Despite its slightly humiliating name, Way Out Ware's KikAxxe virtual vintage analog synthesizer is one of the few software instruments that measures up to the original. This 16-step sequencer is a direct emulation of the ARP Axxe, a lightweight, monophonic beast that rivaled the MiniMoog back in the day. In addition to replicating the '70s crunch of its analog peer, the Kik Axxe–which just so happens to be PC and Mac compatible–also features a drum machine that can be assigned to a separate MIDI channel (which can make for some serious live potential).
But it's not the authentic vintage sounds or convenient compatibility that make the KikAxxe a step ahead of many virtual synths–it's the effects (and the $70 price tag). By using the tape-delay-styled effects with tremolo and reverb presets, leads can either become cosmic journeys or sharp, percussive accents to any track. Just try not to tell your producer friends that you use a synth called "KikAxxe," and you're on easy street.
The Way Out Ware KikAxxe is available now through M-Audio.