Review: SOLE by Fingerprint Audio

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Switzerland based newcomers Fingerprint Audio have burst onto the scene with SOLE, a composing toolkit with a total of 70 versatile instruments spread over 13 different categories. With the modern film score composer in mind, SOLE features everything you need to create compelling scores with character and flair. Ranging from organic instruments to sound design, keyboards to synths, SOLE will be a library you reach for time and time again due to it’s sheer range, quality of sounds and ability to inspire.

Jump to the Videos of SOLE by Fingerprint Audio

Jump to the Demos of SOLE by Fingerprint Audio

 

Review: SOLE by Fingerprint Audio

When I first got my hands on SOLE, I immediately wanted to know more about it. Having checked out the Fingerprint Audio page, I discovered it was an all-in-one composing toolkit. With no major surprises on the instrument list, I was intrigued as to what made SOLE so compelling. I clicked on the trailer video and that was it, I was hooked! Within the 1 minute and 15 seconds of promotion, I knew exactly what was contained within and more importantly, how it sounded…and boy does it sound great! After a very quick download and installation of the snapshots, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

SOLE normally sells for $129 normally, $99 on into from Fingerprint Audio

Thoughts

The 13 categories are neatly laid out and combined into like for like variations where appropriate. Within each folder are further instruments which are loaded into Kontakt separately. As you can see, the list is comprehensive and ranges from delicate and subtle to ever so slightly upfront and in your face. Having started at the top, the Acoustic folder features cymbals, war drums and various drowning instruments. These are celesta, piano, guitar and glassophone and they all sound atmospheric, clear and full of character.

The GUI is great. It is compact, easy to read and very easy to find your way around should you want to tweak the sound. That said, the sampling and sound design throughout SOLE was so superb right of the box, I didn’t feel the need to go tweaking. When I wanted to, it was a very easy experience. The five tabs at the bottom ensure a smooth transition between the main engine, effects engine, rhythm engine, arpeggiator and of course the final output engine. Again, this is not a huge instrument in terms of data real estate, but it is packed full of samples and expansive features. I found that it was easy to take the instruments and manipulate them to your hearts content within the various engines and I was impressed with the various insert and send FX which are fully keyswitchable. Any instrument where you can take the base sounds and manipulate them into something completely new is a big win from me!

Back to the acoustic instruments. The drowned instruments sound suitably subdued and wouldn’t sound out of place at the beginning or a trailer or on a dramatic underscore. Delicate, sweet and beautiful in timbre and just a joy to play. The range of cymbals is quite small although it’s everything you really need from crashes, splashes and some scrapes. With added effects, the sound design capabilities was more than enough to last several scores. Finally, the drums are excellent. A lot bigger than I expected and these could easily ramp up the adrenaline or even be used on an epic orchestral score. I like how big and punchy they were, which is pretty much everything I look for in a drum.

So far so good, a great collection of acoustic instruments.

Now it’s the turn of the sound design. Did I mention the sound design is excellent throughout? It’s clean, not over-processed at all and provides more than enough variety to be used in albums worth of scores. The Braams kick things off in suitable style. These are not at all overly synthetic and vary from delicate distant rumblings to more aggressive in nature. By using keyswitches, the pitches can be changed and the samples all sound just as good, low or high. With 19 in total, this is a great start to a compreheansive sound design package.

The Downers, Hits+Wooshbangs and Sub Hits are next up and are loaded into their own instrument. They all sound great, useable out of the box and not too processed. While I do love some great sound design, they must have a practical use and I didn’t find any samples that were so over the top, they could never be used. With a good amount of weight to them, it was easy to tell that a large amount of time and care when into designing these samples. Speaking of which, the Pings are superb and have already found their way into a cue already. Bright, vibrant but with a great keyswitchable pitch range.

The remainder of the sound design sounds brilliant. I am a sucker for a good pulse library and each pulse is loaded separately with their own playable range. There are both low pulses and glitch pulses here which can be further manipulated in the extensive rhythm engine to get the desired pulse you want. Very easy to use and very inspiring. Almost rounding off the sound design aspects are the Risers, Shepherd Tones and Wooshes. All sound great, again very useable and expertly designed. It’s also taking a moment to appreciate the fact that Fingerprint Audio thought to include Shepard Tones. You don’t see them too often and these are cinematic to the max! Finally, a special mention goes out to the Signatures. These bespoke sounds are great for moments of interest and even the odd jump scare.

The synth content is as varied as it is great sounding. Again, the fairly short releases can be altered incredibly quickly and I found myself with some great soundscapes and melodic synths. For underscore and dramatic writing, there are perfect and work incredibly well with the drown instruments especially. Finally, the Sub Bass. This is such a handy tool to have built into the library as it is often overlooked and yet transformed scores.

I could write more and more about SOLE but simply the proof is in the quality. The demos are great and make you instantly want to dive in. This is a great toolkit for any composer regardless of skill and level. Can I imagine this on high-end movie productions and trailers? Most certainly. Is it a great library for hobbyists? Definitely. For such a low price point, the content is fantastic but above all else, the instruments and sound design are top-tier quality. An excellent first library from newcomers Fingerprint Audio.

Facts

Downloads at 771 MB

70 instruments split across 13 categories

Snapshots installed separately

Requires Full Version of Kontakt

SOLE normally sells for $129 normally, $99 on into from Fingerprint Audio

 

Demos of SOLE by Fingerprint Audio

Videos of SOLE by Fingerprint Audio

 

Contributor Pete Checkley reviews SOLE by Fingerprint Audio
“Switzerland-based newcomers Fingerprint Audio have burst onto the scene with SOLE, a composing toolkit with a total of 70 versatile instruments spread over 13 different categories. With the modern film score composer in mind, SOLE features everything you need to create compelling scores with character and flair. Ranging from organic instruments to sound design, keyboards to synths, SOLE will be a library you reach for time and time again due to its sheer range, quality of sounds, and ability to inspire.”