There's a scene in Luc Besson's film The Professional where the corrupt detective played by Gary Oldman bellows "Bring me everyone ... EVERYONE!" If he'd been talking about vintage synthesizers, samplers, and drum machines that are now hunted to extinction on the used market (and usually prohibitively expensive when you find even one of them), he might have been referring to Vintage Vault 2, the updated collection from French developers UVI.
UVI have always been prolific, and incidentally are the brains behind some of the virtual instruments that go with MOTU Digital Performer, such as the MachFive soft sampler. Here, they've outdone themselves covering 50 synths and 111 drum machines, all painstakingly multi-sampled from original hardware pieces. The whole kit and caboodle is currently on sale for US $399.
For all the usual business reasons, their product page can't always name names about which instruments each soft synth in the package emulates, but as an independent journalist, I certainly can offer my take on what they are. So here we go:
- Cameo: Casio CZ series.
- Digital Synsations Vol. 2: Ensoniq Fizmo, Kawai K5000S, and Roland JD-800.
- OB Legacy: Six Oberheim synths including OB series, Matrix-6, and Matrix-12.
- PX Apollo: Moog Polymoog.
- UVS-3200: Korg PS-3200.
- UVX80: Akai AX-80.
- BeatBox Anthology 2: Name a drum machine and it's probably in here.
- Darklight IIx: Fairlight CMI.
- Digital Synsations (Vol. 1): Ensoniq VFX, Korg M1, Roland D-50, and Yamaha SY77.
- Emulation One: E-mu Emulator.
- Emulation II: E-mu Emulator II.
- Mello: Mellotron.
- String Machines: 11 string synths including the coveted ARP String Ensemble / Eminent Solina.
- The Beast: New England Digital Synclavier.
- UltraMini: Moog Minimoog, including a "modern" version that's ostensibly a Voyager.
- UVX-10P: Roland JX-10 a.k.a. Super JX.
- UVX-3P: Roland JX-3P.
- Vector Pro: Sequential Prophet VS and Yamaha SY22.
- Vintage Legends: Digital Keyboards Synergy, Elka Synthex, Kurzweil K250, Rhodes Chroma, Yamaha CS-70M, CS-40M, and CS-20M, Yamaha DX1.
- WaveRunner: Wavetable synths including PPG Wave 2 and 2.3, WaveTerm, and Waldorf MicroWave XT.
Of course, one could pore over this list and point out a couple of staples that don't seem to be included - and that other manufacturers have emulated. But that's not the point. Vintage Vault II has quite a few outliers and rarities that you won't find in a soft-synth version anywhere else, which makes it an outstanding one-stop shop for composers and producers in search of a unique sound. We're looking forward to doing a full review, of course.