Why I am NOT buying the Backline Rig Bundle

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challism
Posts: 1524
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 29 May 2015

I was quite interested in the Backline Rig Bundle, although I already have 4 of the REs and 2 of the refills.  But after demoing the rest of the REs in the pack, I think I'm going to have to pass.  Even at this sale price.  ~Already have Radial keys/piano/revival/rotor/electric bass/drum kits~

Blamsoft DC-9 is pretty sweet, but I am really, really, really heavy on distortion REs and don't need any more... and that was true BEFORE I purchased Futzbox!

A-list Acoustic is much better than I had expected.  I am actually quite impressed, and I wasn't even interested when it came out, as I am a guitar player.  I wouldn't mind having this one, just for the times I am away from a guitar or unable to set up my gear to record, etc.

Softube Spring Reverb was a nice surprise.  At first I didn't like it much, but it has grown on me.  It can be quite subtle and it ads a really nice sound, when such a sound is needed.  Somebody said it is a one trick pony, and that is accurate, but it does sound authentic, and better than the RV7000's spring reverb.  I think I may have to pick this one up if it ever goes on sale again.

Re-tron was pretty disappointing for me.  I was really looking forward to trying Re-tron, and savoring its trial.  Quite honestly, I think I can do just as much with the Abbey Roads refill, NN-XT and the arsenal of REs I already have.  Abbey Roads at least has all the samples that I liked best.  I wasn't crazy about many of the voices, and the limiting to 35 keys is pretty lame (I get that they were trying to keep it authentic, but why keep it THIS authentic?).

Synapse Ninety Phaser is really, really nice.  I already have a phaser (That Music Company T2), but honestly the 90 kicks T2's butt.  I may have to get this one if it ever goes on sale.  QUESTION: HOW DOES THIS PHASER compare to the phaser in Antidote?

The two refills I don't have will be missed.  And they were part of why I wanted to buy this bundle.  Ryan Greene and Art of Brushes v3.  I have Art/Brushes v1 and I absolutely love it.  And the description of Ryan Greene's drum refill sounds right down my alley.  Bummer.  I probably won't ever be shelling out $100 for it.

Lastly, the Softube Tube Delay is a HUGE disappointment.  I started another thread about it recently ( http://www.reasontalk.com/post/softube- ... 1287306890 ).  It basically cuts the volume of the track by 1/2, if you run it in a chain/insert (which is weird for a guitar-inspired effect), and it is a pain to dial in the right delay time.  I expected much more of this RE.  I already have Titus, Steerpike, The Echo, Predator, Revival, Thor, etc. etc.  So I think Im good for delay, anyway.  And The Echo already has a great distortion delay effect.

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K1TTENM1TTEN
Posts: 315
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 29 May 2015

Haha, I am in the same boat of already owning almost all of Prop's REs. I really wish they would have had this bundle a year and a half ago, lol. 

And though you didn't ask for them, here's a couple of opinions for ya, haha - 

1) I actually really enjoy RE-Tron. In fact I use it in a bunch of different pad patches. That being said, RE-Tron requires a little help from a couple of other RE effects to truly bring it to life. For example - Create an instance of RE-Tron. Load the stock preset "A Classic Choir With Violins." Then attach Mr. OverDrive, turn off all overdrive and filters, use it's x2 stereo pan, and immediately you'll start to hear a positive change, the strings and choir start to sound like two totally different instruments. Then add a nice large reverb, I personally like Rob Papin's RE-Verb set to Space 1, and RE-Tron turns into an incredibly adaptive and full sounding instrument and looses its "one trick pony-psychodelic 60's sound" and can be added to all sorts of things. I definitely understand your frustration on the limitation for the sake of "authenticity." Having to route and program the thing in a combinator so that I can use a sustain pedal is also a bit annoying, haha (but even the refill has the key limits as well, until you "add" them within the sampler). Don't get me wrong, I do like the Abby Road refill, because you can actually have the true sound used for Strawberry Fields and other classic songs. I just personally find a Mellotron to be not a "go to" instrument for most of the stuff I make, so the filtering and effect options within RE-Tron make it a bit more than fun toy. 


2) What is it about Ninety that you really like? Synapse Ninety phaser is indeed nice, however, I was not in love with it. And for me that was sad as I really wanted to be, actually. I personally felt like the T2 phaser simply has way more control and ability to sound more subtle, and beyond control, it has several modes that made it very unique to make some cool patches with Radical Keys. For example - Make an instance of Radical Keys. Then attach a T2 to it. Turn off the HPF, and select the first stair-step mode and have the tempo sync dialed into dotted 1/16th. The outcome is a really unique delay-like effect.
ANSWER - As in regards to how it compares to the phaser in Antidote, it is night and day different. Ninety is definitely better, in my opinion, than the phaser found in Antidote. Ninety offers a much richer and more natural sounding phaser than that found in Antidote. And though the Ninety doesn't offer a knob for stages like the phaser in Antidote, the "ultra mode" in Ninety really does a nice job of adding stages without adding cheesiness. 

Don't get me wrong, I definitely know that sound and taste is subjective, and value is certainly subjective as well. Often times I have found that the stock instance of an RE can truly be lack-luster. But my-oh-my can some of them turn into a whole different beast when routed to another device, and sometimes it is in those unexpected combination instances that the "buy" button immediately draws in my finger to surrender the money in my wallet, haha. 

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challism
Posts: 1524
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 29 May 2015


Silly kitten, opinions don't need to be asked for, after all, this is an internet forum. 
Re-Tron.  Couldn't the same sounds be made simply by having the samples?  It seems like this thing is basically just a sample player with some added ability to modify those samples with LFO.  But the same thing could be done if you had the samples, in my opinion.  And Abbey Roads has a lot of them.  Granted, it's a pain in the ass to be loading samples all day long, when you can just load them from a drop down menu.  Re-Tron DOES make it easier.  And I'm sure it sounds great with FX.  I've been playing around with many FX.  But barebones, it hasn't wow'ed me at all.  Kind of like PX7.  Without FX, many of the sounds are drab and colorless.  I love PX7, btw.  And I am a fan of the nostalgic sounds this thing has, it just seems like they are pretty well covered in the Abbey Road refill, my favorites anyway... flute, cello, etc.

Ninety.  Maybe I like it so much because I trialed it at the exact time as the Softube Tape Delay and Spring Reverb.  And those two initially were very disappointing/anti-climactic.  T2 always sounds so harsh to me, but I forget that it has the added distortion FX (and I don't know why), so that is why in my mind I feel T2 is harsh.  I guess I should do a sideby side comparison.  Also T2 has the filters, whereas Ninety is just a straight up Phaser.  Im gonna do a side by side and report back with my thoughts.  I should have done that before I posted that Ninety kicks T2's ass.... I was really just going from memory of T2.  I've never been completely thrilled with T2, and that's probably due to the added FX it has on board (which, admittedly, is a dumb reason) but I got it for $9, so I am thrilled about many aspects of it. ;)

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chimp_spanner
Posts: 2161
Joined: 06 Mar 2015

Post 29 May 2015

Backline was worth it for me because I didn't own any of the Radical stuff, or A-List, or any of the Reason Drums and at the time I needed all of those things for one job! I will admit though to being disappointed by the Tube Delay (haven't used it once). Bit of a mixed bag really but the things that I needed were in there so *shrugs* I guess it all worked out okay!

Oh yeah and ReTron is a weird one. Like there's no loop option, for one. That's kinda annoying. And yeah, you could just as easily download a Mellotron SF2 patch or something and get the same results. I think if they were remaking it now, perhaps they could add a bit of extra mojo like tape saturation, wow/flutter, other means of degrading the sound without using external FX. But I can't see an update coming any time soon.
Enjoy!

http://www.paulortizmusic.com

2017 MBP | 16GB | Steinberg UR44 | Reason 10.4 | Cubase Pro 10.5

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K1TTENM1TTEN
Posts: 315
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 29 May 2015

Haha, well I definitely understand the complaint that Re-Tron is basically a Rompler, but the convenience is definitely there, as well the quality of samples. The nice thing about the Abby Road refill is that it is the sounds you have heard on multiple albums, and RE-Tron does actually sound quite a bit different. In fact, I've found the Abby Road one to sound quite a bit more hollow, which isn't a bad thing, it's just not what I always want. I would have to agree that I absolutely would like an infinite loop mode, it simply doesn't make sense not to offer a switch for that to disable the "authentic mode." There's a reason these things are not really used today, and keeping the quirks of the original, while kind of neat, it limits the idea behind a digital RE.

I also bought T2 for $9, and it is a bit hard for me to justify the price jump of Ninety. What I've found with most of the REs from That Music Company is that when you turn off the filters and random distortions, the REs do have a fairly nice clean sound, especially for the price, haha!

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challism
Posts: 1524
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 02 Jun 2015

K1TTENM1TTEN wrote:
2) What is it about Ninety that you really like?
Now that I have had some time to compare Ninety and T2 side by side, I still prefer the Ninety.  It just has a buttery sound to it.  The T2 sounds so harsh to my ears.  Even with the overdrive, main volume and filter off.  It has a ton of ability make different variations of the sound, but none of them have the buttery goodness that the Ninety puts out.  I have tried and tried and can not get T2 to make the same sound.  T2 has a ton of options and I do enjoy it, but it can only be used when I want a harsh phaser sound.

Ninety is very simple, and is really a one-trick pony, but it sounds really sweet.  I love the color knob and I especially love the widen knob; that knob is sweet.

Perhaps a metaphor is in order:  Ninety is more classic rock, while T2 is more heavy metal.  Anyway, they both have their place.  If Ninety ever goes on sale for 40% off, I'm buying it.  I'm patient, though, I can wait.

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eXode
Posts: 678
Joined: 11 Feb 2015

Post 02 Jun 2015

90 is basesd on the EHX Small Stone Phaser.

Antidote is based on the AP-12, which in turn is based on the Moog Phaser, as far as I can tell.

The two are quite different from each other.

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challism
Posts: 1524
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 02 Jun 2015


Yes they are.

Both are good, and both have their benefits.  The Ninety is so buttery, I like that.  But it's really limited in what it can do.  The T2 is a power house for versatility and ability to adjust the settings, but it's hard to get a half-way tame sound of it.

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edx500
Posts: 33
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 02 Jun 2015

So, on Sunday I pulled the trigger and bought the Backline bundle. I've been trying to decide for more than a week whether to get the synth rig  or the backline. What was worse is I really wanted all those synths in the other bundle AND I already owned the Rotor and the Retron from the Christmas sale.

So why did I go with Backline? Even though I've owned and played synths since 1977 I don't necessarily think you need a room full of them 
to program a variety of synth sounds. Thor, Malstrom and Subtractor are pretty deep and there are a vast number of available sounds along with just a little tweaking can keep one pretty fixed with sound options.

So for me it's that never-ending search for that realistic piano and organ sounds that synths have just never shined at. I would concede they've become pretty damn good, but still, programming a synth sound is not that daunting after 35 years. Looking for something that sounds like a Steinway in the virtual world is still where I'm at. 

I also really like the drum refills in this bundle. I've already used the "brushes" refill" in a song I started Sunday. It's great for quieter more organic stuff.

Finally, I like the Retron. I do wish they would jazz it up a bit. I'd like an octave or two on each end of the range.

I got to play a real restored Mellotron in 1997(?) at the Namm show in LA. They had it set up in an obscure corner near the entrance and no one was playing it. I played that thing for almost an hour and had a great time. It does have these limitations sound and playing-wise, yet it's very cool. The Retron is pretty comparable with the original.

I will be next in line for all those synths at the next sale.   ;)


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