Thursday, March 26, 2009

Loomer Aspect VST for Linux

While trying out Renoise and various other sequencers, I have also been trying out the demo for Aspect, a commercial VST synth plug in. After Disco DSP's Discovery, it is only the second commercially available Linux VST.

This is a very flexible synth, with lots of modulation routings possible. With so many routings possible, it is nice to see a decent number of modulation sources available - 3 envelopes & 3 LFOs, as well as the ability to use the Oscillators and Filter outputs as modulation sources too.

It also has an easy to use MIDI learn function, so you can map your controllers to the various parameters - I have been able to map the 16 or so sliders/knobs on my Evolution controller keyboard to key parameters; it makes editing so much easier.

CPU usage can be quite high on patches that use a high number of voices or unison, although recent updates have bought the CPU usage down, so this shouldn't be a big problem.

It is quite difficult to categorise the sound the synth produces - it can sound quite analog at times, but also can sound quite digital. That's not to say it can't do either very well, but more like it has quite a distinct sound, and a very good one too. I'm very happy with it and have gone ahead and bought the full version.

Loomer also have two Effects VSTs available for Linux, but I haven't tried those out yet. It is good to see some commercial VSTs available for Linux - although there are a few good synths available for Linux, most have been around for quite some time so it is good to freshen things up a bit.

The Loomer plugins are built using the JUCE development kit, hopefully this is the first of more commercial Linux releases, as more developers start to use JUCE.


Anonymous said...

it's good to see audio app developers taking interest in developing for the linux platform.
However, I am not really sure that the "commercial" aspect of it is a trend I would like to see more in the future. Not that I disagree with "commerce" in general, but nowadays, we have this paradigm of commerce at every corner. One grows tired of this invasion of every aspect of life by the rules of commerce. We need diversity, that's the key for evolution. Let's see how this evolves ... but GNU/linux started with a special "spirit" and it would be a bit sad to see it crushed because of more and more commercial stuffing.

This said, your description sounds interesting. Any chance you could post a sample of yours ?

Andy said...

I understand perfectly your point. I would love to see more free audio software for Linux (the amount of free VSTs for Windows is mind boggling). But this depends on the tools being available as much as desire. Most of the free windows VSTs are made with SynthEdit, but there's nothing like that available for Linux. I guess my point is that there are relatively few softsynths available for Linux, so Linux Musicians end up all using the same stuff. So at this point, I welcome any more that come along, free or not. Hopefully more will come about as a result of the JUCE framework and/or the jVSTWrapper.
I'll try and get some sound samples together soon.