We get in the future, at last! "Photosynthesis Vol.1" is one of the new Kontakt libraries that definitely point at the subtle side of sound design.
After years of so many massive, huge, epic sounding releases for Kontakt (some of them truly good, some of them a bit repeating a now too well known path), we finally see appearing more new products for soundtrack/cinematic composers that cleverly explore the world of distant, subtle, ethereal, light and dark, glitched, lo-fi synths, pads and soundscapes. This has been quite an unexplored field in the market of quality virtual instruments until the last year or so, although so many movie soundtracks use extensively the beauty of cinematic subtleties: so, here's a bit of the future, designed in a brilliant release for Kontakt.
In a field of libraries we could name "subtle & cinematic" (which is no contradiction at all) there are no defined stereotypes yet, so we can still (how long?) enjoy a true, magic moment of freedom for the sound designers that take the chance to release such oriented works: "Photosynthesis Vol.1" was conceived with very good taste, and - pretty sure - with the composer in mind. So, you find no useless weirdness here, but sounds made for your musical ideas, simply playable...
"Photosynthesis Vol.1" stands out with a great sound quality and a very simple, yet full of features interface (the scripted GUI is available for free, so don't miss it!), it offers a quite nice sample selection, very good presets and a three layer structure that you can immediately control/tweak as you like. It is such a good surprise (the concept, the sounds, and last but not least the fair price) that makes me wish that "Vol.1" means there's a follow up coming not in a long while.
Simply said, I just started the sketches of four new tracks (soundtracks for theater), immediately inspired by the sounds in this library, and I am designing several instruments in the free "Photosynthesis Engine" concentrating only on the sound, with all the controls I need right there: what more could I ask?
Pros - future/modern sound concept, very good sounds and interface, fair price, light on cpu.
Without beating around the bush, Sphere Vol 1 for Photosynthesis (Kontakt) Engine, is a healthy selection of patches with a tightly integrated UI.
The patches are truly custom designed to add strange, other worldly, distant, slightly distorted, pad's, soundscapes & synth lead sounds, (A full break down of the patches can be found at Jeremiah's web site).
I'm not gong to get bogged down in the technical side, because I am in agreement with the designers own comments and obvious nod towards pricing, which I think is very good, considering the work that's it's taken to make the original sound sources and script his engine.
In short, Jeremiah has made a really interesting instrument full of character and warmth that you can't ignore, many of the patches reminded me of sounds found in music by the greats, specifically Peter Gabriel's 'Passion - Last Temptation of Christ' came to mind, but I'm in agreement with Jeremiahs other sources of inspiration that he lists on his web site.
My rating say's it all really, I totally recommend this library. for the first time in ages, would actually be interested to hear it in other artists work as there is plenty of space for everyone.