Native Instruments インストゥルメント/エフェクト・コレクション KOMPLETE 10 ULTIMATE CRG
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KOMPLETE 10 ULTIMATEはKOMPLETEインストゥルメントとエフェクトを全て網羅した妥協のないパッケージです。シンセサウンド、サンプルサウンド、創造力を喚起させるスタジオエフェクトに加え、映画業界でも活用可能なツールを装備‒ 音楽プロダクションの全行程に対応する最高のコレクションです。
The amount of content you get is dizzying. You get 13 DVD's all set as a single install (sorry you can't just pop one DVD in and install what's in the one disc) with about 100GB of data. Installation takes a long time. Not only do you have to install all 13 DVDs in sequence there is also about another DVD's worth of online updates. Two plug ins are not included in the package so you have to download those as well (Native Instruments should really consider updating their disc release to reduce all this updating). Once everything is installed you are ready to party.
When I say there is a lot of stuff I mean it. Get ready for the tour, because there is a lot to cover:
The beginning of my journey. The whole reason I started looking at Native Instruments to begin with. Think of it as an all in one drum workstation. Each kit contains a configurable number of cells (24 to 48 standard, but can go all the way up to 128 if you want), which you can assign any drum or instrument sample you wish on each cell. Battery already comes with a massive amount of drum samples set to more than 200 kits. Of course you can create your own kits using the ready made samples or your own. Battery can import from other formats just like Kontakt so if you can think of it you can likely import it.
Editing is very extensive with parameters like volume and pitch envelopes, pitch velocity, compression, filtering, EQ, modulation, DSP effects, wave stretching and editing and more. There is even a cool sample engine option to switch from the default sampling mode to a classic MP-60 or SP-1200 sample rate. The only downside is no sequencer, which would have been nice at least to be able to audition the tons of sounds internally.
The other reason I looked at Native Instruments. I have over 6,000 samples in Ensoniq and Akai format, so getting a new sampler/ROMpler that can play those samples was a big deal for me. Kontakt can import samples from just about every format (including batch format, which is a time saver) I can think of. This makes it a great baseline machine. I use an old 61 key synth as my controller. The one problem I have is that the keyboard doesn't send octave change information, and apparently neither does Kontakt by default. This is a pretty big ding for me, but some Kontakt instrument can do it. I guess I need to dig deeper and figure how to to get that all around.
Editing is pretty straightforward and intuitive, and the preset instruments even have more editing flexibility. Kontakt has its own internal effects that sound nice. Moving from instrument to instrument can be a bit annoying as you have to load instrument sets separately. Now moving within a single instrument set is no problem. Kontakt comes with 43GB of samples on its own (more than 1000 instruments). Here's the instrument breakdown:
BAND - All the basics are here. Drums, pianos and keyboards, horn section, bass and guitar. The drum kits and bass guitars impressively cover a very wide variety of styles. There are three nice acoustic pianos (with octave change options), electric pianos like Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Clavinet, reed and pipe organs as well as the Hammond B3 and Harmonium organs. The guitars are mostly clean and acoustic sounding (and are strummed chords). Horns sound realistic and you have a good deal of control over nuances. A lot of these instruments use polyphonic aftertouch for additional tonal changes.
CHOIR - I love this set. Very realistic, beautiful and expressive. A really cool touch is you can change the singing vowels by moving the modulation wheel on most patches. They also take advantage of polyphonic aftertouch.
ORCHESTRAL - These samples come from the Vienna Symphonic Library, both new instruments and legacy instruments from previous Kontakt versions. If you plan on doing string ensembles and other orchestral arrangements you are going to find a lot to love here.
SYNTH - This is the bulk of the instruments and samples. Lots and lots of sounds to choose from to cover every genre. Even the synth drums are very usable instead of cheesy. I do a lot of electronic music, and if I only got Kontakt and nothing else this collection alone would make me happy.
URBAN BEATS - Old school (or do they prefer to call it skool?) style drums machines and sound effects. The interface has a look like a vintage beat box like the Drummulator or Overheim DMX drum machines with volume and tone controls for each sound and more. This is a nice collection of low-fi samples of vocals, hits and sound effects as well as analog style drums.
VINTAGE - Classic electronic instruments. LOTS of them including rare ones like the Casio CS-01 II and Rapman, the Kawai 100F, Mellotron and more. This set also includes vintage drums machines like the Roland TR-808 and 909.
WORLD - Self explanatory. Excellent samples of instruments around the world... with one exception. They have a collection of bag pipes, and none of them sound even halfway decent compared to others I have come across. A single dark spot in an otherwise very useful sound set.
So those are the sounds that come stock with Kontakt 5 if you purchased it alone, since this is the Komplete collection you get over a dozen additional instrument sets:
THE GIANT - This is one of four acoustic piano plug ins you get in Komplete. It has been meticulously sampled from the world's largest upright piano (three stories tall I hear). All 88 keys were sampled each at 16 different velocity levels and 9 key release velocities. Over 2500 different samples make up the collection. They call this piano your next "go to" instrument, and that's about right. You get a good balance of warmth and percussive overtones that seem to fit right with just about every music project. You can make tonal and color adjustments, and there are already 18 presets available.
The MAVERICK - A meticulous sampling of a vintage Bechtstein Grand piano that was made for the Prince of Prussia in 1905. I am thinking it is a parlor grand piano, not being a full size concert grand, but not too small either. With over 2500 samples on this one too, and also can have tone and color adjustments to the sound (including raising/lowering the piano's lid). Of the four this piano has a sharper, more wooden tine to it and resonates more on the higher overtones. If you like your grand pianos with more bite on the attack this is your instrument.
THE GRANDEUR - Like all of the piano add-ons you have over 2500 samples to make up this instrument and a good deal of parameters to change tone and such. This instrument was sampled from a 9ft Hamburg Steinway D concert grand. The most famous of concert grand pianos. It has a very warm and soothing tone to it. This is my favorite of the pianos as it sounds silky smooth when playing soft passages and warm on the louder passages.
THE GENTLEMAN - Sampled from a 1908 Bechstein Model A upright. Upright grand pianos carry their own unique sound compared to horizontal grands. It's almost a hybrid of the sharp tones of a smaller grand and the warmth of the full size grand. Where the Giant is a massive upright this is your standard upright grand.
DRUMLAB - Although the concept isn't new the interface is. DrumLab is combing electronic and acoustic drums sounds together into a hybrid sound that has all the nuances of real drums with the punch and savvy of electronic. 30 acoustic drums and 80 electronic make up the instrument palette. You have a lot of editing options on a simple to use interface. Making your own kits and blending the two sources are easy. It's not revolutionary, but it sure does give you a great option for making hybrid drum kits.
ABBEY ROAD 60's DRUMMER - Abbey Road is the famed studio where The Beatles recorded. This is essentially two 60's vintage acoustic drum sets recorded within that studio. So what you get is not only a couple of vintage kits extensively sampled (1GB per kit) to capture every subtle velocity, but also the acoustic qualities of a world class studio that has recorded some of the greatest artists of rock and roll. I really love the sound of this kit, and plan on using it more often for lots of different genres.
STUDIO DRUMMER - Think of it as a pre-rendered drum pattern maker that sounds very realistic. These are lots of drum loops sampled from a studio drummer that you can use to give you that live drummer sound on your tracks when you don't have one. There is a wide selection of styles along with pattern variations and fills. I wouldn't rely on this exclusively though. Not really much in way of innovative patterns, and while I glanced through it (I don't really use this) I couldn't find anything I would consider a "go to" pattern set for any song I have.
SESSION STRINGS - An expressive string quartet all in one package. Multisampled with intonations that can be changed on the fly. Legato, glissando, staccato, spiccato, piccicato and more are recorded here. I'm surprised there isn't any aftertouch capabilities on this set. I can think of plenty of uses for that. The difference between Session Strings and Session Strings Pro on the Komplete Ultimate is Pro allows for a full 11 piece string ensemble while this one only four piece. Pro also has some additional nuances and a much larger sample library. This is for those moments when you want to create a nice chamber piece.
SESSION HORNS - Four part horn section with all the nuances. Another plug in that makes good use of pitch bend and modulation wheels for added realism. Another plug in that ignores the possibilities of using aftertouch to add to those nuances. Only two instruments to work with, but if you want to try that 70's Chicago band sound this is going to do it.
VINTAGE ORGANS - I'm not much of an organist, but I have to admit this is cool. The interface has all those crazy draw bars and switches for changing the sound the way only a true organ player can do. You get samples from all the famous organs from Hammond, Vox and Farfisa.
RETRO MACHINES MK II - Over 16 vintage instruments are sampled on this set. Definitely that classic analog sound with some very useful instruments that can be mixed into newer songs (with outside processing). Some of them you can already find in the Kontakt 5 instrument set like the old Roland Electric Pianos, RMI and the Minimoog. However there is enough new here (along with a cool analog style sequencer) to give them a pass. Instruments I found sampled were the ARP Quadra, Crumar Orchestrator, Crumar Roady, MiniKorg 700, Korg Poly 6, Memory Moog, MiniMoog, Oberheim Four voice, Oberheim Matrix 12, Rhodes Chroma, RMI (Rocky Mountain instruments) 368 Electra Piano, Roland EP10, Roland EP20, Roland MKS-80 Super JP, Sequential Circuits Pro 1, Logan String Melody II, Yamaha CP11, Yamaha DX7. Onboard effects are "vintage" too with a simple reverb and echo (that sounds like the old amplifier spring reverbs).
SCARBEE A200 - Thomas Skarbye does some awesome sampling by focusing on a single instrument and taking it to the highest level. This is a meticulous sampling of the Wurlitzer A-200 electric piano with all the fuzz and warmth you would expect if you were playing on the real thing.
SCARBEE Mark I - In my opinion if you are looking for good classic electric pianos this is the only instrument you need. It is an extensive sampling of the Fender Rhodes Mark I, the different tones on display pretty much cover every scenario. While you still have other electric pianos at your disposal in Komplete this is my first stop and generally what I end up using.
SCARBEE CLAVINET/PIANET - Another Scarbee sampling of the Hohner Clavinet and the Hohner Model N Pianet. I'm not really much a fan of these instruments, but I won't deny how much it sounds like the classic instruments.
SCARBEE MM-BASS - A 70's style electric bass with lots of warmth and expression. Had to get used to how to play this on the keyboard in order to take advantage of all the nuances. It's great with stuff like the pitch bend and modulation wheel giving you some added realistic performance.
WEST AFRICA - It's a small set of instruments, but they sound fabulous. There is an ensemble patch that even has pre-set patterns ready for you. It's a collection of african drums, mallet and stringed instruments.
This is a modular anolog modeling synthesizer engine where you can essentially build your own synthesizers. Separately it costs $399, as much as Kontakt, so when you get Komplete you are getting a pretty significant bonus here. It includes over 70 instruments and effects to build your synth from. Out of the box Reaktor is empty. You build the synths. For people like me who do not design software synths luckily Komplete comes with an array of instruments.
ROUNDS - For me this is the reason to get Reaktor. This is my favorite Reaktor plug in. Imagine having an analog and digital modeling synth. Now imagine creating a palette of four different sounds or sound variations on a single note (cell). Now imagine an additional eight variances of each that can be linked in order. Top that off with an additional ability to variate within the cell for even more variations. What you get is a way to modulate and vary a sound in all sorts of fun ways. You can be nuanced or you can go all crazy with each cell. The sounds are overcharged from the get go. Just right for electronic music. This synth is borderline heavy on the CPU load, but I haven't had to lower any settings... yet.
MONARK - This is a soft synth emulation of the classic Minimoog. yes there are many Moog emulators out there, but this is the one to rule them all. It sounds super thick, full and the way a Minimoog should sound considering how much this classic synth is worshipped. Controllers work just like the mini too with three oscillators, envelope generator and filters. While it's weird they spent time sampling the minimoog on the Retromachines when they have this baby, I guess it does round our your options between a sample of the original or a very impressive sounding emulation.
PRISM - This is another resource hog. I found that you can lower the frequency resolution to about 44Khz to fix that without hurting the sound. Uses the uncommon modal synthesis for sound generation. This creates very complex and evolving soundscapes that are perfect for ambient sounds or when you want more out of your synth patch than simple modulation and vector morphing. Don't think it's just ambient textures. Prism works equally well with a lot of different sounds. You get two different instances of Prism. One for synth sounds and one for using as an effect processor. Haven't used the effects yet, but the thought of it makes me excited.
POLYPLEX - Essentially a drum and percussion rompler. It can ramdomize the samples triggered from it to make completely crazy patterns. I'm sure there is more to it, but I haven't really put much effort into finding out. This is a huge resource hog (changing frequency range again helps without hurting).
KONTOUR - Just about every DAW out there has a standard software analog modelling synth in it. Kontour reminds me of that, but unlike most stock software synths this one doesn't sound half bad. Sounds more like the real think and less like a modelling synth (I do notice a difference with the cheaper ones out there).
SPARK - Yet another everyday analog modeling synthesizer. I haven't really noticed anything impressive about it to make is stand out from all the other bigger name analog emulators out there. Kontour is better.
Along with Reaktor 5 and all of the software synths that are in that platform there are also three independend software synths in this package:
This is a stand alone software synth that has some really sweet aural and tonal qualities. I use it for pads mostly, and you can also use it as an effects unit. This synth can mix in surround sound right out of the box. The sounds are more synthetic than what I'm used to in regards to using this for anything other than pads and effects. You get sound sets ranging from Absynth Version 5 all the way down to sounds from its original inception back in 2000 (Absynth 5, 4, Absynth Legacy, Spectral Expansion, and Absynth Twilights).
I really dig this one. It's a wavetable synth as opposed to a physical modelling synth. Wavetable uses sampled waveforms in generate the sounds as opposed to analog modelling synths that use computer algorythms to simulate analog waveforms. I definitely prefer wavetable over analog modelling. It has a ton of sounds from punchy and distorted to mellow and ambient. Of all the soft synths in this package this is quickly becoming my go to instrument.
Native Instrument's answer to FM synthesis. This is another one of those things that just about every DAW or synth software bundle will have on their collection. The difference here is FM8 actually sounds good. It includes an arpeggiator and effects.
Has two modes of programming. One is easy/morph and is for guys like me who don't have much experience with frequency modulation synthesis programming. Then you have expert which is pretty much as if you are programming the old Yamaha DX7 with algoryrhms on top of algorythms. A nice bonus I like is the patch browser has a rating system so you can rate how much you like a sound. It's a great way to keep track of what you like.
It's not just an armada of sounds and sound building tools that you get with Komplete. It's also an impressive array of pro-quality effects as well. Here's that list:
GUITAR RIG PRO 5
Don't let the name fool you. This isn't just about guitar effects. Guitar Rig is Native Instrument's single stop platform for all of their signal processing plug ins. For the guitarist you get things like 17 ammplifier and 27 speaker cabinet emulations along with 54 effects that are right at home with instruments and vocals as well as guitars. The single interface makes it easy to patch right into the effect you need. The amps and cabinets all have a simple knob interface just like the real things that vary from volume and eq to presence, pre-amp, gain and more. You can create custom effect combinations and put them in their own container module as well as create splitters to crosfade between effects.
Guitar Rig also comes with 11 reverb and delay units covering a wide variety of emulations, eight modulation units that go from vintage 70's phaser effects to chorus/flanger and more, eight filters from various wah-wahs to filtered EQ, seven dymanic processors for compression and noise gate effects, five "modifiers" like Low Frequency Oscillator and analog sequenecers, a loop machine that syncs to a host tempto, two tape deck emulators for quick recordings, a chomatic tuner and metronome.
That is the wealth of options you get in the stock Guitar Rig PRo. To be honest most of those effect do end up being more relegated to for guitars. The delays are good, but compression could be better. Reverb emulations of classic modes like spring and plate reverbs work alright, but the rest feel more like "stock" reverb. Luckily Komplete includes effect plug ins that up the ante to Guitar Rig and really push it to the pro-recording level. These additional plug ins include:
SUPERCHARGER - Tube compression emulator with one knob to control overal compression and a few extra adjustments on top of that. Sounds professional and is super easy to play with. Maybe not the best of the best out there, but it does add some punch to a mix.
DRIVER - Disortion and filter effect. I like it better than the stock distortions, but I'm not a distortion aficianado.
SOLID - I'm putting all three Solid effects together. These are emulations of 80's style processor Solid Dynamics is a compressor and gate/expander. It's made for simgle instrument processing. Solid Bus Comp is best for mix group compression to give that extra frequency punch. Solid EQ is a six band parametric equalizer with a clean interface and clean EQ. Of the three I tend to use Solid EQ most.
TRANSIENT MASTER - An envelop shaper. I haven't messed with it, but it's advertised to bring sounds from the back of the mix to the front.
REFLEKTOR - This is a convolution reverb that doesn't use much resources. Personally I thought I would have to break out some extra money for NI's more noteworthy reverbes, but I am really impressed with this one. The reverb can be soft and bright or warm and subtle. It finally made me a believe of physical modelling reverbs.
TRAKTOR'S 12 - Traktor is the DJ tool Native Instruments sells, and this is a set of effects that are most popular with it. It's a set of 12 plugins made to mess with your mix in the extreme and awesome ways you may find at the dancefloor or in a club remix. Delays, resampling, morphing, and whole lot of other things I can't describe and you will just have to experience. No conventional effects here.
RAMMFIRE - Any of you fans of Rammstein? This is an emulation of Richard Z. Kruspe’s personal cabinet rig. Thing extremely hard distortion that can rattle the dead to their feet.
THE FINGER - This is actually a plug-in from Reaktor. It uses the Reaktor engine to create a very impressive live signal editing tool. It's like a live performance version of Traktor's 12. Not as versatile as Traktor's 12, but great for DJ style mashups on the fly.
If you are wondering which version of Komplete you should get I can help out. Regular Komplete has all the major instruments along with the most notable plug ins for them. Komplete Ultimate simply gives you a lot more plug ins to add to Kontakt, Reaktor and Guitar Rig Pro. Much of what you get seems to be more for the real professional sound designer that works in movie scoring, or the studio engineer who wants wider variety of instruments and effect emulations. If you ask me 90% of the potential customers out there will be perfectly fine with just plain ole' Kontact. Besides you can always upgrade later at no loss in cost savings.
I have always been leery of making big purchases for software based instruments. I once went through a demo of Propellerhead's Reason and wasn't impressed at all... especially at the price point. This time I think I made a good buy. My first choice would have cost me $100 more than this package, and with that savings I netted a lot of awesome instruments I am fast learning I can't do without.
I already knew about N.I. products, having already purchased Pro-52 and B-4 many, many years ago. I purchased this software ONLY so I could have Reaktor 5, to build my own synths. However, I now have such a huge palate of synths to choose from, I don't know if I'll ever get around to it! I can't really improve on the detailed review of the products that is already posted, but I'll say this: the inclusion of Massive, FM8, Battery 4 AND Kontakt 5 makes this purchase worth far more than what I spent. Fantastic VALUE!