Review: Granada 49 by Soundiron

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Soundiron’s Granada 49 is a faithfully sampled and Kontakt-enhanced recreation of a classic portable synthesizer from the old Italian company, Fesma. The fat and warm analog sounds of Granada 49 are perfect for retro synth music and even make a great substitute for the authentic chip sounds of old game consoles.

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Review: Granada 49 by Soundiron

Soundiron’s Granada 49 is a faithfully sampled and Kontakt-enhanced recreation of a classic portable synthesizer from the old Italian company, Fesma. With 9 sampled waveform presets and a variety of added knobs, faders, and FX, Soundiron has managed to squeeze a lot of sonic potential out of this dated and limited hardware. The fat and warm analog sounds of Granada 49 are perfect for retro synth music and even make a great substitute for the authentic chip sounds of old game consoles.

Granada 49 sells for $29.99 from Soundiron

 

Thoughts

Granada 49, with its limited sample set, is one of those libraries that benefits the most from its interface and selection of available knobs and faders. The power of Kontakt’s scripting and controls are definitely key to making this product more than just a small selection of generic synth sounds.

Granada’s main interface panel emulates the look of the original synth with a warm and cozy wooden decor. The lower half provides some big and basic envelope and oscillation controls, including volume, attack, release, offset, vibrato, and additional octaves. There is also a horizontal slider for glide, which adds a portamento effect to transition between overlapping notes. Next to the glide control is a drop-down menu to select from the different sampled waveforms. There are both staccato and sustained versions of each waveform.

My biggest qualm with this library, however, is in this menu – each waveform or pre-made ambience is simply labeled “Sustain 1, 2, 3, etc” rather than being given descriptive names. It certainly takes some of the fun out of preset browsing and turns it into a number memorization game.

The top half offers up an LFO, Filter, and Arp. These are fairly standard and limited in their reach, but they still add a lot of capability to the basic waveform sounds, pushing this library into soft synth territory as opposed to sample library. The raw samples are very plain and have no expression or dynamic range built in, so adding some motion via the LFO is a really easy way to breathe new life into the sustained sounds.

As with other Soundiron libraries, Granada 49 includes a 10-slot FX rack that comes complete with all of the basic effects including Distortion, Compression, Filters, Transient Designers, EQ, Reverb, Delay, and more. I probably don’t need to explain just how much these can affect the final sound – but with the help of these effects, a simple square wave can become much more diverse and useful in all kinds of musical scenarios. It’s also worth noting that there are a few preset FX chains saved in this library, which you can choose with the drop-down menu in the bottom left. They even have descriptive names!

When it comes down to the purest elements of the sound, there isn’t much to write home about here. The samples are simply waveform presets from the original synth. However they are very well and thoroughly sampled, and they emanate analog warmth with every keystroke. The staccato samples make for some great synth “plucks”, which is where synths like this really shine.

Soundiron wisely decided to include over 40 presets in the “ambience” patch to increase the value of the library. Each of these presets are pads/atmospheres that are derived from the source material and manipulated into more interesting sounds, ranging from dreamy and spacey to dirty and gritty. These presets are the most likely to find their way into modern cinematic music. However, once again it can be a pain to browse through them all due to them being labeled with numbers instead of descriptive names. If you find a preset you like, you may need to write that number down somewhere!

Something that this library can be surprisingly useful for is emulating the simple sounds from chips in retro game consoles. A lot of the patches sound very similar to the basic waveforms from the Nintendo Entertainment System. Using the raw sampled sounds can really give a track chiptune vibes. Combine it with some really low fidelity drum samples and you can make a very convincing “authentic” chiptune!

Facts

Granada 49 takes up 2.05 GB installed, and includes 925 samples, 22 Kontakt .nki preset banks, and 2 main Kontakt Patches. The instrument was sampled at 48kHz / 24 bit. The full retail version of Kontakt 5.5.2 or later is required to use this library.

Granada 49 sells for $29.99 from Soundiron

 

Demos of Granada 49 by Soundiron

Videos of Granada 49 by Soundiron