UVI Augmented Orchestra: What is it?
The burgeoning market for orchestral samples seems to have increased exponentially over the last few years. Let’s face it, there are only so many ways you can spin an orchestral library, without feeling like you are merely repeating history, albeit with better technology through each new release.
Any company dipping its toe into the orchestral department needs to be brave and have an angle, and that could possibly sum up UVI and its latest offering, Augmented Orchestra.
Let’s begin with some kudos: UVI has a highly respected track record. It has an enormous catalogue of some of the finest sounds you could ever want. The vast majority of these centre around the sampling and reproduction of synthesizer classics, from the very earliest lesser known synths to vintage digitals, with plenty of unique rarities along the way.
Moreover, users are continually reporting how these sounds are production-ready and simply sit in a track or a mix. We are big fans! UVI’s move into an orchestral domain would benefit from a similar slant, so let’s see what we have.
UVI Augmented Orchestra: Performance and verdict
Augmented Orchestra gives the game away from the outset; the 18GB of samples in this library are packed into 520 presets, which are comprehensively categorised to provide clues.
What we don’t have is individual access to certain instruments, as UVI has concentrated its efforts en masse. We have full orchestral sections, such as strings, brass and woodwinds, or splits into high and low, which will by definition of instrumentation, dictate the most likely inclusions.
We also have plenty of hybrid colour, ranging from processed acoustic instruments, through the use of analogue tape, to modelled instruments, and synth stacks and textures. All of these load and perform from within UVI’s reliable Workstation plugin, providing simple capacity for layering and blending.
Samples can be loaded up to four at a time, creating a patch. These are split into layers A and B, with each layer offering provision for blending and mixing, or selection of octave performance.
The net result can sound huge. No surprise then that curated preset sections include Action, Natural and Hybrid, with seemingly opposite numbers such as Small Sections and Ambient.
Thanks to this hierarchy, it is possible to control the blend between sample elements using the traditional MIDI CC methods such as the modulation wheel. And it doesn’t take long to find the presets supplied by UVI that take full advantage of this.
If you want to drill deeper, accessing the edit page will allow the control of two envelopes per sample, for both volume and filter, with three filter types which includes comb filtering.
There’s also a full complement of effects onboard, along with UVI’s usual inclusion of an arpeggiator, which can prove exceptionally useful, particularly for adding layers on the fly to build musical interest.
It would be easy to sign off Augmented Orchestra as just another orchestral library. The reality is, it sounds incredibly impressive. If you want something that sounds more natural, orchestrally speaking, this is probably not your first choice of library.
This package scores exceptionally high with its good-to-go mentality; you load a patch, and playing inspiration follows very quickly. The preset content is exceptionally useful, and really shows off the quality of the product.
If a patch doesn’t quite work for you, there are plenty of editing options, but it is the very hybrid nature of this suite that brings something new to the party. It’s exciting, nuanced, and exceptionally useful for many forms of scoring, from commercial production to full-on cinematic onslaughts.
MusicRadar verdict: Augmented Orchestra brings a superb production-ready palette straight to your DAW, and it’s ready for action!
UVI Augmented Orchestra: The web says
"Whether you’re looking for a plethora of presets, or a deep and customizable instrument, Augmented Orchestra has plenty of sonic territory to explore."
Sample Library Review (opens in new tab)
UVI Augmented Orchestra: Hands-on demos
Sample Library Review
UVI Augmented Orchestra: Specifications
- Runs in UVI Workstation version 3.1.5+, and Falcon version 2.5.6+.
- iLok account (free, dongle not required).
- Supported Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.14 to macOS 12 (64-bit). Windows 10 to Windows 11 (64-bit).
- 18GB of disk space. Hard Drive: 7,200 rpm recommended or Solid State Drive (SSD). 4GB RAM (8 GB+ highly recommended for large UVI Soundbanks).
- Supported Formats: Audio Unit, AAX, VST, VST3, Standalone.
- CONTACT: UVI (opens in new tab)