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19 August 2011

CAMEL AUDIO ALCHEMY 1.20.1 | £179

REVIEW
Alchemy can loosely be described as old-fashioned chemistry; more tightly, the pursuit of turning base metals into luvverly gold. So the obvious question is, does Camel Audio’s soft synth sound old hat, or can it make audio gold from base elements? In a sense, the latter is exactly what it’s all about. Alchemy is now native 64-bit, so no more grinding of teeth as you watch a wobbly 32-bit bridge (Apple!) collapse into the gushing torrent of your creative flow.

The plugin, as both VST and AU, and now as RTAS for Avid Pro Tools users, arrives with multi-gigs of samples (more than 5.5GB, fact fans) and a library of 675 presets devised by the in-house team, along with such luminaries as Ian Boddy, Junkie XL, John 'Skippy' Lehmkuhl and Dangerous Bear. The presets cover a bewildering variety of sounds ready for manipulation in weird and wonderful ways, more on which later. And yes, there's a slot for your own devisalments, much aided by a MuzoBlog favourite feature, a Random-ize button. A huge plus is that you can also import your own samples in a variety of formats (WAV, AIFF and SFZ) to further titillate creative nodes. Then we get to the synth itself, scratch our heads and head back to Camel’s website for a look at the well-produced instructional videos.