VST Plugin Labs rating for Kinetic Metal (9 / 10)
Here is the full lowdown on the awesome sample libary add-on for Native Instruments Kontakt called Kinetic Metal. You’ll find my Kinetic Metal video quick take here.
Kinetic Metal is a steal at just $99.00 and can be downloaded immediately after purchase at the Native Instruments website.
The library comes with 211 instruments (.nki files) and at 1.5 GB compressed delivers a nice set of 1,751 high quality samples.
It’s a really cool instrument in it’s own right with an innovative morphing system with which you can create all new sounds simply by moving a couple of sharp looking gears.
The 1st gear works on morphing the 4 preset combos of the 8 sample layers (the Forge) and the 2nd wheel on the 4 FX presets.
Moving the wheels, uh gears morphs from one preset to the next.
You can also create your own presets very easily so the morphing can be very unique.
Both morph wheels can be linked together via a button press and seamlessly morph both layer presets and FX presets to come up with all new sound variations.
If that’s not cool enough, you also have a Motion control which will magically move the gears and make the morphs get in motion. You can come up with some really nice sounds this way.
One thing to note is that Kinetic Metal is very unique sounding and is not a bread and butter sample library that will work for all composers and all styles. It does have some incredible sounds, but some players who may typcially be more comfortable jumping through presets of nice rhodes pianos or wobbly bass sounds may feel the Kinetic Metal library is a little hard to work into songs.
As long as you know what it sounds like before you get it – you should be safe. Make sure to watch my Kinetic Metal video quick take as it shows how the morphing gears work and gives a tour of a handful of the sounds.
Another great video to watch is Torleys tour of the KM presets.
If you’re like me watching some of the videos and hearing the sounds that you’ll get with Kinetic Metal will hook you into buying it. As I have said to friends – at 99 bucks it is a no brainer. In fact – I’ll pretty much snag anything that looks good and comes in at under a hundred bucks.
I got it and love it. It’s not perfect for everything – but it is a load of fun to play with and does come up with some awesome new sounds! Right now it has a very unique flavor and those of us who know about it can spot the use of Kinetic Metal in songs a mile away. But only those of us who know what it is and fortunately it is a well keot secret right now.
Also – because of the morphing it is very easy to customize the sounds so that they are truly ours. That alone makes it a great sample library to have.
So how does Native Instruments describe Kinetic Metal?
“KINETIC METAL is a powerful yet intuitive instrument that will provide you with an endless stream of fresh and inspiring metallic atmospheres, percussive lines and complex, liquid metal textures.
With KINETIC METAL you get a large set of instruments based on recordings of diverse metal objects that have been carefully transformed into playable sounds. Those are accompanied by a host of textural sounds that are either synthetic in nature or also have been derived from sampled metal objects by various means.
The underlying sounds of a KINETIC METAL instrument are organized in eight layers that can be mixed individually into four freely programmable presets. Each layer is derived from different sampled or synthetic sources – the METALS and the WAVES.
The resulting sound is piped through a series of powerful effects, each of them specially tailored to fit the respective instruments. Use the effects to affect your sounds in the domains of their frequency spectrum, harmonic content, sonic movement and spatial characteristics.
The FX section also offers four programmable presets similar to the Forge presets.
Where KINETIC METAL really shines is its dynamic interface. Putting the aforementioned
sound engine under intuitive control, it offers quick and easy ways to morph the instruments
two-dimensionally. Use the Forge and FX morph knobs to morph seamlessly through four presets for the sound and FX, respectively. The variations on the Forge side control the eight sonic aspects of the METALS and WAVES sections of the instrument. For the FX they control eight parameters for the aspects COLOR, DISTORTION, MOVEMENT and SPACE. Combine these features to open up endless sound possibilities using only two simple morph knobs.
On top of this you have the Motion features. Located in their own panel they provide the means for setting the Forge and FX knobs in automatic motion via various LFO shapes or by recording your own knob twisting. Thus KINETIC METAL never sounds static or repetitious. It offers ever moving metallic, textural or percussive tones always under your sonic direction.
The KINETIC METAL library is divided into two parts. The base-list of instruments contains the core instruments. They have the Motion features switched off and are for you to explore the vast array of possible sounds by manually playing the Forge and FX morph knobs.”
“Sound design mastermind Jeremiah Savage spent over a year recording a huge inventory of unconventional samples. He then handpicked the best sounds to create KINETIC METAL.”
Here are some Kinetic Metal insights from the creator Jeremiah Savage:
“Tops, spinning bowls and coins, and especially the euler’s disc, which is a fun toy that can spin for long periods of time and create very interesting sounds as it winds down. Combined with nice tones that subtly evolve over time with the spinning samples, it almost creates a dizzying effect as you circle through the morphs.”
“Kettles make good metal resonators. They have beautifully rich metallic harmonics and tones. The kettles I’ve recorded are a variety of different shapes and sizes. They have different harmonics, unexpected tones, and a variety of dynamics. There are limits with kettles – they don’t change pitch easily, they definitely don’t morph. But with careful structuring into KINETIC METAL’s unique interface, we can elevate their usefulness and flexibility.”