Review: AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit by KeepForest

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AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit features top-notch sound design behind a somewhat overwhelming interface – but once you get the hang of its controls, this library can give you a massive amount of unique results.

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Review: AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit by KeepForest

Modern Designer Toolkit is the smaller of the two part AizerX series from Keepforest. The AizerX engine utilizes 6 layers of soundsources to sculpt complex final sounds with movement, impact, and atmosphere. This entry into the series leans more in the direction of modern production such as EDM and Trap. With a range of sounds including braaams, risers, hits, pulses, downers, and risers, there’s a lot to unpack here, and despite the focus on EDM and Trap sounds, I believe any trailer composer would also be more than happy with the samples in this package.

AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit sells for $299 from KeepForest

Thoughts

The main attraction to the AizerX libraries is their shiny new engine. While this can be a bit overwhelming to look at at first, the core aspects of it are actually fairly intuitive.

Along the left and right sides of the main panel we have the 6 modules that make up the core of this engine. Modules A through D are on the top, and the bottom two are the “Whoosh” and “Hit” modules. Essentially every sound in the presets has two versions, which are highlighted by orange and blue keys in the keyboard area – the first one includes the “whoosh” module, and the 2nd one doesn’t. So you have a version with a lead-in, and a version that gets straight to the point. The other 4 modules are optional for added effects such as bends, alarms, or whatever else you feel like including. Each of the modules has control of volume, pan, filters, looping, reversing, and various other ways to mangle them.

The timeline on the bottom shows your whoosh and hit module waveforms. You can set the start and end point of your sounds here, as well as move modules A – D around so they start earlier or later in the timeline. The way the modules are treated as well as their positioning in the timeline is the core of how this engine makes interesting sounds. There are also some global controls on the bottom, including an ADSR envelope and modwheel functionality.

The very top is where you can go through presets or randomize the sounds in each module (which is great for creating new and unique sounds with one button). The center area is an XY Pad that changes the volume balance between modules A – D. The closer the cursor is to a corner, the louder the corresponding module is. You can automate this XY pad with the record, play, and loop buttons, which can get you some very weird and fun results. Where it says “Pro mode” or “Easy Mode” is just a button that hides some of the more advanced controls. In the screenshots I included, they are all enabled.

Pressing the mixer button in the center opens up this screen, where we have 8 slots for FX and a simplified volume mixer that controls each of the 6 modules. There are plenty of FX to choose from here, and this page is largely redundant between the FX rack and the main panel. But, you can copy/paste and save presets here if you come across a particular FX chain you want to reuse.

Finally, the default Keepforest FX rack is included on the 2nd panel. This retains the same functionality it does on other Keepforest libraries, allowing you to link the various FX parameters to a series of LFOs or Step Sequencers.

As with other Keepforest products, this is the main reason to buy this library. There is a stunningly huge variety of sounds in this package, and the production value is immense. These samples range from the punchiest of hits to the most atmospheric textures around. While the focus of this library is useful for EDM and Trap, everything still has a very distinct “trailer” flavor, which is fairly obvious when you scroll through the categories and see Braaams, Hits, Risers, Downers, and the rest.

Something to set this product apart from its sister library in the AizerX series is the inclusion of two extra patches for Pulses and Drum Kits. These are incredibly useful for quick writing as the loops are tempo-synced to your host and are tuned via keys down lower on the keyboard. Pulses are divided into Low, Mid, High, and percussive ranges (with the percussion unaffected by key changes). The Kits have playable one-shots which are mapped to the typical MIDI drum standards, plus a series of stems for a complete loop.

For those of us who like to manipulate audio files rather than midi for some purposes, all of the samples are included in .wav form as well. However, even with these included, the AizerX engine makes complex movements very simple. By manipulating the various parameters and modules, you could press one single key and get a riser into a whoosh-hit with a pitch-bend tail and looping delayed element fading into nothing. Or you could just get a big percussive slam you like and map it to one key and use it as a drum patch. Once you wrap your head around the core of the AizerX Engine, there’s simply a staggering amount of sounds that can come out of this product.

Facts

AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit contains 4 GB (installed) worth of 48khz / 24bit samples including Braaams, Hits, Pulses, Risers, and much more. The AizerX engine requires the full retail version of Kontakt 5.7.3 at a minimum, though the recommended version is 5.8.0.

AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit sells for $299 from KeepForest

 

Demos of AizerX Modern Designer Toolkit

 

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