This is definitely a piece of software that you have to read the manual to. It's a little clunky and most certainly isn't intuitive, demanding that you do your homework. Once you do though, there's little difficulty.
The software works fine and is stable, but the interface is showing its age. It doesn't use many resources, despite having built in effects.
I worked in a pro audio shop in the early 2000's. This thing then came in the form of a large, expensive rackmount device and they FLEW off the shelves. SO MUCH music was produced using these things, it's unreal. Reading the reviews here, it just goes to show how people are unaware what this thing is - basically pop-music in a box. It's the king of sound modules - everything is laid on, even the effects, panning, you name it.
The software implementation does lack of course the hardware advantages of the rackmount, like multiple outputs, but for free? This is a steal. Give it a try, you really cannot go wrong with this thing for making any remotely MOR music.
I love the sounds of many of the 1, 025 default samples that come with Proteus VX. I am particularly happy with the various Piano, Drum Kits, and Orchestral samples.
In my opinion, it's default sound samples (not comparing to the Editing Features of more advance Sound Modules) are generally better than HalionOne, and DirectWave's default sounds. And Proteus gives you more of them.
If you at least know what a MIDI Implementation Chart is or wear to find it for your MIDI Controller, setup is very intuitive unless. Even if MIDI is new to you, the Proteus manual is pretty good at walking you through initial installations.
Originally, I used an entry level Sequencer/DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Recorder software that cost only $50. The DAW worked nicely for it's cost but- I had to download and use the free MIDI Yoke software cabling in order to use the Proteus VX as a VST pluggin or VSTi (Virtual Studio Technology instruments). The Beginner Level DAW would lock up after loading Proteus VX. (The DAW only- not the computer!)
I advanced to using Cubase LE5, which had no problems running Proteus but could only run 1 instance of Proteus at a time...A limitation of Cubase, no fault of Proteus. However, the Proteus manual (page 16) gives a 'work-around' that I have not been able to get to work in Cubase LE5. Thus, 1 Instance of Proteus on 1 Track at a time in Cubase LE.
I discovered the full versions of Cubase 5, 4, 6, etc. can run 1 instance of Proteus, over as many tracks as your computer can handle the resource loads. That's a good thing!
My overall opinion, is, I wish EMU/Creative Labs continued advancing and developing this product because it had great Sound Samples, had widespread Sample Support around the Web DAW World (alot of 3rd party freebie download Samples!), the program is very stable with good administration features, and as a freebie or bundle program, Proteus has a great price!
This software installed flawlessly and speedy, and has worked relatively well on both of my computers. I have used it on a low end computer (1.8GHZ pentium and 1gb ram) as well as my current (2.5GHZ Core2Quad & 4GB ram) and it performs ideally on both. The low end PC does however suffer from latency in the sound which is quite offputting for the software. This is because of the actual computer being rather slow though. But other than that it is pretty fine. The library of sounds was initially a pain to find, as I had to locate the library manually because it did not pick it up automatically. This could be challenging for a new user. It works nicely in both of the DAW's that I use, Ableton and FL Studio. It also works as a stand alone if you do not use a DAW.
This software works well in FL Studio with no hiccups, however when it is ran as a standalone it becomes labourous and does not pick up my Asio drivers. This is a source of latency. If not ran in administrator mode, Ableton displays an error saying that it is not a supported VST. The sounds that come with this are awfully cheap sounding, which you can expect for free software. Every preset sounds low quality and amateur. The memory usage is low, as expected it does not demand much from my computers. This software has crashed a lot of times upon startup as a standalone, This is probably to do with clashing of audio drivers between my Asio4All I run on FL and the standard drivers that it automatically runs in.
I'm not at all really a fan of any of the sounds on offer in this VST, as I prefer the synth sounds in other vsts to this. The real instrument sounds are also pretty mediocre from this VST. The sounds on this are pretty dry and flat, there is nothing at all that stands out with any of the patches in this VST. These sounds are designed for amateurs and new users looking to play a few notes. This VST is great if you are new to FL and want to just play a few instruments but for anyone that's actually looking to create serious music you may aswell avoid it as stock sounds are better than this.