Sonokinetic Noir €363
Sonokinetic’s latest collection once again takes the phrase-based approach of their larger orchestral libraries. This time the focus is swung towards jazz-influenced film scores. In their previous orchestral libraries each of the trigger keys played layered phrases assigned to different areas of the frequency spectrum, but Noir takes a somewhat different approach by increasing the number of ‘preset’ keys, though each now only triggers a single selectable phrase. More than one can be played at a time though, making for some complex overlaid playing.
There are in fact two Kontakt Instruments provided with Noir. Noir Sections allows you to dial-up lush multi-instrument backing tracks, while Noir Solo is a collection of solo performances designed to fit with them. There are a few other subtle functional differences between the two instruments too.
As with previous Sonokinetic offerings, phrases have been recorded in a few different ways, allowing key presses to switch the playback between major, minor and dominant seventh chords (or all solo elements that fit with them). It’s a shame that those played in a major key are shared with their relative minor counterparts, as this does lead to some less than favourable transpositions at times, though this may not be an issue for everyone. In sonic terms the phrases are well orchestrated and very authentic. The recordings themselves are excellent too. What’s more, the ability to change the mic configuration, or even combine them, is a nice addition.
Although Noir simplifies the creation of this kind of music in many ways, this doesn’t mean that creating an authentically flowing finished piece is especially quick or easy. Usefully, for those who wish to fit the included phrases around other instruments or sound sources, there is a MIDI drag-and-drop feature in the Score view - which could also find some use as an educational tool.
Although it is relatively narrow in its proposed focus, this is another strong release from Sonokinetic.