VPS Avenger Expansions Review VPS Avenger Expansions Review
4.5
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EDM 1, Future Chill, Moombahton & Trap, Psy, Funky House, Future Pop, Bigtone and Europarty Review

You can always trust Vengeance-sound to spoil you for choice when it comes to sound banks or expansion packs for their  vsti’s. The much touted Avenger synth is no exception (see our recent

VPS Avenger review). We were lucky enough to get our hands on all of the brand new sound expansions available for Avenger and put them through their paces in a controlled environment.

Installation

Installing an expansion pack for Avenger couldn’t be more simple. Simply drag and drop the downloaded expansion from the folder onto the Edit portion of Avenger and the burly synth will ingest it. We added all seven in under ten minutes. An efficient and visual process that doesn’t confuse with the manual placement of folders. Once ingested the sound banks appear alongside the OE factory bank in the top-left browser window.

EDM 1

“EDM 1 Expansion is Beatport in a bag. It’s a direct and deadly blast across the bows of other synth manufacturers…”

Starting with EDM 1, the first thing I noticed was that there are only a handful of ARP’s – 7 at my count but with 131 new presets total you will feel pretty spoiled with 26 new drum kits and drum sequences, 10 wavetables, 41 new OSC shapes and 81 multi-samples.  Starting with Basses ‘Deep and Pop’ is a perfect Deep House/Garage bass. The fatness, girth and frequency content is perfect for the genre. You’ll also find Dubstep wobbles and growls as well as Future Bass and other more genre bending low end content. Love the FX section – again only 5 presets in there but each a diamond. Risers that could be simply drawn in to your track if you so wish.  The SEQUENCES section will blow your mind. So many amazing song-starter ideas here. Garage, Nu Disco, Progressive, Garage, Future, Chill, Main Room. As expected EDM 1 Expansion is Beatport in a bag. It’s a direct and deadly blast across the bows of other synth manufacturers, and any producer hooked on this genre should pay careful attention.

Moombah & Trap

Next up: Moombah & Trap. There’s a lot of great stuff in this expansion. Some great, great sound design and really original thinking when it comes to the Mod Matrix and the step sequencers. For my liking a lot of the sounds in this Expansion seem overtly wet, however, that is easily rectified by lowering the SEND volume on the generators to taste. If I had to pick a couple of the most useful sounds I would go straight to the VC (or Voice) section and choose Analog Box and Urban Voicelead – two essentials for almost any kind of Urban Electronica.

“Some great, great sound design and really original thinking when it comes to the Mod Matrix and the step sequencer.”

Future Chill

If you’re more into that Flume/Waveracer style then Future Chill is the one you want. It’s a very well defined pack with 137 total presets. Whilst there is only 1 new Wavetable there are 50 new OSC shapes and 13 Drum kits and 26 multi-samples. Personally I think the important thing to understand is the sound design and the awesome, genre specific drum kits. This Expansion really delivers in those important categories. Lush, intricate plucks, Beautifully filtered synths and pads. I think my favorite section in this Expansion is CHORDS. Just a dime stack of interesting and unique sounds. There is delicate modulation, excellent use of Avenger’s sick onboard effects and plenty of lo-fi, glitchy sounding fodder that will leave a true fan of the genre salivating.

“There’s delicate modulation, excellent use of Avenger’s sick onboard effects and plenty of lo-fi, glitchy sounding fodder that will leave a true fan of the genre salivating.”

Future Pop

This is a nice, flexible expansion with great sounds and a butt-load of useful drums and percussion hits. In the ARP section I have to hand it to ‘Future Harp’ which makes clever use of the ‘Spacetuba’ SHAPE from the generator/Oscillator dropdown menu. There are a couple of classic sounding House patches under CHORDS and a solid selection of really useable brass and string sounds in the INSTRUMENTS section. Under LEADS you’ll see some excellent sound design and great use of Avenger’s unparalleled, onboard effects – particularly V-Verb which is utilized to great effect on Future Stripe which just eats you up with clever use of V-Verb’s EARLY/TAIL control. I must admit, I was expecting a lot more in the way of PLUCKS but the SEQUENCES section is crammed full with some hot song starters and there are some great layer sounds under VOICE. A very solid expansion perfectly suited to the type of Pop/EDM/Urban crossover styles that are big right now.

“A very solid expansion perfectly suited to the type of Pop/EDM/Urban crossover styles that are big right now.”

Big Tone

Bigtone gave us all a surprise. A very well stocked expansion here with a huge variety of useable fodder for all types of genres. Starting with a busy and well crafted ARP selection I have to doff my lid to the small but useful collection of bells which would get a veritable hammering on so many different tracks. Perfectly realised and ready to just layer under a top line or brighten up chords. After this we have a gaggle of extremely clean and punchy CHORDS, one Clap and one Kick under Drums (but they are popping), some incredible transitioning effects – a couple of which are very reminiscent of the chaos that could be caused with the Andromeda A1’s touch strip, some sweet pianos and a couple of fat synths to top it all off. Another very flexible expansion that could be as good on Pop music as it is on Dance.

“Another very flexible expansion that could be as good on Pop music as it is on Dance.”

Psy

On Psy, as expected, there are a huge huge selection of savage Trance basses in the ARP section. A very useful toolbox for purveyors of the dark arts… The Drums and FX tabs are equally well stocked and at this point you have enough ammo to half finish a record. LEADS showcases a very healthy selection of brutish material – one of our favorites being the very clever ‘Unstoppable Break, which gets intimate with Avengers excellent Matrix. With a great many interesting and well designed Pads and Plucks the Psy expansion showcases a lot of the features that Avenger is becoming increasingly famous for.

“A very useful toolbox for purveyors of the dark arts…”

Euro Party

The hilarious, ironic and rather shameful thing about the VPS Euro Party expansion is that a) it exists and b) that you will scoff, turn up your nose so high you’d drown in a rainstorm but before you  know it you’ll be happily cranking out disgustingly happy and dextrous Euro-plop as though you’d been doing it your entire life. Seriously – this expansion is worryingly good and, of course, expertly programmed with a ton of hilarious sequences and useful ARPs, the latter of which will work in a great many different situations. The INSTRUMENTS tab is excellent, replete as it is with comedy Tubas whilst the remaining sections cover a lot of ground. It’s difficult to get away from the omnipotent presence of the Euro Pop Party as every few presets there’s another classic Macarena souvenir but if you are a shameless Euroslut, then this expansion will go all the way with you.

“…if you are a shameless Euroslut, then this expansion will go all the way with you.”

Funky House

Funky House is a sleeper expansion. Like a Smart Car gargling on nitrous oxide – we never saw this one coming. Possibly the best of all the Avenger expansions. Yes it’s funky (fonky?) but there are just so many important sounds going on in this expansion that it doesn’t do itself justice. I daren’t start listing them in case the omissions haunt me later. The sheer quality of Funky House is undeniable – and that it so comfortably covers so many different areas of House and Pop with so little effort makes it the clear winner for us here at APN. Notable patches are Talkbox, Dance Grand, Disco Brass, Bright Poly and Vocal Cutz 3. You can almost make a track from those alone!

“we never saw this one coming. Possibly the best of all the Avenger expansions.”

CONCLUSION

Vengeance is packing a lot of heat with Avenger and it’s brand new expansion library. This is an auspicious start for a brand new genus of products and the German company looks as though they intend to hold the wildly beating heart of dance/pop up high with these expansions. Although $70ea may seem expensive, a lot of hard work has gone into these packs and, unless you’re only a weekend warrior, you pretty much need all of these. My best advice is to buy them now, whilst we’re still at ground floor level. Purchase them as they come out so you don’t ever find yourself looking to spend two or three racks in one go, like a lot of late to the party Nexus users who found themselves blinking at a very rotund ‘total’ in their Vengeance shopping carts…

“…the German company looks as though they intend to hold the wildly beating heart of dance/pop up high with these expansions.”

Price and Availability

All seven Avenger Expansions are available right now. Each weighs in at $70USD and you can find more info here.

Compatibility

Compatible on Mac & Windows:

Drag and drop install for AAX, VST, AU

Vengeance have defined the sound of popular dance music and to an extent, pop for some ten or fifteen years. Pick up these essential sound packs for Avenger and see how sound design is really done.
  • Amazing sound design
  • Easy navigation
  • Genre specific
  • Very pricey
  • Lacking patches in a few categories
  • Only eight expansions

4 of 5

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Baby Brown Publisher & Editor

Baby Brown is a Grammy Nominated Composer/Producer and guitar player. He’s privileged to have written, played, produced and recorded some of the coolest artists ever from Eminem to Xzibit, Mickey Avalon to Deniece Williams the Lady of Rage and C Murder – to name a few. His technology swag is strong and he’s happy to make friends with you on Instagram.

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