If you have an extra $20 laying around, I suggest you head on over to Impact Soundworks and check out their new Sonic Forest instrument. After spending about an hour going through the video and playing with the instrument, I was impressed with the sound quality and the depth of tweakability. You will need the full version of Native Instrument’s Kontakt 5.3+ as the free Player is not supported but this is a great value with 25% of the sales being donated to charity.
From Impact Soundworks:
The Sonic Forest is a truly unique instrument that takes humble mallet & bowed timbres, and turns them into endlessly evolving electroacoustic textures with a custom granular ‘forest’ engine. Even non-sound designers will enjoy the inspiring and evocative UI allowing you to morph, alter, and grow the forest with infinite possibilities.
- One-of-a-kind custom instrument
- Mallet and bowed articulations
- Up to 3 dynamics / 5 round robins
- Harmonic and inharmonic timbres
- Breathtaking granular engine
- Inspiring and evocative visuals
- Poly arpeggiator & sequencer
- Custom microtuning engine & presets
- User sample import
The Sonic Forest includes a stunning UI that is meant to inspire your music. The serene imagery in the center of the interface gradually changes as you change evocative controls like “Flood”, “Shade”, and “Grow”, providing feedback for how the sound is being affected.
This center area is the heart of the granular ‘forest’ engine. As you play with the various articulations, pressing the Plant button captures the last played sample and stretches it across the keyboard. Then, as the Grow knob is increased, the granular forest effect is introduced. The Volume knob can be turned down completely to leave only the beautiful, evolving forest sound in its place.
The evolving granular sound is shaped and altered using the rest of the knobs in the center of the UI. For instance, Blossom adds grains that are pitched up to 2 octaves above the original sound. Flood washes out the forest with lush, purely wet convolution reverb. Tangle increases the speed and intensity of the granulation effect, and Wither puts a gradual envelope on the sound to fade it out over time.
The sound design possibilities with this forest engine are endless!
In addition to the granular engine, the Sonic Forest also includes an array of useful features like an arpeggiator and sequencer, microtuning, and 6-module FX rack (which can be used on both the source articulations AND the forest.)
Visit Impact Soundworks for more information.