TWO OF MY FAVORITES BY GFORCE SOFTWARE RECEIVE GREAT UPDATES
GForce software in the UK has a long history of producing software versions of hardware instruments.
Their popular and beautiful sounding Mellotron-style instrument is updated to the M-Tron Pro IV, with lots of useful new features and sounds, plus it is now native for Apple processors.
|MTron Pro IV|
The Oddity 3 is the updated Apple processor version of the GForce emulation of the vintage ARP Odyssey analog synthesizer. Everything about this synth sounds great, new inbuilt effects, new preset browsing and some of the best sounding filters I've ever heard, including hardware and software.
|Oddity 3 from GForce Software|
My only complaint about GForce instruments is that they can be extremely processor intensive. How did they perform on the new 20-core Mac Studio?
For this review I'm running the GForce Software on the 20-core Mac Studio with 128GB of DRAM and 4TB of SSD storage. The OS is fresh and up to date and all the software on this machine, including the latest version of Logic Pro is newly downloaded.
I don't honestly remember when I purchased software from GForce or the process of acquiring/installing. I think my GF got me the M-Tron as a gift quite a few years ago.
The current GForce web site is up to date and if you're a registered user it is very easy to acquire your download and authorization codes: the installation process went perfect every time. My only criticism about any of the purchase was during the downloading of the software, the server seemed slow. It got the job done and as I said, it all went smoothly and worked the first time.
I contacted GForce Software about using their instruments on my new 20-Core Mac Studio. This was about six months ago as I was planning the Mac Studio purchase and I was reviewing which software would come with me from the Intel based Mac Pro to the new Apple processor based, Mac Studio; some software bits have been left behind;-)
GForce has always responded very fast to my support emails and within 24 hours, on a Sunday, I got my answer. At that time I was told there were no updated versions for Apple hardware but the old versions would run fine in Rosetta, Apples processor/emulation bridge-piece of software. Sadly I waved goodbye to GForce because I did not want anything that was not native on the new 20-core machine.
I was filled with joy when I saw that the GForce pieces have not only been updated for Apple processors, they've been totally revamped. This news gave me a big smile and I jumped on a summer sale to upgrade and get them on the Mac Studio.
THE M-TRON PRO IV
The M-Tron has been my favorite Mellotron simulation since I first used it years ago. Unlike some other "tron" emulations, this one really sounds like a real hardware based Mellotron keyboard, complete with all the tape loops and funky hardware.
The latest iteration, the M-Tron Pro IV does not disappoint, it's the best sounding M-Tron yet. The included library is approximately 3.5GB in size and it includes more sounds than either of my other Tron emulation program/library/instruments from other software companies.
There are lots of presets included with M-Tron but I like getting down in the library and hunting through everything. The M-Tron remains my top pick for Mellotron sounds, definitely a lot easier to use and maintain than a real tape based Mellotron.
The Oddity is a software version of the 1970's ARP Odyssey keyboard hardware. Oddity goes WAY beyond the original hardware to deliver even more sound options.
The only Odyssey hardware I had on hand to compare Oddity to was a Korg Odyssey. The Korg sounded thin next to Oddity. The software emulation, even without effects, sounded bigger, more juicy, sweeter and just overall more vibrant and inspirational. It is fast to use, easy to edit and makes it simple to try out a lot of sounds quickly. All these features made it easy to send the Korg packing on the gear resale site, Reverb.com. If I was playing live shows I might want the hardware version but for composing in the studio, give me the software version, Oddity.
17 years ago I did not enjoy using software synthesizers because computers were so low in horsepower. Today, with machines like the 20 and now 22 core Apple models I think software synthesizers have come of age and taken their place at the head of the table.
These updated models from GForce reinforce the idea that software based synthesizers have usurped their hardware brethren with memory, polyphony and creative options. Both of these GForce models feature incredible sounds and they run on modern processors without stalling or stopping your creativity. Since they're inside your DAW and your song you don't need notebooks of settings and paper track sheets to remind you of how they were set or how you used them because their settings get saved with your song.
My favorite software instruments are emulations of hardware I was toying with or dreaming of owning back in the 70's and 80's. I learned on the hardware and have applied that thinking and compositional technique to these modern emulations. Since I know how the hardware worked I also have a good idea how the software works and that helps inspire me to making new musical compositions.
Both of these synthesizers from GForce deliver reliability, affordability and most importantly, great sound.
Good Music To You!
H.o.T. purchased the software reviewed prior to creating this article.
©2023 by Mark King, it is NOT ok to copy or quote without written permission from the author.