Native Instruments – CLOUD SUPPLY Play Series Instrument

Native Instruments – CLOUD SUPPLY Latest Play Series Instrument

KK-Access Review

Native Instruments introduced their ongoing Play series range with the release of Kontakt 6, intended as a fuss free way of quickly adding some new genre based sounds to your collection, they work right out of the box with easy installation, using the free Kontakt player, and provide instant tweakability with a minimum set of NKS controls, making them ideal for both performance and fast composition.

Cloud Supply…

As with it’s predecessors LO-FI GLOW , MODULAR ICONS, ANALOG DREAMS, HYBRID KEYS and ETHEREAL EARTH, CLOUD SUPPLY this time digs into the worlds of R&B, hip hop, drill, and trap, although other genres are of course welcome to apply!

Tech Specs…

Weighing in at just 2Gb in size, the library requires either the free Kontakt player version 6.2 or above, or the full version of Kontakt, and naturally runs within Komplete Kontrol.

There is one master NKI file, and a further 150 NKSN snapshot files, which are used by Komplete Kontrol for the presets.

Download & Installation…

As you would expect with a Native Instruments own product, the download and install process is completely painless, from purchase to play, it’s a simple case of logging into Native Access where you will find Cloud Supply sitting possibly all alone in your ‘not installed’ tab, click install, and depending on your internet speed, make a quick cuppa or visit the bathroom, and the job is done.  Finally rescan Komplete Kontrol in standalone (although this will be a thing of the past in the forthcoming update with realtime in app scanning), close , load and play!

Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plug-in Edit Section…

Browser

Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type: Mallet Instruments, Organ, Piano/Keys, Synth Lead, Synth Misc, Synth Pad,
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Chime, Electric, Electric Piano, Grand Piano, Other Piano/Keys, Classic Mono, Soft, FX, Other Sequences, Percussive, Basic,
Knob 7 – Character: Airey, Analogue, Filtered, Lo-Fi, Clean, Lead, Tempo Synced, Bright, Processed, Deep, Dirty, Evolving, Percussive, Digital, Deep, Distorted, Plucks, Dark, Huge, Slow Attack,
Knob 8 – Presets x 150

Plug-in Edit Section

Page One

Knob 1 – Cut-off
Knob 2 – Resonance
Knob 3 – Warmth
Knob 4 – Crush
Knob 5 – Delay
Knob 6 – Reverb
Knob 7 – Balance
Knob 8 – Volume

Page Two

Knob 1 – Previous Sound A
Knob 2 – Next Sound A
Knob 3 – Previous Sound B
Knob 4 – Next Sound B
Knob 5 – Layer A
Knob 6 – Layer B
Knob 7 – Reverb
Knob 8 – Replica

Page Three

Knob 1 – Tape Saturation
Knob 2 – Stereo
Knob 3 – Limiter
Knob 4 – Bus Comp
Knob 5 – EQ A
Knob 6 – EQ B
Knob 7 – Mono
Knob 8 – Legato

Page Four

Knob 1 – Glide A
Knob 2 – Mono B
Knob 3 – Legato B
Knob 4 – Glide B
Knob 5 – Glide Mode
Knob 6 – Node Priority
Knob 7 – Glide Mode B
Knob 8 – Node Priority B

Page Five

Knob 1 – Sequencer On/off
Knob 2 – Sequencer Latch Mode
Knob 3 – Sequencer Re-Trigger
Knob 4 – Sequencer Scale
Knob 5 – Sequencer Rate
Knob 6 – Sequencer Swing
Knob 7 – Seq First Step
Knob 8 – Seq Routing

Page Six

Knob 1 – Seq Velocity Steps
Knob 2 – Seq Modulation Steps
Knob 3 – Seq Modulation 2 Steps
Knob 4 – Seq Macro 3 Steps
Knob 5 – Seq Macro 4 Steps
Knob 6 – Seq Macro 5 Steps
Knob 7 – Seq Macro 6 Steps
Knob 8 – Seq P/V Direction

Page Seven

Knob 1 – Seq Macro 1 Direction
Knob 2 – Seq Macro 2 Direction
Knob 3 – Seq Macro 3 Direction
Knob 4 – Seq Macro 4 Direction
Knob 5 – Seq Macro 5 Direction
Knob 6 – Seq Macro 6 Direction
Knob 7 – Seq P/V Gate
Knob 8 – Seq M1 Amount

Page Eight

Knob 1 – Seq M2 Amount
Knob 2 – Seq M3 Amount
Knob 3 – Seq M4 Amount
Knob 4 – Seq M5 Amount
Knob 5 – Seq M6 Amount
Knob 6 – Seq Scale Root
Knob 7 – Seq Scale Type
Knob 8 –

Please Note, Cloud Supply makes use of Macros, so parameter assignments do vary between patches, the above description represent the controls found on a typical preset.

Accessibility…

Cloud Supply actually has eight pages of NKS parameter mapping, which is more than we are used to in a Play series instrument, so do all these pages translate directly to access utopia?

Well yes and no, as I explored the presets, I noticed that the parameter description was changing on a per knob/per preset basis, so I soon realised that we were in the realms of macro assignments.

The positive thing about their implementation here, is a least they are labelled, many libraries rather smugly just announce ‘macro’, leaving you to try and establish what effect they are having on the sound you are tweaking. In Cloud Supply they are at least labelled, however the inconsistency in their placement means the potential for an embedded learning experience is somewhat of a mixed bag, as certain parameters that were present in one patch, may not be in the next.

On the plus side, there is on page two the possibility to change the individual sounds that have been allocated to the A or B sound source, and whilst turning these knobs is an audible lottery, it does offer the hope of stumbling across some great samples that will allow you a degree of mix and match sound design.

I got quite excited when I discovered that there was mapping for the inbuilt sequencer, however as of yet I have not worked out how we can edit or add our own notes. There is from what I can gather several lanes of sequencer data, the obvious and most desirable being notes, but there are also dedicated controls for modulation and macros, unfortunately the spoken text feedback on some of these assignments are rather cryptic, and can leave you scratching your head more than a little!

It was good to see that FX controls were there, allowing us for the most part to perform some sonic surgery on some of the presets. I have a bit of a pet hate when I come across presets drowned in reverb, it immediately makes me think ‘what are they covering up?’, and it can sometimes be a camouflage for some mediocre sound creation.

On Cloud Nine…

Cloud Supply was created in collaboration with producer Snipe Young (No me neither?) who presumably curated the preset content. There are plenty of usable sounds to be found within the library, however whether they strictly align to the music styles suggested could be a discussion point.

The majority if not all of the presets appear to have filter resonance assigned to the modwheel, where I would have perhaps expected slightly more creative use made of this valuable performance control, such as wobbles and glitches.

There was plenty of low end going on throughout the sounds, some may say at the expense of brightness, I did feel somewhat compelled to remove tape saturation and ramp up the filter cut-off a tad to make things a little more up front on certain presets.

There are certainly some nice atmospheric pads going on here, this is where those strong sub basses work well, and conspire to evoke that sense of post apocalyptic urban bleakness.

The tempo synced sequence presets were plentiful, but I thought a little uninspiring for my taste, thankfully we do have the option to turn off the sequencer and use those same sounds in our own DAW loops, and this is certainly the approach I would adopt as a practical workaround for using the NKS sequencer, which I think many will lose more time attempting to program than gaining satisfying results.

Creating & Tweaking…

I really like the inclusion of the ability to select our own sounds for the A & B sample source layers, this is something developers SoundIron do in many of their products, so it’s a welcome addition to see within the Play series.

It now means that you can mix and match between the available 125 sample sounds in any of the supplied 150 presets, so if the originally chosen samples don’t quite hit the mark, you at least have a fighting chance to reach that sweet spot, and even completely replace the original choices if you wish.

I would like to have seen a fixed set of ADSR controls, sample offset and velocity curve assignments within the NKS mapping, but perhaps I am now moving into territory that the Play series is not intended to cover.

Conclusion…

Cloud Supply is a worthy edition to the Play series, there are some good accessibility features alongside some missed opportunities, but we have to consider the aim of this series is not to be an extensive sound design tool, but a product range pitched somewhere between ‘at your fingertip’ performance and a composition aid.

There price cannot really be faulted, coming in at around the same price as an existing expansion pack, or comparable preset sound set for a vst synth.

There are no introductory pricing offers, so if you have any Native Instruments vouchers kicking around itching to be spent, then this is an option worth considering if the sounds match your needs.

do checkout the available demos to hear what’s on offer.

Cloud Supply is available to purchase directly from the Native Instruments website for the price of £44.00 UK

Links:

Cloud Supply Product Page:
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/play-series/cloud-supply/

Knock Squared walkthrough:

Stefan Guy walkthrough:

Cloud Supply User Manual:

Click to access CLOUD_SUPPLY_Manual_20072020_ENGLISH.pdf


(c) Chris Ankin
KK-Access.com
July18th, 2019

Disclaimer

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 soley on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product or 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.

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