UVI have been around for nearly 20 years as developers of sounds and software for professional audio production. With their groundbreaking and innovative software, UVI Engine™, they have released over 40 products covering all genres and needs of contemporary music. One of their latest products is Falcon, advertised as a “Creative Hybrid Instrument”. Today we have a closer look.
- 15 highly-optimized sample- and synthesis- based oscillators covering IRCAM Granular, IRCAM Multi Granular, IRCAM Scrub, IRCAM Stretch, Sample, Slice and Stretch, Analog, Analog Stack, Drum, FM, Noise, Organ, Pluck and Wavetable synthesis.
- Over 80 high-quality effects: Delays, Reverbs, Modulation, Filters, Equalizers, Amps and Stereo, Drive and Distortions, Dynamics, Analysis and more.
- Nearly unlimited modulation via AHD, Analog ADSR, Attack Decay, DAHDSR, Drunk, LFO, Multi Envelope and Step Envelope modulation generators.
- LUA scripted and based factory processors as advanced Arpeggiator, Micro Tuner, Chorder, Harmonizer, Strum simulator, MIDI Player, Unison and Shepard effects
- Can load other UVI third party libaries as soundsource
- Based on the UVI Engine XT™
- HD Surround Capable
- Stand-alone, VST, AU, AAX, Windows (7+), Mac (OS X 10.7+)
- Copy protection: iLok 2
- $100 voucher for other UVI products included
- Price tag: €312,14
Installation and activation is straight forward. There are two separate installers for the Falcon app itself and the factory library. After having installed, login in to your UVI account to register Falcon, and a license will be sent to your iLok account. Activate the license on your iLok and done.
Falcon in action
Complex systems like Falcon require some intense initial training, and everything may seem overloaded on first view. Fortunately, UVI delivers a very well written manual and several YouTube tutorial videos. There is also a Falcon Explained tutorial by Groove 3, which I can recommend if you really want to dig into the workstation.
Falcon is a more powerful hybrid with a synthesiser and sampler engine. It delivers several oscillator types like Wavetables, FM, Analog, Drum, and Noise, as well as sample-based algorithms like stretching and slicing (which can be spread in keygroups over the keyboard). More than 80 effects like delays, reverb, chorus, flanger, filter, lfo, and envelopes are included, providing endless possibilities. A very nice addition is the ability to script your own processors – Falcon supports the programming language based on LUA.
If you think that Falcon, looks similar to Motu Mach Five, you are absolutely right, and there’s a reason. Motu Mach Five is based on the UVI Engine™, and Falcon is a further development of it, with an improved single window interface, as well as a browser for presets and samples. The drag-&-drop concept is especially prevalent, and everything in Falcon works in this way, making working with the instrument easy and fast. Nearly everything like effect and evenlope settings can be stored separately for later use in another instrument – very cool indeed.
The factory content, however, is a little bit thin for a workstation like Falcon, weighing in at 600MB. The sounds are modern, but they seem more concerned with showing the possibilities of Falcon, rather than their musicality. However, every available UVI library can be opened as a sound source in Falcon, where you can improve and/or change the sound.
The improvements made from the Motu Mach Five engine are very good. Most effects have been revised, and Sparkverb – UVIs’ top reverb (which can be bought separately) – is included in Falcon. The new IRCAM sample algorithms, like IRCAM scrub and IRCAM Multi Granular, are of excellent sound quality. All the effects and oscillators have are equally top notch.
With all these tools provided, it is hard to justify any other software snythesiser or sampler. Falcon can nearly replace them all, and I personally find myself using it more and more often. So if you want reduce your software arsenal with fewer tools – Falcon could (and should) be an option. For beginners, apart from the learning curve, this could prove to be the one for all solution.
Falcon is a real sound- and modulation monster for sound designers. The flexible oscillators allow tons of synthesiser and drum sounds. The sample based oscillators extend the sound spectrum with sounds that can’t be created with true synthesis. The only weak point is the lack of a huge factory sound library (a 40GB+ library is included with Motu Mach Five, which uses the same engine). On the other hand, UVI libraries can be loaded as soundsources into Falcon to extend your library (the included $100 voucher with each purchase of Falcon should prove useful in that regard!).