UVI Darklight IIx Review

This is a review of UVI’s Darklight IIx – a virtual instrument inspired by the classic Fairlight CMI – via FM’s Rob Puricelli:

For $199, the UVI Darklight IIx library gives you a wealth of useable sounds from a Fairlight, enough power to shape yet more sounds for your own use and a lovely retro style interface that evokes a pleasant sense of Aussie sampler-based nostalgia. It is not an accurate Fairlight clone, doesn’t claim to be yet satisfies the most ardent fan of the sound of the Fairlight.

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See the written summary at FailedMuso.

UVI Darklight IIx is available for $199 (VST/AU/RTAS/MAS).


11 thoughts on “UVI Darklight IIx Review

  1. I would really like to buy this, but I just spent €180 on Emulation II. It’s a great product.
    BUT
    Dear friends at UVI HQ, could you think about rewarding your existing customers and offer them some sort of rebate? Maybe at least as a sort of “introductory price”?

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  2. Ah: “This is an extensive sample library. It is not a replication of a Fairlight in software.” Well, sounds like it’s a great sample library (and the review is fun just to hear him play the iconic samples as used in different 80′s hits) but if you have an iPad and I believe you can get many of the same sounds for $10. (Granted, using the iPad with a DAW is a pain in the ass.) He also says doing a software replication of a Fairlight “is currently not possible without serious DSP power.” Considering that the average laptop today would have, what, 100K times the processing power of the Fairlight, I find that a little hard to believe.

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    • >He also says doing a software replication of a Fairlight “is currently not possible without serious DSP power.”

      Uh, yeah. That’s total BS. Part of the hype machine. Wikipedia states the early machines used dual motorolla 6800s, which maxed out in 8bits at 2mHz. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairlight_CMI That’s not even as beefy as an iPhone. Even the series III (Dual Motorola 6809 CPUs, and one 6809 CPU for each voice card, one Motorola 68000 (to 68020) for waveform processor card) wouldn’t be tough to outperform today.

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    • “He also says doing a software replication of a Fairlight “is currently not possible without serious DSP power.” Considering that the average laptop today would have, what, 100K times the processing power of the Fairlight, I find that a little hard to believe.”

      It makes sense to me. Remember, processing power wouldn’t be used merely a means of providing sampling power, but rather as a means of emulating all the quirks of the original hardware, particularly the archaic DA’s, and to a lesser degree the user interface. Given that the original Fairlights were 8-bit, 32Khz, and still sounded considerably better than other systems with similar specifications, it seems as though there was a lot going on under the hood of a Fairlight.

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  3. Just got E-Mail from UVI: Emulation II owners get a $25 rebate! Even though I welcome the fact that existing customers get a rebate, I find this, in all honesty, not an adequate amount. First, a $25 rebate is around € 20, and this barely covers Shipping and VAT. I would have loved an offer that gave existing customers a 25% cut, now that would have made me buy it right away!

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  4. That “review” guy, Failedmuso, is a major UVI fanboy, so I would take his words with a grain of salt.

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  5. Non technical engineering people with no understanding of what a fairlight actually is assume they can turn their pc into a fairlight because a pc has more cpu power. Such beliefs are extremely nieve and completely false. A fairlight machine is infact a multi array parallel computer with up to eight independent computer motherboards not including separate controller boards and most importantantly extremely heavily encoded assembler machine code language encoded into each of the FPGA boards used. An eight core pc or mac just doesn’t cut it ; as for starters each board has independent 40bit risc chips running each of the TDM based multiplexed arrays of audio I/O o. Not even a full blown Protools rig has the same capabilities or functions a fairlight has. Especially when you consider fairlights stand alone non reliance on using a pc at all to function. In other words the machine didnt cost up to $110,000 dollars for nothing. Year after year consumers live in a complete fantasy world that their sample rom libraries are somehow the same as hardware. And to make matters worse, year after year software companies completely BS consumers that their products are the real thing, when they are cheap poor immitations.

    Anybody can steal sounds off the net, repackage it as a sampler rom and claim they have reproduced the hardware equivalent. When you think about it don’t you think that is really greedy and pathetic!

    And yes I own and operate fairlights, protools, Motu, Sadie, and Neve boards as well and understand the engineering is on a completely different level to a PC etc.

    eng1@fairlight.com

    http://www.fairlight.com

    The Truth will set you free

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