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Hands On Review: FXpansion Geist

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Producing beats? If so, you need Geist! FXpansion introduced this software at the Winter NAMM show last January, and since then it has become one of the go-to tools for those who need to get down and dirty with their loops, beats, and samples. But Geist is more than just a beat-production tool. It’s also a powerful drum machine that can crank out the rhythm for any style of music. And it’s a one-stop solution for perfecting and producing exactly the sounds you want on your rhythm tracks.

Geist is a virtual instrument for Mac or PC. It can run standalone or as an RTAS/Audio Units/VST plug-in. It is compatible with 64-bit hosts. One of the more amazing benefits of Geist is that you can simply click on a loop to detect the hits it contains, to slice it up into its components, and to automatically assign those individual hits to Geist’s drum pads. From there, you can sequence your tracks, create patterns and songs, and even process the sounds with onboard effects taken from FXpansion’s powerful DCAM — compression, filters, drive, and more, as well as the Overloud Breverb reverb algorithm.

There’s a powerful and user-friendly browser for finding what you need, as well as MIDI support, great export options, and tons more. You can automate parameters, and sample and pattern recording (with “retro capture,” so you won’t miss any cool licks) is supported. In other words, Geist is a fully featured workstation. Either live or in the studio, it can do the job.

In use, the software is easy to navigate. Beats are classified and tagged, so you can find just what you want. Geist comes with tons of sounds and patterns, including presets from some of the biggest names in the business.

For a virtual sampling drum machine or a beat-production workstation, look no further than Geist. This is one powerful tool!

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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