UVI Instruments have just released an entirely free instrument for their UVI workstation player. Based on the Roland EP-09, a simple four voiced keyboard with a basic arpeggiator, Analogic Piano 09 is a good looking, simple to use if somewhat limited instrument, given extra value by the additional free content in the UVI Workstation.
Each and any of the four voices – two different electric pianos and two harpsichords – can be used in conjunction with each other to get a unique timbre, but there’s not a great deal of science here; press buttons until you get a tone you like and you’re done. The sounds lend themselves very well to lo-fi, almost chiptune styled (need an instrument for our recent assignment?) aesthetic – the expressiveness through playing is pretty much limited to volume, and they’re by no means go-to sounds for electric piano or harpsichord. That said the harpsichord sounds are somewhat ‘truer’ and AP09 does make a fairly good stab at them, but the whole point of this instrument is to give some character to your productions rather than fidelity.
On top of the arpeggiator, voices, sustain and tuning options present on the actual EP-09, the AP09 integrates some of the functions of the UVI Workstation system and allows you to dial in chorus, delay, and reverb – all of which are basic single knob effects that go from fully dry to fully wet – as well as a ‘speaker’ switch for speaker or amp emulation and allow you to very quickly dial in some spice to your sound. More interesting are the pages that are actually part of the workstation rather than the instrument itself. You can load in additional effects and use the very well featured arpeggiator that’s built into the UVI Workstation, and there’s real sonic potential in the free effects that are included as standard, not to mention the myriad options available in the arp, which also includes a step sequencer with adjustable volume on each step.
I did notice a little more crackling than I would expect from the sound engine in the UVI Workstation, even using it on multiple cards to test, but it tended to be when mashing as many keys as possible to see how far I could take it. It would be preferable to have an easy to find polyphony selector to make sure you stay in the realms of your capabilities, though.
The AP09 might be a teaser to get you interested in further, paid products for the UVI Workstation system, but even if you’re not interested and just want some new, free sounds to play with, the AP09 and the contents of the UVI demo pack are worth a download. Just ‘like’ UVI’s Facebook page and follow the instructions.