highly Recommended. 12/10

Native Instruments Komplete 8:

I was forced to buy Komplete 8 because OrangeTree Samples requires the scripting feature that isn’t available in the free player versions of NI’s product line. This cost me $400 but I got it becuase I really wanted the OrangeTree instruments. After a few days trying out some of the effects and instruments I’m beginning to warm up to Komplete 8 in its own right. The service from Native Instruments is blatantly subpar when you do a direct comparison to OrangeTree however it isn’t so bad as to bother me too much.Just expect to wait anywhere from 1-7 days for responses from their support staff. I’ve spent most of my time with Komplete 8 inside of Kontakt and Reaktor and what I noticed pretty soon is how many of the effects and VSTs that work with these products are VERY CPU HUNGRY which makes me wonder why don’t they make an option to offload some of these processing to the GPU? Perhaps NI doesn’t have the resources or perhaps just not enough competition. But the CPU requirements are so high that you will sometimes find yourself having to alter the sound you want to go with so it doesn’t kill your CPU. Which is bad. But still, even with that in consideration, the instruments and effects that I’ve tried sound great. I give Komplete 8 a 8.5/10 - a great value with decent customer support but your CPU will be challenged greatly by Komplete 8 at times.

NI’s Razor

Speaking of CPU intensive. I LOVE everything about Razor. Except it destroys my CPU. That’s the only downside to it. But I love Razor so much and I would be able to give it an 11/10 if they could somehow offload the processing to my GPU instead of the CPU. But for now I give it a 9.5/10 The visual feedback that you get allows you to view the sound waves from the oscillators and effects. I find this very useful because it helps you understand what you are doing. For example there is an option to apply a Waterbed modifier to your sound and guess what, it’s aptly named because it can cause your sound wave to look like a waterbed! It’s sort of tricky to explain it. But I love it and if you already have the full version of Reaktor I would recommend Razor if you were sitting on the bench. Just don’t buy it with the free version because then they won’t let you save your custom presets!

Scarbee’s Funk Guitarist

I love this VST! It does exactly what the advertisments and youtube videos claim. So if any of you were interested in it before but sitting on the fence I’d recommend it. Not only is it incredibly powerful, it’s also very fun! Some people complain that it only gives you a rthymic guitar which is a valid critique I suppose. But it’s not a concern for me as I have OrangeTree’s Evolution Electric Guitar - Strawberry also. I’ll give it a 9.5/10

Hope that helps!


is terrible.

glad I could help =)

Wow, you spent 800$ just to use a sample set.

I don’t think I’ve been impressed with anything coming out of NI’s software line for a while now. Seems like most of their software is just continuing to milk the innovations of the past. How old are Reaktor 5 and Kontakt 5 at this point anyway? Maschine seems cool though.I picked up Absynth during one of their fire sales and it was okay. It was probably awesome 10 years ago, but with companies like camel audio and uhe pushing the sound quality envelope, absynth is comparable to a high-end ipad app at this point. ditto various sample sets I’ve gotten - session strings, abby road drums, alicia’s keys. All decent but relatively uninspiring.

Absynth can still do a few things that camel alchemy and uhe synths can’t, I still use it occasionally…and Razor is one of the best additive synths ever.

I think Xils Lab is, “killing it,” in the vst sound quality department. Anybody looking for new, albeit cpu eating stuff, ought to check out their offerings. The one Xils I’ve got is Oxium, and it totally replaced Rapture as, “my fav synth.”

So… Here is the deal. I got the newsletter today, Oxium 1.5 is coming, “very soon.” I’ve seen Xils release updates and put their synths on sale at the same time. So anybody with budget constraints might want to keep their eyes pealed for the next couple of weeks, as I wouldn’t be surprised if Oxium 1.5 arrives, and is a few dollars cheaper than normal.

Just FYI, if anybody is going to purchase Oxium before 1.5, there is a bug in Renoise with LFO 1, and the OSC Section. Project recall error.

I must admit!! I am a little bothered, I reported this bug 5 or 6 months ago; I maybe had a license for about a month and then I said to myself, “hmmm, my lfo tweaks are not saving with the project.” So I have been, “in the waiting room,” while Xavier fixes his vst.

Truth is: Ur’s just destroys the competition when it comes to bug fixes, and customer service. That said, I’ve always found U-he to be very popular, and I like my stuff to be a little different from the crowd. Xils is definitely on par with, and can perhaps best U-he on sound quality… IMHO…

U-he stuff is always great, I just hope use a different knob/modulation style for Zebra3 when it comes out…something that shows the modulation depth on the knob itself like Alchemy or Massive.

ive enjoyed all of NI products. never really felt the need for anything else. razor is indeed awesome, and ive loved absynth since 3. im sure people can say, oh so and so synth or effect or whatever is better, but ive never had any issues with NI. i finally bought komplete 7 when it was on sale a couple years ago for like 400 bucks which to me is pretty cheap for the ammount of stuff i get to play with. and it all works well with renoise!

agree, spectrasonics and ni are the only people asking that kind of money that’s going to leave you thinking “maybe I ripped them off?”.