This year I decided to update my Kontakt arsenal, taking advantage of Heavyocity’s store-wide 50% off sale. I managed to pick up both Damage and the Evolve Mutations bundle for less than half price using the sale and an additional coupon I found on the site.
Damage is an hybrid cinematic percussion library with a “tense, epic edge” claims Heavyocity.
Damage lives within Native Instruments’ Kontakt environment and can be opened with either the full version or the completely free Kontakt Player. A slight disadvantage is that Damage only comes as a digital download (weighing in at over 28GB) rather than a DVD when bought from Heavyocity directly.
This short review will focus on using Damage outside of its usual Music for Film and TV applications and highlight parts of the software that are useful in various fields of music production. As someone who produces a fusion of House and Techno, I was very interested in seeing how well the library would translate outside of its primary target market.
First impressions were a tad slow, but that could have just be down to my slow student house internet (typical, I know). It did take a while to download and install of the included content. However, adding the library to Kontakt is as hassle-free as possible; select the ‘Add Library’ option in the top left-hand corner of Kontakt and locate the installed Damage Library.
Damage is divided up into two core folders: Rhythmic Suites and Percussive Kits. The former providing both Loop Menus and Single Loops while the latter contains full kits distributed into Epic Organic Drums, Ethnic Drums, Metals, Hybrid FX Hits and Damage Kits. The library is further separated by full and element parts with: Organic Textures, Epic Tech, Industrial and Mangled Pop all making up the Rhythmic Suites folder; Epic Tech personally being the most appealing.
When you delve deeper into Damage’s Single Loops you will come across the loop chopping feature (second tab on the right-hand side). This is very similar to the way Ableton Live’s ‘Audio to MIDI’ feature works; chopping up a loop into its transients then mapping them across the keyboard. This allows you to totally transform and personalise a loop within Damage, you can also reverse particular slices of the pattern to spice up parts of the original loop.
DAMAGE GETS EVEN MORE EPIC… TECH:
Here’s an example of a drum beat made with Damage; adding extra groove and percussion to an otherwise static and texturally bland sixteen-bar loop. This clip features only Damage with the exception of a kick drum from Waveform Recordings’ Future Tech pack. Third-party processing comes courtesy of Waves RBass, adding characteristic to the sub-frequencies of the kick, and Ableton’s Glue Compressor for sonically moulding the parts together.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/184701152″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
However, Damage does not require as much third-party processing as you may think. Onboard effects range from a relatively straight forward three-band EQ to exceptionally clear low-pass and high-pass filters with resonance control. Although the big seller on the effects section is definitely the Punish feature, adding a sonically strong blend of saturation, limiting and grit to the overall output.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/184701203″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
- Multi-genre capabilities
- Inspiring on-board effects
- Creative loop chopping
- Well organised content and interface
- Internet dependant downloading times
- Not the cheapest of Kontakt libraries, watch out for the deals!