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USB Acoustic Toy Museum

UVI Workstation By JG Harding
Published October 2010

Acoustic Toy Museum is one of the more bizarre offerings from Ultimate Sound Bank, and is volume 10 of the UVI Soundcard range. Far from the usual sample-pack fare of thunderous dub bass lines and 'crunk' beats, Acoustic Toy Museum brings an altogether more innocent timbre to the studio, featuring samples of a great variety of playthings, both modern and forgotten. Nearly 250 toys have been sampled at 24‑bit, 96kHz using, to quote the press release "world‑class microphones and Class‑A equipment”, which conjures up some great imagery!


The pack is authorised via iLok and, once installed, it runs through the UVI Workstation virtual instrument. The library offers quite enough options for my needs, though the ability to send certain key ranges to a different output might have been useful.

Some of the sounds come from real instruments: children's pianos, guitars and xylophones, for example, while others come from noise‑making toys, such as the eternally creepy 'Ancient Automatas', including a tin panda with a little drum. A lot of the instruments have been recorded with loops as well as individual hits, so if you don't fancy sequencing a tune yourself, you can pick from a preset. Some of the instruments have had their ranges extended artificially; the pitch-shifting is a bit obvious, but it's just a matter of deciding what sounds right for your track.

Although some of the more standard instruments may be available in other packs — toy pianos and music boxes, for example — you're unlikely to find quite the same variety of these anywhere else. For instance, opening the 'Melodicas and co' selection reveals eight basic types of melodica, harmonica and accordion, with some of these categories opening up further sub‑classes.

This sample pack excels at bringing some inspiration to flagging projects. For example, I was working on a folk track that needed an energetic feel. None of the drum samples I had felt right, but after loading up the 'Cheap set' patch from the 'Baby Drums' section, I found the quirky sounds I needed. With 'twee' and 'folk' sounds being very trendy at the moment, you may find that a little bit of melodica and childish percussion brings an old track bang up to date.

The only negative point is the relatively high price you'll pay for this inspiration! Although Acoustic Toy Museum isn't an essential purchase for all genres and certainly at this price, I feel it could inject a bit of variety into most productions.

J G Harding

£289 including VAT.

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