Heavyocity Media is a New York City developer of leading virtual instruments for computer-based music production, composition and sound design. Heavyocity's award-winning products push the boundaries of creativity and provide new and unique tools for professional composers and producers.
This Kontakt instrument is an absolute cracker! It works in the free Kontakt player so anyone can use it and it offers an incredible feature set. There are three separate instruments in the product. One allows you to play strings like you would on any synth. The second one, String Designer, lets you shape the sampled strings into sounds that are more like a synth. The final instrument, Loop Designer, allows you to choose and play preset pattern loops, as played by the orchestra. They allow you to stack three layers - bass, cello and violin/viola - to create powerful string arrangements for your compositions.
You get 6GB of sample content and the quality is amazing. It includes multiple articulations - sustain, tremolo, pizzicato and staccato - and you can mix between the close and room mics to get the best sound. There are plenty of effects too, including a step sequencer in the String Designer that you can use to modulate certain parameters to create your own synth-like rhythms, It goes way beyond your average string sample set. The Loop Designer also has plenty of loops for you to work with. You can mix and match loops between layers for even greater variety.
The instrument is very deep, you can go crazy creating your own patches and it takes a lot of time and effort to fully explore everything on offer. I was really surprise dhow complex it all is. That said, it's presented in a clear way and I didn't find it daunting at all. Once you have your sounds, playing the instruments is even easier. You use your left hand to set the note you want to play, within a single octave, and then you use the three higher octaves to select your loops. e.g. I might want to play the bass loop that's mapped to the F in bass octave, the cello loop on the B key and the loop on E for the violin. I just have to press those three keys momentarily to select those loops. If I want them to play in the key of G, I press the G key with my left hand. If I go from G to A, it raises the pitch of each of the three loops by two semitones. So you play your melody with your left hand and you use your right hand to change any of the three rhythms (loops). It's dead easy and very addictive.
NOVO Essentials is one of those things that you probably have to experience to appreciate. The demo only includes a tiny proportion of the samples but it will give you a good idea of the potential of the package. If you want orchestral strings in your songs and you can't justify spending several hundred dollars on them, this thing will more than get you up and running. I envisage using it for years without having to worry about repeating myself or sounding like everyone else. Highly recommended.
I'd like to make it clear that I'm not a natural drummer, far from it.
This review is about my experience using DM-307 from a workflow, usability and results point of view - and not a rehash of the spec which anyone can look up.
I own BFD & Geist and have tried numerous other drum machines, and never had any consistent luck with any of them - which might be my fault - but that's the way it is.
THE REVIEW ==========.
DM-307 is a great tool for non-drummers (like me) who need a quick route to great sounding beats.
I'm fed up with using regular one-dimensional loop stems - as the basic groove might be good sounding, but there's v little that can be done to change the beatz without awkward non-intuitive detailed editing and effects.
So fills, ramps, builds etc are possible but v fiddly, and prone to make glitches - and they take too long to do.
DM 307 makes all this easy & quick with an exceptionally intuitive workflow.
Actually, it's more than easy. It's fantastic how well Heavyocity do it.
The ample supply of loops can be accessed as:
> individual loops.
> loop menus.
> pre-arranged loop sequences called Kit Grooves.
THE LOOPS =========.
All Loops come with a variety of trigger keys to add interest.
Around 8 FX triggers and 8 Mutator keyswitches - so without having to deep edit there's instant gratification from simply pressing keyswitches and hearing instant changes.
Heavyocity have done all the work here - hooray.
It's easy to dig into a loop and rearrange the slices to suit, or pile on fx, as everything is there on the page - with no deep menu digging required to produce original-sounding quality results.
Each loop comes with 8 variations pre-built.
So multiply 8 variations by 8 Mutators and 8 FX keyswitches, and you'll see a whole pile of variations are instantly possibly - all playable on the fly or by MIDI note from your DAW.
It literally works out of the box.
How cool is that.
THE SEQUENCER ==============.
Load a Kit Groove and start playing. The tune is almost there.
A Kit Groove is a preset of 4-8 related patterns that make up the groove.
There's an inbuilt Pattern Sequencer which can handle up to 8 patterns in any order you choose, using The Chainer - so you can loop, repeat, playback in any order that suits your tune.
For any drum sound (kick, snare etc) you can audition from 8 alternative sounds simply by dragging a slider. Voom. Done. New kick.
I like this level of quick customisation.
The choice is restricted to 8 (I think) alternative related sounds (kick1, kick2, etc) to their default kit piece included in the groove.
This beats scrolling through a huge directory of far-too-many kit piece replacement possibilities, which always kills me off.
It's easy enough to create your own patterns by editing the existing patterns. V quick.
The patterns (sorry, Kit Grooves) come as nki presets - lots of them.
And you can trigger the 8 keyswitch effects any time.
Or create your own keyswitches (for when you need that special rise, etc)
And you can create multis with multiple sequencers and kits.
There are a bunch of effects pre-built in. What you'd expect to find in 2014.
They're fine and they do the job.
What's good is that you can apply the effects locally or globally or anyway you want, and do it easily.
So you can work on the fly and enjoy listening instead of hunting through directories of effects, loading them etc.
They also have Punisher and Twister big knobs to play with which, between them, can suitably refine or wreck your sound depending on what you're looking for.
THE SOUND =========.
Top modern samples here.
The presets are a bit verby (movie verb), but it's easy to get rid of the verb (one click) either selectively or globally.
You get Heavyocity build quality which says a lot.
Consider: V few sample houses get a Kontakt recommendation. NI actually put Heavyocity right there next to their own for-sale sample sets. That's a lot of trust.
Which means great quality - for you - but at a price.
The sounds can be used for literally anything except v specialist projects.
They're all neatly categorised into genres - with a good range from nearly straight Rock to totally messed-up Dubstep (yummy)
The consistent quality of the sounds is impressive. I haven't noticed any duds yet.
I'm almost tempted to say "Omnisphere quality".
If you're not a natural drum player - or even if you are - I'd recommend getting DM-307 if your wallet can stand it.
It's a workflow to dream about.
My feeling is that a great GUI invariably means a great app. They go together.
So DM-307 is beautiful, usable, fast to work with, and sounds very good.
You owe it to yourself to at least check out the video demos,and soundcloud mp3s to understand the new possibilities that can be achieved.
For me, Heavyocity have finally thought-out the drum machine properly.
It's precise, deep, superficial, organised and sexy with tons of top pro sounds and grooves.
Since I discovered EVOLVE I cannot miss it on any of my projects! It sounds amazing, totally impressive fitting each kind of music genre and inspiring me hugely, EVOLVE gives the ultimate and modern feel to all my compositions!
I used EVOLVE excellent instruments and multis from Pop to Metal songs and, of course, on all New-Age and Soundtracks productions. I always got what I was looking for… and, last but not least, the Expanded contents complete and update EVOLVE ceaselessly…
There is no music area that EVOLVE cannot afford, it is the perfect “assistant” in my studio!
Moreover,the new MUTUATIONS is the right complement to EVOLVE, adding a wide collection of sounds and loops, of course top-quality!
Combining both EVOLVE and MUTUATIONS you can arrange your Pop, Rock, New-Age song in a while, getting that ready-to-mix sound we musicians are always looking for.
Controls, settings and effects complete this great suite that can fit any kind of music and production.