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Review: Sonic Forest Kontakt Instrument by Impact Soundworks

Sonic Forest Kontakt Instrument

Today I found something very special. A library that is extremely creative, well-designed, affordable, and even for good cause. I’m talking about “Sonic Forest” by Impact Soundworks. This library is based on a one it’s a kind instrument, sampled with a lot of depth and precision to create a unique sound, but beyond that Sonic Forest has a lot more to offer.

Let’s take a closer look…

The Forest Engine

This center area on the interface represents the heart of the granular ‘forest’ engine. As you play with the various articulations, pressing the Plant button captures the last played sample and stretches it across the keyboard. Then, as the Grow knob is increased, the granular forest effect is introduced. The Volume knob can be turned down completely to leave only the beautiful, evolving forest sound in its place.

The evolving granular sound is shaped and altered using the rest of the knobs in the center of the UI. For instance, Blossom adds grains that are pitched up to 2 octaves above the original sound. Flood washes out the forest with lush, purely wet convolution reverb. Tangle increases the speed and intensity of the granulation effect, and Wither puts a gradual envelope on the sound to fade it out over time.

In addition to the granular engine, the Sonic Forest also includes an array of useful features like an arpeggiator and sequencer, microtuning, and 6-module FX rack (which can be used on both the source articulations AND the forest.)

The sound design possibilities with this forest engine are endless!

The Sound

The sound of Sonic Forest originates from a unique instrument, which is a metallic box with a contact microphone inside, and a bunch of strings stretched on it, which can be either plucked or bowed.

The real magic of this library doesn’t originate from the recordings, though. While they provide a great foundation, the sound shaping possibilities, and the great design, are what make this library playful, and so extremely fun to use.

The results go from textures and pads to plucks and stabs, and convince through their charming character, seeming fully electronic, and deeply organic/acoustic at the same time. The freedom to “plant” the last sound you played, at the exact same velocity, and use it as foundation for a completely new set of sounds, promises and nearly endless space for experimentation and creation.

The Interface

Sonic Forest

The Sonic Forest includes a stunning UI that is meant to inspire music creation. The serene imagery in the center of the interface gradually changes as you change evocative controls like “Flood”, “Shade”, and “Grow”, providing feedback for how the sound is being affected.

While the marketing and changing of the interface might be a subtle effect, it still adds very much to the user experience and is kind of the cherry on top that make it perfect. I am personally also a big fan off the info overlay, which can be triggered via the little info icon in the top right of the library. The overlay explains all the functions and effects, in regular audio technical terminology, which is especially useful when aiming for very specific results.

Conclusion

This is a great Kontakt instrument, promising lots of inspiration for a low price and a good cause, whilst maintaining very good design and audio quality. I would definitely recommend that everybody who has the $ 20 to spare gets this. It is not only a good resource for inspiration but also fun to use. I really recommend not looking at the info overlay at first, and just playing around with it for a few hours. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Facts:

  • Price: $ 20,-
  • 25% go to Charity
  • FULL VERSION of Kontakt 5.3 or higher needed
  • 500MB disk space required
  • 2GB RAM required

The Sonic Forest is available now for only $20, and 25% of all sales will go to Fauna & Flora International, the oldest international conservation charity. So not only you will get a great sound design tool, but you will also support a noble cause.

More Details: Sonic Forest

About Author

Merlin Györy – also known as “Cloudjumper” is a Composer, Sound Designer, and public speaker working primarily in the video game and movie industry for over 6 years. He is also head of the game audio project MM4VG. Reach out to him here: www.cloudjumper.de

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