Amazing new plug-in Unify


#1

John “Skippy” Lehmkuhl and his developer have created an amazing plug-in that can work with other plug-ins to create patches, standalone or used across DAWs or Cantabile. And it comes with 400 quality patches (never “favorited” so many patches in one plug-in before). John creates patches and samples for Korg, Omnisphere, and others; I find his patch creations to be very good.

It’s at an intro price of $59 currently, which is a crazy low price IMO for what you get.

One of the great things here is that patches (think of them as racks in Cantabile) are able to be used across any platform. For example, I’ve set up many songs in Cantabile with racks of instruments. But now I want to go to Cubase and use those racks. Now I can set up those racks as “patches” in Unify, then use Unify as a VST plug-in within my songs in Cantabile or in Cubase.

It also multi-threads (1 thread per “layer”, which is usually an instrument); I’m guessing Cantabile also does this, but it’s great that a plug-in does. If you use Logic Pro X you can load VST or VST3 plugins via Unify.

Earlier in development John said that they’d be able to get 32-bit plug-ins to work as well, so even in a DAW that doesn’t support 32-bit plug-ins you could be running Unify which would support them. I’m not sure if this made it to the initial version, but it’s interesting if you need 32-bit support.

So besides having many quality patches and decent effects built-in it becomes the central “rack management” for my system now.


#2

pluses:
It sounds great, literally.
It’s done a brill job packaging up free plugins.
It shows how brilliant BlueArp is.
It has list-based and not graphics-based connections.
It’s a VST
It handles multicore.
Mac compatible.

cons:
It duplicates much of what C3 does already.
Scrolling through lists of parameters! Where is the ‘last touched’ parameter option?

Does it handle midi filtering/processing well?
How is it for state changes?


#3

I’m testing it for a couple of days now. it’s great because its a vst, focused on sound/patch design with 1 or more vst’s. It uses only vst’s for those patches. Still I‘m testing it in Cantabile to see the efficiency and performance with preloaded setlists, state changes, memory usage etc.
Midi filters and maps are available, but not as powerful as Cantabile (yet).


#4

For me I don’t expect it to be a Cantabile replacement. It’s not a set list/song management/live performance piece of software. You need more than a plug-in to do that, and it’s not the focus of the plug-in. I’m excited about having essentially “racks” that I can set up once and use anywhere, not just inside Cantabile.


#5

That’s why i asked Brad once if he could modularise a Cantabile Rack into a VST. :slight_smile: would still love to see that rather than more software…


#6

Just bought Unify and tested it in Cantabile and Reaper so far. Some small window issues in Cantabile but sofar it works. It will not replace Cantabile, but is indeed maybe a way to port multi-VST patches across DAWs. So you make them once within Unify, and use them in Cantabile, Reaper etc. Just tested this with a simple piano + strings layer and it works very easy and fine.

Would be great indeed if @Brad :slightly_smiling_face:could modularise Cantabile Racks into a VST indeed. That would allow us taking our Cantabile stuff that we develop for gigging also to a more recording environment in Daws like Reaper or Cakewalk. This is at least how I work.


#7

Sounds interesting. How easy is it to share patches between your DAW and Cantabile, to make it easy to use the same sound both in the studio and live in Cantabile? And perhaps even synch the presets between different PCs if same plugins are installed on both systems?


#8

Think of Unify’s “patches” as pretty much the same things as Cantabile’s racks. In a rack you can put multiple VST instruments and FX plug-ins. Unify comes with 400 patches already (many of them really good), and you of course can make your own. So I’m going to take existing racks I have made up and make those as patches in Unify. Then I can use Unify on its own or in a DAW or in Cantabile. So I don’t have to re-make those racks I’ve tweaked in Cantabile, in every other DAW or app. I can just insert Unify and call up my favorite patches.

You can even share your patches, if folks have the same plug-ins. For example, you have a great mix of a couple Omnisphere patches, a built-in one from Unify. When you save that patch it’s a file; if I have Omnisphere too you can share that file and it’ll work for me too. Pretty genius plug-in.


#9

…in fact John has said that he’ll be creating patch bundles for various synths. Like a set of Unify Omnisphere patches which have of course both Omnisphere and Unify components to them. It breaks out the limitations in some of the plug-ins.

I use a lot of layers/racks in Cantabile. But when I go to compose I also want multiple instruments per track. Maybe there’s a way to do this in Cubase but I couldn’t find it. Now it’s easy with Unify… the one track can host as many VST instruments and FX as I wish.

It also has a pretty decent plug-in organization system where you can create your own groups of plug-ins (i.e. by mfr, by type, by FX type, etc.) so it’s much quicker to find and add instruments and FX plug-ins.


#10

After experimenting a few days with Unify I must say it is a fun new tool, especially useful to develop a patch (with one or more VST instruments and a few effect VST’s) and reuse that in other DAWs and Cantabile for example.

More complicated Midi or audio routings are an issue there I think, which is not (yet?) deeply developed into Unify as in Cantabile. And for live-playing, Cantabile is my goto tool, as it can be optimised with setlists, preloads and shared linked racks. A little fear I have is that having tools like Unify and VIP inside Cantabile to trigger other VST’s is adding a level of complexity that makes the risks of failure a bit higher.

I must say the CPU consumption of Unify within Cantabile is basically zero or negligible. I tried with several setups directly in Cantabile and with a Unify patch within Cantabile, and could not detect a significant increase in CPU or memory usage

if indeed the Cantabile Racks could be loaded in other DAWs just as the Unify patches now can, we would have the best of both worlds combined!


#11

Any more hands-on thoughts about the merits of this plugin? Thinking about purchasing it but watching my pennies.


#12

Lucky!! I have no pennies to watch. :sob:


#13

Hi there

You are probably fed up hearing about VIP by now, but this is more a competitor to Unify.
$30 stand-alone (Host and VST, Windows and OS X as well)
$65 (with Velvet, Transfuser, Hybrid, Vacuum, Xpand!2 and Loom + Air effects)

I believe the Air Create Suite has a better value than the freeware and or outdated plugins from Unify and the browsing capabilities of VIP are unmatched for the moment.

So, even at an introductory price of $60, I’m not sure I see Unify as a no-brainer.


#14

My work cycle currently uses only C3 and my VSTs. When I have rehearsal I am fast enough to set VST, then splitting or layering on my controller, maybe with some rack or state. I don’t need a middleware tool to add another level of VST management.
So I don’t see any further help in VIP or Unify.
At home I use Analog Lab or Kontakt to look for some exotic preset, but after I find it, C3 will drive that peculiar VST alone.


#15

Thanks for the responses, the fever has abated. I think I can live without it…


#16

VIP or Unify are no match for C3 indeed for a live host. By now, I have migrated all my songs from VIP to C3 and won’t ever look back.

And even if, as suggested by others, C3 could benefit from being a VST somehow (itself or by wrapping songs/racks), at least for me, it sounds like a bad idea:

I can’t imagine importing my live layers/racks in the studio. Any sane sound engineer wants to have complete control of each individual elements in the DAW itself. And FX are often shared for sound coherence. Navigating between the DAW and C3 will be slow and the whole workflow will be cumbersome.
I’m pretty sure some automations would be lost and any overhead will be a PITA.


#17

Make sure you have a listen to some of the patches in one of the intro videos though. I have VIP and it’s so confusing to use (I have given it a few chances), no built-in sounds; I wouldn’t get VIP if it was free (it was free with one of my Akai controllers). It also seems a lot more more heavyweight than Unify too. I wasn’t convinced about Unify until I listened to it and saw the ease of organization, patch creation/management.