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PALETTE reviewed by Lyubomir Dobrev of GEARNEWS
Need some thick-sounding pads for your production? You probably have a favourite synth ready to go this very moment, but in case you are in the mood to try something new, here’s a cool freebie that just popped up – Palette by Flintpope. Palette is inspired by paintboxes, of all things inspirational, and features eight coloured rectangles. Each colour triggers a sample – eight of them, selected for basically being a cool-sounding pad. They can be mixed into combinations with up to 64 sound variations possible.
We liked the sounds from Palette – they are thick and crunchy, as expected from a freeware plug-in that hasn’t been polished to perfection by a team of tens of people. You can take them further along with additional processing from your favourite effects, or layer them with sounds and samples from other sources. Like anything else, Palette is a useful tool that requires the right approach. So you better not “judge” this plug-in by the interface or price!
WAVCLOUD reviewed by TOMISLAV ZLATIC of Bedroom Producers Blog
Wavcloud is the latest release in a recent series of outstanding NI Reaktor ensembles crafted by Nick Dwyer aka Flintpope. Following the introduction of Dropsynth which was announced one week ago, Wavcloud brings a somewhat different take on sample playback.
The instrument features dual grain re-synthesis sample playback engines, along with a filter section, a volume envelope, and an LFO module. Also included is an array of effects like tape hiss, vinyl crackle, reverb, pitch shifter, limiter, and a sub-bass generator. A set of 127 samples and 36 factory patches is included to help you get started with the instrument. The controls are well laid-out and easy to understand. The results are very interesting, to say the least, and you should certainly consider Wavcloud as an option for generating weird sound effects, glitchy melodies, and background textures. It is loads of fun to use and capable of producing some rather unusual sounding SFX.
The only improvement I’d like to see in a future version of Wavcloud would be the option to quickly load external samples in WAV format (although the lack of this feature in the current version is probably a limitation of NI Reaktor as a platform). At the moment, the user is required to double-click the waveform display and then manually replace one of the samples that are mapped across the keyboard. It’s not too hard to pull off, but definitely a bit fiddly.
DROPSYNTH reviewed by BEN BISHOP of Bedroom Producers Blog
DROPSYNTH allows you to drag and drop samples into it and turn them into a playable instrument. What’s more is the additional four-oscillator synthesizer that has filter controls, adjustable waveforms, and a built-in LFOs as well. It is unclear from the product’s description if the sampler and synth can be used simultaneously with a blend option. If so, this software would be reminiscent of Omnisphere, just with a much smaller built-in sample library (only 190 MB).
What excites me the most about this Reaktor ensemble is the ability to drag and drop, say, a snippet of a vocal and turn it into a lead instrument. This technique for making pitched “glitchy” vocals is quite popular in pop music nowadays. What’s also neat is that DROPSYNTH allows the user to adjust the attack and release of the loaded sample, as well as to loop the sample when the note is triggered for an extended period. This is a fairly useful set of sample playback control parameters and I was happy to see them included.
The instrument also comes with a collection of effect modules such as a limiter, reverb, frequency shifter, a lo-fi module, and a sub bass generator. In addition, you can apply more FX simultenously to the synth section. To kick things off, the instrument comes with 36 factory presets. Listening to the official demo track, the sounds are quite ambient, percussive and spacious. I was hoping to hear more examples of using the sampler for lead lines or chordal playing. I guess that’s another reason to try it out myself!