Review: Artifact-Fractal from Audio Imperia

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Artifact-Fractal drew me in from the start. The library is billed as an Industrial Trailer & Media production tool, but I think that may be selling it short. Artifact-Fractal is capable of fitting into a plethora of musical environments with the tweaking capability it offers and I believe can even be a great tool for creating rhythmic beds for a variety of styles.

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Jump to the Videos of Artifact-Fractal

Jump to the Videos of Artifact-Fractal

 

Review: Artifact-Fractal From Audio Imperia

Meet the Gritty God Of Thunder – Artifact-Fractal! Audio Imperia has teamed with Valentin Boomes in the first release of his signature series libraries. Artifact-Fractal focuses on the loud, dark and gritty side of percussion trailer tools and takes the game to a new level.

Artifact-Fractal sells for $199.00 (on sale at time of publishing for $159.00) from Audio Imperia

Thoughts

Right from the get-go I found Artifact-Fractal to offer immediate gratification. Pounding rhythms, gritty-glitchy phrases, single hits and an assortment of sonic mayhem abound. While it is billed as an Industrial Trailer kit, I can easily see this being used not only for traditional trailer and media scoring, but also as the rhythmic foundation of a number of electronic music genres. The sample content and kit designs lend themselves well to a wide array of uses, albeit loud ones! If you want to shake the subs and pump up the bass frequencies, Artifact-Fractal will really deliver. The library is the first of a new series produced in collaboration with sound designer Valentin Boomes.

Artifact-Fractal is very clean, very simple on the surface, but full of depth and character.

Many of the recent Audio Imperia libraries have featured the Photosynthesis engine. This time around, there is an awesome new interface design –in my mind, reminiscent of a bass amp, sub or the like. It is very clean, very simple on the surface, but full of depth and character. And what does that Big Knob do?? We’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s jump right in.

 

A
The best place to get a feel for the capabilities of Artifact-Fractal is with the Construction Kits patch. It contains 40 different kits with a wide range of styles and tempos. The interface is very well thought out. The initial control elements are Volume, Pitch, Attack, Release, Wave (default waveform view), a Pan control, EQ, FX and the Big Knob. All of the individual layers of the Construction Kit (Wave) are playable individually in order to layer them or via a single keyswitch to play the Wave with all layers. In both examples, the keyswitch allows for playback as a continuous loop.

Artifact-Fractal contains 40 different kits with a wide range of styles and tempos.

B
Opposite the Wave control, EQ takes us into a very flexible palette of controls to further sculpt your sound. The nine center dials control Frequency, Bandwidth and Gain controls for the EQ. On each side you can also turn on Cutoff and Resonance controls for the High and Low Pass bands. This is again a really well thought out and clean approach to the design and provides a great deal of “tweak potential” to make those sounds your own and help them fit into the mix. On the Global page you essentially have control of all elements of the basic sound elements. The Global option applies to all of the Construction kits and some of the Drum Kits. Want to modify the sound even further? Let’s dig into the FX section.

C
The FX section is divided into four quadrants: The Step Modulators, Big Knob, Insert FX and Send FX controls. This mirrors the signal path in the library’s engine. I like the innovative style of the design here. Everything is clearly laid out and labeled on one page, controllable by keyswitch or mouse click.

Everything is clearly laid out and labeled on one page, controllable by keyswitch or mouse click.

There are 10 Step Modulators (4 Volume, 4 Pan, 1 Low Pass and 1 High Pass). These can be activated simultaneously, along with controls for the number of Steps, Frequency and Intensity. Once created, these custom step modulations can be saved and loaded using the supplied controls. As I stated earlier, there is an amazing amount of sound sculpting capability here and we are only part way through the FX section.

Big Knob (Finally we get to that mysterious control!) allows you to morph the sound using Compressor, Distortion, Lo-Fi, Rotator, Chorus, Phaser and Flanger effects from the FX section. You can also link multiple FX to create even more complex effect models to refine your sound.

D
The Insert FX section allows the user to activate any or all of the 7 effects (Compressor, Distortion, Lo-Fi, Rotator, Chorus, Flanger and Phaser. Each of the Insert FX has a unique set of parameters that are displayed when chosen. Again, all of the options are keyswitched.
The Send FX section includes both Delay and Convolution Reverb. The control behavior is identical to that of the Insert FX section. Each selection has its own subset of controls i. e. Delay (Time, Pan. Amount, etc.) and Reverb (IR Size, LP, HP. Amount, Type Dropdown) The Reverb does offer about a dozen and a half convolution spaces. I like to use premium plugins for mixing in the same room but given the flexibility of the effects and the capabilities of their application to the overall sound, I can really see myself using the many of the effects in the library to sculpt my sounds.

E
I have covered the overview of Artifact-Fractal from the perspective of the Construction Kits as there is a lot of content there. It is worth mentioning the Signature Drums (Giant Percussion, Tiny Percussion, Secret Artifact Ensemble), plus the individual drum kits and percussion elements. All of the samples are delivered in WAV format so you can also use them in your sampler or other application.

All samples are delivered in WAV format for use in your sampler or other application.

It is clear that there was a great deal of thought that went into the design and creation of Artifact-Fractal. I have seen and worked with hundreds of libraries and there is something about the look and feel of this one that just drew me in from the start. While it is billed as an Industrial Percussion Trailer and Media production tool, I think that may be selling it short. Artifact-Fractal is capable of fitting into a plethora of musical environments especially scores and electronic music. With the tweaking capability it offers, I believe it can be a great tool for creating rhythmic beds for a variety of musical genres.

I like Artifact-Fractal’s design so much I am hoping that it will become the basis of future libraries.

I like Artifact-Fractal’s overall design so much that I am hoping that it will become the basis of future libraries offering different types of sound design elements. I think that this is a good value for the money (similar products are just over half the price for less than half the kits alone and without the additional features) and a definite deal at the current sale price. I have tried really hard to find something that I don’t like about Artifact-Fractal and I can’t do it. It is unique, niche (as advertised) though I think it has more possibilities and the interface is awesome. I definitely give Artifact-Fractal a big Thumbs Up for overall design, sample quality and instrument kit content. As always, please check out the audio and video demos with the links provided below to make sure that this is the right tool for your unique needs.

 

Facts

Artifact-Fractal contains 2000 48/24 WAV samples and sports 29 individual presets. The presets are categorized into a 40 Construction Kit Patch (loops & stems), 3 Signature Drum Kits, 11 Individual Drum Kits and 14 individual Drum Elements.

Custom designed interface with dual effects page and multiple modulators. The library installed is sized at 4.2 GB and requires a full Native Instruments Kontakt 5.5.2 license. Native Instruments Kontakt Player is not supported. Custom sounds were created from scrapyards and construction sites as well as using traditional percussion and drums. Multi-sampled kits, Multi-velocity and round robin sampling employed for recordings.

Artifact-Fractal sells for $199.00 (on sale at time of publishing for $159.00) from Audio Imperia

 

Demos of Artifact-Fractal

Videos of Artifact-Fractal