Posts Tagged ‘quality’

UVI Vintage Vault review

Posted: August 20, 2014 in Audio
Tags: , , , ,

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.


The first Myst update (1.1.3) for iPhone has been submitted to Apple and should appear soon at the AppStore. Besides bugs fixes, it brings an in-game browser that allows to access to hints without having to quit the game, and removes about 200Mb unuseful synchro files (subversion .svn files, probably also used to manage versions on resources, and not only for code).

No information yet about an enhancement and compression of sounds and musics, that are 16bits/22Khz and mono (also for the music), that is 700kbits/s. Instead we could get at least high quality and stereo music, using master CD (on sale at Amazon) to produce AAC versions, at a third the bitrate (and so an aditionnal space gain).
We are also waiting for an option to choose the display ratio : original Myst pictures on CD had been rendered in 544*333 pixels, and it seems those on the iPhone version are the same size, only using jpeg compression algorithm (that wasn’t available 15 years ago) to allow a better color depth (32 bits instead of indexed colors with 100 colors palette) while keeping similar or reduced files sizes. It can then explain why trees on Myst island look like stretched down horizontally (iPhone resolution is 480*320 – so a different ratio).
The videos have been rendered again, in order to integrate nicely with the deeper images, and are likely to use a recent and efficient codec (we couldn’t then do better in that area).