UVI Ether Fields by Diogo C
Product: Ether Fields by Simon Stockhausen
Formats: Falcon expansion
DRM: iLok (USB dongle not required)
Price: $39 (USD - MSRP)
The scope: UVI teams up with Simon Stockhausen to deliver Ether Fields, a collection of 100 patches for the flagship Falcon virtual instrument. Simon is an experienced composer with a vast background on electronic experimentation and veteran patch designer and synthesizer-aficionado. As some might know, he’s also the mastermind behind Patch Pool, a highly regarded website that provides many sounds and presets for numerous synthesizer and effect units. Ether Fields brings eight patch categories: bell/pluck, granular, hybrid, pads, sequencer, soundscapes, synths and wavetable, each offering mostly monotimbral patches but there are also a handful of multitimbral patches on some categories. The Falcon infrastructure comes into play here and Ether Fields takes full advantage of its seamless endless features, making extensive use of its many different oscillators, modulators and effects. All patches features customized front panels to house the most important controls and also a dedicated info page offers a description of each patch and tips on how to use them, which is a really cool touch since it gives the author a chance to communicate their intents to the user, providing not only great sounds from the get go but also excellent starting points for their sonic journeys.
Sound quality: Combine Simon’s creativity with Falcon’s immense powers and it’s no surprise that we are presented with something truly great here. Given Simon’s background Ether Fields brings sounds that are most often than not highly experimental, with a futuristic edge that flirts with sci-fi themes. Patches are deep with textures and layers, they’re all very well programmed and definitively some of the best Falcon patches I’ve heard so far, keeping up with the high standard we’ve come to expect after the previous Falcon expansions. I’ve really liked the plucked, pad and synth patches, which are highly expressive and mostly playable. The soundscapes and atmospheres are also awesome sounding and should also be useful for film/game scoring. I also enjoyed the multitimbral patches, some with up to three sounds that can be played at the same time for enormous and otherworldly sounding synth parts. Overall this is a very well done library, with great attention to detail and plenty of interesting patches.
Ease of use: Besides the complexity present in most of its patches, Ether Fields does a great job at keeping everything accessible with its straightforward to use customized interface, which along with the aforementioned patch descriptions makes the user experience quite smooth. There’s also a 13 page PDF document that briefly explains how to tweak the pads using Falcon’s edit window, which is something very welcome since Falcon can be quite deep and even a bit daunting given how many things it can do on a single patch. In terms of computing performance Ether Fields is nicely optimized, with fair CPU consumption, negligible RAM load and low impact on system resources overall. Patches here are complex, but not bloated, and that really helps in this regard - it’s also worthy noting that Falcon has been significantly updated since its release with many notable improvements.
Features: Great set of features that surpasses the average expectations for patch libraries. Some patches are very deep, with many layers and possibilities that can take them far off from their initial sounds - and with everything that Falcon has to offer basically any patch can be infinitely tweaked.
Bang for buck: It will come down to taste here - if you’re a Falcon owner who enjoys complex patches and cutting-edge sounds you won’t be disappointed.
Recommended for: electronic music producers, sound designers and game/film composers looking for a sophisticated and futuristic sounding patch library.