UVI just dropped the mother load of synth collections on all of us in Vintage Vault 2. I have worked with quite a few of the synths included in the release, but even being the ‘UVI Guy’ here at Ask.Audio HQ wasn’t enough to prepare me for the sheer size and scope of what was made available in Vintage Vault 2. I checked out every single one of the 20 included products and complied a review of what you need to know.
What’s In The Vault
Vintage Vault 2 includes Beatbox Anthology 2, Cameo, Darklight IIx, Digital Synsations Vol 1/2, Emulation One, Emluation II, Mello, Px Apollo, String Machines, The Beast, Ultramini, UVS-3200, UVX80, UVX-3p, UVX-10p, Vector Pro, Vintage Legends, Waverunner, and the newly minted OB Legacy. Phew, that’s a mouthful!
UVI has provided a decent upgrade path for owners of previous instruments, and for those of you who may own several, they are offering customized/tiered discounts on the entire vault if you contact them. They’re one of the most ‘customer-friendly’ companies around, so it’s good to see this trend continuing.
Another thing I’d like to mention (stands on soap box) is that ‘good guy’ UVI allows for 3 authorizations of their products per purchase. That means for those of you (like me) who absolutely hate the concept of iLok and single-computer authorizations are in for a treat. You can authorize VV2 instruments to your main computer, use a second authorization for your laptop, and have a third in the ‘tank’ to boot! This is a stark contrast to a lot of other audio companies who expect you to somehow shuttle an authorization back and forth between your laptop and desktop. I wish everyone would follow UVI’s example on this, for sure.
Rating The Sounds
With 20 products to check out, some of which I’ve reviewed before, it just isn’t practical to give a specific run down of every collection individually here. Instead, I’ll give you my top 3 new toys, and my favorite 3 legacy ones. I’ll start with the instruments that were new to me first.
1 - OB Legacy
This collection of synths inspired by Tom Oberheim’s design is absolutely stunning. There are 6 synths in this collection, and each one is unique in its sound, design, and feel. If you dig Joe Zawinul, John Carpenter and the like, you’re going to LOVE this collection.
2 - Waverunner
Waverunner is one of my favorites that is ‘new to me’ in this collection. It’s a lot more than simply a sample collection, and the scripting / interface allows for some fantastic sequenced and evolving tones. Each sound in Waverunner seems to have more motion than the next. Awesome.
3 - PX Apollo
I missed this one when it came out, but I certainly read a lot about it. Drawing inspiration from both the Moog Apollo and the Polymoog, PX Apollo allows for sounds inspired by the original hardware to have a bit more flexibility and configurability than the original source. UVI allows for more controls than were available on the original hardware, and this allows for you to restrict yourself if you like or break free of some of the original Moog limitations. Either way, the sounds that come out of this instrument are truly fantastic.
Deeper Into The Vault
Aside from all the content that might be new to you, there are some fantastic legacy instruments included in this collection. Here are my top three:
1 - Darklight IIx
This was actually the very first instrument I ever purchased from UVI. It’s inspired by the Fairlight, and this instrument has sounds I just can’t seem to find anywhere else. It’s fun to play, easy to use, and very unique.
2 - Emulation II
Originally packaged with Drumulation, Emulation II is an instrument that brings a smile to just about any other keyboard player I show it to. Many of us weren’t around or couldn’t afford to use EM-U’s Fairlight competitors when they came out - but now those sounds are available with the click of a mouse. Emulation II is a great tribute to the 80’s and is incredibly fun to play.
3 - Beatbox Anthology II
I reviewed this one recently, and it remains a favorite of mine. It’s the only collection of electronic drum machines you’ll ever need, and it packages them together in an extremely efficient and creative way.
Truth be told, I simply can’t believe UVI is offering all of these instruments at once in this collection. It’s a fantastic bunch of software at a more than reasonable price. UVI is also known for their optimization and efficiency of sample size, so while this library does contain a billion (or what feels like a billion) instruments, it won’t monopolize your sample library space. Totally worth the price of admission.
Price: $399 for new users until Sept. 30th (reg. $599) / $199 upgrade / tiered individual product upgrades
Pros: A staggering amount of content, extremely high quality sounds, excellent scripting, efficient sample storage and size, CPU friendly engine, great value for the money.
Cons: Honestly, it feels strange to try to find a negative here. These instruments are $2,600 if you buy them separately. For the price that UVI is offering, this is a no brainer if you like synths.