Virtual String Machine (or VSM) is GForce’s new baby. Yes, GForce, the ones behind the M-Tron, Oddity, Imposcar, Minimonsta. I’m sure you remember… And yes, they did it again… The VSM is a sort of tribute to a particular genre of synth, which was very popular in the 70s (therefore in the last decade, too): the string synthesizer, or string-machine. We owe to these machines most of the pads we loved in modern music (ok, if you’re exclusively into punk and hardcore probably it’s not your cup of tea!). Some names? Solina, Arp Quartet, Freeman String Symphonizer, Logan String Melody, Elka Rhapsody, etc. You’ll find 2.5 Gb of samples in the DVD. But the VSM is not just a sample library. It’s a real software synth, with a filter and an amp envelope, and this gives an additional flexibility to the user. If you combine these features with two layers that let you load two different sample sets (so for example you can mix an Arp Quartet Cello with a Solina Viola, etc.), you’re starting to get why flexibility is the key here. Other welcome controls, which extend the original hardware’s features, are velocity and aftertouch. Then there’s an fx section, with phaser and ensemble. And, of course, a lot of (signature) presets! The results are excellent, both from a sonic and functional point of view. And even if there’s more to play with here, compared to the original machines, the VSM offers the same ‘instant gratification’ vibe; I’ve spent several hours just trying a few presets… The VSM is gonna be a new classic, especially for those (like me) who are not willing to spend an unjustifiable amount of money to get (and then maintain) some of those old machines. Oh, I forgot: GForce has a brand new website, which looks much better than the old one, and you can find lots of details about the VSM…
Platforms: OS X and Windows Formats: standalone and VST, AU, RTAS plug-in. Price 129 € (excl. VAT) or 149 $.
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