The Rigid Audio’s Synferno is a unique synth library for Native Instruments Kontakt 5 software. They claim it to be cinematic – which is actually true, but, also, is the very late 80s and 90s inspired, I mean, most of the sounds definitely made me think about the Alpha Junos and even some Korg M1 patches, with a more cinematic approach.
And this is quite unique, cause, every patch, is actually four-part multi-timbral with a part -2 octaves- for Bass loops, another part for Synth – many patches have something like the Alpha Juno’s or Korg Poly 800’s “one-note chord” function. Then, another part for Ambient, and finally, the last two octaves are for the Groove part. Let’s check this out!
The Synferno instrument has four main pages: Mix, Edit, FX, and SEQ.
The Mix Page (which is the default page showed when you fire the instrument), is a four-channel mixer and offers some specific controls over each part. Each channel strip is identical, and they offer a volume fader, pan knob, detuning plus/minus one octave (in semitones), Space amount, two-band sweepable EQ (from 200 Hz – 250 Hz and 600 Hz – 700 Hz plus/minus 20 dB), Solo button, and a patch browser (for each part, of course), so you don’t have to stick with multitimbral presets. Finally, there’s an FX on/off button and an SEQ button which kinda alternates the same sequence using different presets for each step, a really cool function, indeed!
Next, there’s the Edit page, which offers more in-depth control for each part with two ADSR envelopes, one for the AMP and one for the filter; filter cutoff and resonance controls; Modwheel function – volume, LPF or HPF- Pitchbend amount; loop speed control – 1/2x, 1x, 2x or freeze); a compressor with threshold, ratio, attack, release, and makeup gain controls; saturation; utility HPF with no resonance, and stereo width control.
For the FX page, there’s an Auto pan function; step filter amount; degrade -which is actually a bit crusher-: Skreamer – which is, of course, another distortion unit-; and finally flanger, space reverb, and delay.
The last page is the SEQ page and works for the SEQ button described in the mix page. There are actually two sequences, one for the sample offset and one for the loop offset. You can choose quantized rates, from 1/2 notes to 1/16 notes; slice on/off; gate mode on/off, and you’ve got two knobs for controlling the offset for the start and endpoints.
Well, this is a great tool, but, not just for Cinematic purposes as they claim on their site, I think basses are amazing for techno and even house music. Percussion grooves are indeed very cinematic, and if you are scoring some action sequence, well, this is definitely for you!
Most synth parts make me think about late 80s hybrid polysynths like the Korg Polly 800 or the Roland Alpha Juno, and I suspect, they got many samples from those kinds of synths… All the effects and edits you can do to each preset make this synth very versatile and the fact that it triggers loops, well, that is just a great tool for creativity. It is very simple to use and tweak, and combinations are almost endless. It has some amazing functions like the SEQ button, and reverbs delays, and flangers, which can really make a difference here!
So, if you are scoring for TV shows or movies, well, this is a no-brainer, it will just make the process easier and faster, so, I’d say, go ahead and try it, you’ll probably end up loving it. If you are a producer, well, I think it deserves to be in your arsenal. Some timbers and loops are really interesting and would fit in many styles. Basses, on the other hand, are just great if you are into techno and even house music. Definitely worth trying!