Unify seems popular—what for?

I keep seeing mentions of Unify. I've been reading up on it and am trying to understand. What advantages does it give you that couldn't be accomplished by loading plugins on multiple channels and simultaneously arming all of them?


  • I asked a similar question recently, but didn't receive a reply - presumably not many here using it?

    Anyway, I went ahead and purchased it after watching a YouTube video from Pluginguru (search for midi power tips for unify and discoverstation). What you can do with it is really amazing:

    • This is what I thought it could do and why I bought it: I've always wanted an ensemble patch in BBCSO, but seems it may not be coming, so I wanted a way to create better ensembles: in a DAW, you could create a rudimentary ensemble: just simultaneously record-enable 5 tracks, with Vn1, Vn2, Va, Vnc and Cb, to create a string section; it's not very satisfying if you try that, as you have so many instruments on overlapping notes, so it sounds very muddy and unrealistic. So what does Unify add? Well, it's very easy to create restrict the note range for each section (can also be done easily in a DAW), but you can also create crossfades between note ranges: let's say the Basses will stop at C-1, you can have the last few notes be gradually quieter, so they fade out in the celli, and have the lowest notes of the celli fade in, at the bottom of their range; same for the other instruments. In that way, you can get a realistic sounding ensemble with BBCSO - something I hope Spitfire will provide in an update. But for now, this works great. Save it as a string section, and do similar with Woods, Brass & Percussion, and you have an orchestral ensemble.
    • This is why I can't stop playing with it: Unify also comes with MidiBox and Jitterbox. This means you create a midi sequence on track 1, let's say using low strings, between 1 to 8 bars, primarily focussing on a rhythmic structure, perhaps adding in octaves or fifths. Then add another track, perhaps cello, again focussing mainly on adding to the rhythmic structure (you can play just a single note) - you could add in several tracks, as you choose. You then save each of these as midi files, and import them into Unify. Midibox then plays that multi-track sequence right across the keyboard, with Jitterbox enabling you to make sure each track is timed correctly relative to the others. This then becomes a playable patch, and you can play chords. From my description, it doesn't sound like much perhaps, but if you've heard the Orchestral animations in 'The Orchestra 2' by Sonuscore, this is exactly what it sounds like, but just using your very own BBCSO (can be used with Discover, Core or Pro versions). You can then also reserve the upper range of the keyboard, for a melodic instrument(s), and then play a melody over the top. It's really amazing.
    • This is why I'm inspired by it: so you can create your own orchestrated phrases, as I just described in the steps above, but there are also pre-built orchestrations that have already been done and you can purchase 185 tracks with different instrument combinations - this is Discoverstation: someone has already pre-built these for you, and they sound amazing! For example, of the 185 in there, there is one called 'Sounds like Zimmer' - load up the patch, play a chord, and your cue is written! Similarly, there's 'Sounds like Williams', 'Sounds like Mozart' and others, as well as lots of different rhythms, feels, sections, and genres. If feels too much like having someone else write the music for me with some of the patches (but are great for inspiration and demoing what you could do yourself with Midibox), and others are just great rhythmic sections (like something like Action Strings) that I'd be happy to use.

    I honestly can't recommend it enough: it has huge potential, and an active user group that are 'Unifying' and sharing their libraries (in other words, getting all of the patches in a library in a format that it can be uploaded into Unify - it this level, it's not so much orchestrated phrases, it just becomes a much better interface than Kontakt for selecting instruments, and then combining instruments across different libraries to come up with new combinations of sounds. If you want to open any individual instrument, the Kontakt window opens up, within the Unify plugin! It works as a standalone or within a DAW. I've used it in Logic, and it's amazingly intuitive.

    Hope that helps. I posted the same question recently, and since there were no replies, I'm hoping this helps anyone who is looking for the same insight from a user of Unify, and can get past the question I had, which was, 'but can't I just do this with multiple tracks in my Daw?'. No, is the definitive answer, not for everything I just described, and for the things that can be done in a DAW, it can be done much more fluidly in Unify.

  • Thanks so much for the incredibly detailed reply! I'm going to have to give it a shot!

  • I was skeptical until I watched some of Skippy's walk-throughs, and then picked it up in late 2020. Once you start playing with it, you can really come up with incredibly creative groups of instruments that can be played at the same time. Highly recommended from me, too!

  • Does Unify also work like VEP, where you can load instruments and templates so that way your DAW session can almost instantly load tracks?

  • I use Unify often, for cues and even for regular electronic music.

    You can pre-load some instances you use often in a template for your DAW or even create instrument patches/channel strips.