31 May 2008

Plugiator is cool

Last friday I went to I4 muzique in Eindhoven to chat a bit about some idea's I have for my studio. I'm struggling a bit with USB connections over longer distances so we looked at some USB over ethernet solutions. While waiting in the shop for other customers that were helped in between I played a bit with the Use Audio plugiator. I did't really know this machine, but I liked the concept. To begin with it is very cheap and it runs the Creamware ASB synthesizers like the Minimax, Pro-12, Prodyssey and B4000. I used to own a minimax and Pro-12 but sold them when I bought real Moogs and the Prophet '08. Off course the real analogs sound much better, but the minimax one acted as a polyphonic minimoog and I missed that sometimes so I was looking for this ASB again.

But now they put all of them in one box which is really cool and it doesn't take much space. You can see it in the picture on the right compared to my Virus Polar. Very small. It is an ugly box by the way. Too bad they didn't do a little designing on it. The software that comes with it is great. You plug it in your USB port and the software shows you the synthesizer layout on your screen. See the picture below for some examples. You have some knobs on the box you can tweak right away, which is nice. Unfortunately you can't assign them, but everything is CC based so you can assign some knobs on your own controller. You can only run one plug in at the time by the way.

Another nice thing is that the software has an online database with sounds where you can upload you own made patches. All the other users can use them as well them. And off course you can also use the patches that other people made. Very very well though of! It comes pre installed with the minimax and B4000 and two of their own synthesizers. The rest you have to buy. But they are very cheap. For only $129 you have them all! I discovered only one downside and that is (besides is it still just an emulation off course) that is a bit noisy. Not loud but in the background I measured about -80 dB of noise floor. You don't hear that in a mix, but I can't remember that the Creamware boxes did this.

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