Review: Quadral by Soundiron

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Soundiron has created another affordable gem that is capable of really awesome and unique sounds.  When I need a bit of inspiration or some special sauce for a composition that needs just a little more character, I frequently turn to Soundiron. Quadral follows that trend being inspirational, quirky, and full of character.

Jump to the Videos of Quadral by Soundiron

Jump to the Demos of Quadral by Soundiron

 

Review: Quadral by Soundiron

Quadral features a single NKI with 2.85GB of sample content. While that isn’t a massive sample pool, what Quadral does with it is quite astounding. The idea is that the engine manipulates the chosen samples and uses the XY pad to swirl them all together and create interesting cinematic sounds. With onboard effects and an arpeggiator, the sample pool can be twisted and turned into some very cinematic and quirky sounds. Quadral is squarely aimed at the film and video game composer and, with its vast soundscapes, soaring leads and deep basses, it’s easy to see why!

Upon loading Quadral, the grungy, mechanical yet pleasing GUI looked a little daunting. Once I worked out what each sample layer did, it was then easy enough to multiply it by four and understand that the GUI is very straightforward. Samples are loaded into each of the four layers and various controls are used to manipulate the sample. Aside from the usual attack and decay, there is the ability to change the pitch, offset, pan, and add effects galore. The samples are divided into 16 different categories with 24 different samples which gives us a total of 384 samples to play with. Speaking of which, the samples feel like they belong in a sci-fi movie, a retro game, or something just very nostalgic. Not degraded, not vintage, but a character all of their own. After configuring my XY pad really quickly, I was happily zapping through the presets and found myself fooling around with some pretty inspirational sounds. With liberal use of the arpeggiator and the glide function, wonderful sonic things were happening!

Quadral normally sells for $39 from Soundiron.

Thoughts

Soundiron has created well over 200 presets to get us started. These are in the familiar Arp, Bass, FX, Leads, Pads, and Plucks categories. While cycling through, I found these to be a great jumping-off point to craft the sound that was in my head. With the ability to adjust only one layer, or change the sample of one layer, I found myself creating new and imaginative sounds. I also found it interesting that the mod wheel wasn’t assigned to anything, so I quickly used the midi CC function, and then more original sounds were filtering through. Quadral gives you the best of both worlds. Not only does it serve as a quick preset machine to get something quick into your score, but it also serves as a really fun design tool. After creating something awesome, you can then go on to save the preset for later use. Within an hour, I had a bank of very useable sounds that were uniquely crafted by me, the composer and now effortless sound designer.

I found the Soundiron FX suite to be as fun and creative as ever and noticed that the RAM utilization on my machine was virtually non-existent. Everything about Quadral is very positive for this distinct type of sound, but there is one really big factor that elevates Quadral into something special. While presets are fun, and sound design is rewarding, yet time-consuming, Quadral remedies this with the “Random” button. This is where I spent most of my time and this is the defining function! With a random button across so many samples, there are quite literally infinite amounts of sounds you can get from Quadral. Well, not infinite but too many to play through in one lifetime, let alone a composing session. This button increases the longevity of the instrument and if need be, allows you to save random creations for later use. 120 presets not enough? You could make hundreds more with the click of a button. If only the “Random” button also had the option to generate a whacky name and autosave the creation, now that would be something new.

The random sounds that were coming out of Quadral were, for me, where the real inspiration was coming from. It’s hugely satisfying and ensures that there is a constant stream of new and interesting sounds emanating from the four layers. As a media composer, I find Quadral to be a very fun and useful composing tool. While it has a retro, cinematic sound to it, its straightforward design, varied sample pool, and intuitive onboard controls and effects make Quadral an inspiration station. Could you make an underscore with just Quadral? Of course, you could! Would I? Probably. Having tested this in a couple of recent compositions, it sits well in the mix and adds that layer of magic where needed.

Soundiron has created another affordable gem that is capable of really awesome and unique sounds. While it isn’t huge in size or price, it delivers a great sounding experience from start to finish. With the ability to design your own sounds, use presets, or randomize, Quadral represents great utility and great value for money. As always, check the demos to hear it in action, but Quadral is now among my exclusive list of hidden gems.

Facts

Downloads at 3GB
384 Stereo 24-bit 48kHz PCM WAV Samples
Six Different Preset Categories with over 200 Presets
Custom Control Features and FX Rack
Requires the full version of Kontakt 5.8+

Quadral normally sells for $39 but is currently on sale for $23 from Soundiron.

 

Demos of Quadral by Soundiron

 

Videos of Quadral by Soundiron

 

Contributor Pete Checkley reviews Quadral by Soundiron
Soundiron has created another affordable gem that is capable of really awesome and unique sounds.  When I need a bit of inspiration or some special sauce for a composition that needs just a little more character, I frequently turn to Soundiron. Quadral follows that trend being inspirational, quirky, and full of character. “