UVI Vintage Vault review

Posted: August 20, 2014 in Audio
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UVI now provides Vintage Vault, that includes most of their vintage synths samples libraries at reduced price ($499). I wasn’t convinced by Digital Synsations demo, however I thought the full version may provide interesting sounds, as well as other libraries, as the demo tracks were great.

After two days digging through the presets of most of them (Digital Synsations, The Beast, DarlightIIx, Emulation one and 2, Vector synths, DX part from Vintage Legends, vintage drumbeats, string machines), I didn’t found more than a dozen of convincing sounds, a few from Digital Synsations (except those created with M1,  the least intersting) and The Beast.

As sampling of factory presets isn’t allowed, UVI had to create custom sounds and a few that remind popular presets (providing clue in the naming) – among useful ones we can find patches derived from D-50 factory presets (as did Bitley in his Kontakt Project library), some created using SY77, and some from Synclavier.

Besides not being inspiring, the provided instruments sound harsh (not pleasant) and the number of multi-samples seems limited, leading to aliasing (expected for Farilight and Emu ones as they weren’t multisamples, however not from D-50 – combination of single samples and oscillators – and SY77 – combination of multi-samples and FM), and low definition. Samples from Bitley Kontakt Project (D50 and also Fairlight) sounded really greater.

The settings interface tries to fool use reminding the corresponding synths, however besides reusing same colors and some panels/screens details, the provided settings don’t match (can’t as these are sampled instruments – no access to partials/oscillators nor synthesis specific parameters). As expected, the global enveloppes (amplitude and filter), effects and some sound “color” settings don’t bring anything useful. We are stuck with low quality-sampled quickly created/uninspiring patches.

For a lower price, we may better get Bitley Kontakt Project (for D-50, other modern synths, Fairlight/vintage samplers, vintage synths – also it is an evolving project), Zero-G Nostalgia (notably for strings machines and Emu samples), NI Retro Maschines (high quality sampled vintage synths and string machines) and NI FM8 (provides access to FM parameters).

For the same price we can add NI Massive, GForce impOscar (the most powerful sounding software based synth), Synthmaster (not as powerful sounding however providing fine grained sounds, many parameters – including samples import – and great arpeggiated patches) and some plugins from Arturia.

Also NI Komplete is far more useful, despite not being the best package.

As with most samples libraries, UVI doesn’t not allow selling/transfering the license to another ilok user/account, you may then download Digital Synsations demo. UVI Vintage Vault isn’t really more useful than the bad sounding IK Sampletank whole library.

 

Roland added new samples collections for FA synths at axial site. The EXP04 Concert Piano Collection brings samples from SRX02 card, EXP05 Electric piano collection contains samples from SRX12, and EXP06 Studio collection includes those from SRX03.

Linear D2 samples library update adds new sounds (4x larger size) and a new demo (mp4 format, also ogg version).

These long looped Kontakt instruments were sampled from Roland D-20’s custom patches, based on its unique  resonant filter (finer grain than D-50’s one, that can’t reproduce these).

YFM : exclusive FM library for Kontakt

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Audio
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Linear Samples released YFM samples library for Kontakt 4 (full version required). It provides exclusive SFX and ambiant sounds (38 instruments) created on latest 4 operators FM synths (YS series). These cannot be reproduced by software FM plugins as they rely on fast LFO and sample and hold mode.

It is available through emotuned music platform (priced $29) and we can listen to audio demo songs.

Among new announces from NAMM we can find Revalver 4, Nordlead A1 and IK SampleTank 3.

Z3TA+ for iPad

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Audio
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Cakewalk presented Z3TA+ for iPad, that uses same engine as Z3TA+2 desktop version (6 oscillators). It is priced $19.99.

Roland FA-08 / FA-06

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Audio
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Roland unveiled new workstations, FA-08 (88 Ivory Feel G keys, 16.5 kg) and FA06. They use same engine as Integra-7, however they don’t include the SRX cards collection (external samples can be imported through two USB Flash Memory slots). A sequencer and arpeggiator are provided. The FA-08 is priced $1800 here (also $1200 for FA-06), far more interesting than old Fantoms.

The new sampling feature (that was missing on Integra-7) may allow adding better samples than legacy SRX, either from existing computer samples libraries or from Roland Axial site. Then Roland may switch to software samples editor rather than hardware samples maker (SRX cards were expensive while only containing memory, that is cheap). They also may provide some best of collection of SRX cards samples, prepared (loop points, etc.) to be used directly from FA-08 sound engine (that is why these samples are only available through Axial site).

The Integra-7 may then be less interesting over years (the powerfull sound engine and effects from FA-08 may allow better results than Kontakt-based samples libraries), or it will be replaced by a new module that adds samples import features.