Sounds & Sam­ples

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

Vir2 have been around for quite some time, and spe­cialise in cre­at­ing in­stru­ment li­braries for NI’s Kon­takt. While their in­stru­ments are wide-rang­ing, a good por­tion would seem to find most favour in film, TV and trailer tracks. How­ever, as with many of the in­stru­ments I’ve looked at for FM, other forms of mod­ern elec­tronic mu­sic can make good use of re­pur­posed sound sources. This cer­tainly ap­plies to ‘Sticks’, Vir2’s sec­ond out­ing in their Vi­tal Se­ries – sub­ti­tled ‘Pow­er­ful, Sim­ple, Cin­e­matic Rhythms’.

Sticks is es­sen­tially a large col­lec­tion of ob­jects struck with a range of stick types. The sonic in­ter­est comes from the many pos­si­ble un­usual com­bi­na­tions (largely in­volv­ing ‘sen­si­ble’ things hit­ting ‘weird’ things) – one such ex­am­ple be­ing a tim­pani mal­let play­ing an old wooden drawer. Sticks is not just a col­lec­tion of sam­ples though, as th­ese are in­te­grated into an in­stru­ment that fea­tures four se­quencer en­gines (each of­fer­ing con­trol over ve­loc­ity, pitch and pan).

From the key­board you can play each sound, trig­ger in­di­vid­ual se­quencer pat­terns, or all four at the same time. It’s very easy to cre­ate in­ter­est­ing pat­terns; the sim­ple cre­ation of evolv­ing polyrhyth­mic pat­terns is a real draw here. There are a few sim­ple en­ve­lope and pitch pa­ram­e­ters per sound, and the ef­fects sec­tion pro­vides a de­gree of global tweak­ing.

It is a shame that there are no pre­set pat­terns or global snapshots to get you go­ing, and the price might be a lit­tle high for some, but over­all this is a use­ful, well-de­signed, and sur­pris­ingly flex­i­ble, in­stru­ment that would find many uses be­yond just the ‘cin­e­matic’. Bruce Aisher www.vir2.com VER­DICT 7.8

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