Nexus 2 By reFX
Created by reFX, Nexus2 is an all-in-one ROMpler filled with a seemingly endless number of production-ready sounds. It provides an easily accessible library of instruments that allows you to create high quality songs quickly and efficiently.
One of the most popular and widely used ROMplers available in the music production market is Nexus2.
It’s one of the easiest and fastest production tools that you can learn to use, and it comes with a huge library of high quality sounds to choose from.
With a simple, adjustable interface, Nexus2 has made it a breeze to choose your settings with a few turns of the knob.
Additionally, the ROMpler is packed with high quality sounds ranging from piano to drums. Sorted by category, selecting a sound that you’re in need of should take no time at all.
With just a glance at an image of Nexus2, it’s easy to see how you would be able to produce quality music quickly and efficiently using the ROMpler.
Having said that, we wanted to provide you with a better picture of how Nexus2 can work for you and will be covering the following:
- Pros & cons
- Unique features
- Skill level
- Is Nexus2 for you?
- Is Nexus2 worth the price?
- First use impressions
Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make a decision on whether or not Nexus2 is the right tool for you!
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Pros & Cons
- ‘Plug n Play’ capabilities
- One of the fastest production tools to learn
- Little to no sound design knowledge needed
- Additional expansion packs available
- Simple editing of effects and settings
- Contains most instruments that are needed in music production
- Affordable for the quantity and quality of sounds available
- Sounds are replayed from samples
- Large number of online tutorials available
- Unable to produce new sounds
- Specialized production tools will have higher quality sounds
- Lessened ability to modify sounds
- Requires a USB-eLicenser
- Overload of samples to select from
Although there are some downsides, the number of upsides that exist make the Nexus2 a great ROMpler to have.
With that said, let’s discuss some of the unique features that separate Nexus2 from the rest of the pack!
Nexus2 does contain your stereotypical set of features such as reverb, delay, and filter modification.
However, what really sets it apart are aspects such as its massive library of sound choices. And it’s not just a massive library of a single instrument, but it contains a variety of instruments.
What’s so great about that?
Well, that means that you have the opportunity to produce an entire song using a single ROMpler.
With other tools such as synthesizers, you also have the ability to produce a variety of sounds. However, they’re usually more limited according to synthesization ability.
For example, you may be able to recreate an electric piano sound to varying degrees of success using saw, sine, or pulse waves. A sound much harder to recreate could be a grand piano.
On the other hand, Nexus2 does not synthesize sounds from scratch but instead acts a ROMpler. This means that sampled sounds are then replayed from computer RAM after being loaded onto the disk.
Remember how we mentioned that Nexus2 has a massive library of sound choices?
Well, because of that massive library, you’ll find just about every type of instrument available to pick from. That may include drums, piano, guitar, harp, or more.
ReFX even has expansion packs available if you want a better selection of certain instruments.
Pretty awesome, right?
Well, if that’s not enough to get you excited, then you’ll want to keep in mind that Nexus2’s huge sound selection is also high quality.
Because of this, you’ll feel secure knowing that your instrumental production needs are taken care of.
While there are many competitor synthesizers on the market, the Nexus2 ROMpler does a great job of providing a mix of quality, quantity, and variety of sounds.
Let’s quickly go over what makes Nexus2 unique again:
Because of that, Nexus2 is probably most worthwhile for beginning producers to purchase.
It’s often hard to create high quality sounds in a fast and efficient manner while just starting out, but Nexus2 can solve that problem.
With that in mind, Nexus2 would still be a great pickup for a producer of any skill level.
For producers who have been in the game longer, Nexus2 can be great when used to speed up work flow. You’ll be able to quickly and easily sort through different presets and pick a great sound to use whenever needed.
Now that we’ve gone over skill level required, let’s go over the one question you probably have on your mind:
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Is Nexus2 For You?
When deciding whether or not to use Nexus2, there are a few points to consider such as:
- Your skill level
- Quality of samples
- Quantity of samples
- Focus of the production tool
- Production tool settings
Skill level is something that we’ve covered above. Our conclusion? Nexus2 is great for producers of all skill levels, but especially useful for beginners.
If you’re still learning the ropes, then this ROMpler may be great to help you on your way of becoming a master producer.
Skill level aside, Nexus2 does have a large quantity of quality samples available.
This means you won’t have to open three different VSTs when you need a piano, guitar, and synth pad. Instead, you’ll be able to find all three sounds in Nexus2!
Let’s say that you need a piano preset, and you’re not happy with the one you’ve selected. No worries! There are many more that you can choose from within the category or sample pack you’ve chosen.
Additionally, there are a variety of sample packs available for download if you ever run out of presets to look through in the packs you do have.
You’d be hard pressed to make it through all of the presets that reFX has made available for Nexus2.
And what about the focus of the production tool?
When we bring up the tool’s focus, we’re talking about what the strong and weak points are. Many synthesizers such as Sylenth1 are strong at creating digital sounds through the use of waveforms. This makes it a bit harder to replicate organic sounds accurately such as the piano or flute.
On the other hand, Nexus2 utilizes samples which allows it to more accurately replicate both organic and digital sounds. However, sounds in Nexus2 aren’t being programmed in and are instead replayed from an audio sample. This means that Nexus2 is more limited when it comes to shaping the end result.
Building off of the focus, settings available also come into play when considering whether Nexus 2 is right for you.
If you take a look at Serum, you’ll quickly see that the settings are not as straightforward as they are in comparison to Nexus 2. This makes sense because, similar to Sylenth1, Serum requires synthesis manipulation to create a final sound (unless you’re loading a preset).
Nexus 2 instead skips this step by replaying sampled audio files. Now, the ROMpler still has a filter modifier, amp modifier, and various effects such as delay or reverb. But reaching an end result is much faster and more easily learned than with a synthesizer such as Serum.
To reiterate what we’ve covered, Nexus2 does not have the ability to create sounds from scratch due to its nature as a ROMpler. Instead, it replays audio that has been sampled.
However, Nexus2 is a fantastic ROMpler when it comes to quantity and quality of audio samples available. Additionally, it is one of the easier production tools to use when compared to other big players such as Serum or Sylenth1.
If you’ve just started out learning how to produce, value ease of use or having a large selection of quality samples to choose from, then Nexus2 may be a great choice for you to use!
Is Nexus2 Worth The Price?
Taking a quick look over the different price points for Nexus2, we can quickly see that there is a huge difference in price range between the starter and complete pack.
At $199, Nexus2 is in line with other industry favorites such as Serum, Sylenth1, or Massive.
However, after the starter pack, the price point goes up considerably.
Are the value and complete packs worth the price?
Well, to be honest, this really depends on your situation.
If you have the money to spend and strongly feel that Nexus2 is the right VST for you, then it may make more sense to purchase the complete pack. This would result in you saving over $1,000 dollars.
In most cases though, it may be best to start with the starter pack and work your way up.
That’s because, as we’ve mentioned above, Nexus2 has an amazingly large variety of expansions available. But because of the variety available, it may mean that some expansions are not useful to you.
For example, from a quick glance at a small number of expansions on the reFX website, we see that there are eight different genres. You can purchase expansions such as Breaks and Risers, Future Chill, EDM Voices 2, or Hip Hop 2.
Each of these expansions is geared toward a different genre, and each of these expansions contain sounds often used within those genres.
If you were to purchase the complete version of Nexus2, it may be hard to effectively use all of the samples that you would be receiving.
On the other hand, if you began with the starter version of Nexus2, you could then selectively download expansion packs as you need them which could save you money.
Again, be sure to consider your situation to gain a better understanding of which Nexus2 pack makes sense for you to purchase. In many situations, we believe that the starter pack should do the job with expansion packs available for your use.
Hopefully, you’ll have gained a better understanding of whether or not Nexus2 price points are worth it for you.
Now let’s dive into how Nexus2 actually feels when you use it for the first time.
First Use Impressions
In order to get a better understanding of the experience that Nexus2 would provide you with, we decided to give it a quick runthrough.
To begin, we purchased the starter pack for Nexus2. During this process, we learned that a USB-eLicenser was also required.
These USBs, such as iLok, are sometimes required for software licensing. Unfortunately, this also added $20 to the order unless you already have your own.
Additionally, this also meant that we had to wait for the e-Licenser to come in the mail and couldn’t start using Nexus 2 right away.
After waiting a few days for the e-Licenser to come in, we finally got it plugged into the computer. With Nexus 2 licensed and ready to go, we could finally start exploring its glory.
Immediately, we could see the library of expansions and presets available. ReFX created a simple layout with expansions featured on the left and presets within the expansion on the right.
All of the presets are sorted by their type in “ABC” order. For example, AR in the preset name means that it’s an arpeggio. This built in simplicity made it easy for us to nimbly navigate through the vast library to find what we needed.
Moving on from the library, we see that the rest of Nexus2 is laid out in a similar simplistic fashion.
There are 6 sections containing audio effects and other modifiers on the front page of the software, with the delay effect being shown above.
Our first thoughts?
“This couldn’t have been easier to use.”
Each section aside from output volume contains a simple on and off switch. Additionally, the knobs are easily used and labeled clearly.
At the same time, there aren’t too many settings that need to be changed. This definitely helps with preventing information overload.
We decided that we wanted to create some chords using a piano preset.
We put down some MIDI notes onto the track to form our chords, chose the piano category, and began cycling through piano presets.
“This sounds pretty good.”
That was the first thought that came to mind.
Each and every preset has an incredibly unique timbre or quality of sound. Some piano presets replicated sounds from real life quite well. On the other hand, other presets created more ethereal and other-worldly sounds.
Additionally, we realized that we didn’t need to process the sounds much further.
Most of them sounded like they came pre-processed, and we just had to make sure we chose one that would fit with the song we were creating.
As we continued to cycle through the various presets, one problem did come to mind…
Remember how we said that it was nice to have simple settings to prevent information overload? That simplicity did not apply to the library.
Although not necessarily a major con, we did find that it would be hard to settle on one preset just due to the sheer number of choices available.
However, we eventually did come to a decision and settled on the Nexus Grandpiano preset (it ended up being a great choice).
Overall, we found that the Nexus 2 ROMpler provided a great first experience with the main focus being ease of use without sacrificing quality of sound.
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With such a large library of high quality samples available, it’s easy to see why Nexus 2 is so popular with producers from all genres.
Getting started is often the hardest part when it comes to music production, and Nexus 2 easily solves that problem.
Presets are for the most part ready to be used out of the box with little editing needed. When tweaks are required, the ROMpler’s intuitive interface keeps the process simple and efficient.
With new expansion packs coming out all of the time, reFX will definitely keep you on your toes with fresh new sounds.
Better yet, previews of each and every expansion pack are available for you to experience before purchase. If that has caught your attention, click here to take a listen!