I started out using EVE and then started using Wusikstation when it became available. I still use EVE quite a bit live along with Wusikstation and other plug-ins.
The thing I like most about Wusikstation is the library of sounds already available. You can spend many hours auditioning them. However there are lots that I can't imagine anyone ever using. Overall, I can usually find a stock sound that is sufficient. I don't tweak them much so I don't use much of the powerful features.
My biggest gripe is that I have paid the membership for many years and have supported William throughout the whole time but have to ask to get the updates and new stuff. Then as part of the membership I am to receive all of the products available then come to find out that I could get the same thing in a group buy for a fraction of the cost of the membership. Just doesn't seem fair to those of us that have continued to support this work. Support is erratic. The group buys are a real value to those that partake so I would recommend them.
I often rip on Wusikstation because of a few annoyances that clearly irritate me to no end, but deep inside I have such a love and respect for this thing that it kind of makes me sick.
First, I would like to start with the negative, because that is so often what I think of while browsing through my synth list of choices.
1. It seems to use a lot of CPU on my Intel Core 2 Duo 2ghz machine. When I mean a lot of CPU, I mean 20% and above on nearly every patch. My self created patches put me in the realm of 30-40% easily. That is a heavy place to start from for a new song. :P
2. My windows XP machine is maxed out at 3gb ram, but after loading about 3-4 instances of Wusik or adding Wusik at a later stage in a far developed song always seems to result in Wusik not loading because of no memory left in my system. However, I find this odd because other VSTi's and Romplers load just fine (Sampletank, Kontakt and others).
3. The filters... they just do not have the pazzazz that other filters have. Getting them to sound sweet and thick is very hard if not impossible for me on this synth, but it may be because it is a Sample based Rompler of sorts.
4. The EQ... Seriously? What is going on here? I don't get it.
5. The FX sound nice, but I do not like their interface or sometimes the lack of BPM sync. Also please give us another Insert? ;)
6. The sample editor makes no sense to me and I sometimes running into glitches or crashes navigating it.
Now having mentioned all these bad things and vented my frustration yet again (just closed the program)... I would like to move onto the positives.
1. I absolutely LOVE the interface and the routing scheme... it is brilliant, easy to understand and very powerful. This works for me on a level that just blows my mind.
2. The reverb (studio lite) is superb sounding.
3. The [W] menu editor is awesome beyond belief, a little deep and hard to grasp, but what it can do for you is simply mind boggling.
4. The modulation routing (I need to emphasize this!)
5. The sound of the included sampled material is 80% good, which says a lot considering it is many GB's.
It is very a much a love hate relationship I have going on with Wusik. I love it and crave it, but its short comings push me away from it often enough that I always hesitate to go back to it. However, when I do go back I fall in love quickly all over again until those pesky little problems become obvious again and I need a break.
Honestly... if your considering getting Wusik I recommend you take the plunge, it is truly a unique and awesome product on the market. I really wish to have it with me in the future and can only pray that some things work themselves out in time. I know one thing is for sure I will need a quad or octo core system before I can harness its potential to my expectations. :PRead more
Wusikstation is by far the best synth I've tested. Ever. It pelts and pummels other samplers and ROMplers to the gutter with extraordinaire quality and usefullness. What reFX Nexus lacks Wusikstation has surplus of.
You can load your own samples in many different formats and shapes into Wusikstation, it has a very vast library of sounds that really gets me going far and beyond excitement each and every time I start Wusikstation.
Wusik 5 gave you support for 6 channels per patch, Wusik 6 gives you 16 slots in which you can load in a patch with 6 channels. In other words you can create a combo of 96 oscilators playing as one. This can be seen as a blessing or as a burdon.
The blessing is that you can really go wild in creating your own sounds, the burdon is that it gets heavy on the CPU. Still this is something I'm well willing to live with since it clearly brings up the creative potential.
Wusik haws an online library with more sounds that you can buy via a subscription system, costs a tad bit to start, but through this system I've got a library of over 15 GB samples.
To put this mildly: Wusikstation has become a must through the last 2 years for me, I really enjoy using it, and it can be heard in most of my hiphop beats.
There is a few things that lacks though. The arpeggio is pretty solid, but it would be good to have access to arpeggios for all channels. The arpeggios in the wavesequence area is way too complicated to be used effective, for me at least. This is the only place where reFX Nexus wins over Wusikstation. Another wish from me is probability playback of channels with a random delay activated when each note is played. This would make Wusikstation much more human soundwise. Apart from that I really love Wusikstation, and I look forward to the next update with lots of expectations.Read more
Wusikstation is an intriguing product. It is by far the most rapidly evolving synth I own--it seems like hardly a day goes by without a message from William K, the developer, about a new feature or soundset or both. This rapid evolution is both a blessing and a burden; sometimes it seems like I spend more time keeping up with changes in Wusikstation than playing it! However, there's no question that the new features add plenty of value, and the user is under no compulsion to install every release.
The latest version is 5.28, and this review covers 5.12. This version is a very fine synthesizer indeed. The basic architecture is sample-based, with a variety of tuning, filter, LFO, EQ, and modulation options for each of four sample-based oscillators. A master mixer section allows each of the four sources to be combined at appropriate levels, and two effects to be applied as desired to individual oscillators and the overall mix. A modulation matrix provides futher flexibility; just about anything can be modulated by anything else, including an oscillator, an LFO, a MIDI controller, etc. To cap it all off, the synth does wavesequencing, which means it can do very complex sounds that evolve over time--very nice for pads in particular.
The basic sound quality of the instrument is superb. The tools for manipulating sound are abundant and excellent, and if you load a great sample into Wusikstation, you get a great sound out of it. That means that the real limitation on this synth's sound is the quality of the samples that are loaded into it. On that score, the developer offers users an absolutely massive set of sounds with a subscription (not "purchase" per se--what you buy is a subscription to download software, sounds, and updates from the website for a given period of time), covering just about everything from acoustic instruments to electronica, and these are frequently updated. However, not all the samples are of extremely high quality, and so not all the patches offered with the synth sound great. (I have looked in vain through the patches for a really good Rhodes-style electric piano, for example. Thank goodness for soundfont.it's Mr Ray 22...) It's worth taking the time to audition patches to find the really great ones, and there are more than enough great ones on offer to make the purchase worthwhile. Excellent third party content is also available in abundance, such as Manytone's fine bass sample sets. Finally, Wusikstation will load WAV files as well as its proprietary WusikSND format, and the developer has even included a simple but perfectly functional tool for creating WusikSND multisamples from WAVs. I've used this tool successfully to create Mellotron multisamples for Wusikstation usng the free Tanguiy sample set.
UPDATE on Oct 8 2008: The latest version of Wusikstation (5.6.2) offers SFZ file import. This opens up a huge world of very high-quality content, including soundsets created for such synthesizers as Dimension, Rapture, and z3ta+. I have tested this function with an SFZ version (created via the free SFZed file format converter) of the Splendid 256 MB piano soundfont, and the results are outstanding.
The synth ships with a couple of dozen skin designs, and most users will surely find something to their taste in that set. I find the layout to be increasingly easy to use as my familiarity with the synth grows, but anyone who hasn't encountered a modulation matrix before is well advised to read the manual carefully, as something as simple as setting up an LFO whose depth is increased by the mod wheel requires that modulation matrix. The interface offers no drag and drop functionality, which puts it behind a number of sample-based synths, and is a little fiddly--you have to click twice to select an oscillator and enable it, for example--but overall it's easy enough to work with, and contains few surprises.
I haven't covered a number of the tools that ship with Wusikstation, including the new drum machine, the arpeggiator, etc., etc., all of which work as advertised. Suffice it to say that this synth offers a lot of value for money. For many Windows-based users, this might be a very good choice for their first (or second, or third) commercial synth. Certainly the massive soundset and synthesis tools combined will enable a lot of music making without aditional work on the user's part. There aren't a lot of synths on the market that cover as much ground as Wusikstation, nor as well, and none that I know of at this relatively modest price point. The developer is also extremely responsive to user feedback, as a glance at the KVR forum will show, and version 5 especially seems very stable under Sonar. In short: highly recommended.Read more