Na­tive In­stru­ments TRK-01

A pow­er­ful new tool that pairs se­quenc­ing and sound de­sign for both kick and bass

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

CON­TACT WHO: Na­tive In­stru­ments WEB:­tive-in­stru­ KEY FEA­TURES Synth en­gines: 5 bass, 3 kick; 200+ pre­sets; 120 sam­ples; Runs in the free Reak­tor Player or the lat­est ver­sion of Reak­tor; Win­dows (32 & 64-bit): VST, AAX; Mac OS X (64-bit only): VST, AU, AAX

The TRK-01 is a new Reak­tor mod­ule that pairs pre­cise sound de­sign and highly flex­i­ble se­quenc­ing for two of the most im­por­tant tools in your sonic tool­box: kick drum and bass. By pair­ing th­ese el­e­ments in a sin­gle win­dow, NI present a novel ap­proach to mak­ing sure your low end is as tidy (or gnarly) as you’d like.

Start­ing with the kick re­veals a two-layer ap­proach to sound de­sign, with quite a few de­tails un­der the hood. Each layer has the op­tion to hold one of four sound sources, each with their own spe­cific pa­ram­e­ters for tweak­ing. A choice of us­ing a sam­ple source, a syn­the­siser en­gine, Rum­ble, or Noise is paired with a flex­i­ble multi-mode fil­ter (per layer), as well as two amp en­velopes, an LFO and noise source, and in­di­vid­ual drive con­trols per layer. Ef­fects in­clude an ad­di­tional drive source, an equaliser, a com­pres­sor, and sends to the built-in de­lay and re­verb, which means there is a lot of sonic ground that can be cov­ered.

The bass en­gine is even more flex­i­ble, as you can start with one of five en­gine mod­els (wavetable, FM, su­per­saw, a classic mono-synth, and a West Coast-mod­el­ing wave­shape gen­er­a­tor), which is then sent through a fil­ter with the choice of notch, 2, 4, or 8-pole con­fig­u­ra­tions. Click­ing on the LFO, amp or aux en­velopes re­veals even greater vari­a­tions for con­trol. The bass mod­ule has its own ef­fects, as well as the afore­men­tioned ef­fect sends.

The real power of TRK-01 lies in us­ing the step se­quencer and mo­du­la­tion rout­ings to make pat­terns of tightly-knit kick and basslines that are al­ways locked to­gether. Each se­quencer has four pages of 16 steps avail­able, with eight pat­terns to quickly nav­i­gate be­tween per pre­set. The Step Lock fea­ture works just like the Pa­ram­e­ter Lock sys­tem that Elek­tron prod­ucts are now known for – choose a step and any changes are ap­plied to only that step in the se­quence.

The mo­du­la­tion rout­ings are some­what hid­den un­til you click on the mo­du­la­tion source’s header bar, which opens up a very flex­i­ble mo­du­la­tion ma­trix, per source.

The TRK-01 also uses a tun­ing func­tion, one fea­ture that might speed up your work­flow con­sid­er­ably. This fea­ture, which al­lows the user to choose a key and scale and au­to­mat­i­cally locks both the Kick and Bass pitch to it, is in­cred­i­bly handy, es­pe­cially in a live sit­u­a­tion.

In short, the TRK-01 gives the user the abil­ity to shape your kick and bass sounds fully within its walls, although you can now also out­put its el­e­ments to your DAW for in­di­vid­ual pro­cess­ing. While it’d also be great to be able to ex­port any MIDI or note in­for­ma­tion to your DAW host, the TRK-01 of­fers a quick, flex­i­ble, and son­i­cally sturdy foun­da­tion for your tracks and is sure to in­spire a dif­fer­ent path in your stu­dio process. Comes highly rec­om­mended.

A novel ap­proach to mak­ing sure your bot­tom end is as tidy (or gnarly) as you’d like

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