MAGIX Vandal 1.112 VST X86 X64 |TOP|
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MAGIX Vandal 1.112 VST X86 X64
vandal’s amp has a modest number of options. its first output is a two-band eq, and this is completely user selectable, but it has only eight possible filter curves to choose from. the gain section has three input gain stages, and five gain stages, and while there’s a contour that can be used to control compression a bit, there’s no tone controls. each one is boosted, cut or faded in and out over time, while the ‘retrig’ input is a variable gate that can be controlled via automation. this has some great uses, but it’s not quite as flexible as the very similar function in guitar rig, though this matters less when you can choose between identical cabs in such a wide range of flavours.
the cabinet section is similarly simplistic and not hugely impressive. as you might expect, its effects consist of a virtual rack of amp and effects processors, of which you can control the gain, ‘taper’, sound dampening and the amount of drive. there’s also an input boost for those who want to add overdrive to the signal. this is ok, but another option would be to model the cabinet itself, which would be more convincing – if it actually sounded like a real cabinet. this is very much a hands off amp simulator, after all.
the signal path is sound modelling, but smartly so. a single valve or tube network makes a mighty amp, so vandal features asimple network consisting of just one, but, crucially, it has up to three different tube or valve types, so you can replace each of them with a version that delivers more or less gain at a given set of frequencies. this means that you can make an amp sound like the sonicsound of the 1960s or a lo-fi, sleazy ’70s amp, and switch if you want an amp that sounds like a kit from the early ’80s, for example. it also means that, if you want to change a specific part of your sound, you can do so simply by switching from low-gain to high-gain designs, or vice versa, and this is where some of the fun lies. i’ll come back to this in a moment.
the other two major components of vandal are the amp and the compressor. the amp’s controls are fairly conventional, but the compressor has lots of useful features, like a gate with an adjustable attack time, a knee control to enable a smooth curve of compression, and a high/low control for the amount of output reduction.
as for the amp, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a modern amp simulator, and certainly offers plenty of power. the reverb is pretty good, but not really innovative, and although the midrange clipping control may be used to add some vintage grit, it’s not really useful for that – it has more of an emphasis on holding back some of the upper frequencies. vandal has some of the best effects for the bass guitar i’ve ever heard, though, and you can literally flatten the low end and add gritty detail with a single adjustment.
overall, then, vandal is a useful and well-thought-out plugin suite, and although the controls aren’t revolutionary, they’re very well-designed and well-suited to the job. it’s certainly worth a download, and if the bugs are sorted out it’s a very good value for money – it’s not cheap, but it’s often worth paying a bit more for the ability to get real-world sounds that are so reliably good.
vandal’s well-designed interface is intuitively user-friendly; many controls are either clearly labelled or have a pictorial representation – often making sense of the sound they affect is a piece of cake. vandal’s interface makes it easy to choose which of the many different amp-simulators’ sounds you want to use, and the session-schematic makes it easy to change from one preset to another, with the amp, cabinet and effects settings automatically updated. the different presets in the program all seem to have been chosen to suit different levels of player ability – with modes for loud, cranked and clean, it’s easy to find a preset that suits your playing style. the presets can be saved, so it’s always a case of returning to the original state if you don’t like the sound.
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