Hey guys, I wanted to offer some opinions on some really great plugins for a VERY low price. I'm going to try to make this an ongoing series, offering short reviews/impressions on the plethora of sounds available at ridiculously low prices at the various audio discount websites. As I'm sure many of you can relate to, I LOVE to get new sounds and just have a field day experimenting and playing around with them, so I often take advantage of the discounted websites such as VstBuzz, Audio Plugin Deals, and Plugin Boutique (there are others, but these are the ones I have most experience with)
Earlier this week I offered my impressions on a great orchestral library, the Herring Clarinet. Today I want to cover something complete different, the ever popular electronic/hybrid sounds. I picked up the Hybrid 3 Synth by Air Music Technology (creators of integrated plugins for PRO TOOLS) for only ONE DOLLAR here at Plugin Boutique (the deal may be limited, however). I didn't buy it at first because, come on, how good can it be for one dollar? I did a little research and heard some audio demos and a few days later I bought it. For the price, this is hands down he best deal I've ever gotten on any plugin, ever.
Load it up and you have a basic interface, and if you have ever used soft synths at all, it will all be very familiar: Oscillators (up to 6), envelope options and knobs for LFO, Filter, Preset bank, effects, etc. I won't go into much depth here, because there are much more knowledgeable users on the internet with more helpful tutorials and overviews of the features. I was mostly interested in how it sounds.
I proceeded to play around for a few days and get the feel of the workflow and operation, and then this evening I timed myself to produce an audio demo in one hour that still sounds good and relevant in today's constantly changing music scene. I was constantly impressed with the quality and lushness of the presets, and even those that didn't sound so great to me became useable after doing some tweaks, which is very easy to do. It was all very simple to use, and more importantly, a whole lot of fun to play with. A real sense of joy and discovery when finding a solid preset and then manipulating it to sound soft and airy, or thick and gritty, and everything in between. For those sounds that may have sounded a bit static, another great plugin saved the day.
I'm talking about Tantra by Dmitry Sches. The combination of these two plugins cost me around 35 dollars. I have only owned Tantra for less than a day, but I can tell you now it's going to be an absolute staple in my compositions from now on. I used it on the synth, but it can complement any possible audio signal you can throw at it. Vocals, guitars, synths, basses. It takes stale and static sounds and gives them a new life, deeply sampled rhythms and effects that sound phenomenal. The interface is also beautiful and a bit overwhelming with all the buttons and knobs, but it goes to show the amazing options for manipulation and tweaking.
Where Air Hybrid 3 is a niche product, Tantra is an versatile workhorse and can make anything sound better., providing anything from soft and subtle delays and frequency modulation, complete glitch-style signal manipulation, deep pulses and sidechaining, and percussive sequences. I was looking into buying Movement by Output, and after doing some research on forums, decided I could get something that does the same things for less money (who can say no to that?) and I settled on Tantra after the deal popped up in my inbox. I am not knocking Output at all, they have amazing products, but, if you are looking for something that has similar capabilities and features and can't afford Movement, go with Tantra. I have not even begun to delve into the full capacity of the features and sounds available, but already I know it will be a staple for years to come. It provides seemingly endless possibilities and rhythmic variations, at an amazing discounted price for a limited time here at VstBuzz.
Here is the demo I made in only ONE HOUR, using 95% Hybrid sounds (FL studio stock drum samples and one instance of the FL 3xOsc for the white noise sweep) and Tantra on the mixer channel for a couple of the Hybrid 3 layers. Tantra provides that great rhythmic sequencing (with built in delay/filter modulation) audible in the start and throughout the whole track.