Review: Beyond Provenance by Barcode Industries

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Beyond Provenance from Atlanta based developer Barcode Industries promises to be a semi modular, inspirational musical sound design tool that is something that is a little bit different. That is one big statement which is full of intrigue and possibility. In the world of cinematic sound design, creating a different enough instrument that stands out from the rest is nigh on impossible. Barcode Industries may have done just that with Beyond Provenance.

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Review: Beyond Provenance by Barcode Industries

Beyond Provenance is a full Kontakt 6.2.2 instrument featuring 275 professionally crafted snapshots, 32 unique sound sources and is presented via a single NKI. It utilises 16 individual voices in two layers and has a powerful arpeggiator/sequencer engine and a series of built-in effects. There are over 65 patchpoints for modular effects and a unison mode for “phat” pads. There are also 7 modulation sources. The idea behind the instrument is to create a sound design possibility while inspiring you to compose. This works as both a preset instrument for some great sound design out of the box and a much deeper instrument to create your own weird and wonderful sounds. Beyond Provenance is capable of both beauty and serenity with the ability to mangle, horrify and destroy sound sources. It’s a flexible beast indeed!

Beyond Provenance sells for $149 generally, on sale for $99 from Barcode Industries

Thoughts

The dual layers at the top are clearly visible and by clicking on the names you can select one of the 32 sound sources. In the centre are various filter controls, below are the A/B switches, envelope and amp controls. The modulation sources are found down here also. Effects are to the right and when you click a cogwheel for settings, a new panel opens up in the centre for more control. The majority of the instrument is self-explanatory yet I had to consult the website for more detail. Everything is clearly explained and after several hours with the instrument, I found myself experimenting with all of the wonderful sound possibilities.

Before any of that, out of the box Beyond Provenance has 275 snapshots.

Once loaded into the Kontakt user folder, the snapshot folder is divided into Arps & Sequences, Atmosonic, Driving Force, Elemental Fragments and Glitch Factory. There is also a “best of” folder with some great snapshots to get started. Instantly upon playing through some of the snapshots, you can hear that this instrument is something special indeed. The arps and sequences range from almost gentle analogue tones to more dynamic and powerful sequences. Perfect for adding movement or foundations to cinematic cues. What is striking about these is that the sound is very clean and under processed. No excessive reverbs or delays here, just quality sequences and arpeggios with room to be twisted to your hearts content. Upon clicking the spanner symbol next to the layer, the arpeggiator reveals itself with further controls. You can clearly see the 16 voices and assign what gets played and when. There are the usual controls such as rhythmic speed and length with slightly deeper controls included too. On a deeper level, not only can you change the velocities, but also the notes, volume and pan of the sequence. When creating your own, these are great tools to have. To the right are more advanced settings and these once again invite the idea of trial and error.

The “Atmosonic” category houses various pads, fx, leads and atmospheres and this bank alone for me is worth the price of admission. Across the fifty snapshots there are some stunning sounds here. Again, no over processing so they sound clean, mix ready and can provide the basis to any modern cinematic cue. The leads are crisp and some of the pads also use the arpeggiator too. I found myself lost in these dreamscapes and very inspired to start composing.

The “Driving Force” preset section continues the trend of clean and versatile sound design. Again, these use the powerful sequencer yet are more aggressive, powerful and as the name suggests, driving. Fifty “Elemental Fragments” presets follow these where you will find your more traditional basses, keys and shorts. This is more traditional synth type work yet I found these to be very versatile, great sounding and useful. Not only would these be perfect for modern cinema, but for electronic music too. Finally, the “Glitch Factory” contains all of the distorted arpeggios, FX and mutated percussion content. This is where the more experimental nature of the instrument becomes prominent and it adds another cinematic dimension.

As a snapshot instrument, I’m very impressed. These are mix ready sounds that will add some flair, individuality and all-round sheen to your compositions. In terms of genre, Beyond Provenance would sound great in modern cinema scores, horror, retro scoring, sci fi, tension, electronic and crime. Quite a broad list and it’s extendable depending on what you create with the instrument. The beauty of Beyond Provenance is that you can go wild with your own programming to create some brilliant sounds. As a composer, sound design is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the process. Within minutes of getting to grips with the GUI and engine, I found making my own sounds was incredibly fun and rewarding. I really recommend a trial-and-error approach so you can explore all of the features of Beyond Provenance and save your own snapshots as you go.

This brings me neatly on to the effects section. The effects are subtle and not too over-powering. Clearly a lot of thought has been put into what sound designers may want. Each effect sounds clean and there is a good variety of options. We all have out own go to plugins for effects and it’s great to see a lot of what you need is found within Beyond Provenance. A small side note, to use the reverbs you have to successfully configure the outputs in Kontakt as explained in the operating manual. It is a five second process yet I was wondering before I fully read the manual, why wasn’t the reverb working?

All in all, Beyond Provenance manages to bring something new to the table. The sound design is unique yet the depth of control and ability to make your own snapshots is wonderful. There are sounds in here that would be nigh on impossible to recreate elsewhere and Beyond Provenance gives you the option to tweak and customise as you go. It is a deep instrument and does require a good amount of invested time to get the most out of it yet out of the box it will elevate any score. Some of the controls are complex and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the depth of control you have over the sounds. I’m still learning new aspects of the instrument every time I open it up. I would love to see the ability to use your own samples in Beyond Provenance as then the sound design would be limitless. If you are looking for something different to add to your cues, a professional sheen and to stand above the crowd, Beyond Provenance is certainly for you.

Facts

1 nki
275 professionally crafted snapshots
32 unique sound sources (about 1 GB of .ncw lossless samples)
Utilize up to 16 individually assignable voices in 2 layers
Advanced Arpeggiator/Sequencer engine
Unison mode for creating phat pads
Robust and unique FX performance capabilities
65+ patchpoints offer a multitude of modulation capabilities
7 dynamic modulation sources
For full Kontakt 6.2.2 or better.

Beyond Provenance sells for $149 generally, on sale for $99 from Barcode Industries

 

Demos of Beyond Provenance by Barcode Industries

 

Videos of Beyond Provenance by Barcode Industries

 

Contributor Pete Checkley reviews Beyond Provenance by Barcode Industries
“Beyond Provenance from Atlanta based junior developer Barcode Industries promises to be a semi modular, inspirational musical sound design tool that is something that little bit different. That is one big statement which is full of intrigue and possibility. In the world of cinematic sound design, creating a different enough instrument that stands out from the rest is nigh on impossible. Barcode Industries may have done just that with Beyond Provenance.”