Earlier this year at Winter NAMM, Steinberg unveils their fourth iteration of Absolute. Absolute 4 is a recognition of the best workstations and synthesizers that Steinberg has to offer. In this review, we're going to be exploring the Absolute 4 and everything it has to offer.
What is it?
The Absolute 4 is Steinberg's collection of there very own top range VST instruments. With over 100 GB's of production ready content and over 6,800 presets this is the ultimate producer bundle. From drums and percussion to synthesizers and samplers, regardless of genre, it has something for everyone and more.
How does it work? (key features)
Everything about this collection is amazing, but there were a few features that stood out to me. Starting with my favorite thing about Absolute 4, Skylab. Skylab is a granular synthesizer which allows you to import any audio sample you have and create endless different sound selections. By simply adjusting the grain and duration knobs, you can get some interesting pad and fx sounds. You can even go deeper by messing around with the pitch and filter knobs to fine-tune your sounds.
HALion 6 is one of the easiest and most sophisticated samplers that I've ever used. It's also how you access most of the thousands of presets that come with Absolute 4. Think of it as the main hub for the entire collection. One of the best features of HALion 6 is that you can build your own instruments from scratch. It can get a bit complicated because it has so much you can customize, but that's where the fun begins. Being able to learn about the different kinds of synthesis that are available in HALion 6 and combine zones(sound generators) to get impressive and beautiful sounds was an amazing experience.
There are several other synthesizers that are also included in Absolute 4. Retrologue 2 is another synth that was really fun to design sounds with. You can get all sorts of crazy basses and uplifting leads, and it's very user-friendly. Other synths like Padshop Pro and Granular Guitars are similar to Skylab which is granular synthesis. Voltage, Anima, Trium, and HALiotron were also some great synths to play around with. They all come with tons of presets that you can manipulate and make them fit into your track with ease.
Lastly, I want to talk about some of the instruments in the collection. Absolute 4 comes with a whole variety of instruments like Hot Brass, which has some killer brass sounds. It also comes with three piano's, The Eagle, The Grand 3, and The Raven which all sound fantastic. As for percussion, The Groove Agent 5 allows you to draw in your drum patterns and get creative. As for samples, Absolute 4 comes with several drum packs. Prime Cuts(Hip-Hop/Trap), Rock Essentials, and World Percussion are the 3 main high-quality drum packs that come with Absolute 4. Symphonic Orchestra, Studio Strings, and World Instruments supply some very nice classical sounds that can add so much to your songs.
What do I think?
The Absolute 4 is one of the best collections I've ever had the pleasure of using. I've spent thousands of hours on hundreds of different VST's over the years, and I am very impressed with the depth of this collection. It's absolutely amazing. Every VST is easy to use but you can also get more advanced and go deeper down the rabbit hole. The thousands of presets/sounds you can design are of the highest quality. Regardless of the genre, there is something here for you.
Should you buy it?
I would highly recommend this to anyone who produces/creates music in general. Like I said before this collection is massive, and whether you're making Progressive House or Lo-Fi you will enjoy this collection. For the amount of content you receive, the price for the Absolute 4 is very reasonable.
Overall, Absolute 4 is an amazing collection. I enjoyed every second of using this product over the past few weeks and I will continue to do so. Not only did I get to explore all of the presets and synthesizers they have to offer, I even got to create my own instruments and learn more about the different types of synthesis in Absolute 4. I couldn't ask for anything more after using this product.
Final score: 5/5