Review: Colors Bundle by Cinematique Instruments

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This new bundle by Cinematique Instruments is perfect for experimental and sound design purposes. Thanks to a fully customizable 4 layer engine and several parameters, you can actually access countless possibilities. The Random function helps you to explore even more sound paths.

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Review: Colors Bundle by Cinematique Instruments

Colors is a brand new bundle by Cinematique Instruments. It includes two libraries you can also purchase separately, Tranquil and Tensed. By buying one of them, as well as the bundle itself, you get for free an 808 beat machine library which includes samples, original as well as processed, from a Roland TR808. Furthermore, the two libraries above are just the beginning of a five library bundle coming: Score Tranquil, Score Tensed, Guitar & Pedals, Lofi Taped and Vintage Synth.
It runs in the Full version of Kontakt (5.6.8 or later, not compatible with the free Kontakt Player), and it doesn’t support the NKS protocol, therefore you don’t have to activate it via Native Access.

Colors Bundle normally sells for €59.50 each. Bundle: €107.10 from Cinematique Instruments

Thoughts

The engine’s interface looks nice and easy to use once you understand how it works. In the main window, called “Patches” you can select the preset you want to play by clicking on one of the colored cells, whose name is shown just above them when selected. The more you move to the opposite side the more you meet the mood written at the bottom of the interface (Excited or Atonal for Score Tensed, Calm or Excited for Score Tranquil), while by going to the center you’ll meet patches with a mix of those moods depending on how close you are to one of them rather than to the another. These sounds are not the only options available. In the Easel window you can find a 4 layer engine you can use to customize the sound of each slot.

You can choose a sound to start with for each layer (or even just for some of them) and then shape it using the available parameters. The colored boxes at the top of the GUI represent the layers’ volume, that you can set using the colored horizontal bars below. We have then a Solo button to listen to the sound of that layer individually, the Pan slider at the center and the Tune tool on the right, using this you can change the layer’s tuning up to 12 semitones up or down.

Moving down, you’ll meet a new line of parameters. The left one differs from layer to layer: the first layer features an Arpeggiator, the second and third a Modwheel button meaning that you can assign the volume of those layers to CC1 by activating this button, and on the fourth one this slot has no tools available.

Moving to the right we have an LFO, available on each layer. If you click on that a window with a few parameters will appear, where you can choose the waveform’s shape, change the tempo speed, the Intensity (which is the volume modulation of the layer).
The third parameter is the Tone which is basically a filter that lets you reduce the high or low frequencies, and the last one on the right is the Attack. The Master window includes some parameters to help you shape the sound even more.

In this page you can find a Decay, Drive, Filter, Chorus, Reverb and Delay. The Main knob controls the whole output volume. If you click on the “e” letter button (edit section) available on some parameter, you access more options for the selected function while if you click on the other symbol, you assign that parameter to CC1.

By opening the edit section, you can control more parameters as well as the velocity curve to be assigned to the Modwheel and therefore decide its behavior. Talking about Reverb, there are 10 different types available, from smaller ambiences like “Chamber” to larger ones like “Church”. It’s useful to notice that if you activate the Chop function in the Main’s edit section, you can make the output volume modulate automatically and adjust the step volumes as well as the speed of the modulation. All the parameters in the Master window are also CC assignable.

In conclusion, if you like sound design and experimenting with sound you won’t be disappointed by these libraries. As always, Cinematique Instruments gives you a powerful instrument, apparently simple, but that lets you access a lot of sound possibilities. The two libraries share the same engine, but they are very different in terms of sound: Tranquil creates more soft atmospheres, while Tensed will perfectly fit horror, creepy, atonal soundscapes, as the names themselves suggest. The Random function is always a big plus to me because it allows the users to experiment with new ways of sound design that maybe they wouldn’t consider and can always be used as a starting point to find a nice combination of sounds to shape even more thanks to a bunch of other presets available in the Easel and Master windows.

The 808 beat machine is a nice instrument as well even if way less complex than the other libraries but it can be useful to create electronic rhythmic textures that emulate the sound of the Roland TR808.

Facts

It includes 3 NKI instruments (Tensed, Tranquil and the free bonus 808 beat machine)
It runs in the Full Version of Kontakt (5.6.8 or later)
It includes approx. 1900 samples
It weighs 1.7 GB compressed

Colors Bundle normally sells for €59.50 each. Bundle: €107.10 from Cinematique Instruments

Demos of Colors Bundle by Cinematique Instruments

Videos of Colors Bundle by Cinematique Instruments

Contributor Giuseppe Corcella reviews Colors Bundle by Cinematique Instruments
“This new bundle by Cinematique Instruments is perfect for experimental and sound designing purposes. Thanks to a fully customizable 4 layers engine and several parameters you can actually access countless possibilities. The Random function helps you to explore even more sound paths.”