StudioWeapon has released Underscore, a new workstation and sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt 5 containing more than 200 sounds created for the specific requirements of film, TV, and game music composers.
An important feature is the FluidPhrase Engine (FPE), a user-programmable polyphonic key-triggered step sequencer with 5 unique trigger modes. The FPE allows users to play complex musical patterns directly from their MIDI keyboard. Designed to meet the needs of working composers, Underscore is equal parts workhorse and muse.
- Mix-Ready Sounds - all patches are mix-ready and come pre-programmed with FPE patterns. These patterns are designed to inspire users with "one-key" results, without any of the harmonic, meter, or tempo limitations associated with audio loops because they can be reprogrammed using Underscore's editing tools, and switched during playback using the 12 key-switchable pattern memories. Sounds are categorized into 7 groups: Bells & Mallets, Guitars & Plucks, and Synths form the bulk of the presets, with Basses, Pads, Percussion & FX patches rounding out the library. Additionally, Underscore offers users the Fast Food Orchestra, a collection of hybrid-synthetic orchestral instruments which are ideal for enhancing arrangements or as a writing tool in client meetings and spotting sessions.
- FluidPhrase Engine – a 60-voice polyphonic sequencer with variable length and count-base which locks to host tempo and is triggered in real-time from a MIDI keyboard or host DAW using one of five distinct trigger modes: Legato-Return, Polyphonic, Poly-Retrigger, First Step Hold, or Chord-Split. Users can load and save patterns using the included pattern browser, and patterns are switchable in real-time.
- Phrase Envelopes – 4 drawable 128-step envelopes that can be assigned to modulate multiple instrument parameters during playback, triggered by MIDI input notes. This feature is synchronized with the FluidPhrase Engine and allows users to apply fades, sweeps and gate FX to rhythmic patterns without retriggering on every playback note.
- 5-Layer Sample Architecture – designed to create textured instruments which can be manipulated with ease. Patches include up to 5 sample layers with independent filters and envelopes, as well as variable onset delay, sample start and randomization features. Users can create their own patches from scratch by assigning their own samples inside Kontakt to any of the 5 layers, which are arranged to enable ease of use.
- Layer X-Fader – users can perform cross-fades using the independently drawable cross-fade response on each layer. From simple fades to evolving textures, this feature is intended to provide nuance and expression within individual patches, and can be used with the Phrase Envelopes to automate X-Fader position over the length of a phrase.
Price: $249 at www.studioweapon.com. There is a 60-day money back guarantee.
(All sounds heard in the above video - except the vocal - are from Underscore)