Review: Motor Rhythms by Soundiron

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Soundiron delivers a great sounding, deep sampled drum library recorded from unique bespoke objects. Ranging from it’s natural playback to processed ‘ambience’ presets, Motor Rhythms spans an array of percussive timbres that will fit in a multitude of genres.

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Review: Motor Rhythms by Soundiron

Motor Rhythms is a unique drum kit that has been designed by Jordan Hall. He has an interesting take on the drumkit where he has built it up his own from a collection of mechanical parts from auto makes and models and has welded them together to form his own custom mechanical kit. Soundiron has sampled this kit so that you can play on Jordan’s one-of-a-kind drum kit. The kit has been deeply-sampled with round-robin variations with velocity layering. There are two mic positions and Soundiron have included an intelligent step sequencer arpeggiator and some FX processing to further process the kit.

Motor Rhythms sells for $89 from Soundiron

 

UPDATED: October 14, 2017. Soundiron has released this library as a Kontakt Player instrument compatible with both the full and FREE versions of Kontakt.

 

Thoughts

First let’s take a look at the main instrument, which has full and lite presets of the mapped out mechanical kit. This is an interesting kit to play through as it isn’t mapped out like your regular drum kit. It has some similar mapping like a kick and snare sound, but then it completely deviates from this with an assortment of metal and hard surface pieces. The kit is mapped out quite extensively across the keyboard. So your kick actually starts at C-1, and the samples on the full kit patch stretch out all the way to C6. Even on an 88 keyboard, you’re still going to have to move up in octaves on your controller but it’s nice that each piece has been assigned to its own key, and you don’t have to jump to different presets to get to specific hit.I did notice under the Mapping section, that you can select different mapping options, so its mapped out similar to some of your other more familiar drum kits.

The Ambience instrument presets have are a great selection of heavily processed sounds. Some of them with the arpeggiator enabled, which creates some interesting ambient rhythm drone-like sounds that can be used to create soundscapes and impart emotional moods in your productions. They don’t sound anything like a drumkit, but are definitely useful patches that can be used in your productions if you want some moody or glitchy patches to play with.

There’s 3 presets in here: 1. Autombient: An atmospheric ambient soundscape preset, 2. Hyghwai: A glitch processed drum patch using a random arpeggiator and 3. Lurkshop: A heavily dub-style delay with tape flutter-like hits

The Ambience presets are my favorite patches to jump for. I could definitely see myself using these in some cinematic trailers and underscores.

Then there are the Solo instruments. This is broken down into the following Instruments: Auxillary, Bells, Chimes, Gongs, HiHats, Kicks, Rotors, Snares, and Toms.

Now, these are obviously not your ordinary solo instruments. They are hits that will sound the most like a snare for example, but it is Jordan Hall’s own unique snare sound. And what is pretty cool is when you switch between these solo instruments the graphic changes to where that part is on the kit, so you can get sort of an idea of what type of objects are been hit in that preset.

Also with each instrument, they are pitched through the key range. So if you want a super low kick you just pay it all the way down on the left on the keyboard. Or if you want to tune the snare to the other instruments in your track, then you can just play all along the keyboard till a specific key sounds in tune with the rest of your song. So this does give some flexibility on how you want each solo instrument pitched. But depending on what type of hit is played I did notice that some of the solo instruments sounded like they got a tad bit crushed when played too low. You could use this for a creative effect if you wanted to.

Also when working with the solo instruments, the Articulation section actually includes the available type of instruments in that preset, not the different articulation styles for a sound. So this can be a bit confusing. But for example with the Aux solo instruments, if you look through the articulation this actually lists different types of instruments, such as a woodblock, temple block, tine ring, and cowbell.

Articualtion Drop-Down menu

Now let’s take a look at some of the other menu page options. With the Mic Mixer, you have a choice of Close and Far, and I was really impressed with how this drumkit sounded with both mics enabled. The Far mic added a great room sound to the kit, that really made it stand out more. With the close mic only, some of the instruments sound a little thin. But add in some Far Mic, and they really shine.

Mic Mixer options on interface

With the FX Rack, you can add up to 10 Effect processors onto the kit for more processing. And these include transient shapers, distortion models, delays and reverbs. So there are quite a few options for sound mangling of this kit with the effects rack.

Soundiron FX Rack

And the Arpeggiator is a great tool to add to the mix, especially with an assortment of samples like this instrument. You can set the Arp to a random pattern, and then hold down a selection of keys and it can create an interesting, dynamic drum loop with these esoteric drum hits.

Arpeggiator Close Up

 

Facts

This is a 6.57 GB size library with 14 Kontakt NKI instrument presets. These include: full, lite, solo and ambience presets. It requires the full version of Kontakt 5.5 or later Motor Rhythms is now a Kontakt Player instrument and is compatible with botht he full and FREE versions of Kontakt and a minimum of 2GB RAM. And it runs on Mac OSX 10.8 or later, or Windows 7 or later.

Motor Rhythms sells for $89 from Soundiron

 

Demos of Motor Rhythms by Soundiron

Videos of Motor Rhythms by Soundiron