Review: Hybrid Tools 4 by 8Dio


8dio’s Hybrid Tool 4 provides composers a wide variety of inspiring sound design including textures, downers, booms, risers, and some sounds that are hard to categorize. By utilizing the available interface controls and effects, there are a lot of unusual ways to combine and manipulate the provided samples, resulting in nearly limitless sonic strangeness.

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Review: Hybrid Tools 4 by 8Dio

As the 4th installment of 8dio’s Hybrid Tools series, this particular product focuses on “Modern Cinema” – sounds that are highly manipulated, mangled, and designed in order to create a cutting edge and cinematic soundscape. With complex sound sources and a plethora of sound-sculpting tools available in the interface, there is a lot of potential for combinations and iterations of each sample, allowing for each composer to express his/her own voice and create something different.

Hybrid Tools 4 normally sells for $248.00 from 8Dio
At the time of posting Hybrid Tools 4 was on a special intro price of $148 (end March 22, 2018)


While it features all new sample content, Hybrid Tools 4 goes back in time a bit, using a slightly reworked version of Volume 1’s interface. The first panel is a browser that changes which samples are assigned to your keyboard. The category names range from as descriptive as “Wind Downs” to as generic as “Badass A”. This can be a bit of a problem as some of these categories hold upwards of 30 samples are are very broad, so it’s hard to remember where certain sounds are mapped. I would often find a great sound, then lose it later as I had forgotten the key mappings.

A gate control control sits below the browser. Expanding it reveals a “length” and “rate” control. Manipulating these in real time is one of coolest ways to manipulate the samples, although it would have been nice to have a tempo sync option on the rate. There’s also a “stack” button, that, when toggled on, allows you to load multiple categories at once for sounds on top of sounds.

The bottom of this panel is lined with Attack, Release, Speed, Pitch Env, Glide, and Offset knobs. The “Speed” knob is only available on the heavier TMPro patches. This alters the playback speed of each sample. Offset moves the start point in the samples, and Pitch Envelope inserts either a rise or fall in pitch at the beginning of the sample. The glide knob adds a portamento effect to the sample transitions when playing monophonically.

The “Chaos” button randomizes your sound category and the parameters of any effects you have enabled. “Reverse” does exactly what it sounds like it would do. “Random” randomizes the sample offset point. “Stretch” takes the last sample you triggered and spreads it across the keyboard, so you can play it like a tuned instrument. Also worth mentioning is that CC1 (modulation) controls the the cutoff of a low pass filter for all samples, and the red highlighted keys above the normal range can change the pitch of a selected sound.

There is a sequencer hiding behind the browser if you click the “sequencer” tab at the top. It’s fairly rudimentary but allows you to customize the number of steps, swing, rate, octave, and repetition. I personally didn’t find it very useful due to the nature of the sounds being mostly textural. Triggering a textural sound repeatedly just sounds kind of weird and isn’t a great way to make a pulse, but there are a few more impactful samples that could benefit from creative sequencing. Either way, it’s a nice tool to have available.

Filter, EQ, Degrader, Delay, Transform, and Reverb make up the included effects in the rack panel. They are all quite detailed and several of them have extra settings that can be revealed by clicking the gear icon on the left side. The “Chaos” and “Motion” switches on these effects are a quick way to add some entropy and insanity to the already-busy sound sources.

You can tell a lot of care went into creating each sample, and there are a lot of them to dig into.

Purely based on the raw samples included in this package, the sound is definitely top notch. You can tell a lot of care went into creating each sample, and there are a lot of them to dig into – you’d be surprised at how many variations of “Starfall” sounds 8Dio came up with.

The most important thing you should know about the sounds in this library is that this is not a standard “trailer toolkit” type of library. There are no simple braaams, impacts, or risers. None of the sounds can really be described as “simple”. Everything seems to have several layers and moving parts. Honestly, this quality can make it hard to find ways to fit the raw sounds into your compositions. None of the chaotic moving parts in the samples are tempo-locked, for one thing, but after playing with things like the gate, sample offset, speed, and pitch envelope, you’ll quickly find ways to manipulate the sounds to fit your project, or even start new tracks purely based on something cool you made with the library. The are also several presets included that show off what can be done with what you’re given in this package. I would recommend going through some of those for inspiration before diving in and getting creative yourself.

The only real complaint I have against the sounds in the library is a lack of rhythmic beds. You can certainly create your own with some creativity, but it’s always nice, especially as someone who writes a lot of music very fast, to have cool and edgy rhythmic loops available. This rhythm-shaped void is extra noticeable when you remember that previous iterations of Hybrid Tools did cover that ground.

However if you’re interested in creating weird textures and very contemporary effects to compliment your music, Hybrid Tool 4 is a great place to look. Once you really dig into the manipulation aspect, this library can get very inspiring.


Hybrid Tools 4 – Modern Cinema is 2.23 GB installed. It contains a wide variety of cinematic textures, downers, risers, and other hybrid sounds. This library requires the full retail version of Kontakt 5 to run.

Hybrid Tools 4 normally sells for $248.00 from 8Dio
At the time of posting Hybrid Tools 4 was on a special intro price of $148 (end March 22, 2018)


Demos of Hybrid Tools 4 by 8Dio


Videos of Hybrid Tools 4 by 8Dio