Review: Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling

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If you already own some kind of amp simulator or guitar plugin, Dynamic Sound Sampling’s “Electrik” could be a fast and affordable way to add a multitude of electric guitar and bass instruments to your collection. With its clean user interface and extensive articulations, it’s possible to add convincing guitar and bass lines to your compositions.

Jump to the Videos of Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling

Jump to the Demos of Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling

 

Review: Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling

Composer and sound designer Steve Mazzaro founded Dynamic Sound Sampling in 2012 with one simple mission: Find captivating instruments, play them in unique ways, and fill in gaps that other sample libraries are missing. Since then, the company has developed Acoustic guitar sets, Orchestral string packages and most recently, Electrik, a collection of 11 different electric guitars and basses.

Electrik sells for $199.00 from Dynamic Sound Sampling

Thoughts

Some people believe you can never have too many guitars. Others, like my wife for instance, strongly disagree. One solution to that problem is investing in sampled guitars which, while less difficult to sneak into the house, can still be somewhat expensive. Enter Electrik from Dynamic Sound Sampling. Not only is this an affordable collection of 11 different guitars and basses, it’s unique in that it does not impart its own amps and effects, thereby forcing you to live with a particular style, sound or amp choice. And at around $18 per instrument, Electrik may be one the most affordable guitar libraries to date.

Let’s take a look at what’s offered in this package: You’ll get 8 different guitar instruments to play with, including a generic 6 string electric, a 7 string electric, a 9 string stereo electric, 2 electric nylon stringed guitars, a piezo electric 6 string, a Stratocaster and an E-bow 6 string. There are also 3 different bass instruments, including a 4-string bass, 5-string bass and a hammered 5-string bass, which uses Dulcimer hammers to hammer the strings. The developer’s web site includes a full list of all the articulations available for each instrument and I encourage you to watch the excellent demo video to hear and see how the instruments might combine in your productions.

It bears repeating that this is a set of clean guitar samples only. You’re going to want to run these instruments through a product like IK Media’s Amplitube, Waves’ GTR, Softube’s Amp Room or Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig to take full advantage of them.

If you already own some kind of amp simulator or guitar plugin, Dynamic Sound Sampling’s “Electrik” could be a fast and affordable way to add a multitude of electric guitar and bass instruments to your collection. With its clean user interface and extensive articulations, it’s possible to add convincing guitar and bass lines to your compositions. Because there is a lot of ground to cover within this bundle, I’m not going to go through each instrument in individually. Rather, I’ll provide a basic overview and cover highlights.

To begin my exploration, I loaded up the Strat 6 string .nki and played around with it without any other plugins running. My first impressions were that these are clean, accurate, unadulterated samples, simply mapping recorded guitar notes to keys. Strings sound as triggered, increasing volume slightly with velocity. Decay sounds natural with all the default settings and you can dial in a customized playing style using the controls provided for Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release and Tone. This particular guitar has an extensive set of selectable articulations such as “Open, Muted, Short, Long, Hammer On, Pull Off, Slide, Wakka, Whammy” and more. Articulations are accessible via the red keys, pictured on the Kontakt keyboard layout or through a dropdown menu located in the center of the user interface. Playing with them produces a convincing Strat sound although there are no choices for neck, body or combined pick up selection.

Each of the 11 included guitars and basses share this basic tenant. They all sound accurate when played through amp simulators, either with open strings or other articulations selected. The developer defends the choice of excluding amp simulators and effects in their demo video and presumes that you already own or will plan to run additional amp-sim plugins. These simulators and effects will, by default, impart new characteristics to their playability and “feel.” It’s important to keep this in mind as you explore the set for the first time. The different guitars are subtle and nuanced but entirely effective, while the basses feel full, rich and meaty and translate well to bass-specific amp simulators. The nylon guitars feel like electrified versions of themselves, and while the E bow seems more synth-like, there are plenty of ADSR controls to dial in. All said, a very capable collection.

The interface itself is clean, attractive and simplistic, giving you only what you need to see. It is exactly the same for each guitar and bass in this collection, so you don’t need to re-learn new layouts for each instrument you load. The available articulations, however, do change with each guitar. Only the “E-Bow guitar, Hammered Bass” and “Nylon Guitar 2” offer no articulations whatsoever.

Overall, I enjoyed playing with the various instruments in the set, but they were not without their limitations. One minor snag arose from inconsistent visual key maps. While a visual representation of the available notes isn’t a make or break issue, it would be especially helpful with articulations. I found several instances where there were the colored keys displayed in Kontakt’s visual keyboard did not match their assignments, making playable notes a bit of a guessing game. Perhaps, this could be addressed in an update? Articulations are available at all times while using the drop down menu or assigned keys to those with full 88 key keyboards but for those of us, like me, with a 49-key keyboard, shifting octaves (upward) is done at the expense of losing accessing the articulation controls through the keyboard. I also found some slight but discernible hum in the recorded notes above C4 in the Strat 6 String.nki set which could surface during quiet passages with certain amp sim settings.

All said, this is a capable set of guitar and bass instruments offered at very reasonable price tag. Given that there are 11 different instruments in this bundle, you would be hard pressed to find as much value for $199. If you’re looking for a fast way to access guitar and bass instruments, and already own one or more of the amp simulator products mentioned, this would be a great candidate.

Facts

Electrik consists of 11 different guitar and bass instruments. It occupies 3.61 GB of space on your hard drive. There are 6,654 samples recorded at 44.1khz, 24bit quality. A downloadable manual is available at DynamicSoundSampling.com and details the included sounds and articulations included in this library. A full retail version of Kontakt 5 or higher is required to use this product. It is strongly recommended you also have access to some kind of amp simulator plugin as no amp simulators or effects were included in recordings for this collection.

Recommend Amp simulators are:

Native Instruments Guitar Rig

Softube’s Amp Room

Wave’s GTR

IK Media’s Amplitube

Many others will work well, too, such as Logic Pro’s Amp Designer

Electrik sells for $199.00 from Dynamic Sound Sampling

 

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Demos of Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling

Videos of Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling

 

Contributor Steve Blizin reviews Electrik by Dynamic Sound Sampling
“If you already own some kind of amp simulator or guitar plugin, Dynamic Sound Sampling’s “Electrik” could be a fast and affordable way to add a multitude of electric guitar and bass instruments to your collection. With its clean user interface and extensive articulations, it’s possible to add convincing guitar and bass lines to your compositions.”