Today we’re going to review Output‘s new virtual instrument for Kontakt: Analogue Brass & Winds – announced a few weeks ago in our audio news section. Since its beginnings Output has created interesting and powerful instruments that have left their mark on modern music.
They are easily recognizable and you can hear them in many a fine production. In the past Output has stayed away from sampling convention instruments. The name „Brass & Winds“ sounds like a sampled instrument library but it is much more a versatile synthesizer, offering unique timbres and extraordinary sound design functionality.
If you own any of Output’s other instruments, like Analog Strings, you will recognize a similar format in the user interface of Brass & Winds. It is a multi-layer GUI that lets you choose a preset and offers some macros for playing with the sound.
Each preset is a mixture of 2 samples. You can choose between synths, orchestral or creative samples. You can access them by scrolling or by pressing on the sample which opens yet another layer displaying the 3 categories and all their options.
Your choices are not just plain sounds but also performance approaches and variable envelopes like trills, warbles, or swells.
The texture of the synths fits nicely with the Brass and Wind samples and creates a full-toned, distinctive sound. I could choose to turn off the synth and use one or two beautiful horn or reed instruments samples but the combination of the 2 is very special, together they achieve an exceptionally warm and grainy tone.
The Creative instrument samples are spacey sustained mixtures of the orchestral instruments. They’re based on the same samples as the horns and winds but colored with long reverbs and automated filters.
In all, the instrument offers some very unique as well as organic sounds. They are reminiscent of FM synthesis with added air and spectrum.
You can change performance modes, one-shots, pads, or tape loops, and for the orchestral instruments, you can choose close and faraway microphone positions. It’s easy to find a complex and personal sound just by tweaking a preset. Each individual preset has 4 macros for live automation.
Going deeper, the edit layer (see picture below) contains envelope settings ADSR, pitching, looping, velocity, reverse, monophonic and, and, and. Analog Brass & Winds has everything a synthesizer should and can have to manipulate the sounds. This goes for both samples allowing you to morph completely different settings for each layered sample.
This window also contains an advanced layer with even more parameters such as key setting and color for choosing to voice. Output has thought of everything and left nothing out.
There is an FX page where you can add effects to each sample or globally to the entire sound.
The Rhythm page is where it gets really fun. This is not to be mistaken with the arpeggio page.
The arpeggio page allows you to create stepped chord patterns. The rhythm page, on the other hand, is about the rhythmic fluctuation in the instrument’s sustain. This can help you create rich pulses in pads and voicing. You can work with 2 separate rhythms and apply them both or singularly to each sample.
There are options for the tube, drive and bit for working with the tone quality of the flux. The drive option is fantastic and it really pumps. I absolutely love this part of the instrument.
It’s fairly complex, luckily Output provided 40 presets to get you started. Another smart feature is on all pages you can still see the macros on the top right hand of the page for hands-on and visual modulation.
Output has done it again. They’ve created a completely unique and cutting-edge instrument that offers gorgeous timbres and brilliant sound design functions. I fell in love with it after shuffling through the first 3 presets.
The deep fullness of the tone, the creative potential, and the thorough modulation capabilities are just plain genius. The price is set at 199€ and is worth every penny!
Link: Analog Brass & Winds
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