Nostalgia full review

Nostalgia: the name says it all really. A collection of much loved sounds from yesteryear. Nostalgia offers highly optimised, memory-efficient and seamlessly-looped samples of a heritage of instruments encapsulated in one definitive collection.
What you get is more than 1.3GB of sounds and over 1,300 patches of electronic instruments from the past four decades, lovingly prepared by programming wizard and all-round synth enthusiast Steve Howell. His stated aim is to bring you the best and most accurate representations of some of the world's greatest synths, keyboards and beat boxes that he has either owned or used. He certainly succeeds with the beat boxes.

Whatever your chosen musical genre you should find sounds to suit. Whether you want old-skool lo-fi beat boxes, huge Gothic Tron sounds, smooth Prophet pads and strings, beefy Moog basses or leads, classic electric pianos, swirly string synths, cheesy toys, classic samplers or brittle digital synths, with over 5,000 samples, it's probably there in this huge collection.

Just about every classic synthesizer from the 1970s and 80s is featured here, including all the popular ARP, Moog, Oberheim and Yamaha synthesizers, classic keyboards such as the Wurlitzer pianos, Hohner Clavinet, Hammond and Farfisa organs, and even a Stylophone!

The best sounds for me are the classic beat boxes and drum synthesizers. The Ace Tone ‘Rhythm Ace' was one of the first drum synthesizers that appeared in the 1970s. I bought a similar one myself, then sold it to buy a Roland CR78 which is also featured here. Nostalgia has made all these revered old machines available again. From the Linn drums used on Michael Jackson's albums to the Boss DR55 used by nearly every kid on the street at one point – Nostalgia has them all.

The library is presented within Native Instruments' Kompakt sampler. Powerful multi-mode filters, envelopes and LFOs give this software enormous flexibility and a wealth of creative possibilities. Up to eight instruments can be combined in a Multi, for example, giving a vast array of possible combinations of the supplied single instruments. You can use the integrated reverb, chorus and delay effects to give the samples even more life and depth. A note of warning: the more demanding patches can overload the CPU and the quality of these effects is not as good as those in most host software, so it's advisable to turn them off.

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