The instruments of the present NI Premium Library comprise not only of conventional analogue and FM synthesizers, but also hybrid instruments, new kinds of synthesizers, and rhythm machines.
The instruments are created by top sound-designers, and many are direct emulations of well known synthesizers. Without using the names of the originals they have put large clues in the names of the instruments and made them look like the real thing. For instance the “Many Mood” is a Mini Moog & the “SH-2k” is a superb Roland SH101 emulation.
My main interest was in the more weird instruments, these are emulations of the huge modular beasts that you would find lurking in the studios of KraftWerk and Tangerine Dream fused with modern techniques such as sampling and granular synthesis. A remarkable instrument called “6-Pack” allows you to combine sample loops which are automatically synced regardless of their original tempo. You can mix, mute and filter these loops, alter their pitch them with beat precision - all in real-time and without affecting their tempo. I heard sounds from this that I had simply never heard before.
There are about 25 or so instruments in the NI Premium Library, and it is so much fun just to get a sequence going and play around, this really is as flexible as the original style instruments, but for a fraction of the price.
On a more practical note
I don’t use a mouse; I use a Wacom graphics tablet. When I tried to resize, minimize or even move the main screen the program hung, using the mouse (which I have connected in case of emergencies), I could get the program back to normal. I don’t know where the problem lies here, but anyone with a Wacom tablet should be aware of this.
Also, I use Cubase VST on a 17” monitor, With Dynamo V1.0 open at the same time it all becomes very frustrating as some of the NI instruments take up a large amount of screen space. I can see a 21” monitor becoming a necessity in the not too distant future!
- An extremely versatile set of software synthesizers
- Extremely good emulation of classic analogue & modular synthersizers
- Exciting new instrument possibilities
- Free Library of well designed instruments available for download
- Annoying copy protection
- Requires a powerful computer system
- Possible problems when used with a Wacom tablet
- Good Soundcard required
Active Loop Zone tracks are available on Myspace. Further details can be got by contacting Rick Lomas . Rick is currently working on various websites selling mortgage payment protection insurance .