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FalconbyUVI

User Reviews by KVR Members for Falcon

Rate & Review Falcon Now!

Reviewed By FarleyCZ [read all by] on 15th November 2019
Version reviewed: 2 on Windows.
Last edited by FarleyCZ on 16th November 2019.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Oh wow, this thing has so little reviews here? No way! Ok, we need to fix this. Haven't written one in a while, but I'll give it my best. :).

Heritage:

UVI is a well known developer. What people might not be aware of, though, is what they did in the past. It cought me by a rather spectacular surprise that they have been one of the main forces behind MOTU's software division and also did some work on Spectrasonic's Omnisphere. There are big similarities between last version of Mach Five and Falcon. Falcon builds on that heritage in amazing manner, though. Also I'm mentioning Omnisphere intentionally. I know we shouldn't really make comparisons here, but I feel this one is vital. There is a lot of overlap, but there's also one key difference between the two. I'll get to that later.

Layout & usability:

It's a head scratcher for sure. ...and that's comming from a guy, who's favorite synth ever is Zebra. BUT! All you need is one or two tutorials and you'll start to get the layout. I would change a thing or two for sure, but it has it's logic and it's totally usable. Absolutely killer feature, though, is the tree view. Essentially Falcon's layout resembles a programmer's IDE environment more than a synth. If any of you is a coder by any chance, you'll get what I'm talking about. BUT! ...it's not as complex as Reaktor or Max. It's still a synth for making music, not for endless programming. ...and the layout brings amazing possibilities in terms of complexity of your patches.

Sound generators:

Oh boy. Think about an OSC, think about ANY kind of synthesis that has appeared and been popular in last two decades, Falcon has it. Analog oscillators, stacking oscillators, Karplus-Strong based physical model, Razor-style additive OSC with some cool modal synthesis functions, Serum-style wavetable, a little but useful FM oscilator, drum synth, even an organ emulation. ...and I haven't even mentioned sampling yet. Regular samplers, stretching samplers, slicing samplers, granular samplers. Wow. I'm a sounddesign geek. I love to learn about all different kinds of synthesis. This is heaven.

To be clear though, I do think there is a room for improvement. FM oscilator is very basic. I need my algorithm matrix. Wavetable synth could use at least a tiny wavetable editor. Also the granular synth misses one or two tiny features that dedicated synths sometimes have. Bitmap editting/resynthesis would be nice addition too. ...but all that is just nitpicking.

Effects:

...another oh boy moment. I won't even name the modules, there's just too many of them. From filters to amp sims, to convolutions, full featured graphic EQ with analyzer, amazing reverb, delays, all kinds of modulation effects. (I mean, that rotary speaker sim? Daaaamn it's good.) Too many. And the sweetest part? You can assign effects either on every note, on a single layer or on a whole patch. It takes a little while to get accustomed to the GUI layout, but when you do, you can even chain them, make paralel chains, make effect auxes. It even has it's own mix console. Come ooon. All in ONE synth? Incomprehensible.

Big modular synths, especially the new ones, tend to suffer from having a lot of effects that are low in features or qualitty. Some of them even force you to buy them as "mini-plugins". (I'm looking at you! You know, who you are!) None of it is thankfully present here. Falcon might sound like a relatively new synth, but especially on the effect section, you can see the heritage. You can see there's UVI's whole coding history (15+ years) packed into it. It's strong. Really strong.

Modulation:

Ok, here goes my biggest gripe with the GUI. It's not always clear what modulation are you editting. There's lot of "d'oh!" moments. But apart from that, it's as epic as everything else in this monster. Every kind of LFO and envelope you can dream of, macros, mappers, random generators (nicely named "drunk" :))), step sequencers. It's a bit overkill, but if you feel really nerdy, there's a whole Lua script language interpretter.

Now ... DAW automation. Plugins report finite number of controllable parameters to DAW, so big modular synths tend to have their limits in terms of module counts. UVI solved this beautifully. They just added 128 "host automation" sources that'll appear in your daw once you assign them to a knob in Falcon. Easy, clear and neat. You can assign this for example to a macro knob and use that macro to controll any amount of any parameter inside any layer of your patch.

Qualitty of sound:

It's awesome. Clinical at times, but that's something every big modular synth has to deal with. It's not an emulation of anything. It sound as warm and analog as you make it. You can do that, but it very well gives you an option to not to.

Possibilities & Summary

Ever wondered how an analog saw, a sound of your dog barking, arpeggiated FM bells and a bass growl would sound like mixed together and sent through an ampsim, a rotary speaker and a convolution processor with a sample of your kitchen sink loaded in as IR, all drowned in a cozy reverb at the end? Well Falcon let's you do that. Relatively quickly and with no other synths, effects or patching systems needed. I've always cringed when any plugin developer advertised "limitless possibilities" in their promo videos. Falcon is a first synth about which I think that claim might be accurate.

Yes, for every module in Falcon, you can find a plugin on the market, that does that particular task better. Serum is a better wavetable synthesizer, Dune and Hive are better unisono synths, FM8 is miles better FM synth, Zebra is a quicker and more colorful semi-modular. But I think with Falcon, it's a first time ever somebody tried to put it all into one synth and ended up with something actually useful.

Ok, back to the comparison with the behemoth that is Omnisphere. They are both the "do it all" synths. But they differ in philosophy. Omnisphere is more "rompler-like". You can transform, edit and make patches, but the main use-case is to load a patch from it's amazing library and then edit it if needed. Falcon is quite the opposite actually. It opens with it's humble empty sinewave patch and asks you "What crazy thing you have on your mind today, sir?" ... and then it supplies you with every tool imaginable for you to make that idea come true. I do understand the appeal of pre-made patches and I absolutely respect Spectrasonics as a company, they're awesome ... but to me, to that sounddesign nerd inside, this is much more exciting.

And if you have it the same, if you, as me, think the whole appeal of electronic music is to make your own signature sounds to play with later, then you will love this plugin. :).

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Discussion

Discussion

Discussion: Active
rsjc
rsjc
4 November 2015 at 11:05pm

I've always found UVI an extremely easy company to work with. Given their responsiveness and obvious commitment to production quality, I'm happy to see them take full hold of the reigns of a familiar product.

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

mosspa
mosspa
30 April 2016 at 8:08pm

If you purchase Falcon, don't order it from an American retailer, at least not on Friday afternoon. I purchased Falcon yesterday, 28 Apr, from Sweetwater at about 13:30 EDST. It is now 29 Apr, 15:50 and I still haven't received my download materials. I called Sweetwater yesterday at about 17:00 EDST and two times again today 11:00 and 15:30 EDST, and each time I was told that Sweetwater is still awaiting fulfillment from UVI. Unlike most developers, UVI uses some arcane manual fulfillment system that requires a human employee to email the materials to Sweetwater. During my second call to Sweetwater today, I was told that UVI reserves the right for up to one business day to fulfill orders. Now I realize that since yesterday was a Friday and my purchase wasn't made until after the business day in Europe had expired, I won't see Falcon until Monday, at the earliest. I have purchased software on Fridays before from other European developers e.g., uhe, Aurturia, xils, NI and Sonokinetic from Sweetwater, because of Sweetwater's automatic 6-mo financing when using their store card, and in each other instance fulfillment was in minutes, or at most, hours. I was planning on using the weekend to get into Falcon, so I am quite disappointed by this. So, although I anticipate that I will love the sound sculpting possibilities Falcon affords, if I had to do this again I would purchased directly from UVI and forego the 6-mo financing. However, this is a pretty dumb way for a high-end developer to fulfill purchases of its products.

mosspa
mosspa
3 May 2016 at 3:05am

Update. It is Monday night at 23:00 EDST and Sweetwater is still unable to supply my UVI products, although I did have success with UVI in arranging a temporary solution for my situation. Kudos to UVI and their wonderful support staff. It's that kind of support that builds customer loyalty.

_TIP_
_TIP_
25 May 2016 at 4:48am

Please UVI add Global UNDO, this is MUST to have.

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Falcon

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