Posted On March 20, 2011 By In Reviews And 419 Views

Review: Arturia Analog Laboratory

I’ve been waiting to do this review for a while to give Arturia ample time to get this program on the road. There are several bugs in the system that can be a bit tricky to work with.

I’ve owned Analog Factory for a while now so when Analog Laboratory came out, I had high hopes. I’m using this program as a virtual instrument in Pro Tools 9 so this review mainly focuses on it as a plug-in and not the stand-alone version BUT from what I’ve used on the stand alone version, it is extremely stable with the exception of the noise in the preset changing which I will address later in the review.

This program is $249.00, which you would think for that price you would be getting a better quality, stable virtual instrument; but alas as a plug-in, it performs sub-par at times. Changing presets is like playing Russian Roulette with your ears because you never know what horrible pops, clicks, or just god-awful noises you will get at preset changes. I pray you’re not using headphones unless you like that ringing sound that soon follows high SPL blunt force trauma.

And that’s really a shame because the presets are quite remarkable. You can find almost any preset for ANY style of music. They fit perfectly in the mix with very very little to no external processing. They’ve somehow found a way to perfectly emulate the classic analog synths and to add to the vintage feel while still masterfully integrating into modern day applications. The only issue is that the behavior of the vintage synths have found their way into the plug-in by constantly crashing, but with a new program, this is to be expected. I just wish the crashes didn’t completely kill my entire Pro Tools session.

The graphical part of the interface is very sleek looking, a very good match to its hardware counterpart. One of my favorite things about the interface is they have the presets categorized by type but the icing on the cake is that they even go as far to describe the feel of the presets by category. That makes life a great deal easier to find the right sound to find that one preset to fit the type of song you’re playing. I use this feature constantly. The performance presets with sequenced patterns have an issue however. The latest update has quasi-fixed most of the rhythmic patches but they’re still really glitchy. For example, say your Pro Tools session is set at 80 bpm and have the LFO Sync checked, most of the presets will match the rhythm but they won’t really sound like the original. Plus when you try to manually change the rhythm to match the tempo, nothing happens. So you basically have to build a song around the tempo they have set or the preset changes so drastically, it doesn’t sound like the original. For instance, the rhythm will cut as much as half on the pattern when you simply match the LFO sync even if the rhythm is a few BPM off. Also, as far as I’ve seen from messing with it and running through the preferences, there’s no way to alter the step sequences. The controls on the front end control parameters to a certain extent but I would like to see a more in depth preset editor to shape the sound and not just the filters, delay, sustain, etc…

The great parts of this soft-synth really add to the sting of having to deal with the headache of trying to use it without it obliterating your Pro Tools session. Also, if you do need help with the program, it might take some time for some issues but they do try to do everything to help with issues. I’ve just about become personal friends with ole Antoine at Arturia. Well the first part was due to the fact that I was too cheap and lazy to get a Steinberg key to store my authorizations with Analog Factory… That brings me to another point… make sure and buy a Steinberg key if you need to use it on multiple computers. The authorizing is very simple but if a hardware changes in your computer, you will have to request a new code.

Now would I recommend Analog Laboratory? … Hmm well its worth every penny when it works, but having such a great program at your fingertips and it not working almost makes it worse than not knowing about it at all sometimes. The standalone part of the software seem extremely stable when in the time I’ve used it with a USB Controller, but it really doesn’t seem to play nice with my DAW. Hopefully in the future, we can get a version that plays nice. As of now, they’ve released version 1.2.

In summary, this program is glitchy, annoying, and makes me cry at times but I can’t stop using it. This is my “Go To” synth for every session. The presets are that good but don’t just take my word for it, click HERE to get a 15 day trial.

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15 Responses

  1. I personal think you know nothing about it. I use on a redial basis and the program is perfect not one problem at all. You probably should get a better Mac or stop crying about products that are great. If this wad Peter he would be saying well done. You should really check your faith and Christianity lil pasty white guy

  2. Also quit acting like you know what your talking about because you don’t

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  4. just tried the demo and the reviewer is absolutely right.
    both as a standalone and plugin, the thing feels very immature and glitchy.

    love the sounds which makes it more frustrating.

    my advice – try the demo first.

    thanks for this review btw.

    • I think the reviewer needs to realize his problem is PT9 not Arturia.

      Unfortunately PT in general still performs suspiciously with third party VI’s.

      • Most of the issues I’ve had with Arturia were tested on several platforms as well as standalone and a lot of them still showed up in each DAW as well as stand alone. I’m also running it on Pro Tools HD and it still performs that way. This review was not generalized as much as I led on, but more problems happened in PT so I used it for that and because I’m more familiar with it.

        • Interesting.
          The only thing I notice about it is that it runs CPU heavy in VST form so I just totally forget about trying to use it in PT.
          Doesn’t matter if it’s LE, HD or PT9.
          I don’t get crashes but I tend to turn it to audio once I’m satisfied with the results.
          I disable it so it’s still there if I need to go back to it but it’s just not using any CPU.

  5. Hi agree partly with Bryan, switching presets can cause some horrendous noise both on an iMac and a MacBook Pro. If you were wearing headphones I think you could seriously damage them and your hearing.

    I am trying to work out what Rod is talking about faith and christianity. What exactly does that have to do with using software?

    • Tim do you know anyone who use it on a Win7 machine?
      Do they get similar results as what you get on your Mac?

      • I get the same problems on a win 7 machine. Massive ram, all updated version of arturia vst, elicenser, cubase 6 and ableton 8. The standalone works fine. The VSTs consistently crash cubase and ableton whenever you try and open the vst to pick a sound. And teh crash the DAWs so hard you need to reboot. Task manager won’t even kill them.

        It’s definitely a problem with the programming of Analog Laboratory and not my machine or DAWs since Analog Factory and all the singular VSTs (jupiter 8 v2, prohpet v2, etc) work just fine.

        if you’re on win7 stay away until they fix it (which may be months)

        • I run it on a Win7 machine and it works fine in standalone or as a VST inside of Maschine. I only have issues if I use it inside of PT. It doesn’t crash just runs heavy, but many VSTs do that in PT.

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  7. Rod a douche. Hates jesus and white people. Im sure hes white btw lol.

  8. Great article! I’m not sure if I enjoy the article because it’s well written or because I agree on everything that has been said in it. I’m currently on my 15-day trial period and I LOVE the sounds, but I’m having the exact same problem with crashes. This article is over a year old so I’m wondering if you know if Arturia has fixed that problem in an update available when I buy the VST?

    • Unfortunately they haven’t fixed it yet. I’ve almost gone deaf several times. The stand alone version is great but the plug in version is very unstable.

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