Review: World Suite by UVI

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Despite some shortcomings in functionality, World Suite is a great tool if you’re looking to take your sound “global”.  UVI has created a massive ethnic library and delivered it in a way that is sure to appeal to a vast variety of music makers.

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Originally Published Jan 12, 2017

Review: World Suite by UVI

The World Suite provides a gigantic collection ethnic muti-sample instruments and loops/phrases from around the globe.

As UVI’s largest released library to date, World Suite is comprised of over 50,000 samples and has “been in production for years of planning, recording, editing, coding and design” by the team at UVI.

World Suite sells for $299.00 from UVI

 

 

Thoughts

Now, to be up front, I rarely use libraries in the UVI Workstation engine. I tend to use Kontakt instruments for a most of my work. I have only reviewed one other library in UVI’s Workstation sample player so I may talk about some of the standard UVI Workstation functionality as it pertains to this library. Also. I didn’t get into adding or using effects with this library in the review. There are more details about effects usage in the official overview video which we have included below.

World Suite is divided into 12 groups by geography spanning the globe from Africa, Asia, Australia, Celtic, Eastern Europe, India, Indonesia, Middle East, Occidental, South America, Spanish Gypsy and the West Indies. The files are structured in a way that you also can navigate to the instruments by type.

Going into the library I was really thrilled to see it was like having three different sample libraries in one. Those three being the multi-sampled instrument presets, the “Traveler” construction kits & individual audio files of Loops/Phrases.

First, the multi-sample instruments are a collection of 375 playable presets created from sampling 320 different ethnic instruments. These multi-sampled instruments span a huge range of world percussion, string instruments, woodwinds and vocals.

Overall the samples are clear and present and come with a good variety of articulations which are selectable in real-time through the red keyswitches. The multi-sampled presets come with a variety of parameter controls relevant to each individual instrument such as timbre, expression, eq and reverb. Instruments that are inherently capable have been fashioned with performance legato/portamento programming. These are not true legato instruments and this is one of the limitations of the library. Sure, you are getting a huge collection of great sounding samples, but you will have to spend some time working with violin-like instruments to get a natural legato sound.

A collection of 8,000 audio files are are accessible through the “Loops and Phrases” menu.

The loops and phrases in the collection really show off the diverse range of the library. From what I can tell, these audio files play back at their originally recorded pitch at C3. Loops and Phrases are conveniently named with the original tempo of recording and the BIG highlights with the Loops and Phrases is the ability to Drag & Drop these tempo sync’d loops and phrases right into an audio track of your daw from the UVI Workstation.

 

Next are the “Travelers” presets. These are presets with 6 modules that allow for loading up a different sample into each one. They work like construction kits. Each of the geographic locations has it’s own Traveler and with the combinations of different loops in each module I can see how these presets will be very handy for those needing to create world music on a deadline. I also can see how these Travelers could be used as a way to jump-start an ethnic composition.

The Travelers allow for Pan, Volume High/Low Pass, PItch and Reverb sends for each sample played back over the 6 modules. Each of these parameters in the modules can be assigned a controller number and programmed/ adjusted through midi.

Playback for the Travelers is triggered for all samples/loops simultaneously with an octave of keys on the keyboard triggering corresponding pitch shift in playback.  My only critique about the Traveler presets is that I would have liked to have seen each of the 6 modules have individual trigger keys across the keyboard so I could add and subtract instrument playback in real time on the keyboard. As it stands now, this could be done, but one would need to go in and assign midi ccs to the mute/on/off buttons and then program in the changes that way – or some other work around.

If you navigate the library you will see the Vocals are packaged in a separate folder and not treated as part of the main collection of instruments. I found this to be a little strange, but it is definitely not a deal breaker.

 

The Vocal menu contains two of its own Travelers (Vocal Traveler & Vocal Ambience Traveler). These two presets are really cool with a 2 octave drone in the low keys and the ability to load samples from the Vocal phrases into the 5 additional modules.

There is a lot to like about this library. The huge offering of instruments, the Traver presets for quickly getting music from around the world jump-started and the flexibility to use the loops/phrases in a way that best suits your workflow. If you don’t expect the legato presets to stand up to dedicated premium libraries with true legato and extensive articulation selection then you won’t be disappointed.

I can see how World Suite will be really useful for all kinds of music makers. It will be perfect for pop and electronic production to add a bit of ethnic flavor to a track. I can also see how the Loops and Phrases can be a great tool for DJs and songwriters trying to get inspiration with a world twist. As for composers like myself who mostly create score for media, I can see how the Travelers alone will be a great way to kickstart a composition when I am called on for an ethnic score for a scene. To further that, the multi-sample presets could play a big roll in expanding the exotic nature of an instrumental score.

Despite all my criticism of the library, at this price and with this many instruments and loops this is a really good deal if you’re looking to expand your sound with timbres from around the globe.

Facts

World Suite sells for $299.00 from UVI

Demos of World Suite

Videos of World Suite