UVI Analogic Piano 09

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.


NAMM 2012: Feeltune Rhizome SXE and LE

Best Bits:
  • Ability to choose the all in one or controller version
  • Superb workflow for quick creation of a song
  • Better looking black colour scheme
  • It’s very big and unwieldy
  • The angle might become tiring to use after a while (even at the lowest) – we’ll have to see.
Key Specs:
  • Four 24 bit colour screens
  • Velocity sensitive pads
  • 32 encoders
  • Embedded i5 processor Windows 7 system, or bring-your-own computer option

We first saw Rhizome at last year’s Musikmesse, and it impressed me then; it’s an all in one production solution with various modules that allow VST plugins to become part of its workflow, from step sequencers to piano roll and live remixing tools. I had a few reservations here and there, but Feeltune have more or less totally cleared them up with their reboot. The original white Rhizome is discontinued to make room for the SXE and LE models, which are a more attractive black colour and feature improved specs and no embedded computer, respectively. The software (which can be used to update the original model too) is now a real force to be reckoned with, as the sampling engine has had a big overhaul and live performance features have been tweaked and refined. We’ve been promised a review model next month, so expect the usual in depth look soon!


Video: Feeltune Rhizome

First of the post Musikmesse videos is this interesting new workstation from FeelTune. Rhizome is an integrated hardware and software solution, that runs on a customised OS and host but loads in standard VST plugins.

Rhizome is an integrated hardware and software solution

Designed as an elegant solution to a setup that has a computer, keyboard, pad controlller, mixer, and so on, Rhizome is not only attractive but also seems, on first look, to be a very efficient and hands on way to make music. More information and videos when I get a unit in for review – here’s Julian going over some of the cool, and new to Musikmesse 2011, features…

Elektron Machinedrum

Musikmesse Highlights – Day 1

So, day one of Musikmesse is complete, and it’s time to give you a quick low down on some of the things that caught my eye.


Elektron’s little boxes both look and sound great, from the Machinedrum drum machine to the dual channel sampling audio mangler Octatrack. I’ll be interviewing the guys tomorrow, and getting samples in for review soon.

Elektron’s little boxes both look and sound great

Another thing with both looks and sounds going for it is the Synthlab SL1, a fully analogue mono synth.

the Synthlab SL1, a fully analogue mono synth

I’m serious, manufacturers, just put wood end plates on it and I’ll like it. Video demo is on the way, as is a review

model to give it a proper going over in

the Oh Drat studio.


Arturia’s Spark and Analogue Experience Laboratory made an appearance, and I got the lowdown on the them both, video’s on the way!

The pads feel really nice on the Spark

The pads feel really nice on the Spark, in fact it feels like a solid unit in general.

Rhizome is a totally standalone workstation


The Rhizome has been on the market for a few months but it’s not seen much action yet – it’s a totally standalone workstation, running on an embedded version of Windows XP meaning it can load all the VST plugins you’re used to and take advantage of their flexibility in its unique workflow. You know the drill – video soon, as is review…

Finally, these monitors from Monkey Banana caught my eye.

these monitors from Monkey Banana caught my eye

They’re available in black too, but if you’re considering hexagonal monitors in the first place (and I could definitely imagine these in the Oh Drat studio!) you may as well go all out! Perhaps not a video with these guys, but definitely a review.

More tomorrow, but for now make sure you let me know what you think….

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