Checking Out: Modal Runs by Sonokinetic


It can be extremely challenging trying to create realistic orchestral runs from multi-sampled instruments. Modal Runs fill that need with flying colors with its auto-scale recognition, note start ability and timing controls.

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Modal Runs sells for €74.90 from Sonokinetic


Checking Out: Modal Runs by Sonokinetic

Modal Runs is a Kontakt Player instrument compatible with the full and FREE version of Native Instruments Kontakt

Sonokinetic has been pushing boundaries in orchestral phrase library creation for several years now. The developer has released some of the most powerful phrase-based sample libraries for Kontakt and has found a niche in the market place.

In December, Sonokinetic released 2 new libraries, Ostinato Noir and Modular Runs. Ostinato Noir is the fourth release in the developer’s Ostinato series which containing ostinatos performed by muted trumpets and horns, extended chords, woodwinds and strings that allow real-time rhythmic and chord changes. But that isn’t why we are here today. We are here to talk about Modal Runs.

Modular Runs delivers string and woodwind runs allowing users to play runs based on different scales and offers the ability to start and end on any note of the scale.

Anyone working with sample libraries knows that realistic runs are hard to produce with multi-sampled instruments. Modular Runs is the next step in a runs instrument with its auto-scale recognition, note start ability, and timing controls.

Modal Runs sells for €74.90 from Sonokinetic


Modal Runs Main Interface

I shouldn’t be surprised as Sonokinetic seems to have a winner with nearly every release, but Modal Runs is just the kind of innovation we needed in a runs instrument. With the new Kontakt library, you can create realistic runs by playing a chord in the left hand and overlapping a beginning and endnote in the right hand.

For the sample set Sonokinetic returned to the same recording stage they have used for other Sonokinetic orchestral libraries and recorded full woodwind and string section performing runs. The intuitive ’emphasis’ slider allows users to adjust the mix between the strings and woodwinds sections playback and can be tied to midi and adjusted with midi CC.

The instrument’s Chord Recognition Scripting intelligently recognizes major, minor, half-diminished, dominant 7th, major 7th, minor 7th sus4 and 7sus4 chords and will trigger corresponding scales and have 5 tempo-synced speed options. No matter what time signature or tempo your DAW is set to, Modal Runs adjusts playback of runs depending on your speed setting. “Green” key switches (C0 to E0) are provided to allow users to switch between playback speeds in real-time or with midi programing.

The ‘Modal’ part of Modal Runs comes from the instrument’s ability to play in all modes. One of the instrument’s biggest strengths is it’s modal playback – great scripting that allows you to choose your scale and then trigger runs that can start and end on any note of that scale. This allows users to trigger all modalities within the scales provided.

Even if you don’t know all your modes, Modal Runs has a Relative Keyboard mode (REL) that will be sure it doesn’t play back a bad note. In Relative Keyboard mode, trigger start notes will conform to the nearest scale tone. This also will allow you to adapt your run performances to changing chords in real-time.

Modal Runs information page.

On Modal Runs, the developer allows easy access for the information page. This page summarizes nearly all aspects of the graphic user interface and is accessible at any time by clicking on the “i” just below the Strings-Woodwinds emphasis slider. I really love the information page as it keeps me in the instrument to figure out functionality or answer questions I might have rather than sending me out of my DAW to search through a pdf document or search the internet for answers to questions.

Modal Runs Microphone Selection page

For the checking out video, above, I also used Sonokinetic‘s Da Capo which was recently updated to version 2.0. Da Capo is a multi-sampled orchestral ensemble library that includes Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion Sections.

I can’t wrap up this post without commenting on the low RAM and small file size of this library. The entire Modal Runs instrument downloads in at just 655 MB which was losslessly compressed down from 1 GB using NCW technology. The sample count and the RAM footprint are extremely low meaning the library takes very little resources to add to any template.

With its programmability and ease of use, Modal Runs ups-the-ante on what a “runs” instrument should do. This library will be a very welcome addition to any composer trying to convey the excitement and expressiveness that only orchestral run performances can add to a piece of music.


Modal runs downloads as 655 MB (down from 1 GB NCW losslessly compressed) and contains 60 Run Recordings captured with  8 Woodwind players, 52 Strings players and was recorded in the same hall as Sonokinetic‘s other Orchestral Series libraries. The Emphasis Slider allows mixing between the string and woodwind performances.

The library has playback options for 4 mic positions (Close, Decca Tree, Wide & Balcony) and advanced chord recognition scripting and speed control.

Modal Runs is a Kontakt Player Instrument (5.8.1+) & NKS Compatible.

Modal Runs sells for €74.90 from Sonokinetic


Demos of Modal Runs by Sonokinetic

Videos of Modal Runs by Sonokinetic


Contributor DON Bodin reviews Modal Runs by Sonokinetic