Review: Empty Fields F.3 for UVI’s Falcon from Triple Spiral Audio
Like the O2 version, subscription rate price entry point is quite affordable for what is promised over the course of the year.
The Browser was logically put together so it is easy to find the sound sources used in the making of the layers.
The Pads and Soundscapes were creative and well designed,
Nice use of the Falcon FX giving many of the presets a full bodied sound.
I found the Bass sounds to be a bit too aggressive and overly synth sounding. You will need to play around with ADSR settings if you want something a bit more traditional sounding.
No Multis (however, there are several coming in subsequent updates)
Triple Spiral is at it again, this time with a 10-part library subscription offering developed for UVI’s Falcon synthesizer. If you have already purchased the Omnisphere version and was wondering if this package mimicked the O2 version, fear not, the patches developed for Falcon are completely different. Like the O2 release, this library is multi-genre in that it is designed for everyone from sound designers to ambient composers to contemporary musicians. There is a wide array of well-constructed patches from “in-your-face” bass instruments to ethereal soundscapes. I spent a few weeks with this library and had a blast playing with the presets.
Jump to the Videos of Empty Fields F.3
Jump to the Demos of Empty Fields F.3
Empty Fields F.3 sells for €75 from Triple Spiral Audio
I find it quite refreshing to see another developer enter the world of Falcon development. As sophisticated as this sampler / synth is, there are barely any sound designers that have taken the plunge to tackle this ominous synthesizer. In some ways, it is a much more powerful synth than Omnispehere 2, especially with its ability to multi-layer / multi-program within each preset. However, I don’t want this review to become a comparison between the 2 as I want to keep this focused on the library, itself.
For those of you who have Falcon and are somewhat new to it or for those of you who have always thought of purchasing Falcon but have been put off by its complexity, I’ll try to give a summary Falcon 101 teaching as I go along so that the reader can grasp some of the logic that is put into the GUI.
Installation of a 3rd party Falcon soundbank is pretty straight-forward. After downloading, you simply copy the folder to where the other soundbanks are located. If this is not a registered, UVI expansion pack, Falcon won’t list this in its browser as a SoundBank. You will have to open the folder, manually, and find the “programs” sub-folder. This is where the presets are located. There is another folder called “samples” which is where all the other unique files (like .wav) that make up the library are located. The main, start-up page of the Falcon interface is broken up into 4 parts : the header, at the top, which contain the menu listings and tabs (these tabs dictate which panel is open for viewing and alteration), the left panel which contains the patch that is loaded (this panel has 3 different views, depending on which tab is selected), the middle panel which, when first opened, contains the macro knobs which modulate the preset sounds (this panel has 5 different views, depending on which tab is selected), and the left panel which contains the browser.
FILE: Empty Fields Falcon Main Page
Taking the above view for the patch “Sparkle”, the left panel displays the TREE tab for the patch. If one is to learn the elements that make up a preset, this is the tab I recommend. It contains all of the effects, the different layers, and the events which make up the patch. Everything that is listed in the tree view can be selected and displayed in the associated middle panel where one can alter, add or subtract different parts of the preset. The only information not displayed in the tree view are the modulations. However, if you select the Modulations tab for the middle panel and use your mouse to select either the global (top layer of the tree view) or individual layers, the associated modulations will display
The middle panel above is associated with the Info tab. If you want to just use the programmed macros to alter the preset’s sound, then this is the view you’ll want to use. These macros can be designed to manipulate just about any parameter within the patch.
The right browser panel in the view shows the patch selected, “Sparkle” in the programs folder. In addition, the sample folder is also open which displays the .wav files that were used in this preset and the name of the .jpg file which is, essentially, the picture on the info tab. Just by looking at the .wav files, you can get a pretty good idea what kind of sound the preset will generate. In this case it is a bell-like pad over the sound of burning wood.
The middle panel in the above view is the EDIT view. This is where all the layers can be accessed for manipulation. In addition, the “Mapping” of the patch is displayed. In short, this will show you the Root Note and how the patch is mapped out over the keyboard. One of the great things about Falcon is that you can take each sound sample within a patch and assign that sample its own, unique, key range. Below the Mapping area is the Modulations area. Typically, the bottom row on the Edit page will correspond to the macros on the main, Info page.
The presets in Empty Fields make up 6 different categories of sound: ARPs, Bass, Key/Mallets/Bells, Leads, Pads, and Soundscapes. The strength of the library is definitely in the Pads and Soundscapes. Like its O2 counterpart, there are incredibly lush and gorgeous sounds which utilize the synthesizer’s sophisticated FX section. Falcon, especially, has one of the richest sounding FX sections out of almost any other synth I have played. Just as a tip to the iceberg, it contains both SparkVerb and Thorus which UVI also sells separately. Like O2, these FX can be assigned globally and/or assigned to each sound sample. Many of the enclosed Pads/Soundscapes are so well designed, you may not want to add any further modulation. The ARP section takes advantage of Falcon’s ability to sequence each separate sound source giving many of the patches an incredible motion of complex patterns. Given the fact that you can assign these patterns to a specific key mapping and “hold” the playback, you have the freedom to add other patches, like leads or pads, and play over the rhythmic patterns, much the same way you can do in O2’s Stack Mode.
About the only real issue I have with this library, similarly to the same issue I had with its O2 counterpart, is the bass patches. I find them overly aggressive and not very useful. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the gritty bass patches I’ve become accustomed to in Serum or Razor. With the ones in this library, I find myself doing a major ADSR overhaul to give them a sound I can use when I’m playing.
The leads, while few, are fun to play and well-constructed. I wish there were more of these. The Bells I found useful however you may want to experiment with the various built-in reverbs to let them ring out more. Overall, this is an impressive library and considering the lack of Falcon developers, other users of this wonderful synthesizer may consider jumping on board and checking this out.
Empty Fields – F.3 for Falcon contains 50 patches (many of them multi-layered) broken up into 6 sound categories and downloads as 1.05 GB. Empty Fields – F.3 requires UVI’s Falcon and will not play on the free UVI Player.
As a note…the 2nd installment of F.3 has been released with the 3rd installment scheduled for mid-June.
Empty Fields F.3 sells for €75 from Triple Spiral Audio