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Pro Tools: Drum Replacement With UVI Falcon

Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques By Julian Rodgers
Published June 2022

The Strip Silence feature in Pro Tools will help clean up your drum recordings, which you can then use to generate MIDI notes.The Strip Silence feature in Pro Tools will help clean up your drum recordings, which you can then use to generate MIDI notes.

We put UVI Falcon to work as a drum replacement tool.

In a recent conversation with colleagues about the release of Waves’ CR8 sampler we noted that Pro Tools doesn’t ship with a sampler, whereas Logic has its Quick Sampler, Ableton has Simpler, Studio One has Sample One... I could go on. This prompted me to find out whether the venerable AIR Structure Free, which first shipped with Pro Tools 8 back in 2008 is still available. I certainly haven’t had it installed for years, but I used to use the full version of Structure and thought it was great.

After a little looking around on the Avid website I found Structure and Structure Free to be alive and well and, most surprisingly, fully functional on the current version of Pro Tools. However, it also occurred to me that Pro Tools users with an active subscription have access to UVI Falcon 2.5, which, as well as being a preposterously powerful synthesizer, is a very capable sampler. The problem is that, unlike Simpler or Quick Sampler, Falcon is an absolute beast of an instrument and has a significant learning curve. And because I didn’t actively purchase Falcon, I’d not thoroughly investigated it — I’d dabbled, but a tool like this is so deep that all the options and features you don’t need can obscure the ones that you do.

If you’re someone who wants to just spin in a quick kick sample under an acoustic kit using the tools at their disposal as a Pro Tools subscriber, is it an either/or choice between the very limited Structure Free or the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut that is UVI Falcon? It appears so, but for a basic sampling task like drum augmentation or flying in some vocals, you really don’t have to learn all of Falcon. To that end I strapped in and climbed the learning curve.

Here is a guide to getting up and running with Falcon as an alternative to Structure Free for simple sampling tasks. In this example I’ll be augmenting a kick drum in a live recording.

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