There are tons of plug-ins and sample libraries but I always post updates when they come from UVI. Every time I use their Emulation II I come up with great sounding songs. Their new release is called Urban Suite. It’s actually 5 completely different plug-ins and a huge sample library. Beatshaper and Prime8 are drum machines. Beatshaper is a wide range of samples and Prime8 is a Roland TR-808 emulator. As with more really good modern sample libraries these are attached to interfaces that allow the samples to be manipulated and sequenced. Like using external hardware it’s fun to jump out of your DAWs traditional interface for sequencing now and then. Urban X is a layered sample playback and synth with effects. Even though I’m known to like synthpop I grew up and learned a lot about music through classic rap. So I am please to tell you Scratch Machine brings scratching and a scratch library into the DAW zone. This one plug-in alone would be worth it for many people. Finally there’s a multitrack looper called Beat Control for building full tracks. $199 available now.
“Urban Suite delivers 5 new instruments and a massive sample library tailored for contemporary music producers, perfect for hip hop, R&B, trap, glitch, beat, experimental and more… There’s no way to accurately reproduce the experience of scratching without a turntable but we’ve come pretty close with Scratch Machine. Grab a keyboard or pad controller, load up one of the classic sounds like ‘Fresh’ or even a Speak’n’Spell and let loose! All sounds were recorded directly from decks masterfully controlled by our resident turntablist and scratch artist DJ Quartz—over 10,000 samples in all.” – uvi.net
I keep mentioning UVI’s sample libraries on this blog. The German French company doesn’t pay me or give them to me free they are simply really good. You can sample an instrument different ways but these guys must like the same type of music as I do as I’m consistently reaching for their sounds. I haven’t yet tried their latest library called WaveRunner which covers wavetable synthesis ala PPG and Waldorf. At $299 you could buy a Eurorack module or two Volca’s but when you’re writing songs on a laptop away from the studio you want some good sample libraries.
“A multitude of synths, drum machines and rare prototypes of esteemed German heritage come together in this massive and unparalleled retrospective. WaveRunner presents you with a wondrous collection of authentic and fascinating sounds from over 30 years of wavetable synthesis. Everything from the raw and strident origins to the wild evolving tones of more modern, full-featured machines. Each system addressed was serviced, meticulously multi-sampled and artfully designed into 7 unique hybrid instruments driven by over 30,000 samples. Both a historical archive of sound and a collection of new and unique instruments with hundreds of presets and limitless sound design potential, WaveRunner is a suite not to be missed.” – uvi.net
If your a fan of 80s music you’ve heard the Synclavier. Some notable users of the Synclavier include Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Grace Jones), and Michael Jackson. I’ve posted news of other French company UVI’s sample libraries because I think they really get it right. I recently used their Emulation II sample library on a new secret side project I’ve been working on (something with some powerful female vocals!). The Beast is UVI’s take on the Synclavier. The videos above really show off what it sounds like.
“The Synclavier System was an early digital synthesizer, polyphonic digital sampling system, and music workstation, manufactured by New England Digital Corporation, Norwich, VT. The original design and development of the Synclavier prototype occurred at Dartmouth College with the collaboration of Professor Jon Appleton, Professor of Digital Electronics, Sydney A. Alonso, and Dartmouth, Thayer School of Engineering student software programmer, Cameron Jones.” – Wikipedia
Of all the sample library makers I think UVI is one of the best. They have good taste and also wrap their sounds in a nice way. This time they do a take on the Fairlight called the Darklight IIx. I love these very Trevor Horn sounds so much. Think Art of Noise, late Yes, Yello, Herbie Hancock… I had a few of the type of sounds on my first sampler a Roland S-50. There have been a few recent sample libraries and an iOS app but I’m betting this one from UVI will be the most useful. It has 3 pages/screens. Page P is where you load and change the sound, Page B is a digital drum machine (yay) and Page U is a sequencer. $200 USD.
“UVI Darklight IIx is the latest UVI product, inspired by the most mythical Computer Music Instrument of the 80′s. We took our obsession to the next level, creating a complete set of instruments, sounds and sonic tools deeply inspired by the original digital monster. A unique, hybrid process of exhaustive multi-sampling, analysis, and advanced audio processing allowed us to not only capture the original character of this machine but to enhance its ability with a host of today’s most powerful analog modeled filters, LFOs, envelopes and effects–packaged beautifully in an old-school interface.” – UVI YouTube