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Review: Thrill Cinematic Virtual Instrument by NI

Native Instruments Thrill Review

This time let’s have a look at Thrill recently published by Native Instruments. This amazing library got created by a long-time collaborator of NI, Galaxy Instruments, who also brought us gems like „Una Corda“, „the Giant“ and „Rise and Hit“.

From that we know already we can set our expectations high and probably won’t be disappointed.

The Instrument

So what are we looking at here?

Thrill instrument clearly states its intended use in its own name. And those of you who have seen the trailer know that it delivers. So here is how it does that.

For “Thrill” Galaxy Instruments sampled a ton of sound sources.

Native Instruments Thrill

For example a whole 80 piece Orchestra, a 36 piece high string section, a 16 piece woodwind section, a 14 piece brass section, a string double quintet, numerous percussion players and instruments, different analog gear, custom made instruments, an analog synth system, a diverse range of vocals including, exotic styles like overtone singing, a wide selection of field recordings, and a lot more.

Clearly, we have all the right ingredients to create thrilling sounds, so how did they put it together?

Native Instruments Thrill Review

“Thrill” makes use of two separately adjustable sound sources, connected via an X/Y pad. This is becoming a more popular approach recently, with systems getting stronger our possibilities in terms of sound grow as well.

“Thrill” makes excellent use of this feature, allowing us to fade and animate the sound, with the X-axis controlling the mix of the two sound sources, and the Y-axis controlling the intensity. And while it sounds simple the results are exceptional. Within 5 minutes alone with this instrument, you start nervously glancing over your shoulder.

Given the enormous amount of sound sources, you might think browsing will take up a lot of your time, but that isn’t actually the case. The preset structure and well-named snapshots make finding the right sound extremely fast and easy (picture posted above).

On top of that “Thrill” is surprisingly tweakable, so you don’t need to worry that in a few weeks every horror trailer will sound like the one reset everyone is using. Working with “Thrill” feels like it guides you to the right starting point, and then helps you infusing your own character into the preset.

Tweak-able you say?

Yes! And I don’t just mean you can adjust endless knobs. You’ll even find there is a lot of very usable effect presets for every effects unit.

Thrill Native Instruments

Beyond that, we can also adjust the curves of the fades, convolutions, mutations, tuning, pitch, spread, crossfade, layer behavior. The list goes on and on and on. And because the interface and visualization of “Thrill” are on par with everything else, this library is also extremely accessible. Not just for instant use, but also for getting into tweaking presets.

So even the interface adds to the tweak-ability of this.

So are there any negative points?

I wouldn’t say these are really negative attributes, but something to keep in mind before you jump in and spend 300 bucks on something. This is clearly a cinematic sample library with a very specific purpose. If you are not a fan of dark sound in general and also don’t plan to do a thriller, horror cue, trailer or movie I would think twice before buying this.

Don’t get me wrong. For anything dark sounding this is amazing and incredibly versatile, even paired with orchestra or synthetic sounds, but it is very specific, and you probably won’t write any happy tracks with it. Also, it isn’t cheap. I think the price is well worth it, but it is an investment some might not want to make so lightly.

And while I think you might be hard-pressed to find anything this versatile and playable in this sector for less, if you are only looking for a few clusters for a hobby project, maybe see if you can find something with a slightly lower price point. If you can spare the 300 though I would not think twice about getting this. It really is worth every cent, if you are looking for dark, thrilling sound!


Thrill is a very specific instrument, and for its intended use, I know nothing that does the job better. I haven’t had anything this flexible and playable in my arsenal for dark, sinister sound and I don’t want to miss it. I will definitely find a lot of use for this in the future, and if you do anything with shadowy sound in it I can only recommend getting this library. It doesn’t come cheap, but you also get more than what you pay for.

The sound is amazing and you won’t be able to remember how you used to score a kill scene before you had this little gem.


  • Price: $ 299,- USD
  • 348 Master-Snapshots
  • 500 Thrill-Presets
  • 963 Sound Sources
  • 75 Cluster-Presets
  • 30,5 GB (41 GB uncompressed)

More Details: Thrill

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