Top 5 Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 2021

Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries | Integraudio.com

Ukulele provides us with warm, sweet, and cheerful sounds. With that said, we’re going to understand the possibilities for using it as a virtual instrument plugin – let’s take a look at the best ukulele plugins available in 2021.

The ukulele is a small plucked stringed instrument that was brought to Hawaii by immigrants from Portugal. Its name was given by the Hawaiians themselves, which means “jumping flea” in their language. These miniature four-string guitars appeared relatively recently – at the beginning of the 20th century. But they quickly conquered the world with their sound. The ukulele sounds great in traditional Hawaiian music, jazz, country, reggae, and folk.

The ukulele may not be the most popular instrument among modern composers and producers. Still, the instrument’s soft sounds can be perfect for light background music jingles and music for commercials. With the tremendous development of the music production industry, ukuleles have also become available as virtual instruments. That means it is possible to get their sound even without using a physical ukulele, thanks to a MIDI keyboard, for example, or just programming.

Best Ukulele Plugins 2021

1. Ample Ethno Ukulele 3 Review (Plugin)

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Ample Sound is a well-known Chinese company that is known for its large number of top-quality sounding plugins. They have everything from virtual folk instruments to metal guitars and basses. And the ukulele is no exception here.

The Ample Ethno Ukulele 3 is a sample-based VST plugin that you can use for strumming, plucking, and any combination to add an authentic performance of the ukulele to your music.  The plugin’s samples are based on the Kamaka HF-3 model, which is a tenor 4-string instrument. This one has earned its popularity due to its good tonal qualities. It’s also in demand among professional performers.

The number of sound variations here is quite large. You can choose between two different tunings: high G and low G. The tone and performance options, and playing styles are good. The Tab Player is another advantage of the Ample Ethno Ukulele 3 plugin. It lets you download and play guitar tabs. And if you use the plugin in a DAW, you can easily export them to audio files.

Ample Ethno Ukulele 3 Review - Best Ukulele Plugins | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Riffer
    In the Riffer mode, you can control such options as fingering, articulation, expression, and a playing noise via the String Roll Editor. It also features a random riff generator called Dice. The developers claim that it doesn’t work as a random algorithm. The point is to enrich the rules by analyzing musical scores. You can also convert the riff, MIDI, and several formats of tabs into each other.
  • Strummer
    If you want to create your custom strums, the Strummer mode is what you need. You get tons of strumming riffs included here that you can use right away. It has four humanization settings and allows you to use 14 strum notes and 26 ways for each chord. One more feature is the Strum Legato – both Slide and HP can be played while strumming. In addition, there are delicate presets with MIDI export.
  • Technology
    The Ample Ethno Ukulele plugin uses the SAHDS modulation system, which allows you to get natural and realistic vibrato. It also features the Advance Bend system. With it, you can bend specific strings individually, while others will generate standard notes. As a result, you get a very realistic sound. CPC (Customized Parameters Control) lets you control any plugin parameter through MIDI CC or automation. Besides, you’ll be able to choose different automatic fingering logics for various performances (solo, chorus, etc.), thanks to Multiple Capo Logics.
  • FX
    Ample Sound has tried its best to enrich the effects and EQ as much as possible. For example, there is an 8-band EQ that provides intuitive control of the frequency response. The 2-Line Compressor gives you support of soft knee, auto release, and auto makeup. 6-Tap Echo and IR Reverb are also available here. It has Room, Studio, Hall, and Larger Hall reverberation options.
AEU3 While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The Ample Ethno Ukulele is just another great plugin from Ample Sound. It is handy, customizable, and enjoyable to play. In addition, you can choose the way you want to use this plugin and get the sound you need through the available mod. The interface is easy to learn.

It is also an excellent option for those who want to use a quality virtual emulation of the famous Kamaka HF-3 ukulele. The developers have tried to give the plugin many sound advantages, which enhances by technology. Thanks to the EQ, compressor, and effects, you can also shape the sound as you like.

2. UKU by Acoustic Samples Review (Library)

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Practical and surprising with good sound quality and many possibilities. It’s UKU by Acousticsamples.

Acousticsamples is a French company with its registered office in Villejuif, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris. It isn’t easy to find any information about the history of this brand on the web. But still, their website offers quite a wide range of libraries with guitars, pianos, and keyboards, drums, and basses. Besides, there are also special deals on bundles of individual instruments.

The UKU library is based on the Kala Mahogany 4 strings concert ukulele (GCEA tuning) with a deep sampling. These ukes are known for their quality sound at an affordable price. They have a warm, full-sounding, and balanced tone. Artists who have used this instrument include Twenty One Pilots, Vance Joy, Dodie, EatMyUke, The Ukulele Teacher, and Zac Brown.

UKU has all the necessary styles of playing that you will need for music production: chords, patterns, solos, and MIDI guitar mode. However, it is important to note that it only comes with its own UVI Workstation 3 sample playerwhich you can download for free from the Acousticsamples website.

Acousticsamples UKU Review - Best Ukulele Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Strumming machine
    With the Strumming Machine UKU, you can play in different ways: up, down, muted, in legato, or fingerpicking. The library is accomplished by carefully analyzing thousands of actual chords played by a natural person. A chord recognition mechanism is also available here. It is done through a database that contains thousands of standard chords. In addition, there is a “Chord Hammer” function that lets you play left-hand hammer-ons and pull-offs while strumming or picking.
  • Solo mode
    If you want to play melodies, the Solo Mod comes in handy. The developers also claim that it is elementary to use. An intelligent hand positioning system analyzes where a real ukulele player puts his hand and which string he will play. It can make the task very easy and make the music creation process faster. Of course, you can disable this mode and create endings of tunes yourself. The UKU is also has a powerful legato mechanism, pull-offs, or slides. If you desire even more influence on the sound, you can use the key switch to play fret dampers and flagelets.
  • Song builder
    The Song builder feature will help those who aren’t advanced keyboard players. Thanks to it, you can find out which chord will be appropriate when you select only one note. Pressing only C will be recognized as a C major. You can do that for all 12 notes of an octave. It also contains several presets for creating song ideas, chord progressions, harmonies, or chord types. The song builder is available in chord mode or patterns mode.
  • Preferences
    UKU has a pretty extensive amount of sound settings. First, you can choose a playing style: finger strumming or fingerpicking, and set the output as mono or stereoMIDI keyboard feedback, fret, and pre-note volume, and release can all be adjusted. The library also has a 3-bend EQ and reverb section in the settings.
Acousticsamples UKU - Ukulele library

Compatibility:

The library is available for the UVI Workstation 3 sample player, which runs on Windows 8 or higherand macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, AAX formats and as a standalone host.

Summary:

UKU is a beautiful ukulele library from the French company Acousticsamples, which has taken care of both the sound quality and the vastness of the settings. Thanks to the mods present here, you can create any ukulele accompaniment you need. And the ability to use a MIDI guitar makes UKU even more versatile. A nice bonus for users will also be the simple 3-bend EQ and reverb.

3. UKULELE by Splash Sound Review (Library)

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UKULELE by Splash Sound is a library available for use only in the paid version of Kontakt player. The creators claim that it is a complete tool, thanks to which you can create an entire song.

Here you can choose between two stereo pairs of a condenser and dynamic microphones. That is, to use them as a double track. In addition, there are built-in effectspresetsstrumsoloand mute percussion patches for a perfect sound.

UKULELE by Splash Sound Review - Best Ukulele Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Play Style
    UKULELE by Splash Sound has four patches: Strum with pre-recorded minor and major chords, Sustain with only single notes, Muted  – single palm muted notes, and Percussion.
  • Articulation
    In Sustain patch, we have ForteMezzo, and Slide-in with velocity selection. dMute patch comes only with single notes. In the Strum patch, you can use up/down strumchord palm muteopen strings down muteopen strings up mute, and body hitPercussion patch comes with wide stompslow and mid-body hitswide clapsshaker, and snaps.
  • Settings
    Built-in effects like ReverbDelay, and Compressor are available here. You can also control the volume and pan two stereo pairs of a condenser and dynamic microphones. A choice of chords is available in the Strum mod.
Ukulele Strum - KONTAKT Library by Splash Sound Teaser

Compatibility:

The library is available for the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher, which runs on Windows 7 or higher, and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only.

Summary:

The uncomplicated UKULELE by Splash Sound will give you everything you need for a quality ukulele sound. The main advantage here will be two stereo pairs of a condenser and dynamic microphones for your double tracks. You can change panning and add to a mix as you like. The built-in effects and percussion will let you create an entire song at ease.

4. Ukulele Collection by Waves Factory Review (Library)

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Ukulele Collection by Waves Factory is the ultimate library for Kontakt to create the most realistic ukulele tracks. Available in two mods, Strum and Finger.

The main characteristic of this plugin is that it wasn’t created as a string engine. It reproduces natural string sounds played on a wooden ukulele. The creators of the software sampled the chords, which gave a realistic and expressive sound. The samples were recorded in stereo, in a dry studio environment.

Minor and major stringsdown/up strokes are available here. It also recognizes chord types and more.

Waves Factory Ukulele Collection Review - Best Ukulele Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Play Styles
    The library offers a choice between Strum and Finger versions. The Strum gives you the ability to use chord recognition and string layering functions. Correspondingly, the Finger version is designed to play solo notes only.
  • FX
    The nice thing about this section is that you can add 23 DSP effects in any order here. Including SSL compressors and EQs, Transient Shaper, and more.
  • Settings
    The settings section allows you to control any parameter you want. For example, this includes up to 3 rounds, the instrument’s dynamic rangevelocity curve, and doubling mechanism. With the latter, you can play two different notes in stereo for a wider effect.
Ukulele Collection - Overview

Compatibility:

The library is available for the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher, which runs on Windows 7 or higher, and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only.

Summary:

Ukulele Collection by Waves Factory is a fairly minimalistic library with a user-friendly interface. The quality of the sounds speaks for itself, as the samples were recorded in a real studio. The ability to use both Strum and Finger versions will give you all the options you need. And the wide range of effects lets you make them sound as close to your heart’s desire as possible.

5. Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle Review (Library)

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8DIO’s Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle is another Kontakt player library with lots of studio samples. It contains two versions – Ukulele Solo and Ukulele Guitar Strummer.

Notable is that creators recorded all sounds from the same instrument and amp. Therefore, both the Solo and Strummer are fully compatible with each other. The Ukulele Solo and Ukulele Strummer versions include almost 7,000 samples in total. They were recorded with a high level of detail, including hundreds of natural sounds of harmonies and releases. It also features samples of natural strings, giving you a natural feel.

The library interface gives you all the controls you need. There is fingering noise controlvolume control, and the ability to add strings to chords in real-time. The Ukulele Solo and Ukulele Strummer are pretty flexible and easy to use.

Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle Review - Best Ukulele Libraries | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Ukulele Solo
    The Ukulele Solo version is available into categories FingeredThumbed, and MorphedFingered was recorded with a four-finger position for advanced playing styles like arpeggiosThumbed has a softer sound with a warmer character. You can find ukuleles combined with pianotonal percussion, and other instruments in the Morphed category.
  • Ukulele Strummer
    13 different types of chords and 13 types of rhythms you can find while using Ukulele Strummer mode. You can mix them easily thanks to x-legato technology, which gives an infinite number of combinations. In addition, there is round-robin technology, which helps you to get subtle variations by chords looping.
  • FX
    CHAOS FX 3.0 system will allow you to control the library’s effects. It includes filterEQbeat crasherdistortionstereo delay, transformer, and two reverbsWith the Transform, you get convolutions, and the Reverb contains a collection of impulses for your musical experimentation. In the developers’ words, the library has everything you need to get a professional and high-quality sound.

Compatibility:

The library is available for the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher, which runs on Windows 7 or higher, and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, AAX formats and as a standalone host.

Summary:

Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle is a library with a massive amount of ukulele samples recorded on one instrument and with one amplifier, allowing the opportunity to mix them easily. In addition, this collection gives you a lot of possibilities through the use of effects as well. Besides, the simple interface won’t make it difficult to use.

Conclusion

The developers have done everything possible to convey the accuracy of the sound as much as possible. They provide you with “mix-ready” solutions, thanks to the built-in EQ, compressors, and reverbs.

Choose the software based on what you need. Suppose you are familiar with a particular instrument and want to use only it. In that case, you can get an emulated copy of it thanks to the Ample Ethno Ukulele 3 plugin and UKU library. If you already own a full version of Kontakt Player, you can buy the UKULELE libraries from Splash Sound, the Ukulele Collection from Waves Factory, and 8DIO’s Instant Ukulele Guitar Bundle. You’ll have everything you need to experiment and delight your audience with pleasant and kind ukulele melodies.

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