Review: Novo Pack 01: Intimate Textures by Heavyocity
Unique chamber string articulations that come alive with movement
Can be layered to add life to your traditional string libraries
Texture Designer includes great snapshots and the ability to create your own unique sounds
Endless sonic possibilities with the use of the Cycle Engine and the Macro Control
Does not include a bass instrument or articulations
Intimate Textures Novo Pack 01 starts with beautiful chamber strings and quickly leads you to uncharted soundscapes. The traditional articulations have movement and depth not often found in packages at this price point, and the Texture Designer equips you to explore innumerable sonic possibilities. While this is not a complete string library it just might become one you reach for time and again, both to enhance the string libraries you are already working and to enable you to create something truly unique.
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Review: Novo Pack 01: Intimate Textures by Heavyocity
Figure 1: Screen Cap – Preset 2 – Intimate Textures
Heavyocity has garnered a distinguished reputation as an industry leader in hybrid scoring tools. NOVO Modern Strings, released earlier this year, represented Heavyocity’s first foray into the world of orchestral libraries. However, as should be expected from the creators of Gravity, Evolve, Damage, and so many other cutting-edge libraries, NOVO was much more than a traditional string library. NOVO was a sound designer’s playground. Combining first-class ensemble string samples with the powerful Cycle engine, NOVO explored uncharted sonic territory. What more could a composer ask for? Hmm…maybe the same ground-breaking engine packed with smaller chamber string ensembles, a new Texture Designer, and at a quarter of the price of NOVO Modern Strings? Enter Intimate Textures Novo Pack 01!
True to the name, Intimate Textures provides the user with smaller, more intimate chamber string sections focusing on unique performances and articulations. There are two different instrument types: Traditional Textures – highlighting realistic performance and orchestral string sections and Texture Designer – providing deep sound design possibilities using the chamber string samples.
Let’s begin with the traditional textures. Each instrument (Violin, Viola, Cello) comes with 2 NKIs. The first preset features traditional articulations (ie. sul tasto, sul ponticello, spicatto, etc.) in which the players perform sustained notes as an ensemble. What this limited set of traditional articulations lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. The samples are first class, and will combine nicely with other, more traditional, string libraries. The second preset of each instrument focuses on more experimental articulations. These feature gentle movements, as the effect of each articulation fades in and out while the ensemble plays basic sustains, allowing each player to take turns accentuating the effect (vibrato pulse, butterfly, droplets, etc.). This results in the featured effect cascading back and forth throughout the section. These samples are gorgeous and unique and can combine with more traditional articulations to magical effect. These are definitely the star of the Traditional Textures. It is a joy to hear your string section come to life when layering these unique articulations with more traditional string libraries.
The Texture Designer is where Intimate Textures takes on a whole new life, as it moves from a small chamber string library into a full-featured sound design engine. The Texture Designer is nothing less than a pad creating, pulse generating, inspiration-inducing toolbox. To get you started, Heavyocity has included snapshots arranged into three categories; Organic, Ambient, and Evolving. These snapshots combine three different articulations from the Traditional Textures with the powerful Cycle engine, Macro Control, and a hearty helping of on-board effects such as Gate, Filter, EQ, and Reverb. The snapshots are plentiful, and really give you a good introduction to the possibilities that await you once you dive into your own sonic experimentation.
The Macro Control allows you to automate multiple effects simultaneously either using your keyboard’s modwheel or via the onboard Macro Sequencer. This allows you to twist and turn the samples on-demand via the modwheel, or even rhythmically without having to touch a modwheel or controller. Even more, this can be done per articulation channel (1-3), allowing you to control separate effects for each articulation at the same time.
As you may have already experienced through NOVO Modern Strings, the Cycle Engine is a workhorse sequencer that allows you to create pulses, arpeggios, panning effects and more. Where it really shines is in allowing the user to manipulate each of the three articulation channels independently. This gives you the ability to create pulsing rhythmic cellos, dancing arpeggiated violas, and shimmering violins all within the same patch. An entire review could be written on the Cycle Engine and Macro Control alone, so I encourage you to check out the helpful video tutorials Heavyocity has provided for these.
I think Intimate Textures Novo Pack 01 could be just what a lot of composers are looking for – a tool to provide movement to their strings sections and serve as a good change of pace chamber string library. However, where Intimate Textures Novo Pack 01 really shines is in the use of the Texture Designer. Being given the ability to combine multiple articulations and instruments within a single patch while maintaining separate Macro Controls and Cycle Settings for each is super fun and very useful. I know this little powerhouse is going to find a way into my future compositions, and I have a feeling I’m not going to be alone in that regard.
Downloads as 14.2 GB uncompressed (9.46 GB on Disk with NI lossless compression)
192 Snapshot Presets
43 unique articulations across three sections: VLN, VLA, VLC
CYCLE page for advanced granular & rhythmic playback
MACRO knob for dynamic multi-parameter control
Kontakt Player Instrument
Compatible with both FREE and Full Kontakt 5.6.8
Komplete Kontrol integrated (NKS-ready)