Review: Wave by String Audio
Beautifully Clean, Organic Sound
Many great sounding presets
Powerful Color Engine
Convenient Randomization Button
Innovative User Import Function
Endless Amount of Material
Amount of content can be overwhelming
Load time delays can be a minor inconvenience
Wave by String Audio is a fantastic cinematic library which incorporates top-notch sounds combined with their powerful sample Engine to help composers create their own custom sound design at the click of the mouse.
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Review: Wave by String Audio
Building upon their recent success with Signs, String Audio’s Wave is a content-packed sample collection that is comprised of countless organic pads, textures and ambiences that are sure to inspire. Their powerful sample engine and import feature adds even more value to an already compelling release. An impressive tool for any composer seeking moving underscore atmospheres for their next production.
Wave sells for $139.00 from String Audio
With years of experience developing exciting releases for Omnisphere and Kontakt, String Audio has once again stepped-up their game with their new Wave library aimed at creating cinematic soundscapes. The library boasts a fantastic tone while being loaded with tons of great content, a vast amount of FX, their advanced sample engine as well as a new user import function. Composers will quickly learn how limitless this collection can be and hopefully inspire all new types of sonic landscapes.
At first glance, the sheer amount of content is astounding, if not overwhelming, and the library itself contains more than 3.5 GB of deeply sampled content, over 200 multi-sampled sounds, 440 presets, and 378 distinct impulse responses. Globally, the single included NKI patch is divided into six distinct layers that can be controlled and manipulated independently as well as muted/solo’d as needed. The first three layers consist of wavetable synths that act as the foundation of your palette of which the rest of your sound is built. Layers 4 and 5 are made up of String Audio’s classic sample material that help bring in a more ‘human’ aspect and the final layer is reserved for custom user imports. Making your own layers can be a very fun trial and error as composers discover their signature sound.
Sonically, the library has an aesthetically clean and reserved tone which should suit more ambient underscores, blend well with quieter orchestral moments and be flexible enough for any other popular genres. The sample set also features various organic textures which is perfect for modern productions in need of some more natural sound design. The high-quality sound is very reminiscent of today’s modern, atmospheric scores and should be a great compliment to any composer’s current collection. What really sets Wave apart from other libraries in this regard however, is their innovative layering system which includes up to 6 different levels of sound sources that are stacked and combined in a completely new fashion. In turn, this gives the library a sense of depth and originality that similar offerings lack while also giving composers the opportunity to truly build their own ‘patches’. Ultimately, this serves to be an invaluable and seemingly endless tool for finding inimitable sounds that are sure to inspire.
This is all housed in String Audio’s familiar graphical user interface which is laid out in a simple and straightforward manner to give composers an easy-to-use panel without any unnecessary frills that may over complicate your workflow. Each layer contains its own page with several options to effortlessly change the tone to your liking. Similar to Signs, Wave makes use of the larger, Kontakt page format in order to give enough space for the several buttons and knobs that give detailed control over the different sound parameters like; Tuning, Panning, High and Low Pass Filtering, Resonance, Frequency, Depth, Phasing, etc. The dedicated FX page adds yet another level of control with even more great tools to shape your sound such as; 63 Simultaneous FX/LFO parameters, 6 separate Convolvers and the 328 Impulse Responses that are included. This definitely gives users an idea of the amount of control and thus sound possibilities this library possesses. Utilizing the browser to audition sounds is helpful when quickly scrolling through different presets though load times can be a bit of an annoyance at times. It is also interesting to note that the instrument’s first three wavetable layers are featured in a prominent and rather cool horizontal ‘Wave’ view that displays the specific sample’s soundwave in real-time that changes according to modulation, effects, etc.
The Color Engine is comprised of six different convolution reverbs that work simultaneously and include several different changeable parameters to achieve whatever your desired effect may be. The presets are a good starting point and has a significant effect on the overall sound design. It is best to think of these as more encompassing effects which manipulate the tonal quality of the entire sound dissimilar from standard reverbs. As one might assume, this is available for each of the six different layers making the sound possibilities seem endless.
Wave also builds on Signs success with the Randomizer button and it remains to be one of the best features of the library helping composers easily create their own presets quickly. As the name suggests, this tool arbitrarily modifies the extensive number of parameters to generate an entirely different texture by simply clicking the String Audio button on the interface. This is a helpful tool that swiftly alters the whole sound in seconds to something completely different and multiplies the amount of sound options exponentially. For more and less experienced sound designers alike, this function is an endless source of discovery that can lead to many hours of testing newly formed sounds that fit your artistic vision.
What is perhaps most interesting is Wave’s new and extraordinary ‘Import’ function that allows users to bring in their own audio to their sample engine and produce wholly original sound design. This facet alone is worth the price of admission and enables a user-friendly tool for composers looking to develop their personal sound design textures. This is great for producers who already have a bank of beautiful sampled sounds and were looking to add more interest, complexity and individuality to their template. Again, testing this feature with various sounds sources can be quite entertaining for a long time without tiring of it.
Wave also hugely benefits from all the new Kontakt 6 features and specifically takes advantage of all new Replika, Delay, Phasis and Flair which add to the ability of truly shaping your unique sonic ideas. This is great for composers who possibly lack the capability to construct their own sound design from scratch but also don’t want to be bound to sound similar to other artists using stock libraries or presets.
In all, String Audio’s Wave is another exciting step into the future of sample development with their all new tool for composers aimed at creating your very own sound design textures. Plainly, this is an excellent library that brings a wealth of high-quality as well as organic-sounding atmospheres, pads and textures that are perfect for any composer looking for their next cinematic library. The sonic signature of the library is quite versatile and should work well in quiet moments or even larger, more epic scenes. It is comprised of endless hours of original content that is powered by their all-new sound engine for designing even more unique sound sources. For those familiar with and love Signs already, Wave will not disappoint and brings forth all new functionality in terms of their import feature. Considering the amount of options and control at the composer’s fingertips, it is safe to say that Wave is an absolute winner that can certainly meet most anyone’s needs. At the end of the day, Wave delivers where it counts most and absolutely serves as an endless basis of inspiring sounds that should fit any music project.
It is also important to note, that Wave received a major update this past March which included more than 500mb of ‘drag and drop’ WAV samples, 50 all new presets and additional IRs, among other bug fixes.
Wave is a 3.4 GB download with 1 single NKI instrument and contains just over 690 individual samples. The library requires Native Instruments Kontakt 6.2.2 Full or later; it will NOT work with the free Kontakt Player.
Wave sells for $139.00 from String Audio
Contributor BenG reviews Wave by String Audio
“Wave by String Audio is a fantastic cinematic library which incorporates top-notch sounds combined with their powerful sample Engine to help composers create their own custom sound design at the click of the mouse.”