Review Apocalypse Elements Player Edition from Soundiron – Currently 50% OFF

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Apocalypse Elements Player Edition from Soundiron

Originally Published June 9, 2015

First Thoughts

Wow. This is only $99 USD? A great selection of percussion and APE sounds great!
The preset that loads “All Percussion” across the keyboard in a single patch with multiple articulations is so convenient. I love the ability to create your own ensembles (Megamixer Instrument) and turn any of the percussion into a chromatically tuned percussive instrument (Tuned-Dual Layer Instrument). Solo & Ensemble Bass, Toms, Snares, Ethnic Percussion, Cymbals, Clanks and more make this a great core percussion collection.

 

The Facts

Built from Soundiron’s flagship Apocalypse Percussion Ensemble (a 25GB behemoth), the Apocalypse Elements – Player Edition clocks in at 4.4GB Uncompressed with 4,519 (24 bit / 48kHz lossless) samples and comes with 40 different drums and over 100 articulations. The sample library contains the close/stage stereo mic position and standard single-stroke multi-sampled articulations from it’s big brother.

There are “Master” and  “Lite” version of the instruments so you can manage your RAM footprint easily.

Apocalypse Elements runs on both the FREE Kontakt Player and the full version as a Kontakt Player library. It requires online activation through the Service Center and is added to the Libraries browser in Kontakt for easy access.

Player

Apocalypse Elements comes with 52 nki Kontakt instrument including ensemble and solo bass drums, ensemble and solo toms in many sizes, an 8-member snare ensemble and 6 different solo snares (deep 14” wooden bodied snares down to tiny 5” effect snares) as well as dozens of ethnic drums of all shapes and sizes, clicks, clacks, hi-hats, stick and mallet rides, crashes, splashes, hybrid China crash, fx cymbals, gongs, Tibetan finger cymbals and much more.

Apocalypse Elements also features an ARP panel (arpeggiation tool) in most of this library’s presets. The ARP panel is a velocity step sequencer which includes an EZ-Roll Mode that can be used to create simulated drum rolls. You can also save and load your settings using the Save and Load buttons.

ARP

The sample library also ships with 400 Midi grooves that you can access right in kontakt created by a Who’s Who list of sample library demo composers.

MIDI LOOPS

If you purchase the Apocalypse Elements Player Edition library Soundiron gives you an upgrade path with a 30% discount on to the full Apocalypse Percussion Ensemble.

The “APE Elements All” instrument has the ability to load common drum map templates used by a number of popular drum kit libraries using the Mapping Options section.

MAPPING

 

The Presets

STANDARD SECTION PRESETS

Apocalypse Elements contains 10 standard section presets including a main Apocalypse Ensemble All preset. Each percussion section has it’s own preset. All Standard Section presets include all articulations which include single-strokes, flams, rolls, crescendos and other effects. Each of the Standard Section presets have Swell, Attack, Offset, Pitch, Velocity and Humanize controls. The Standard Section presets all contain the ARP pop-up panel.

Allelements

MEGAMIXER PRESETS

The Megamixer lets you create your own custom ensembles. The Megamixer has 8 modules and alows you to select which drums you load and their key range. Each of the 8 modules has its own volume, velocity attenuation, pan, pitch, room release, root key, key range and tuned/untuned button to switch between “tuned” chromatic and “untuned” monotimbral modes. The Megamixer presets load samples directly into RAM.

You can load any sample set from any of the instruments in the library and then select from all of the same single-stroke multi-sampled articulations that you’ll find in the main “Apocalypse Ensemble All” preset.

Mega

There is also a “Lite” version of this preset available in the Lite folder, with fewer round-robins, lower voice limits and other slightly reduced features for even greater resource efficiency when needed.

Each of the Megamixer presets has Swell, Attack, Offset, Pitch, Velocity and Humanize controls as well as the ARP pop-up panel.

SECTION MIXER PRESETS

These Section Mixer presets are set up for quick plug-and-play but allow you more control over each sub-section within the instrument group by dividing instruments into 4 category modulesthat contain independent parameter controls to shape each sound.

There is also a “Lite” version of this Section Mixer preset available in the Lite folder, with fewer round-robins, lower voice limits and other slightly reduced features.

Allelements

Each of the Section Mixer presets has Swell, Attack, Offset, Pitch, Velocity and the Hi-Hat pedal control Midi CC for the special all-in-one Hi-Hat articulation in the Cymbal Mixer preset. The Section Mixer presets also have the ARP pop-up panel.

TUNED DUAL-LAYER PRESETS

The Tuned Daul-Layer presets are designed to allow you to focus on a single articulation (or a pair of them) at a time and spread it chromatically across the keyboard as a tuned percussion instrument. You can load any of the standard preset instruments as tuned percussion.

There is also a “Lite” version of each of these presets located in the Lite folder, with fewer round-robins, lower voice limits and other slightly reduced features for even greater resource efficiency when needed.

Each of the Tuned Daul-Layer presets has Swell, Attack, Offset, Pitch, Velocity and Humanize controls as well as the ARP pop-up panel.

DualTuned

panel.

 

Interface

Overall the interface is easy to access and navigate with very few frills. The Megamixer’s visual ability to load up your choice of percussion instruments is visually intuitive. I would have like to see larger images of the percussion instruments, but that’s just me.

If I am going to be really picky, I think the interface could be a little more fun to use. Maybe we could see the larger images of the percussion communicating which drums are larger than others . . .etc. Maybe we could see the drum head show a “visual” representation when we strike the drum? Like I said, I am getting picky here.

The MIDI Select page (access to the loops) is easy to use as is the FX page.

FX

 

Wrap Up

Creating a great a great sample library instrument starts with great recorded samples and with Apocalypse Percussion Player Edition, Soundiron has captured some glorious sounds! It is punchy with plenty of sub in the bass and toms. The clacks (stick and rim clicks) are sharp with character.

One thing that still gives me trouble mixing are cymbals. Soundiron’s Apocolypse cymbal instruments sound great and lack that “harshness” so many other libraries have. I don’t think I will need to fool with EQing these sounds to get them to sit right in my mix.

Some creators might be put off by being limited to the close/stage stereo mic position but for me that is a that small cost for such an affordable library with great sounds and load of flexibility.

Playback is a little “hot” on some of the instruments pegging into the red and needed to be dialed back on the kontakt instrument.

A surprise bonus I wasn’t expecting is that Apocalypse Elements comes with 400 Midi grooves created by a whos-who list of composers that we feature regularly here on Sample Library Review to showcase demos of instruments. Great loops to pull in and get inspired or manipulate the midi to make your own original performance all your own.

All things considered (and with a 30% off upgrade path to the Flagship Apocalypse Percussion) for the $99 dollar asking price this is an excellent instrument to add to your arsenal.

 

 

Demo Music using Apocalypse Elements from Sondiron