What Is It?
It's simple really – Beat-Sliced Guitars (BSG) are guitars played rhythmically in all the common note length variations and two playing styles (staccato and legato), sampled and sliced so that it stays solidly in time with your host. Add some Kontakt magic like effects and envelope loop patterns and voila – an incredibly expressive, inspirational and downright fun-to-play instrument! Kontakt multis extend the possibilities by adding another BSG type for layered sound textures or a second instance of the same type with a different keyswitch mapping so that interesting and complex rhythmic textures arise as different note lengths and patterns are played against each other.
If you're looking for an instrument that will let your guitar-slinger solos sound as close to a "real" guitar as possible (or as close as MIDI will allow), look elsewhere. What these instruments will do is provide a fresh and organic rhythmic timbre that is at once unique and familiar. No matter what your style, these instruments will give your compositions a solid edge.
Instrument Specs and Details
- This instrument is compatible with Kontakt 5.1 and later. You must have the full version of Kontakt. They do not work with Kontakt Player.
- There are 348 48kHz 24-bit sample loops per instrument (~180 MB uncompressed .wav files).
- 29 notes (C3 thru E5) and 6 common time values (whole, quarter, quarter triplet, eighth, eighth triplet and sixteenth) are included.
- Each note and length is performed, sampled and looped for a 4/4 measure or more. Each note also has two performance styles – staccato (or palm mute) and legato. Original loops are at 75 BPM but are sliced in Kontakt (ala REX files) so that they are useful over a wide range of tempos. There is also a ½ time switch that allows the instrument to work well with tempos exceeding 150 BPM.
- Velocity switches between staccato and legato. Softer, low-velocity notes yield staccato playing while harder, high-velocity notes play the legato loops.
- Keyswitches control the note length values. Each note value (except whole) has a straight-time version as well as two patterned versions that reside on a group of three keyswitches. The keyswitches are mapped from C#1 thru B2 with the straight-time version of each value falling on a black key and the patterned versions on the white keys to either side. Refer to the Appendix to view the keyswitch mappings.
Let's hear it for sound designer art! It's a guitar so it deserves a good pedalboard, right? We didn't want to clutter things up with a bunch of tiny numbers. It's a stompbox… right-click on a switch or knob to assign your favorite controller and start tweaking. There's really nothing too complicated here – everything toggles on and off with a switch. The filter has the standard cut off frequency and resonance controls plus a pull down selector for the type – we've given you high pass, peak bandpass, lowpass and formant types. The phaser has controls for depth, speed and feedback amount as well as phase (0-90 degrees). The flanger adds a "colour" knob. The chorus has the standard depth and speed controls as well as a phase control. The delay has time, depth and feedback controls. The control marked "Pan" is really a pan amount for the ping-pong delay – not a left/right control. The delay time syncs to the host BPM. The Stereo-izer has width and pan controls.
The 1/2-time switch is for use when the host tempo exceeds 150 BPM. One caveat: the switch uses MIDI CC#119 internally, so we suggest that you don't use MIDI CC#119 as one of your controllers. When using a multi with all instances on the same MIDI port/channel, all instances will be switched the same – switch 1/2-time on for one instance and all others will play ½-time.
On the third tab is an Arpeggiator. It's a pretty standard Kontakt arpeggiator with all the standard features. Given that this is a looping rhythmic instrument, an arpeggiator may seem less than useful (why re-trigger rhythmic loops?), but we wanted to include it as a possible option.
Instrument Sample Sets
WackAss is a dual humbucker Brian Moore i13 strung with D'Addario EXL110 strings and set to the neck position with the tone control rolled nearly off. It was recorded directly to the DAW through an effects chain, which included an Electro-Harmonix Ring Thing and a WMD Geiger Counter. This set is an octave-down monster of mangled guitar – a synth-like texture but with a plucked string driving it to produce a harmonically rich timbre with a wholly organic feel.