The name Umlaut Audio may not tell you much, but their products are inspired by years of experience developing custom virtual instrument solutions and samples for many of the world’s most famous composers such as Harry Gregson-Williams, Danny Elfman and John Debney.
Umlaut’s mission is to provide you with innovative sounds in simplistic, easy to use virtual instrument interfaces that enhance your musical creativity.
The California-based company just unveiled their first two virtual instrument products – PADS and ARPS, designed for Native Instrument’s Kontakt software (including the free Kontakt player).
At a first look, PADS and ARPS stay true to the company’s mission. Their interface is basically foolproof, simple and yet sleek. Honestly, I’ve seen so many cumbersome interfaces on Kontakt-based instruments that I find Umlaut Audio’s approach quite refreshing. Remember, limitations can make you more creative!
PADS This one is for those musicians and producers who love mellow, organic, cinematic vibes (think Alchemy, Omnisphere, Signal, Eclipse, etc.).
In their words “PADS is a virtual synth instrument that combines two separate layers of sounds that tastefully build, adding a new level of emotion and excitement to any composition. Sculpt and shape the layers to your needs with envelopes, modulators, step sequencers, creative FX, and randomization options.”
Price: $149 USD (Free trial available)
ARPS ARPS is a virtual arpeggiator instrument that uses 4 separate layers of sample based percussive sounds to provide endless possibilities of rhythmic patterns. Take control of your tone with ARPS’ fully featured arpeggiator, adjustable FX and set your patterns to whatever timing fits your needs.
Price: $99 USD (Free trial available)
One trick ponies? I guess we could call PADS and ARPS one trick ponies, but for many producers that make a living with their music, speeding up the workflow can be an essential factor.
As Umlaut Audio puts it “while there are plenty of software suites available today from other manufacturers that offer large collections of robust virtual instruments in a single package, these products can often be overwhelming, expensive and even underutilized by the users. As an alternative to this, Umlaut has designed PADS and ARPS to be single-use tools that are incredibly simple and affordable, allowing users to go straight for the sound they’re looking for and get to work.”
The good thing is that both products offer a trial version so you can try them and decide if they’re what you need. The audio demos are right up my alley. I’m looking forward to checking these out and seeing more from Umlaut Audio.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.