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D. Broad "danbroad" (Cheshire, UK)
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Spectrasonics Atmosphere Soft Synth For Mac Or Pc
Spectrasonics Atmosphere Soft Synth For Mac Or Pc

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intel compatibility coming soon, but still a five star synth., 4 April 2007
Be clear - Spectrasonics have not yet implemented Intel Mac compatibility to Atmosphere; as a longterm VSTi user [not a Spectrasonics employee], I can guarantee that it will be forthcoming, and that Spectrasonics are far and away the most professional and user-orientated company in the VST world.

Their synth 'Stylus RMX' was one of the first to be Intel compatible, because the front-end was designed in-house. This synth uses a third party GUI, and as such Spectrasonics have had to go back to the drawing board.

Their products feature heavily in the music-for-picture world, and on a number of million-selling albums; see their website for details [but think Sting, Harry Gregson-WIlliams, CSI etc] - as such this is a userbase the company cannot afford to dissapoint . Intel Macs will see the benefits in 2007.

As for the synth? Well, I've used it for over four years on the PC, and it's one of the few VSTi's that compares sonically to my Access Virus. The sounds are incredible - imagine a box full of every amazing patch you enjoyed trying out on that new synth in the shop!

One star seems harsh for such a well respected, well used synth. You'll have heard it used a thousand times and not known it. Along with RMX, it's the only software synth I'd buy again tomorrow. Intel Mac's can't use it until the update, but that's apparent from the website. To the reveiwer below - contact Spectrasonics - they'll help you out, and I'm sure your Intel Mac upgrade will be painless, useful and at no cost. This is one professional company, and the CEO Eric Persing is a forum regular, a knowledgable help, and a respected sound designer.


Lifeform
Lifeform

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Electronica's 'White Album', 23 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Lifeform (Audio CD)
A sprawling double-helping of the finest that synthesisers and samples can offer. Like listening to the life on the ocean floor, or perhaps in the densest rainforest; this album is to take in at a long sitting. The melodies are there, the beats are huge; but by making them analog, organic, the sounds haven't dated one bit. This album could have been released anytime between 1976 and 2006, and we'd all still agree it's 'of its time'. In fact, the 'life' in the recording is the most interesting thing here. It's sound is a musical parallel to a wildlife documentary!

At once dark and uplifting, I remember one review from 1994 which described this album as 'having its own DNA'. I agree entirely; this is synthesised, organic, analog life, and it wraps around your speakers with its green, evolving branches. Let it develop!


Passion: Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ
Passion: Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ
Offered by stevecaptainkirk
Price: £29.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriel and Realworld's intense ambient start., 23 Sept. 2006
Distilling Eastern music for European ears. Peter Gabriel is a pioneer in the field of electronic and avant-garde music; here he created a masterpiece which helped to launch both his Realworld label, and became an essential album for many an 'ambient/electronic/world/eclectic' listener.

Sound-checked by both white label and established electronic artists [I can think of the Future Sound Of London offhand], this melds alternate-scale vocals [of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Youssou N'Dour among others] with his beloved [Nord] synths, awesome percussion [listen to the low-pass filters ending 'A Different Drum' without the hairs on the neck standing on end, I dare you] and abstract samples. A similar approach can be found on Damon Albarn's wonderful collection 'Mali Music'.

My personal favourite is the delicate melody of 'Of These, Hope', but this whole album flows as a journey, and easily surpasses any description of "soundtrack". I still haven't seen the film, and I won't; I luckily got to this first, and I don't intend to spoil things.

If you don't enjoy the cinematic intensity, the superb layered arrangements, the cross-cultural references, and the sheer musical talents on offer here, then I would suggest you need to listen once more with the lights down!


You're the One
You're the One
Price: £7.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the one, alright, 3 Jun. 2006
This review is from: You're the One (Audio CD)
Paul Simon's best for 15 years. "That's where I belong" kicks off the album, and the whole record sounds like a man happy in his songwriting again. Few gimmicks, no tricks, and although there are the odd guitar flourishes reminiscent of Graceland, the songs are tight, well scripted, and devoid of excess.

"Darling Lorraine" covers a couple's life story, from bachelorhood to marriage to breakup to acceptance, all in 4 minutes, whilst remaining both poignant heartbreak and funny marital arguments - "you say you're depressed, but you're not, you just like to stay in bed!". Brilliant.

"Old" and "You're the One" have Buddy Holly moments, and "Old" in particular sounds like the song written to counter jokes at his expense! Once again, a man happy with his condition, laughing at himself. "Disagreements? Work 'em out..."

Some of the songs on the album sound as though they were written for children, or at least for parents of children to enjoy. "Teacher", with its unusual time signature, "Look at That", with it's morning encouragement, and the serene "Quiet", sound like lessons and lullabies, and [as another reviewer mentioned] infuse a quiet spirituality.

"Pigs, Sheep and Wolves" is surely the most absurd fun. It would make a great kid's song, if it wasn't about a gory murder and subsequent porcine cover up!

Six years on, and a new album out, this album still gets regular play without ever becoming boring. A great driving companion, find a copy, and hopefully it'll put you at ease, just like the man himself.

This is the sort of album you need 30 years songwriting practice to record, but there's not a hint of self indulgence here.


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