I think that you can create various sounds on the earth if you devise it. It has a large number of presets and is probably used in many movie and game productions. In particular, the environmental sound has a depth, and I think it is the best class in the library of sound effects. If the price was a little cheaper, it was ☆ 5 with a margin.
Bioscape is a Kontakt and Komplete platform-based sampler, with over 320 presets in the categories of pads, textures, ASMR, drones, pulses, playables and effects. Designed by Luftrum Sound Design (and a team of field recorders), the sounds in this package are astounding, and an obvious winner for the KVR Audio Readers Choice Award 2020. Other descriptive terms for this package include unique, organic (even the metallic sounds) and crystal clear, making it ideal for film scores, gaming soundtracks and also those who compose in the genre of ambient music. The demo included with this review covers only some of the hundreds of sounds, none of which were edited (more on that later); the demo's intention is to present some sounds I find captivating, but also to illustrate some of the features of this program's platform. It is these features that allow you to take Bioscape to a completely different realm as you create some of your own unique takes with all the morphing tools at your disposal.
Exceptionally flexible, Bioscape has a host of tools and parameters designed to work with the included sound samples, but you also can drag and drop your own sound samples for personalized experimentation and composition. The Bioscape platform has two sections or layers (wave files), and each with its own editing parameters. You can play/record just one layer, whereas invoking both layers results in A being stacked atop B. You can take those sound samples and adjust the length or target of each, e.g., loop a section of the entire wave. You then can play either layer forward or reverse, as well as forward/reverse stop and even ping-pong them if desired. Each layer further has its own filters and envelopes, as well as a number of effects, including modulation, delays, reverbs and a step sequencer that is ultra-easy to use (thus allowing for a basic sound to become a rhythmic pulse).
If that wasn't enough, you can take a wave and enter a new realm with the Mutate DNA and Motion Recording functions. Mutate DNA comprises of several sound characteristics that can be applied to a sound sample, for one or both layers. Each layer has 25 different themes, such as biomass, carbon, bow, eternal, machine, etc., and it's amazing how different a sampled sound can be when switching from one theme to another – utterly different! Not all mutations work with all samples (e.g., a 'ping' sound vs a pad), but you can spend hours discovering hundreds of different textures with this one tool. The Motion Recording permits you to control the dynamic movement of volume, cutoff, pitch, panning and effects in real time, e.g., as you move the cursor about on the XY Pad you can record the outcome. The result is a far more organic life to the samples, and definitely a backbone to some original composition.
Overall, for $159 USD, you get more than some amazing samples; Bioscape is an editing platform that will entertain and inspire for a long time to come. Consequently, expect to invest many a wee hour in the night addicted to Bioscape, and be prepared to be impressed. Bioscape works as a standalone platform or within a DAW, working with its host, Kontakt player (you do not need the full version). And it also works with Komplete, both programs that are available for free download through Native Instruments.
Bioscape, from my testing, is a rich collection of unique loops (in terms of quality and variety) and an astonishingly creative piece of gear. With full access to add in one's own samples, and do various manipulations to blends of these, with the help of DAW automation, there are wide and enjoyable creative possibilities. I had to crack open the manual a bit to help me fully realize what was happening, and having some experience with a few mediocre products by other less famous companies caused me to be initially skeptical.
It is NKS-compatible and works great on the free Kontakt 6.2 Player or Kontakt 6.2.
Like with Lunaris (a Kontakt Pad library instrument from the same developer that I'd previously reviewed), it is a pro-level instrument with an artistic personal flair. Based on the website, these are only the first two Kontakt libraries Liftrum has released but this is not apparent in the quality. The control options are relatively up on the level of releases by the larger Kontakt developers, for the most part, and I love the fact that it allows user sample import.
Prior to working Lunaris I had worked with I had purchased a few libraries from Luftrum for Omnisphere and Iris 2, and I was aware that Luftrum is capable of equisite sound design. Luftrum products include sounds and presets from Luftrum himself, and sometimes from other well-known sound designers like Simon Stockhausen, Arksun, Triple Spiral Audio, and Sonic Underworld to name a few.
Happily, Bioscape includes Time Stop, which can creatively but effectively granularize things compositionally. In terms of the choice of sounds included, and for its features and especially the fact that it allows the import of one's own samples, it is an excellent product. While there are other "morph" tools that allow one to import samples, this one has more features. It allows one to modulate and morph and manipulate one's samples in ways that other similar products do not. (I have a large collection of personally created samples as well as contortions of other interesting things. It handles those I've created with Loop Points using FL Studio Edison (I suppose there are many other tools to create loop points with - including Sound Forge, which I own). It also has a very well-chosen set of included snapshots and samples, not bland material. My CPU did okay, although it is not the lightest plugin to run by any means.
Bioscape in essence is mostly Cinematic, but I would probably want to use it for sound design for some other genres including Trap and Ambient Electronica, etc It comes with 324 snapshots in categories including ASMR, Dronescapes, Effects, Pads, Playables, Pulses, and Textures. The presets consist of 4 layers (A-D) that work in pairs of A-B and C-D. The layers can be set to loop forward, reversed, or ping pong'd, or to play as one shots. Apparently each layer can be used for a user slot, but I wasn't entirely clear on this.
As an example, there is a snapshot in the Pulses category called Electro Static ES, which comprises the waves called "Before The Rain" and "Gran Sabana" in layers A & B. Layers C and D have the text "User Slot (Empty). This snapshot is very useable for analog modular styles, and can be synced to DAW tempo, but I found it more intriguing to use polyrhythmically, by manipulating the tempo in my DAW (FL Studio) and recording the result (in my case into Edison so I could further edit it). Clicking on the layers reveals a menu for loading a different wave file, and one may also drag in a user sample, which will show up in the User folder (it is preferable to put these wave files in a safe consistent place because the wave file itself will not be re-saved automatically when you save your snapshot creations.).
There are a great deal of electrosatic samples (in the category 'electric') which I find highly useful for what I like to create and manipulate, along with the individual wave categories of bowed, cityscapes, creatures, deserts, drones, forests, harps, ice, industrial, metal, misc, mountains, water, and wind. Obviously a great deal of care was made in field recording and choosing these samples.
Found on the Main screen, the wave file pairs (AB and CD) each have their own ASDR envelope filter to be used in combination with a choice of 24 different filter types per layer to choose from, including from "Lowpass (LP) filters to Highpass (HP) and Bandpass (BP) filters, plus formant and notch filters. The filters types range from 2-pole to 4-pole filters with State Variable (SV), Ladder and Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters, per filter category (LP, HP and BP)."
Also in the MAIN tab, in addition to the ADSR envelope, one finds the panning and the tuning of the layer, velocity control, and the keyfollow of the amplitude, and with the FILTER tab, one can set the filter envelope, the cutoff frequency, the resonance as well as the filter envelope amount for the cutoff and the keyfollow for the filter.
Additionally one can turn KEYTRK on or off, and control how the loop behaves.
Next there are two mutate types performing a function called "Mutate DNA" that be applied (one or both at the same time) to apply certain changes to the existing snapshots, towards creating variations (based on names of these variation types, such as droned, dark, dynamic, eternal, noisy, frozen, bowed, harmonic, modulated, organic, etc.) Some very beautiful or usefully-dramatic results can be made to occur.
Following that, in a window in the center of the screen, is a tool for "Motion Recording", in which the x/y positions essentially determines the mixture of the four layers. (This begins to compare to the Orb in Omnisphere, although a user doesn't have direct access to inspect the parameters and control of Omnisphere's Orb - and has to reverse engineer it in one's mind - although more fx and parameters are no doubt in play in Orb). With Motion Recording one can use motion that has been recorded using Kontakt Script Array preset files. One can also record one's own motion preset files, then activate the Play button, and It sort of acts like a tape machine, where recording and playback is triggered by your key press. The X-Y pad acts as a crossfade between layers. There is also a speed mode to multiply or divide the speed of your recorded motion, and you can ping-pong or run it in reverse, etc.
On either side of the Motion Recording window are Quick Mod and Quick FX areas, for assigning and directly controlling parameters and assigning modulators (basically a quick mod matrix and quick fx-mix matrix.).
In addition to the Main screen, the two other screens available by tab are the (Main) Modulation screen and (Main) Fx screen. The Modulation screen is a place to edit the data on Four Sequencers - and to set controls on a few LFOs, with the modulation targets for these sequencers and LFOs being set from the Quick Mod area. While I did not see a macro control system, one has a place to assign Mod Wheel and Aftertouch, and that wraps up the Modulation Page.
The FX page includes the very useful Time Stop features that will be familiar to Lunaris users. In summary it includes a highly realistic convolution reverb, and each dual layer part AB and CD has its own effect chain with Chorus, Phaser, Distortion, EQ, Timestop and Replika Delay effects. Bioscape actually compares favorably to some more expensive products, with the flexibility of using one's own samples, and it has probably more interesting and "curated" loops than you will find in other products.