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Falcon is worth buying

Piano Pete

Senior Member
@Piano Pete I have done quite a lot of patching in Falcon and recently downloaded IRCAM’s Modalys (with the intention to use the MAX for Live version). Both use LUA Scripting. Do you happen to know some sources / books / websites / courses about LUA, particularly geared towards use in the context of Falcon or Modalys? I do have a very basic knowledge of scripting in general, but I have never really been able to “start” my journey with LUA for Falcon, due to a lack of sources really. No idea how to go about such an endeavour ;)
@Lindon posted this a bit back: https://falcontinuum.com/ (in this thread https://vi-control.net/community/threads/lua-resources-for-uvi-falcon-scripting.93509/) Maybe he can chime in with more specific resources regarding LUA and Falcon—specifically.

And of course, there is a brief tutorial on uvi script: https://www.uvi.net/uviscript/_tutorial.html

Regarding a specific course like what @d.healey did for Kontakt and HISE, I'm not sure if there is one.

There is an ask.video course. I just found it with a quick google, so I cannot vouch for it. https://ask.video/video/uvi-falcon-the-video-manual/16-16-scripting

But, I kind of just dove in and worked messed with it. I have LUA scripting experience from working on addons and stuff for use with Finale and Sibelius. Derek Banas has some great coding tutorials where he covers syntax etc. I found these nice primers to learn other languages' syntax, and I felt they were also presented in such a way that you can watch them without a lot of prior experience. Udemy also has some decent coding courses floating around—especially if you are just getting started. The nice thing with LUA, is it doesnt have too many gross idiosyncrasies like some of the other languages.
 

kevinh

Active Member
I own a lot of falcon libraries and are great. Only thing I wish they would address is that sometimes they’ll fix tuning of a flute or some loop and it makes you re download the entire 20GB library again. Expansions can be very inspiring. Sound design wise it’s pretty fun.
 

mscp

Senior Member
Sounds more like Falcon is not very well optimized...

A single core should be able to handle plenty of stuff. Multi core is even disabled in Kontakt by default AFAIK. Heck, I can run dozens of Diva or Repro voices in a single core.
Try loading some heavily scripted patches with multiple mic positions on, and you'll see how it goes.

Falcon is a beast but some of my own patches put my CPU to its knees. I can't recreate my patches with Diva due to the patch requirements because the ones that drop my CPU to its knees are based on IRCAM stretching techniques.
 
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Sounds more like Falcon is not very well optimized...

A single core should be able to handle plenty of stuff. Multi core is even disabled in Kontakt by default AFAIK. Heck, I can run dozens of Diva or Repro voices in a single core.
It is very well optimized. Complex, layered patches with tons of oacillators and, more importantly, tons of effects, are very doable.
 
Try loading some heavily scripted patches with multiple mic positions on, and you'll see how it goes.

Falcon is a beast but some of my own patches put my CPU to its knees. I can't recreate my patches with Diva due to the patch requirements because the ones that drop my CPU to its knees are based on IRCAM stretching techniques.
Some of the IRCAM oscs are slow by their nature and this is mentioned in the Falcon docs as well.
Yes, one IRCAM stretch module with the "right" tweaks can get it crawling, but that's expected.
 

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Bee_Abney

Senior Member
I’m very new to synthesis and digital recording generally (as opposed to live acoustic playing), so I may simply be doing things wrong, but I don’t have any more problems running complex layers of parts in Falcon than I do in Omnisphere (both single core, I believe) or running multiple instances of certain instruments in Kontakt (multi-core) - I’m thinking of things like Straylight.

I know that Simon Stockhausen is planning to do more individual instruments for Falcon. He seems very keen on it, but he isn’t working on it right now.

I bought Falcon as a license transfer on impulse; I’m not really ready for it yet. I’m doing much of my learning on Pigments and analog emulations. But I just love the sounds that Falcon makes. I don’t know what it is, but it sounds so much more alive to me than Omnisphere. Every notable synth has its own sound, as well as workflows that suit some better than others. While I like the ball park it operates in, I haven’t heard anything from Zebra 2 that I really like; but others love it (it certainly does mix well in a hybrid composition).

For purposes of commercial soundsets, nothing is going to beat the usual suspects anytime soon. The better supported a synth is, the more people are going to buy it to access the soundsets, which leads to more soundsets and so on. (And if anyone wants to know how to suck eggs...) The exciting thing is we never know when some great new development could turn things on their head. Unless you do, in which case, don’t violate that NDA!
 

Piano Pete

Senior Member
Sorry - these days I do everything in HISE - so I'm a bit out of touch with the current Falcon resources...
Figured it was worth a shot. I have actually been making the move into HISE for some private library stuff—unless Kontakt is a requirement. Being able to make a standalone vst has been fantastic.
 

mscp

Senior Member
I’m very new to synthesis and digital recording generally (as opposed to live acoustic playing), so I may simply be doing things wrong, but I don’t have any more problems running complex layers of parts in Falcon than I do in Omnisphere (both single core, I believe) or running multiple instances of certain instruments in Kontakt (multi-core) - I’m thinking of things like Straylight.
It really depends on the type of synthesis/algorithm you build your patch with. It's not about what you're doing wrong, but how many audio files you have loaded with the IRCAM stretch and granular algorithms and how much you're telling Falcon to compute in real time.

When I run some of my own patches (with a few stretch and granular layers), I have to render it to audio (offline rendering) to be able to hear it without audio buffer glitches -- all in an i9 9900k.

Not a deal breaker, though.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
I see; I agree that it is worth a bit of extra trouble for the right effect but that an improvement would be very welcome.
 
I have the impression (warning! uneducated, subjective "internet opinion" following) that the multi threading thing is not very well suited for the type of work that a multiple-voice synth/sampler is supposed to be doing.

MSoundFactory for example: they make a big point in their marketing about the multi threading, performance etc. Then you check the actual manual and it says that activating multi-threading might actually result in reduced performance.

It seems to me that UVI are very well aware of that and just made a decision to optimize hard for single threading instead of dealing with multi threading complexities for little gain.

Which doesn't help their marketing dept, but apart from that I think Falcon's performance is excellent.
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
I have the impression (warning! uneducated, subjective "internet opinion" following) that the multi threading thing is not very well suited for the type of work that a multiple-voice synth/sampler is supposed to be doing.

MSoundFactory for example: they make a big point in their marketing about the multi threading, performance etc. Then you check the actual manual and it says that activating multi-threading might actually result in reduced performance.

It seems to me that UVI are very well aware of that and just made a decision to optimize hard for single threading instead of dealing with multi threading complexities for little gain.

Which doesn't help their marketing dept, but apart from that I think Falcon's performance is excellent.
Although UVI are canny enough to make the idea of retro-synth emulations sound like an abomination compared to sample libraries, so you'd think they'd be able to put some spin on this! I generally prefer samples if I want a retro sound myself, but I have seen haughty attitudes in the other direction.
 

mscp

Senior Member
I have the impression (warning! uneducated, subjective "internet opinion" following) that the multi threading thing is not very well suited for the type of work that a multiple-voice synth/sampler is supposed to be doing.

MSoundFactory for example: they make a big point in their marketing about the multi threading, performance etc. Then you check the actual manual and it says that activating multi-threading might actually result in reduced performance.

It seems to me that UVI are very well aware of that and just made a decision to optimize hard for single threading instead of dealing with multi threading complexities for little gain.

Which doesn't help their marketing dept, but apart from that I think Falcon's performance is excellent.
I don't know much about the programming side of audio software development (at the time of this post), but limitation is still one of the reasons why I still have hardware synths / modular.
 
I don't know much about the programming side of audio software development (at the time of this post), but limitation is still one of the reasons why I still have hardware synths / modular.
Since I got my MODX, my time spent with Falcon dropped dramatically :emoji_smirk:
Nothing wrong with Falcon (which can do way more than the MODX, overall... like IRCAM stretch stuff) and maybe is just the novelty factor, but I find that gadget more fun and easier to approach than a VSTi (and I can also use it as a VSTi if I want).
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
Please help this non-native speaker parse this sentence…. Genuine question!
UVI have some publicity on their site saying how good their recreations of classic synthesisers are. This is, they say, because they are samples. So you get the original sounds, not a digital soft-synth that sounds a little bit like it.
Many think this is less good than a soft-synth emulation, because it is a rompler and not a real (soft) synth. So this shows that they know how to emphasise the positive aspects of a feature that may look bad to some.
I hope that's clearer!
Shorter version 'canny' means smart, clever, skillful, insightful, intelligent.
 

mscp

Senior Member
Since I got my MODX, my time spent with Falcon dropped dramatically :emoji_smirk:
Nothing wrong with Falcon (which can do way more than the MODX, overall... like IRCAM stretch stuff) and maybe is just the novelty factor, but I find that gadget more fun and easier to approach than a VSTi (and I can also use it as a VSTi if I want).
For granular I use a particular synth, and some Eurorack modules. Unless my PT/Cubase sessions are pretty bare and have almost nothing going on (which is never the case), hefty falcon/omni patches can be more than just a pet peeve. I like Falcon though and wouldn't let go of it.
 

Lindon

VST/AU Developer
Figured it was worth a shot. I have actually been making the move into HISE for some private library stuff—unless Kontakt is a requirement. Being able to make a standalone vst has been fantastic.
Yes its a "different beast", to try and put it in context with the other platforms mentioned by mscp
Vaguely.

Falcon is a synthesis/sampling workstation with pre-built modules. It also allows some scripting.

Kontakt is a sampler that allows scripting.

Reaktor (and the same goes to Max/MSP, and others) is a graphical modular software that you can build your own modules from the ground up.
and HISE is a development platform, not an end user product like the others here, that has the sampling capabilities of Kontakt, a set of synthesis capabilities(but not as wide as Falcon), the modular "wiring" capabilities of Reaktor (tho again not as deep), and a scripting language and API that outstrips them all as well as an optional built in very-low level DSP language to allow you to build from the c++ up if you want. Oh and you can build FX too...and obviously VSTs, AUs, AAX plugins , standalones on Mac Windows and iOS(tho I havent tried this last one myself).

If you are thinking about Falcon, here's why I moved away - Falcon uses LUA, and I have nothing against LUA, or any language really (well I'm a bit over KSP), but when a developer offers you a scripting interface the REALLY important thing is the programming interface they provide - what you can *do* with the language. Falcon's LUA is much under powered, if you have any experience with KSP or HISE then it will be very disappointing very quickly. Sure the Falcon engine is lovely, and extensible, and powerful, but if you are trying to build a realistic commercial product then these days there's a range of things you are going to have to provide, that as far as I can tell are not possible using Falcon's LUA interface. A simple instrument in Falcon is quite possible - I built and sell one, but DAW synced timing and engine manipulation as well as note manipulation are hard to do (if at all) to just name two things off the top of my head. That's not to say that Falcon's scripting interface is pointless, just its limited - and as others have said perhaps UVI dont really want to take on Kontakt or HISE in that way -so its fine, but for me, a person building (hopefully) sophisticated virtual instruments, its not a realistic option.
 
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