Rob Papen’s Predator Review
As of this very moment when I heard the word predator, the first thing that would run through my mind is an alien with a telltale shimmer that Arnold Schwarzenegger was hunting. Then, it was followed by the thought of that uncomfortable conversation Chris Hansen is consistently having on CNBC. Now, I see the light. What we all should think of is an incredible VST by Rob Papen (@RobPapen) with an extremely aggressive and in your face sound!
When I first loaded Predator in to Maschine, I was overwhelmed by the GUI. So many knobs, buttons, letters, numbers, and characters I felt like I just opened a virtual time machine. I was literally at a loss. I’ve seen many VSTs, but not many as intricate as this. Before previewing any sounds, I stared at it right in the face like a fight weigh in. Then I had the bright idea to just dive right in!
Predator is powered by 3 oscillators with over 30 waveforms, 2 of which can be synced, and all 3 with ability to be free running (Pic 1). There is a filter section with not 1 but 2 filters at your disposal to create that tone you’re looking for along with a filter LFO (Pic 2). We have a pitch mod LFO section as well as a pitch bend section (Pic 3). To the right is an extensive FX section. Here you can place 3 effects on your synth right in the Predator GUI. Even more, each effect has its very own editable parameters giving you even more control then you’ve already got (Pic 4). In play mode you’ve got the ability to make your sound polyphonic or monophonic as well as many other play modes including adding portamento (Pic 4). In the preset section guess what you’ll find….. more to come on those (Pic 4). To round out Predator is the modulation section where you’ll find 2 envelopes, 2 LFOs and the modulation routing section (Pic 3). Feel free to initialize Predator from the preset section by clicking on the name of the preset you are on and selecting “Default Preset” to create your own craziness! I found the GUI to be extremely easy to navigate to create my own sound once I wrapped my brain around it; which was precisely 6 minutes.
If you are not that great of a sound designer you have nothing to fear at all. Rob Papen has taken the time to include over 4,000 preset sounds in the styles of hip hop, house, techno, trance as well as SFX banks. Take any of these ready to go sounds an incorporate them into your productions, or tweak and peak them a bit and make them your own. There is a plethora of sound categories to choose from such as arps, basses, leads, pads, and keys. The overall sound of Predator is superb, and offers its own uniqueness to your production.
I highly recommend anyone looking for an awesome VST synth that stands out, and makes your beats stand out, to grab Predator. I was initially overwhelmed but after just looking it over and trying things, I can easily see Predator being one of my go to plugins! On a scale of 1-16 pads (1 being walking in on your parents and 16 being watching Baywatch in slow motion) Predator comes in at 12! Good preset sounds and ease of synthesis make this a great addition to anyone doing any type of music!
James Jaxin (@jaxin414)
Forum Moderator MaschineMasters.com
Product Review Specialist MaschineMasters.com