SUB51 Ebow Elements
SUB51 have made a notable splash in 2018 with their retro drum machine libraries Satur809 and CC06, the latter of which was just listed in Sound On Sound magazine’s editors choice ‘gear of the year’ listing, not bad for a fledgling developer in a crowded sample library market.
This latest release delivers an innovative sampled Ebow instrument that could perhaps be considered to have somewhat of a niche appeal, however SUB51 seem committed to releasing some unusual, yet very affordable products, and if you are someone looking for something less run of the mill, this could fit the bill.
Ebow Elements was created by using an Ebow on the strings of an electric guitar, and the resulting sampled sounds are certainly unique, indeed you will need to listen to the audio demo to make your own conclusion, as for once I struggle to find the vocabulary to offer a conclusive description of what an Ebow sounds like, I did find an interesting little video which I have linked below to explain how they work.
It certainly has electric guitar tonality, but I could equally describe it as a kind of amplified Theremin or violin, it could be used as a lead, however has equal ppossibilities as a low searing bass, or dark malevolent drone, so it has options, and options are always a good thing to have!
The product which runs in the full version of Kontakt 5.81 (not Kontakt Player) will take up just over 1Gb of disk space, and has 173 wav files from which the library is constructed. There are 21 Kontakt NKI file presets, which are also replicated as NKSN snapshot files which can be scanned into Komplete Kontrol.
Komplete Kontrol Installation…
As with other libraries that contain third party snapshots, you are likely to receive a content or samples missing message when you attempt to load them from Komplete Kontrol. The solution for this is to browse to the Ebow Elements folder to allow the snapshot to be reunited with it’s missing content, once loaded, you can save the preset back out again as a new NKSN preset retaining the current name, by overwriting the existing file, or saving elsewhere and later replacing the original files manually. Doing this for each of the 21 presets should be a one time only solution, and the same issue generally will not occur again after the presets are re-integrated to your own system, it’s also recommended as with any new Kontakt library install to perform a batch resave, so that all elements of the library are updated to work on your system.
Komplete Kontrol Mapping…
Each preset contains two pages of parameter mappings which allow you to tweak the basic presets.
Knob 1 – Normal Volume
Knob 2 – Brilliance Volume
Knob 3 – Tremelo Speed
Knob 4 – Tremalo Depth
Knob 5 – Output Volume
Knob 6 – Treble
Knob 7 – Bass
Knob 8 – Tone Cut
Knob 1 – Amp on/off
Knob 2 – Mono
Knob 3 – Envelope Attack
Knob 4 – Envelope Release
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated
Ebow Elements is certainly an interesting little instrument, as I mentioned earlier it might not possess the full gloss, dynamicism and wide audience appeal of some products, but could be something for the sonic toolbox for occasions when you need something that bit different.
If you use it within the Komplete Kontrol environment you will easily be able to further customise it’s sound and existing FX by adding an effect or two in additional slots, indeed it’s when Ebow Elements clean sound is effected that it became more appealing to me, and the inclusion of the loops presets also adds a little more in the way of variety and potential use.
The attack time even when fully tightened could potentially be a tad sluggish in certain musical situations, and perhaps the inclusion of a sample offset control might aid in giving it just a little extra percussive bite in those particular circumstances.
EBow Elements is now available to purchase as a download from the Sub51 website
at a Price of £13.50
What is an Ebow? – Explanatory Video:
(c) Chris Ankin
January 11, 2019
The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of reading this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product in combination with information gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.