Bela Hackman
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Posts: 4
Smile Score: +12
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Bela reviewed on 26 Feb 2010
I wish Anon Bud had posted their review before I bought this. This is perhaps the most unstable application I have ever used, it crashes randomly but dependably after only several minutes of use. Many features just don't work. The layers palette is perhaps the worst offender; the hide and lock controls don't hide or lock and usually crash or freeze the program. The objects supplied in the SVG graphics library cannot be resized or manipulated without ungrouping them completely, defeating the whole purpose of grouping. Many objects are distorted and unstable when placed on the canvas. And on and on.

I cannot comment on support. I contacted them about these issues only today. Based on Anon Bud's review, I'm not anticipating a prompt refund.
[Version 1.9.600]


Bela reviewed on 29 Oct 2009
This is an attractive, intuitive application. Works quickly and superficially appears to work well.

Be very careful using postscript type1 -> otf conversions. In my experience (~50 fonts across many different foundries and designers) essentially no valid kerning pair data is transferred to the otf. Hence, the conversions cannot be used in text layouts or anywhere else the fonts' original kerning data are needed. It might be fine for display fonts where manual kerning is appropriate anyway. This is a particularly egregious bug for a purported professional typographic application. Caveat emptor!

As an aside, Font Gear, Inc. has been contacted about this problem and was sent comprehensive examples. Their only reply so far was a suggestion to turn OFF the preference item and see what happens. (perhap unsurprisingly, that resulted in no kerning data at all). Since, I have received no acknowledgment of the problem, much less an explanation or anticipated time frame for a fix.
[Version 2.1.1]


Béla reviewed on 27 Aug 2009
Anyone who has attended live performances knows full well that recorded music, even when expertly laid down and listened to on high end playback, is not the real deal. Many of us know what music is supposed to sound like live. Some of us who have worked in recording studios have a good idea what studio produced recordings are supposed to sound like. Unfortunately, less that optimal playback equipment and lossy compression of mp3 copies markedly limit the fidelity of any recording.

Hear helps generate more realistic sound from recordings. Used correctly it will compensate for deficiencies anywhere in the playback chain. Like any powerful tool, it is fully capable of wreaking havoc when misused. If you aren't interested in reading the manual and learning how to use the program, I cannot recommend that you buy it, this is not a one size fits all plugin. (If you don't want or need the flexibility and power of Hear, consider the Xmod, Astound Stereo Expander or SRS iWow, although the latter is only available for Mac as an iTunes plugin). But if you can devote a hour or so to learning what it is that Hear does, if you have a good idea of the sound you want for a given music genre and you enjoy tweaking, get this software.

I use Hear for all computer sources when played through attached speakers (Harman Kardon Soundsticks in my case). I have a few custom presets (jazz, pop, classical, small and large ensemble) all of which I set up using the stock Hear presets as starting points. This took very little time once the interface and processing was understood. Again, this is not a one size fits all process. Your play back system, musical tastes and conception of an ideal sound will differ from most anyone else's. Hear easily accommodates those differences.

On a dedicated audio system of good quality Hear has less to offer, but with poorly recorded music (especially older analog-digital remasters) or mp3 files it still can be a big help.

The interface is lovely. The controls are easy to use. From the general tab the basic effects can be adjusted, any individual processors can be toggled off and on, the processing chain can be reordered. Each individual processor is given a separate tab for its specific adjustments. There are a whole raft of presets for music, movies, speech, games and special effect. Some of these may work for you without modification, any of them can be modified and saved as a new preset. I suggest creating a personal folder in the ~/Library/Preferences/Hear/Hear Presets/ to hold your modifications.

My only complaint is that the manual doesn't go into enough detail about how each control actually works. A description of what exactly each one does to the sound be a big help. This information can be learned by trial and error and so is certainly not a deal breaker. A description of the installed components would also be welcome.

I have been using Hear on a MacPro and MacBook daily for the best part of a year and it has been rock solid. I have not uncovered any significant bugs and no slow down of the machines. In fact, I'm frequently using Photoshop and Final Cut while Hear is running with absolutely no hit on the performance of these processor intensive programs. These computers are. of course. relatively new Intel machines with at least a dual-core processor. I have no experience with Hear on PowerPC machines.
[Version 1.0.3]


Béla reviewed on 25 Jul 2009
Lovely application.

The interface is the most intuitive (and Mac-like) for desktop or web based db clients I've seen. This beta (7.1) has been rock stable. The effortless SSH/SSL functionality alone is worth the price of admission!

If you manage MySQL databases, especially remotely, you'll love Querious
[Version 1.0b6]

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