Analog Motion and Spectre Review
It has to be said that the UVI Falcon landed in the cut throat fray of virtual instruments with the utmost elegance. Barely making a splash in the media (but very much loved here at APN), this insane, hybrid powerhouse turned out to be one of the deepest and most flexible vsti’s in existence, incorporating as it does both full synthesis and high end sampling capabilities. Imagine NI’s Kontakt and Omnisphere having a baby…
Recently the first two Expansions appeared, again without much ado. So here at APN we decided to take them for a test flight to see what’s on offer.
After downloading the Expansions you must unzip them and paste the .UFS files into your UVI Library. If you don’t have one you can simply create one (Locally or on an external HDD) and point you Falcon to it.
As with all UVI products, including the Falcon, these UVI Expansions require iLok interaction. Though you don’t need to purchase a Dongle as the authorizations can be stored on your computer hard drive instead. Initial activation requires a free iLok account and an active internet connection.
Upon booting into Falcon you will find your new Expansion(s) on the right hand side. Next up is something dear to the hearts of many, many Nu School vocalists who like to sing through the plugin and hit their vocals to track, pre-tuned – ‘Ultra Low Latency’ mode. This mode is also something singers are using to ensure their pitch-conformity during live performances. I wanted to look at the Analog Motion Expansion first as the teaser videos on YouTube are exactly that – a tease. Thanks to the mult-tabbed approach of Falcon all banks have a hierarchical structure of complexity with the simplest interactions available under the left most ‘INFO’ tab. This shows the snazzy GUI for Analog Motion which varies from one preset to another. There are 111 presets available in this Expansion and they are incredibly well designed.
Beginning in the ARP section it becomes immediately apparent that layering multiple sounds is something that the Falcon does with ease and all these patches feature not just arpeggios but layers of sequences, pads synths and plucks. Movement is definitely the operative word in this folder. There are macro controls in the UI which enable you to quickly mute patch layers and access the important functions that the designer wants you to play with such as Filters or effects without you having to dive into the abyss that is Falcons immense functionality. The SEQUENCES folder is crammed full of evolving, modulated soundscapes that reward the one-fingered bandit some truly glorious action. Every patch feels like a classic intro or a movie scene from the 80’s – something familiar that you can’t quite put your finger on. These are evocative sounds no doubt, superbly realized swathes of vintage synthesis, highly suited to Media and film composers thanks to their sheer quality and robust programming.
Spectre is a much more mainstream, dance oriented Expansion. It features many nods to the myriad almost undefinable sub-genres of Electronic Dance Music. There are some solid beats in the DRUMS section with a surprising nod to the roots of House music, which is nice to see, as well as some more up to date feels including Dembow driven four on the floors. FX is a cool folder, featuring risers including both white noise and pitched synths with snares layered in. Very useful. I enjoyed the CHORD folder but with only five presets I was left wanting more. The LEAD folder is where the most useable content is though and there are a ton of legit sounding synths to weave into your dance productions with little meddling. If you want to take a peek under the hood there is no better place to start than the TREE tab situated middle left. Flick your way through the multiple layers of sounds, FX modulation and filtering that comprise each thoroughly designed patch and reconfigure anything to your hearts desire. Spectre features a hefty 140 presets and represents great value for money for anyone interested in Electronic Dance Music. The sounds are all highly charged and useable as is, or serve as a brilliant starting point for any producer to put something fresh on the table.
Analog Motion and Spectre are aimed at two very different markets but they both highlight the immense power of Falcon as both a sound design tool and, more simply a generous playback engine. As expected the sound design itself is extremely competent with Analog Motion probably being the more evocative offering.
Compatible on Mac & Windows:
AAX, VST, AU and Standalone
- Great sound design
- Loads of presets
- Easy to use GUI
- Steep learning curve for additional sound design