Heavyocity – Aeon Collection
It’s Heavyocity time once again and on this occasion I will be taking a look at the Aeon Collection as I continue to focus on libraries that are not part of the Native Instruments Komplete 11 Ultimate package, and as such may involve a potential purchase decision on your part.
The Aeon Collection is not a new libary by any means, it first surfaced back in 2013, which if it were created by any other developer than Heavyocity would probably make it a little long in the tooth now days.
Having said that to my ears there are certain elements within here that have moved on in terms of sonic sample capabilities as well as what is deemed as fashionable sound content even by Heavyocity standards.
The collection is split into two halves, Aeon Melodic and Aeon Rhythmic, let’s first explore the Melodic library.
At the time of release this 12Gb library would have seemd ground braking, and Heavyocity were certainly the leaders in this genre, but several years on there have been many bandwagon jumpers, hardly a month goes by where one of the online bucket sample library shops isn’t offering a ‘no brainer deal’ on a Heavyocity wannabe.
The Melodic library brings together quite an eclectic collection of instrumentation from cello to banjo, harp to tuned cowbell there is a myriad of varied content here. Pretty much all of which has been given the hybrid treatment in someway, some work well, some are experimental and others although interesting some you may be hard placed to find a use for. This is not a criticism music is afterall an art, and in art one man’s junk is another man’s treasure so what I wouldn’t use others may go straight to and come up with something amazing.
Passing by the Vendor and Product, the first and arguably most important heading is banks.
Banks have the following categories, I have then stated the number of presets associated with each type, although in the case of a combination preset you will often get four distinct variations mapped across several octaves thus quadrupling the number of actual sounds.
Aeon Hits – x 13 Combinations and one full menu patch
Bass – x 7 including fretless and arp variants/Timpani hybrids
Bass Arp – x 4 arp basses
Bells – x 17 variations including cowbell, tubular bells, bowed, crowtails and pianohybrids
Bells Arp – x 6 Arp versions
Ensembles Eclectic – x 9 layered presets, piano, string, bass drum, cello, oil can, guitar,glockenspiel, dulcimer
Ensembles Eclectic Arp – As aabove with arp variations
Ethnic – x 5 Kalimba, thumb piano, tank drum,
Ethnic Arp – x 8 Arp versions
Guitar s & Combos – x 8 various guitars electric and acoustic also banjo
Guitars & Combos – x 10 Arp variants
Harp & Combos – x 6 Harp and hybrid combinations such as piano and crowtails
Harp & Combos Arp – x 5 as above
Hybrid – x 30 Assorted Hybrid patches
Keys Piano,Organ Wurly – x 9 Piano and organ patches, long evolving
Keys, Piano, organ, wurly Arps – x 11 As above arpreggiated
Strings & Combos – x 8 Strings combined with piano, bowed cowbell, harp etc
Strings & Combos Arp – x 5 Arp variants of above
Synth – x 80 synth based presets
Synth Arp – x 60 Arp variations of above
All of the above can then also be further filtered by type and mode to whittle down your search requirements. You will also find the trademark Heavyocity keyswitched effect triggers assigned to spare keys on the higher octaves, which add a little extra spice to the proceedings.
The Edit Section
The available parameters which Heavyocity mapp to the Komplete Kontrol knobs are fairly well established and are concurrent with their other libraries, for the uninitiated however, I will run through them for the sake of completeness.
Page 1 Punish & Twist – The distintive distortion and motion fx that Heavyocity are renowned for.
Page 2 Channel 1 & 2 consisting of Volume, Pan and Tune for the first two sample layers
Page 3 Channel 3 as above, and master Fx consisting of Delay, Modulation, Reverb and Distance.
Page 4 Delay & Modulation with Time, Feedback, Width, Mix, Rate, Depth, Morph and Amount.
Page 5 Reverb & Distance offering Pre Delay, Size, Mix, Drive, Tone, Bass and Treble.
Page 6 Channel 1 & 2 Modulation with Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release x 2
Page 7 Channel 3 Modulation and Filter LFO – ADSR and Rate and Amount
Page 8 Performance, Glide & Unison Mono, Arp, On/Off, Time, On/Off, Spread
Page 9 E.Q Page 1 On/Off, LF Freq, LF Gain, LMF Freq, LMF GainLMFQ
Page 10 E.Q Page 2 HMF Freq, HMF Gain, HMFQ, HF Freq, HF Gain, Page 11 TFX Page 1 Distance E.Q., Distance Drive, Distance Std, L-Fi E.q, Lo-Fi Bits, Lo-Fi SR.
Page 11 TFX Page 2 Filter E.Q, Filter Cut, Filter Res, Pass E.Q, Pan Width, Pan Amount
Page 12 TFX Page 3 Amp, E.Q & Master Pitch E.Q, Pitch Amp, Pitch Freq, Rate, Output
Certainly a good selection of tweakable parameters with the exception of more GUI intensive features such as effect sequencers which are sadly difficult to map to the available knobs in a meaningfully accessible way.
The 1.5Gb Aeon Rhythmic library at first glance appears decidedly spartan offering just two initial preset types these being @Bass and Synth Miscellaneous and then the preset knob. However when we look at how this section works it reveals somewhat more depth and creative possibilites.
The Bass selection despite offering only 3 patches, gives 42 unique rhythmic synth sounds in patch 1, 26 in patch 2 and 42 in patch 3. Each of these sounds is pitched at key C, and with keyswitch mapping to a lower octave the notes can be played by an apparent one octave up or down. because these tones are polyphonic across the keyboard you are able to play several complimentary rhythms at once and control their musical pitch, and because of the number of sounds to choose from the variety of layers is vast.
The story is the same for the Synth Miscellaneous section, with a similar number of individually mapped tones, all pitch controllable via keyswitching and before I forget the upper octaves also provide the same FX keyswitching as found within the Aeon Melodic library, making the ideal owner an Octopus with an 88 key Komplete Kontrol Keyboard!
The Edit Section
I confess this section is somewhat of a mystery, there are 16 pages simply numbered 0 to 128, initially I assumed they were like the assignments found in the Battery drum library just simplistic volume controls. Disappointingly though I found that no amount of knob twiddling seemed to affect any of the sounds.
Although I have a deep respect for all of Heavyocity’s product line, I did feel that Aeon isn’t quite up to the same instant sonic gratification you experience with some of their later libraries, but that is exactly the point, back in 2013 it undoubtedly would have been so I cannot criticise it for this reason. If you are a Komplete 11 Ultimate owner this library might not satiate your Heavyocity fix alongside the products you already got with the Komplete package unless you are a ‘dyed in the wool’ fan of the developer.
The library is certainly worth a look when it’s on a special offer deal if only to complete your collection. The sounds found in the Melodic section are usable but to my ears not stunning.
The shining light of the Aeon collection is the Rhythm side with it’s generous number of rhythmic possibilities which work well either up front or used more subtly as a bed within a track. The mapping was disappointing because I would like to have seen the knobs assigned to volume and pan at the very least, but ideally with some E.Q or tonality control as well.
Heavyocity Aeon Collection can be purchased as a bundle direct from the Heavyocity website for $399.00 or the Melodic and Rhythmic libraries are also sold separately for $199.00 each (as off 19/09/2017).
The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived whilst using the product or gathered from official factual sources on the web.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review writer with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.