Review: The Mandolin by Indiginus

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The Mandolin from Indiginus is an incredibly detailed and deep-sampled Mandolin library for Kontakt. This package contains everything you need to create your own picked and strummed Mandolin performances with a variety of features that provide impeccable realism and playability.

Jump to the Demos of The Mandolin

Jump to the Videos of The Mandolin

Review: The Mandolin by Indiginus

The Mandolin from Indiginus Sample Libraries is an incredibly detailed and deep-sampled Mandolin library for Kontakt. This package contains everything you need to create your own picked and strummed Mandolin performances with a variety of features that provide impeccable realism and playability. With nearly everything you can do with a Mandolin packed neatly into a single NKI instrument, this library is simple, yet all-inclusive.

The Mandolin sells for $59 from Indigius

 

Thoughts

The Mandolin packs a lot of power and control into its single NKI instrument file, which means there’s a lot to discover hidden within the user interface.

When you load up The Mandolin, you’ll be presented with this stylish imagery. The first thing you’ll likely notice is the Velocity Controlled Articulation area, with icons for nearly every Mandolin articulation you can think of, including bends, mutes, tremolos, trills, hammer-ons and more. It can be confusing to look at since they are all represented by icons rather than words, but after clicking on a few and playing through them, you’ll discover that they are very logically and intuitively assigned to their symbols.

Using the sliding zones in the middle, you can set velocity ranges to cover different articulations.

Using the sliding zones in the middle, you can set velocity ranges to cover different articulations. You can load two special articulations which are color coded at the bottom and top of the velocity range, while the regular picked articulation stays in the middle between the specials. If you like to keep it simpler, you can drag the arrows up or down to fill as much of the range as you want with whichever articulation you prefer.

To the right is a Tremolo Speed fader and a sync slider, with a resonance fader below. One of the absolute coolest parts of this library is that all of the articulations are tempo and key synced. You can adjust the details of this synchronization by clicking the “More settings” button below the articulations.

Here you can set up the minute details of the trills, bends, and hammer ons, as well as tweak the volumes of each articulation. The detail is immense!

The Key can be set down at the bottom of this panel, as well as adjustments to the vibrato, sampled noises, and auto-harmony, which can be turned on with the harmony button. There is also an FX button on the left which reveals some simple controls for a compressor, flanger, and reverb. These are very limited, but it’s always nice to have the option available.

The Mandolin handles strumming in a very interesting and easy to understand way. Clicking the “Chords” button on the left reveals the chord interface, complete with a fret board. Here you can assign a chord (Major, minor, 7th, etc…) to each root note going up the chromatic scale, then playing a note on one of the strum octaves (highlighted red or green) triggers a sampled strum.

by going back and forth between the octaves you get realistic strumming.

One octave is a down-stroke, while the other is an up-stroke. So, by going back and forth between the octaves you get realistic strumming. There are no pre-sampled strum patterns, but this system allows you to make your own quite easily. Strum speed and chop can be adjusted in the bottom area, and mutes can be activated either by a manual button press or by velocity.

The gear icon on the left allows you to save and load your own chord settings and adjust velocity sensitivity. It also reveals a legend for the keyswitches, which I have yet to mention – neatly toggles on the interface and can be activated via keyswitches as well. There is so much to do in this interface that describing it all might start to read like a technical manual, but the most important aspects are very intuitive and easy to get up and running!

The level of detail packed into this lightweight 1.2 GB library is impressive!

The Mandolin is outstandingly well sampled and fun to play. The level of detail packed into this lightweight 1.2 GB library is impressive! With string noises and resonance from the body of the instrument sampled, this instrument absolutely exudes realism through detail and nuance. Every time I load up The Mandolin I end up wasting time just playing chord progressions from songs that I know or hammering out melodies.

The only downside is that it is easy to get lost in all the technical detail available for tweaking. Of course, with an instrument like a mandolin, you’ll never be able to have every single sound easily accessible on a keyboard. There are simply too many articulations and too many ways to adjust their timing and key, but if you keep it simple and stick to the basic techniques, this is one of the most convincing sample libraries you’ll ever hear. The most exciting part of this library is when you really get down to the nitty gritty with programming the performances. With time, you can create mandolin parts full of bends, mutes, and other techniques that will have listeners convinced that you recorded a live player.

As with all our reviews be sure and check out the official videos and demos (below) to make sure this instrument is right for you.

 

Facts

The Mandolin contains 1.2 GB of samples and is available only for the full retail version of Kontakt 5 at only $59. The entire product is packaged into one .nki file, including strumming and picking. You can get The Mandolin at www.indiginus.com!

The Mandolin sells for $59 from Indigius

 

Demos of The Mandolin by Indigius

Videos of The Mandolin by Indigius