Unity DS-1 v.2.1

The Unity DS-1 – one of the first software samplers developed for the Mac – has been updated to version 2.1. Over 300MB of sounds is provided to get you started, and the Unity DS-1 can read Akai, SampleCell, Sound Designer II, AIFF, Wave, and other formats – providing excellent compatibility with existing sample libraries. Version 2.1 has support for multiprocessor Macs with AltiVec G4 optimization, along with many other enhancements – including the ability to work as an RTAS plug-in within Pro Tools, or as a VST plug-in in applications that support this. It also works with ASIO cards, ReWire, MAS 2.0, DirectIO and DirectConnect – providing excellent integration with Cubase VST, Logic Audio, Digital Performer and Pro Tools. Mixed up
Once the audio from the synthesizer is brought into the sequencer, you can apply effects, record the audio, and automate the mixdown. Record to disk ‘live’ or from a sequencer, or play the Unity DS-1 ‘live’ or from your sequencer. Using a MIDI controller such as the Phat.Boy, you can even control the synth parameters in real time. However, installation is rather fiddly, with several extra files needed to configure for OMS and for the different sequencers. The Unity DS-1 Keyboard lets you conveniently check that everything is working OK, so you get instant gratification by simply opening the Unity DS-1 MIDI Processor to play sounds from your external MIDI controller. Here, you can access the installed sounds, set-up splits or layers, and use the arpeggiator. You can play sounds using the Unity DS-1 Mixer, which lets you monitor audio activity on all channels and control the global-effects processors.

OUR VERDICT

The Unity DS-1 offers integration with a wider range of software than most of its competitors, such as the E-Magic EXS24 (see review above), and has comprehensive editing, processing and mixing features. On the downside, the sheer number of windows, and the way the software is split into several separate applications, makes installation something of a pain, and operation somewhat less than instant. Technically, it performs well and sounds good, and the price is fair.

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