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About to buy UVI Falcon. Any advice / warnings?

R. Naroth

Member
Falcon is currently on a 30% sale. I've been looking for a plugin that lets me create sample based sounds. I work on a 2011 Mac Pro without much hiccups so far. I have a feeling Falcon is going to push me to upgrade my computer.

If you are using Falcon, I would highly appreciate it if you can share your experience. Also this sale includes two free expansions. Any recommendations on which one to pick? The Subculture packs seems interesting.

Thank you.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
I have an i5 PC, eight cores, 32GB. I do have some issues running more than four layers, especially with a lot of Ircam/granular stuff going on. When writing with a number of high CPU using vsts, I do have to bounce the tracks. I don’t see that as a problem, though, as it easy enough to re-enable the midi track for editin and then bounce again. Depending on the effects running, I don’t find it worse to run than, say, DIVA.

As for expansions, could you say a bit more about what you are looking for? I have quite a few. I like Subculture Orchestral a lot, but I don’t have the original one. I do keep coming back to Kinetics. I’d be happy to give you more in depth thoughts, so do ask. It is time for bed here now, though!
 

md11

New Member
what I like: modular(ish) approach, very intuitive logical layout. great sounding fx that can go anywhere, creative arps and sequencers, frequent updates!
not so much like: Patch browser, no audio in, no midi out (but you can record midi into a file and export it now at least). And the ircam stuff will probably melt your cpu! ;)
 

kgdrum

Greetings
Falcon is currently on a 30% sale. I've been looking for a plugin that lets me create sample based sounds. I work on a 2011 Mac Pro without much hiccups so far. I have a feeling Falcon is going to push me to upgrade my computer.

If you are using Falcon, I would highly appreciate it if you can share your experience. Also this sale includes two free expansions. Any recommendations on which one to pick? The Subculture packs seems interesting.

Thank you.


Falcon is great, enjoy! You should have no problem running Fal+on on your Mac.
 

zwhita

Active Member
Most of the complaints on CPU are probably rooted in Falcon being single-core operation. It's a bummer but likely will never change. Maybe in version 3, who knows.

Be prepared for a modest learning curve. Refer to the manual vigorously and watch all the tutorials, not just the ones narrated by Dan Worrall. It's important to first get your head around the keygroup/layer/program hierarchy before you start dropping in samples into the mapper, then more time just trying to find some modulation routing you just added by constantly checking the inspector.

Be encouraged that free updates might bring future improvements. UVI support is usually great if you are having a specific problem.
 
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R. Naroth

R. Naroth

Member
Thread starter
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Makes me feel much better. @zwhita The manual seems daunting.. 300 Pages :sad: but I am looking forward to expanding my horizons beyond Zebra.

@Bee_Abney, my interest is in cinematic sounds, background scores etc., not much experience in EDM.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Makes me feel much better. @zwhita The manual seems daunting.. 300 Pages :sad: but I am looking forward to expanding my horizons beyond Zebra.

@Bee_Abney, my interest is in cinematic sounds, background scores etc., not much experience in EDM.
Righty-ho. First off, let me explain that I have a lot of the Falcon Expansions because there have been several sales since I got Falcon, and I got it with three expansions (second-hand). Also, I got madly addicted to them.

Analog Motion
Beautiful, thick analog sounds, layered and with a lot of arps and sequences. A great expansion to learn from as it uses fairly simple synthesis techniques to produce wonderful sounds.

Atmospherics
More samples are involved, and granular shenanigans, but the sound is still quite synthetic. Great pads and textures. One of its patches (parts in Falcon speak) is called Rachel Seduction. I take this to be a Blade Runner reference, and it that should give you some idea of what this set offers. Great for all synth scores, I don't know how well some of the patches would sit in an orchestral context. Some are grainy enough to be at home, whereas others would work if you don't mind them standing out against acoustic instruments.

Cinamtic Shades
Pretty much perfect for hybrid scoring. And not just trailer-style in-your-face style, but also meditative. It has a collection of patches called 'Textures' and they are great for using in a scoring context; they will work well with others and stand alone. One is called Dark Night, which will give yo some idea; but another - even better one! - is called Machine Elves.

Digital Motion
Like Analog motion, but with an emphasis on 80s and 90s sounds. Although, with the fullness of Falcon, they sound a lot better (to my heathen ears) than synths from the 80s. It has a patch called Sanitarium, which is a useful timesaver if anyone asks me how I'm feeling today. Again, great for scoring, great for atmosphere and, like Analog Motion, it can also really move. And, of course, you can reprogramme any sequencing to fit your own projects.

Ether Fields
Sounds designed by Simon Stockhausen, who has more sound packs and instruments for Falcon on his Patchpool site. Ingeniously designed with split keyboards, granular meddling, and wonderful samples including strings and voices. You could certainly score an entire film with this expansion, or use here and there to provide a rich background, from mildly contemplative to transcendent. This is top of the range stuff, and great for studying if you want to learn how to really exploit Falcon's abilities.

Kinetics
Half are the sun, half the moon, all involve an almost mechanical motion with either glitchy, electronic, mechanical sounds or something more organic. If you ever need to create a sense of movement and come up short on ideas, you can delve into these.

Plurality
Simon Stockhausen again. Brilliant, from electronic experimental stuff to glass, metal, string sample-based meditation music. Once again, one to study - and one that I'm not ready to try to emulate! If you want something to meditate to, or something for the nicer parts of a ghost story, sci-fi story, or personal growth story, this would be great. It has that sense of reaching out to something beyond, or having something from beyond reach out to you - but not in a horrible way. Some patches may work as scary too.

I haven't finished yet, but I need to leave this for now. Rather than save it, I'll post it now and come back for the remaining expansions later.

Savage

SubCulture Orchestral


Voklm

I also have the following UVI instruments:

Digital Synsations
Model D
Gypsy Jazzy
Kroma 1.5
XtremeFX 1.5
 

b_elliott

A work in progress.
Righty-ho. First off, let me explain that I have a lot of the Falcon Expansions because there have been several sales since I got Falcon, and I got it with three expansions (second-hand). Also, I got madly addicted to them.
...
Nice, lots for me to also consider.
The one expansion pack you don't list as owning is my most frequent go-to: Devinity by Richard Devine.
Another one for major usage is Synergy which emulates the 32-oscillator synth Wendy Carlos used in Tron. Lots of mileage with that as well.
Falcon may not have the NI forest size of expansion packs, but what it has is top notch IMHO.
 

Crossroads

Active Member
After having had both, workflow wise I much prefer Halion. Especially with Cubase. Also when it comes to CPU. I also find it's sample based workflow, especially with granular and the wavetable creator, much more inspiring.

I used Falcon quite a lot, but I never quite "got" what was so special about it between Omni and Halion.
 

cmillar

Active Member
Falcon is currently on a 30% sale. I've been looking for a plugin that lets me create sample based sounds. I work on a 2011 Mac Pro without much hiccups so far. I have a feeling Falcon is going to push me to upgrade my computer.

If you are using Falcon, I would highly appreciate it if you can share your experience. Also this sale includes two free expansions. Any recommendations on which one to pick? The Subculture packs seems interesting.

Thank you.
I now use Falcon on my 2009 MacPro (OSX High Sierra, 32 gig RAM, ssd's for everything).

My DAW is MOTU Digital Performer 11.

Notes:
- when loaded as an instrument in my DAW, some Falcon instruments will induce 'crackling' in the DAW audio due to some heavy programming in certain Falcon patches. (ie: heavy use of IRCAM Granular, etc.)

Solution!
- load Falcon in VEP7 !!!!!!! (on the same computer is fine)
(and then play Falcon with MIDI control coming out of my DAW)

No problems!!

VEP7 makes my computer 'breathe easy'. It brings Falcon to life for me, and I'm able to play multi-note chords in some very heavy patches that would otherwise be unplayable in my DAW.

Hope that helps you!

Falcon is really wonderful. Buy it. (....more fun and more inspiring to me than Omnisphere)
 

cmillar

Active Member
I have an i5 PC, eight cores, 32GB. I do have some issues running more than four layers, especially with a lot of Ircam/granular stuff going on. When writing with a number of high CPU using vsts, I do have to bounce the tracks. I don’t see that as a problem, though, as it easy enough to re-enable the midi track for editin and then bounce again. Depending on the effects running, I don’t find it worse to run than, say, DIVA.

As for expansions, could you say a bit more about what you are looking for? I have quite a few. I like Subculture Orchestral a lot, but I don’t have the original one. I do keep coming back to Kinetics. I’d be happy to give you more in depth thoughts, so do ask. It is time for bed here now, though!
Hi Bee....try loading Falcon into an instance of VEP7. Works fine for me on a similar-spec older MacPro.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Makes me feel much better. @zwhita The manual seems daunting.. 300 Pages :sad: but I am looking forward to expanding my horizons beyond Zebra.

@Bee_Abney, my interest is in cinematic sounds, background scores etc., not much experience in EDM.
I'll paste in my previous post and then complete it here, so that it is all in one message.

Righty-ho. First off, let me explain that I have a lot of the Falcon Expansions because there have been several sales since I got Falcon, and I got it with three expansions (second-hand). Also, I got madly addicted to them.

Analog Motion
Beautiful, thick analog sounds, layered and with a lot of arps and sequences. A great expansion to learn from as it uses fairly simple synthesis techniques to produce wonderful sounds. Given that analog sounds are relatively timeless amongst synth sounds, this is a really flexible expansion and a great place to start from.

Atmospherics
More samples are involved, and granular shenanigans, but the sound is still quite synthetic. Great pads and textures. One of its patches (parts in Falcon speak) is called Rachel Seduction. I take this to be a Blade Runner reference, and it that should give you some idea of what this set offers. Great for all synth scores, I don't know how well some of the patches would sit in an orchestral context. Some are grainy enough to be at home, whereas others would work if you don't mind them standing out against acoustic instruments.

Cinamtic Shades
Pretty much perfect for hybrid scoring. And not just trailer-style in-your-face style, but also meditative. It has a collection of patches called 'Textures' and they are great for using in a scoring context; they will work well with others and stand alone. One is called Dark Night, which will give yo some idea; but another - even better one! - is called Machine Elves.

Digital Motion
Like Analog motion, but with an emphasis on 80s and 90s sounds. Although, with the fullness of Falcon, they sound a lot better (to my heathen ears) than synths from the 80s. It has a patch called Sanitarium, which is a useful timesaver if anyone asks me how I'm feeling today. Again, great for scoring, great for atmosphere and, like Analog Motion, it can also really move. And, of course, you can reprogramme any sequencing to fit your own projects.

Ether Fields
Sounds designed by Simon Stockhausen, who has more sound packs and instruments for Falcon on his Patchpool site. Ingeniously designed with split keyboards, granular meddling, and wonderful samples including strings and voices. You could certainly score an entire film with this expansion, or use here and there to provide a rich background, from mildly contemplative to transcendent. This is top of the range stuff, and great for studying if you want to learn how to really exploit Falcon's abilities.

Kinetics
Half are the sun, half the moon, all involve an almost mechanical motion with either glitchy, electronic, mechanical sounds or something more organic. If you ever need to create a sense of movement and come up short on ideas, you can delve into these.

Plurality
Simon Stockhausen again. Brilliant, from electronic experimental stuff to glass, metal, string sample-based meditation music. Once again, one to study - and one that I'm not ready to try to emulate! If you want something to meditate to, or something for the nicer parts of a ghost story, sci-fi story, or personal growth story, this would be great. It has that sense of reaching out to something beyond, or having something from beyond reach out to you - but not in a horrible way. Some patches may work as scary too.

Savage
It is aptly named. These sounds are great leads, basses, drones, and moving pieces from the heavier end of electronic music. Techno, I guess, or at least Techno in inspiration. It's the synth equivalent of heavy metal guitar, and that's what I bought this expansion for - to combine with heavy guitar playing. It would also work in a heavier hybrid context. If you want to bang your head, or beat your audience over the head with the urgency of EVERYTHING, then this expansion is great. It's nicely designed and sequenced, so also good to learn from. There are slower and less bombastic patches too.

SubCulture Orchestral

This likely is the hybrid scoring expansion that you are looking for. It's gorgeous, bringing electronic music stylings to orchestral base samples. Great for atmospheres, great for textures, great for layering with orchestral samples. Very good indeed.

Voklm
I go back and forth on this one. On the one hand, I don't like the fact that playing any distance at all from middle C means that the vocal samples are stretched unnaturally - and, if you go up, goofily. On the other hand, there are some really good sounds here and the Atmospheres and Drones are, for me, very usable. If you like warped tape loops of vocals, this would be a very good expansion. I haven't experimented yet with seeing if you can switch the sample oscillator to a stretch one (either basic Stretch or IRCAM Stretch) which would make these more palatable to me.

I also have the following UVI instruments:

Digital Synsations - Nice enough and good to learn from; good all-purpose sounds.
Model D - a piano. Yuck! (I'm kidding!)
Gypsy Jazzy - not so great as some other libraries for simulating 1930s jazz; much better for taking 1930s jazz sounds and playing with them in an electronic context.
Kroma 1.5 - Beautiful
XtremeFX 1.5 - Foley. It was a cheap way to get foley sounds, and having them inside Falcon is not a bad thing.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Nice, lots for me to also consider.
The one expansion pack you don't list as owning is my most frequent go-to: Devinity by Richard Devine.
Another one for major usage is Synergy which emulates the 32-oscillator synth Wendy Carlos used in Tron. Lots of mileage with that as well.
Falcon may not have the NI forest size of expansion packs, but what it has is top notch IMHO.
Yes, Devinity is a great one to highlight. I don't have it, but I'd think that it is every bit as good as the Simon Stockhausen ones if you want to study it and learn how to really step up your sound design and sequencing. I'm still working my way up to Analog Motions-level.

Energy, the DK Synergy sim, seems like something I'd love. But I haven't seen it on sale yet, so at the moment I'm leaving it for a future occasion. I may be able to buy Vintage Vault 3 and get it that way.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Hi Bee....try loading Falcon into an instance of VEP7. Works fine for me on a similar-spec older MacPro.
I don't know if it was you before, but I think someone else mentioned this in a thread somewhere. I really must look into it. I don't have Vienna Ensemble Pro, and it looks like I should add that to my Black Friday list and see what goes on sale. I've definitely been guilty of sleeping on the potential VEP could have for me. Thanks for the wake-up call!
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Makes me feel much better. @zwhita The manual seems daunting.. 300 Pages :sad: but I am looking forward to expanding my horizons beyond Zebra.

@Bee_Abney, my interest is in cinematic sounds, background scores etc., not much experience in EDM.
Oh, and more simply, advice on what two expansions to start with:

If your synth skills, or seqencing skills, are basic, pick either Analog Motion or Digital Motion to learn from. According to taste.

Then get either SubCulture Orchestral or Cinematic Shades.

If your skills are good, but you want to push them further, replace the Motion option with either Ether Fields or Plurality. Or Devinity - but I don't have that one.

If you don't want to take learning from the expansion pack into consideration (perhaps you are confident already, or just want to start with something useful for composing and move on to learning the synth later), then why not get Subculture Orchestral and Cinematic Shades? It might suit your needs.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Last comment to add here, there are not so many third parties producing Falcon expansions or UVI instruments as I would like; but there are some good ones. For Falcon Expansions, Simon Stockhausen is worth a look, as is the Moog Tribute pack (which I don't have), Triple Spiral Audio have a hefty Falcon pack that leans towards the atmospheric, and Leap Into the Void has three brilliant expansions.
 
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