Hey what’s good fam!
Back with a review that I think a lot of people will enjoy, at least judging from the types of questions I get all the time.
Let’s dig in!
So What is Xpand!2?
To keep it simple, it’s a workstation style vst that used to be exclusive to Pro Tools.
When I say workstation, I’m talking about something like a Roland Fantom, Yamaha Motif, or a Korg Kronos.
That means it has all types of sounds and covers many different genres.
Also, similar to these types of hardware workstations, the sounds in this one load instantly, no waiting for samples to load and such.
This is for those that want to be able to go through many instruments and sounds quickly without waiting for them to load…which can kill inspiration.
- Contents - 2469 presets, 29 categories
- Technology - FM synthesis, sample playback, tonewheel, subtractive synthesis
- Format - VST, AU
So How Does it Sound?
Having 2500+ presets doesn’t matter much if they aren’t useful right? Well these sounds are definitely useful.
As with any workstation, it covers all types of sounds and all types of genres, of course there’s going to be some duds, but overall the sound quality is there.
I really dig the pads, ambiences, and strings, as well as other things like the synth bass, some of the brass, fx, drums, regular bass, etc.
Basically, I found many sounds I can use, and with so many different presets plus the ability to layer, modulate, and add fx, you can really get some use out of this thing for the long term.
Overall the sounds are dope, and the load instantly, which is a nice one-two punch if you ask me.
So What’s the Bottom Line?
I get asked very often, what type of plugin is there to replace a hardware workstation, or what type of plugin has all types of sounds in one library.
I without a doubt suggest Xpand!2 to anyone that is in search of such a plugin. In the days of mega sampled pianos and dedicated harmonica libraries, it’s cool to be able to have workstation that’s easy to use, loads quick, and sounds great.
I give Xpand!2 a rating of 4.5 out of 5 subs, I love it. It has so many sounds that you’re sure to find many to spark inspiration or add to your existing work. Plus it doesn’t kill inspiration by forcing you to wait forever the sounds to load.
The one thing I’d change about this plugin (and AIR plugins in general) is the browser menu. The text is really tiny, and with so many patches and categories it can be a little fiddly to work with.
Outside of that, maybe the ability to have insert fx per layer would be useful, but outside of that I honestly just really dig how straight forward and usable it is.
Not to mention affordable!
Read full review at Sounds and Gear.