Beat Mode Review of Native Instruments Soundline - Synthetic Drums Sample Library for Battery & Kontakt
Native Instruments "Synthetic Drums" is a Sample CD-ROM for Native Instruments Battery & Kontakt, as well as other applications that support 24 bit samples. The CD contains 32 electronic kits developed by renowned sound designers and producers in the techno, house, drum and bass, IDM, electro, eclectic, hip-hop and ambient genres. It contains more than 1,800 synthesized and processed electronic drum samples.
The CD-ROM's contents can be copied to your hard drive or the kits can be accessed directly from the cd-rom if you prefer not to use your computers hard drive space. You'll need about 500 MB of free space for all the kits and samples. Alternately you can cherry pick the kits you wish to copy.
All of the sounds are organized into kits that take advantage of Battery's velocity layering and modulation capabilities. There are also separate versions for Native Instruments Kontakt Sampler with enhanced features that take advantage of Kontakt's advanced filtering and effects.
In addition to separate kits for Battery and Kontakt, the samples are neatly organized into individual folders. There are also additional presets for Kontakt only for "all hi hats" "all kicks" and "all snares" making it easy for Kontakt users to find the perfect sample. There are also folders with MP3 samples and MIDI samples for all the kits. There is an MP3 sample for each of the 32 kits, making it easy to audition each kit and get a taste before you load it up. (see below for a few selected mp3 demos). There are also 32 MIDI demo files for each of the kits (same as the MP3's). It's interesting by the way to play the midi demos with other kits than originally intended. Some pretty unexpected sounds! Nice little bonus.
The CD also includes a thorough booklet with installation info, kit descriptions and tips and tricks. It's nice to know a little about each kit and it's author. Well done.
To say I love this set of sounds is an understatement. The sheer variety of kits and individual sounds is mind boggling. And the recording quality is top rate. The 24 bit samples sparkle, although you should be prepared for a healthy dose of distorted down sampled type sounds as well. These sounds fit in a mix beautifully and can really enhance other drum beats and percussion beds.
While the excellent Native Instruments Soundline release "Studio Drums" focused on realistic sounds, this set focuses on synthetic edgy, futuristic and original drum sounds. Perfect for a fresh sounding rhythm track that can stand on it's own. or to layer with other drums and loops. And the sounds are not just those overused familiar cliche "analog" sounds of the past. You'll find unique fresh and futuristic sounds unlike those you've heard before.
If you are at all familiar with Reaktor you may recognize some of the sounds as many of the samples have been created with it. Also a number of other synths and processing tools were used to create the samples. The key is that the sounds are laid out in well thought out kits ready for drumming and thumping pleasure.
While you can access the sounds from the cd-rom, if you have the 500 MB disk space available you'll be glad you had these innovative sounding kits available for immediate access on your hard drive. When inspiration strikes just load the kit of your choice and create!
All in all this is an impressive release. The value for the sheer volume of unique sounds is incredible. Imagine all the time and effort to get 32 unique sparkling drum kits. A job well done.
In preparing this review I tinkered with some of the loops I created with Synthetic Drums very cool "SNIPS kit". I dumped them into Ableton Live and jammed along with some other loops and they fit in the mix perfectly. SNIPS kit rocks! Listen to the STREAMING MP3. Also check out the MP3's below to hear more for yourself.
So if you own Battery or Kontakt and are looking for some fresh sounds to add to your toolbox you can't go wrong with Synthetic Drums. Even if you do not own the above mentioned software you may still be able to use the samples with your own instruments (provided they can import 24 bit wav files). Of course in that case the pre-made kits won't be of help, but the samples are great on their own if you have the inclination to build your own kits. If you've got a few spare bucks go out and get yourself a copy of Synthetic Drums! You'll be glad you did!
Suggested Retail: $99.00 US
Instruments Synthetic Drums
Synthetic Drums ORIGINAL LOOPS in your own music?
All 10 accompanying WAV files are available for FREE DOWNLOAD.
Go ahead and snag the ones you like! Perfect for Acid or Live!
Check out our review of Native Instruments Battery Software Drum Sampler.
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