Few companies in music software are as renowned as Native Instruments. Their samples of acoustic instruments or their digital synths are state of the art.
Sometimes though, we don’t want to rely on presets and ready-made sounds. We want to create our own samples and instruments. So we get ourselves a field recorder and start exploring with whatever we can find.
If you can relate to that then you will love Native Instruments new sampler for Kontakt called Kinetic Toys.
It appears as though a gentleman by the name of Jeremiah Savage spent a year sampling any kind of vintage toys he could get his hands on. We’ve got Magnets, Melodica, Ukulele, Pinball machine, Retrobot to name a few.
The sound quality is amazing and the samples compiled are genius!
The samples are organized into 35 different themes such as „Elastic Band“, „Laser Weapons“, or „Chemistry Set“.
Within each theme, there are 16 different types of, for example, elastic band toys, laser weapons, and chemistry sets.
Each of these Snapshots contains 4 samples of the toy. Each sample is supported by a synth to thicken the sound.
These combined are the Sound Sources. Each sound source can be individually morphed with XY parameters between toy and synth and each sound can be modulated between the 4 different sounds sources in the same way.
This can be done with the mouse or controller, in step, or in an automated envelope.
Basically, 4 different toy samples supported by 4 different synth sounds that can be morphed and mixed with each to create an instrument.
You can take the ghostly sound of a marble hitting the floor and morph it into a totally distinctive lead or use the sound of fireworks to create a sizzling soundscape.
Next to that, we have Xy parameters for 4 different effect slots that allow you to mix and morph between 4 different Fx. They can also be set to step or automated.
We also have 2 assignable ADSR envelopes and LFOs. You can set all individual levels and assign the envelopes and LFO’s to any sound source or effect.
So we have 4 different brilliant toy samples-synths and 4 different Fx that can be set with infinitely different possibilities.
Not only are the possibilities endless but the fact that we’re using toy samples means we have incredibly distinctive sounds that haven’t been available up till now.
Here’s where it gets really fun. The interface is a picture of a child’s toys in a bedroom.
In the picture, there’s a wind-up ballerina and a wind-up robot. Moving the ballerina with your mouse adjusts the Xy parameters of the sound source. Move the robot for the effect settings.
The different sound sources or effects are also portrayed as toys that can be activated or set by rearranging them in the room. There are no oscillators or filters. Instead just toys you can move around the room. Moving a toy up (y) makes it louder and moving it left to right (X) changes the mix between your sources and effects. Putting it on the floor deactivates it.
This may sound easy enough but because of the originality of the interface, one should definitely read the manual before jumping in. It is intuitive and user-friendly, one could say fun but there are many layers of parameters. It takes some getting used to.
Kinetic Toys is an awesome concept and excellent handwork. For the price of 150€, it’s a steal. It can be opened in Kontakt or the freeware Kontakt player.
I can see myself making some amazing soundscapes, risers as well as some really cool leads and sub basses. I’m sure we’ll be hearing some hits on the radio with sounds from Kinetic Toys as well.
It’s also quite inspiring as a work. I hope to see more such off the wall samplers and instruments that have the ability to change the way we do things.
More Details: Kinetic Toys