East West’s Quantum Leap Ra

Review

On the last evening and also until now, I was testing East West’s Quantum Leap Ra.
It’s reputation is nothing but the true: it sounds freaking awesome.
I setted up my JUNO-D on my lap, plugged in my MIDI cable. turned on the VSTi, loaded a sound and almost had an auditive orgasm. I am really into ethnic instruments and stuff. Okie dokie, so let’s talk a little more seriously in here.

The Interface
The first thing that came to my head when I turned Ra on was how simple it is. On a interface of every VSTi you have several places to explore and find out how they can make your sound even better and, with Ra, things aren’t different, but, as soon as you look the screen you know exactly where is everything.
On the top at your left you have system status, like CPU Usage and keyrange, as well as the number of total polyphony and the number of notes that are been played.
Beside this, you got your MIDI parts (or channels, if you wish), where you can set up to 8 different instruments. The way the instruments are organized is very intuitive and easy to go through: you have the different places where they’re from and within this, different categories of instruments, like bowed or plucked.
Moving on to the parameters on the interface of your synthesizer, you can see the modulation section – where you have the amp, filter and the called free envelope parameters as well as the LFO -, the effects section and of course the “main parameters” of your instrument, like microtuning, filter, amp and velocity curve settings.
Pretty easy to understand interface and very simple to find what you’re looking for on it. No problems with that.


East West’s Quantum Leap Ra

The sounds
Ah the sounds… Oh, my God, I’m still impressed with the quality. Don’t know if it’s because of my excitement for finally getting my hands on Ra, or they are simply a-ma-zing.
The synthesizer has a lot of different sounds, at least 90 different instruments – without counting any of different setup’s for the same instrument – and they all sound very unique and realistic.
What’s pretty interesting about the various instruments on it is their different behaviour as you hold the key between your different velocities of hitting the key. Sometimes you get a trillo on the attack of the sound, other times you have a more loud and violent vibratto. Awesome.

Demos
I was playing with Ra a little, then I decided to record some stuff. Well, as I’ve already told you guys, this PC is not a very good one, so, I’m not able to open Sonar and Ra at the same time because I’m afraid of some explosion here. So I recorded it with the Microsoft’s MSN Messenger ‘voice message’ tool. Please don’t complain about the quality or the technique. I’m not any pro. But I really hope you guys can appreciate how cool those sounds are.
Oh, by the way, I’ve only recorded japanese and chinese stuff so far, so, wait for, in the near future, the recordings of Sitars, Tablas, Santoors, Bagpipes and many other pretty cool sounds!

Shakuhachi: Shaku 1, Shaku 2, Shaku 3;
Shaminsen;
Erhu;
Taiko.

Hope you guys like it as much as I did. :)

Cya,

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~ by Breno Ronchini on July 29, 2008.

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