Format: Reason Refill CD-ROM. Score = **** 4/5 stars.
Orange is AMG's latest Refill for Reason v1.01 and later, and is named after Waldorf's Microwave synth of the same colour. Consisting of 216 NN19 presets, 12 Redrum kits and 65 REX2 loops, it's fair to say there's a fair amount of sample data (approximately 822MB) crammed onto this single CD-ROM.
The NN19 presets are grouped into helpfully named categories: Arp&Sequencer, Atmospheric, Bass, Bells, Brass, Choirs, Experimental, Keyboards, Leads, Organs, Pads, Percussion; and most of these give you exactly what you'd expect. The final category, Synthesizer, is somewhat confusingly named, since you wonder what all the other categories are supposed to be, but turns out to be some rather 'old school' synth sounds, like the rather indulgent 'Lemon Waveshaper', which is pure Waldorf and should cut through just about anything! Most of the sounds are pretty dry, and while this is exactly what you'd want, it's probably worth auditioning them with some delay, since this is when they start to come alive.
Overall, I felt I could do something with most of the sounds, the quality is great, and there were only a handful in the whole collection that made me reach for Reason's Select Next Patch button, including the aptly named 'Deserted' in the Atmospheric section — not hard to understand why everyone's left if they had to listen to that sound! It's also a fairly safe collection, providing most of the sounds people would want, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The REX2 loops are, again, a very 'yes, I've heard that before' collection of sounds, logically grouped into arpeggio, bass, drum, and combined loop categories; however, the fact everything's quite vanilla means the loops are likely to lend themselves to a range of different situations. I noticed one set of loops named 'JarreC2', 'JarreC3' and 'JarreC4' were all in the key of F, which was slightly confusing, and so the lack of any documentation, printed or PDF, becomes marginally frustrating. Rounding off the collection are some cool Redrum kits, and I'm sure people will get stuck straight into these, as they cover a broad range of neatly programmed percussive synth sounds.
If you want some instant Waldorf synth fodder for Reason, Orange is unlikely to disappoint, and at only £30, it's great value for money.
£30 including VAT.
AMG +44 (0)1252 717333.