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    Review: UVI UVS-3200 – The Big Tone of Classic Korg 3200 Polyphonic Synthesizer


    UVI returns en fanfare, this time with a software emulation of a legendary and extremely rare Japanese Korg PS-3200 programmable polyphonic synthesizer.

    The brand new software emulation plugin is called UVS-3200 and captures the soul of a perfectly restored Korg PS-3200. The original hardware was deeply sampled, hence the result of an impressive library of over 220 bread and butter presets, covering a wide range of sound/instrument types.

    UVS-3200 loaded in UVI Workstation

    The sound of Korg PS-3200 synth beast is the classic analog Korg sound, the one that comes to mind when you think of synthesized sound of the 70s. The sound of J.M. Jarre, Hans Zimmer and Emmerson Lake & Palmer. This is what you also get with UVS-3200.

    UVS-3200 is another efficient product from UVI, both in terms of resource consumption and structure. The delivered sound is fat, but the instrument itself requires a few system resources and the response is pretty fast. As you probably remember from the previous UVI review, I was very excited about the user interface of Synth Anthology 2. The interface of UVS-3200 brings the same tab structure with everything familiar and in the place where it has to be.

    UVS-3200’s main page

    The first image we have when we open UVS-3200 is the main tab where the two oscillators are displayed. The first oscillator adds 24 sounds, the second 69, including some basic waveforms from the original hardware. Both oscillators sport ADSR envelope, signal volume & pan, velocity switch on/off separately. A filter module is present, with four filter modes, cutoff, resonance, velocity, depth and ADSR envelope.

    Next, we have an “Edit” tab with separate controls for each oscillator: pitch module with octave & semitone selectors, depth & time for portamento, as well as stereo modes with spread, detune and color parameters. The last module is reserved for modwheel assignments, where you can set the rate and depth for vibrato, tremolo, respectively filter.

    The modulation page of UVS-3200

    The modulation page contains the step modulator with configurable steps (max. 16 steps per oscillator) and controls for speed, delay, rise and smooth. At the bottom, you can adjust the volume amount and filter depth, of course for both oscillators separately. On the right hand, there is one LFO per oscillator that you can assign to volume filter and pitch. You can sync the LFO’s with four waveforms – sine, square, triangle and a sample/hold shape. Near, we find selectors for speed, retrigger switch and legato.

    The effect section of UVS-3200 is loaded with 5 effect modules – drive, chorus, phaser, delay and reverb, each with basic controls, but powerful enough to enrich the global sound.

    “Arpeggiators” is the fifth and the last tab with an individual arp for each of the two oscillators. They feature on/off switch, steps and octave selectors, speed and gate, but also the selector for arpeggiator direction with three modes, up, down and up/down.

    Audio demos:

    The sound of UVS-3200 is rich, warm and powerful, with that analog “dirt” which makes it really authentic. Now, that the old vibes are back in music, you can use UVS-3200 in every electronic genre, from old skool techno and Euro dance to synth pop and modern future bass. There are 223 presets to choose from, each beautifully designed and very usable. Personally, I like the pads which sound lush and vibrant and remind of the Vangelis era. I like the leads that are capable of making any hook and drop stand out on a track, also the polyphonic presets – a world of textures, moods and sonic pleasures.

    I like that UVS-3200 is following the same line as its predecessors, offering amazing features in an easy to use package. UVS-3200 is for any music making enthusiast, but also serious producers looking to add some authenticity to their music. The tabs configuration makes it a clean synthesizer with everything in place, thus making a patch from scratch is fun.

    In terms of system resources, you won’t need a beast of a computer, but same time, do not expect to run it properly on a Celeron. Tested on an i5 Haswell processor, the CPU load was moderate, also I was able to smoothly run multiple instances of the instrument.

    UVS-3200 costs $79, I think for what it offers is a very good price. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to own an exotic but same time familiar synth, loaded with an impressive sound library, easy to program and versatile.

    More info:

    UVS-3200 software synthesizer by UVI

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