Review: Nordisk Kontrabass 2.0 by Have Audio
Stunning and Peculiar Double Bass sound
The Ice Knob is very useful to add depth and more essence to the sound
Interesting choice of not-so-common articulations
No Keyswitches or CCs available to switch between patches.
Have Audio brings the mystical and dramatic sound of the Northern lands to your fingertips in this outstanding Double Bass library. Anything but “normal”, Nordisk Kontrabass’ newly updated phrases, textures, and several un-common articulations gives users access to sounds you are unlikely to anywhere else.
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Review: Nordisk Kontrabass 2.0 by Have Audio
With this library, Have Audio brings at your fingertips the intimate and mystic sound of the ancestral nordic wastelands. The library comes with one NKI master file and runs in the full version of Kontakt (5.6.8 or above). It doesn’t support the NKS protocol, but you have to activate it via the Pulse downloader. It was recorded and mixed at Have Studio in Madrid using an Upright Bass played by Roberto Bordiga.
Nordisk Kontrabass 2.0 normally sells for €99.00 from Have Audio
The interface is absolutely great looking, and the choice of the colors suddenly brings your mind into a cold and northern soundscape. On the left side, we can find two sliders assigned to a Mic position and to the DI and you can choose either to activate just one of them or to mix them together. DI is particularly useful to add more body to the sound. One thing I particularly like is that, in any case, the natural sound of the instrument is very dry, so you can work very well with it at the mixing stage if you want to add your own convolution reverb. The Reverse button, as the name suggests, reverses all samples, while the Dynamic slider controls, indeed, the Velocity Crossfade, and it’s assigned by default to the Modulation Wheel.
Under this section, you can find an Arpeggiator, where you can create some rhythmic patterns.
One of the most interesting features of this library is the big knob right in the centre of the GUI. It basically makes the sound more distant and wet, and it’s perfect to turn this acoustic instrument into something more, that reminds one of the Scandinavian world and its wastelands. The developer suggests assigning it to the ModWheel to get the best sound out of it. And indeed, you can hear this spacey reverb growing up as the dynamics rise, while the sound remains dry at lower velocities. It’s very effective in my opinion, and thanks to the dry sound of the instrument you can actually hear the difference.
On the right side, there is a Reverb slider (you can choose between nine types of reverb), and a Delay slider, where you can choose the time subdivision you want. Under the big knob, you can find a Warp option, which is a real-time stretch device, meaning that you can sync phrases and textures to your sequencer’s BPM or even to perform real-time accelerando/rallentando. You can indeed assign the slider to a CC in order to draw automation inside your sequencer.
In the lower right corner, you can switch between patches and articulations, organized into Melodic, which are also playable, and Textures. You have first to activate one of those sections and then select a patch in the pop-up menu. There are 12 melodic patches and 10 time-stretchable patches available. Some patches have also both playable notes (colored in blue) and melodic phrases (green), as well as some keyswitches available to access another set of phrases in the green area. Anyways, you cannot change patches using keyswitches or any other tool, like CCs, which would have been helpful for composers who prefer to have only one track per instrument in their template. Inside the Melodic patches area you can also increase or decrease the legato speed. Like any other slider in this library, it can be assigned to any CC in order to be able to control it real-time if needed, or to draw automation inside your sequencer.
After playing with is a bit, I have to say this is an outstanding library. It has a very unique sound you hardly can find elsewhere at the moment. Well, if you are looking just for a traditional solo Double Bass, this is probably not the best choice for you: this library indeed is not meant to be a “normal” acoustic instrument. The textures, the phrases and the articulations are designed to give you more character-laden sound possibilities.
This library is perfect for composers who need to add a kind of mystic, ancestral or suspense vibe to their compositions and experiment with sound. The phrases were also designed to be mixed with a custom melody played using the blue keys, or made by any third-party instrument in order to experiment to create your own musical path. Moreover, the choice of the articulations is not quite common: you won’t find, for example, simply a Legato patch, but you’ll find a Whales Legato patch, made with a particular playing technique which adds a lot of harmonics and micro-glissandos that reminds of Whales’ chants and laments creating a very dramatic but also mystic sound. The big knob called “Ice” is a great addition to the sound and becomes very effective when assigned to CC1 together with the Dynamics slider. If you have a MIDI Controller you can also try to assign these two parameters to different CCs in order to experiment with the Ice function at different levels of velocities.
I also warmly recommend that you watch the developer’s walkthrough, which is very well done and gives you a complete idea of the potential of this library plus some tips about how to use its patches.
It includes 1 NKI instrument
Requires full version of Kontakt (5.6.8 or above); not compatible with Free Kontakt Player
Download via Pulse Downloader
It weighs 9.7 GB uncompressed (includes more than 15,000 samples)
Nordisk Kontrabass normally sells for €99.00 from Have Audio
Contributor Giuseppe Corcella reviews Nordisk Kontrabass by Have Audio
“Have Audio brings the mystical and dramatic sound of the Northern lands to your fingertips in this outstanding Double Bass library. Anything but “normal”, Nordisk Kontrabass’ newly updated phrases, textures, and several un-common articulations gives users access to sounds you are unlikely to anywhere else.”