Damage 2 From Heavyocity –
At last the time for round two of Heavyocity’s hard hitting Library has arrived,
seconds out, , it’s Damage 2!
The Legend Returns…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the best part of the last decade, there is unlikely to be many a contemporary computer musician that has not heard of Damage. Even if you are not in any way connected to media creation (in which case you probably won’t be reading this!), it’s certain as a consumer of everyday media such as TV, film, radio and music that your ears will have unwittingly borne witness to Damage’s genre forging sounds at some point, and if not then it’s possible you might just have exchanged that aforementioned rock for a Faraday cage instead!
Damage has undisputedley set the tone for modern cinematic soundtrack scoring, with it’s ubiquitous sounds being beloved of movie trailer composers who have found homes for it in countless action, thriller, sci-fi and horror film soundtracks, it was inevitable that there would at some stage be a sequel, it’s been two years in the making, and what better title than Damage 2!
Damage 2 installs at 22Gb using NCW compression, with the original uncompressed size nearing 60Gb. For the record the first Damage was around 30Gb uncompressed, so we can immediately see that this is a bigger beast, playing host as it does to over 40,000 samples.
The library requires Kontakt 6.2 or above in either the full or free Kontakt player, and is NKS compatible for Komplete Kontrol.
There are three master NKI files which determine the particular element of the library with which you are working, and around 200 derivative snapshot presets further showcase Damage 2’s hard hitting capabilities.
Skywalker Sound in California was the predominant recording venue used in the production, with Satoshi Mark Noguchi again picking up the reigns as recording engineer and mixer, with Skywalker Sounds own Dan Thompson alongside as assistant engineer, a duo which previously featured in the production of the Heavyocity Forzo Modern Brass library.
Truckloads of multiple drum sources and percussive instruments invaded Skywalker’s scoring stage, and naturally any Damage library would have been incomplete without the famous Heavyocity dumpster (we call them skips in the UK!), however I’m not sure that the pristine studio would have tolerated the dropping of the famous school bus from a crane onto the studio floor on this particular outing!
Download & Installation…
Download is courtesy of the Heavyocity download manager, which is reasonably accessible on Windows with OCR, Mac users will possibly have an easier ride at the moment in this regard with their currently superior OCR utility, but having said this I did manage to get the library downloaded without sighted help.
Once you have the library out of the cloud and onto your hard drive, you can then move the assembled Damage 2 library folder to it’s resting place on your system, and register it through Native Access in the usual way.
The final rescan within Komplete Kontrol standalone takes but two shakes of a hybrid maraca and you are then ready to make some noise.
First let’s take a walkthrough of those all important Komplete Kontrol parameter mappings.
Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plug-in Edit Controls…
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 – Bank: Ensemble Designer, Kit Designer, Loop Designer,
Knob 4 – Sub Bank: All Star Presets, Monster Ensembles, Organic, Taikos, Ethnic, cymbals & Gongs, Found Sounds, Hybrid Hits, Damaged, Transitions, All Loops Straight & Triplet, Damaged Loops Straight & Triplet, Hybrid Cinematic,Straight & Triplet, Organic Cinematic Straight & Triplet,
Knob 5 – Type: Drums, Mallet Instruments, Percussion, Sound Fx,
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Crash Cymbal, Kick, Ride Cymbal, Sliced Drum Loop, Snare, Tom, Gong, Darabuka, Frame Drum, Taiko,
Knob 7 – Character: Percussive, Processed, Sample Based, Stabs & Hits, Tempo Synced,
Knob 8 – Presets
Plug-in Edit Mapped NKS Parameters
All of the preset snapshots found within Damage 2 are based upon the three different master NKI files, the D2 Ensemble Designer, D2 Kit Designer and D2 Loop Designer.
As such each of these specific types have their own slight variations of the available mapped NKS parameters, which I will include below.
D2 Ensemble Designer
Page One – Mixer
Knob 1 – Close
Knob 2 – Room
Knob 3 – Hall
Knob 4 – LFE
Knob 5 – Crush
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Two – Punish & Filter
Knob 1 – Punish On/Off
Knob 2 – Amount
Knob 3 – Response
Knob 4 – Tone
Knob 5 – Filter On/Off
Knob 6 – Filter Cut-Off
Knob 7 – Resonance
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Three – E.Q.
Knob 1 – E.Q On/Off
Knob 2 – Low Gain
Knob 3 – Low Freq
Knob 4 – Mid Gain
Knob 5 – Mid Freq
Knob 6 – High Gain
Knob 7 – High Freq
Knob 8 – Amount
Page Four – Compressor
Knob 1 – Compressor On/Off
Knob 2 – Threshold
Knob 3 – Ratio
Knob 4 – Attack
Knob 5 – Release
Knob 6 – Make up
Knob 7 – Mix
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Five – Saturator
Knob 1 – Saturator On/Off
Knob 2 – Drive
Knob 3 – Warmth
Knob 4 – Roll off
Knob 5 – Output
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Six – Delay – Delay On/Off
Knob 2 – Time
Knob 3 – Feedback
Knob 4 – Tone
Knob 5 – Quality
Knob 6 – Level
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
Page Seven – Reverb
Knob 1 – Reverb On/Off
Knob 2 – Pre-Delay
Knob 3 – Size
Knob 4 – Low
Knob 5 – High
Knob 6 – Mix
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
D2 Kit Designer
Page One – Mixer Page 1
Knob 1 to 8 – Channel Volume 1 to 8
Page Two – Mixer Volume Page 2
Knob 1 to 8 – Channel Volume 9 to 16
Page Three to Eight – Punish & Filter, E.Q., Compressor, Saturator, Delay & Reverb (as per Ensemble Designer)
D2 Loop Designer
Page One – Send Fx & Modulation
Knob 1 – Send Fx On/Off
Knob 2 – Level
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Send Modulation On/Off
Knob 6 – Amount
Knob 7 – Smooth
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Two to Seven – Punish & Filter, E.Q., Compressor, Saturator, Delay, Reverb (as per Ensemble & Kit Editors)
Accessibility… Aka Damage Limitations!
it is unfortunate that we are unable to make full use of the wonderfully creative tools that Heavyocity take such pains to develop with their user interfaces and libraries.
Being able to access the onscreen sample content browser in order to construct and put together our own drum and percussive ensembles and kits would be a huge bonus, as would the ability to tweak loops and layers from scratch using the otherwise thoughtfully provided initialised versions of the presets.
Alas they continue to remain tantalisingly out of reach, we know they are there, but like gifts in a locked cupboard remain frustratingly inaccessible for us screen reader users, due I suspect to a combination of both the limitations of the NKS system and the desire to keep page numbers manageable.
As I always now do for NKS/Kontakt instrument reviews, I delved into the parameter list in my DAW (Reaper on Windows), to cross reference the controls and see if there were any unmapped hidden gems on offer.
I did discover that the Kit based presets had pan controls available (which had not been mapped for NKS) for each of the 16 instrument channels which might be useful for the stereo placement of certain drum sounds if they happen to not be where you would like them in your mix, but that was the only little bonus I found on this occasion from the Kontakt user interface controls that had been made available for automation.
There is, as most of us seasoned Komplete Kontrol users realise, little point in crying too much over lost beats!, so we must instead focus on the positive, and explore the generous amount of presets and new material that Damage 2 can offer.
If you can forgive my ongoing use of the cheesy Damage themed section titles, Heavyocity has again provided a generous number of presets for composers to use as starting points, or as many will do, simply choose to use them as they are within the context of their own productions.
As you would expect and I venture, would certainly hope for, Damage 2 delivers yet more of the same hard hitting, gritty, punchy and aggressive drum and percussive sounds that hooked a generation when it’s sibling was born way back in 2011.
Owners of volume one will immediately feel right at home with the D2content, reprising as it does the kits, ensembles, loops and breakout stems that work so seamlessly with one another, clicking together like a box of proverbial audio LEGO.
The loop presets as a typical example have individual patterns assigned to their own keys as full mixes, the same content is then available with just the low, mid and high instrument rhythm stems, giving you the ability to take out certain elements, as an example perhaps removing the heavy percussion when scoring an action scene to leave just the lighter high range percussion in place to maintain the pace.
The number of loops mapped to keys total some 864 across the organic, hybrid and damaged categories , which will happily traverse multiple genres, and the straight and triplet time iterations add to the overall flexibility.
Glitch & Ststststutter…
The popular glitch & stutter key switches have thankfully been retained from the original Damage, meaning you can interrupt the playing loop with an 8, 16, 32 or 64 beat tempo synced stutter, which will save a bit of time chopping and programming, or having to use a similar third party stutter plug-in, and provided it’s used judiciously this can be a convenient way to add additional variety to a track where suitable.
The now well established and trademark Punish effects are also retained, this time with a three step gradient, that goes from the humorously named ‘gently now, ‘hurt me plenty’ to ‘nightmarish’ which as it turned out were quite accurate descriptors!
The Concinnity of the programming involved in the loops is once again of an extremely high standard. Hats off to the Heavyocity programming team as the intricacies of the rhythms are well balanced, not only in the physical instrument and percussive sounds, but also in the way the rhythmic interplay between them and the processed effects work together.
, You can quite feasibly create a melody free rhythm based track that would happily stand up for itself as a finished media work, something which Heavyocity’s own teaser trailers aptly proved in the build up to the D2 release, and as Neil Goldberg consummately demonstrates in his Damage 2 walkthrough (linked at the review footer).
You can be totally assured that the sounds remain as consistently punchy and production friendly as ever, which is a trait found throughout the whole Heavyocity range, and something composers and creators working to a deadline will always appreciate.
All of these loops are of course tempo synced to your DAW, and there are additional presets such as whooshes, transitions and reverses which also have synced beat duration denoted in their title.
Damage 2 contains a nice variety of around 50 themed kits that can immediately be thrown onto a track for some instant beat making gratification.
All of these kits feature 16 instrument samples assigned to individual keyboard notes from C1 to D#2, which pretty much conform to the GM (General Midi) standard.
I have not yet had the opportunity to hook up the Damage 2 kits to my E-drum kit, but I am pretty sure they will fare very well, and equally rival a nearby neighbours recent DIY efforts in the ‘Let’s make some noise’ stakes!
These kits are split into two defined sections named as ‘Damaged’ and ‘Hybrid’, despite their naming conventions they could work in a number of ways from the more obvious cinematic styles, but equally I would suggest for Trap and Dub step. The Damaged kits do possess a dirtier, gritty and bit crushed tonality, whereas the Hybrid are somewhat more of a clean cut persuasion, but with the ever present punish controls, you are always free to muddy the waters as you see fit!
The ensemble category brings together a plethora of specific instrument groups snares, toms, Taikos, cymbals, kicks etc and presents you with accompanying presets,
Some of these feature snare and tom rolls, which have been volume mapped to the mod wheel, allowing for the expressive implementation of crescendos and decrescendos.
I particularly liked the Epic Drumming Circle which is essentially a looped ensemble available in both straight or triplet variations, the volume is again assigned to mod wheel, and by holding down a single key and then adding additional pitched rhythmic hits, you could potentially create a convincing and full sounding polyrhythmic epic action track with just this one preset alone.
Other presets in this section are more theme based which is reflected in their titles, such as ‘fear of the dark’, which contains low moaning twisted metal drones, interlaced with creepy bow scrapes and metallic jangles, and these are going to work really well for suspenseful horror scenes and soundtracks.
Suffice to say that there is percussive content aplenty here to keep you amused with everything from the cleaning cupboard to the junkyard, and rich ethnic drum instrument diversity from as far afield as Japan, Turkey and Africa!
Damage 2 is certain to be a welcome addition for existing Damage owners, building as it does upon the already large amount of content that exists.
There is naturally more of the same, but this is surely what the ethos of the Damage legend is all about, and D2 need make no apologies for strongly building upon what is already a rock solid foundation.
For us blind & visually impaired users whose access is limited to NKS and screen reader technology, there are definitely things we would dearly love to get our hands dirty with, particularly in the deeper layers of sound design and parameter control, but this can be said of most libraries to some degree or another.
There is nevertheless still plenty of inspiring new material here which will allow us to Damage our tracks (in the nicest possible way!) for some time to come.
Heavyocity’s Damage 2 can be purchased directly from the Heavyocity web site,
For a limited time, Heavyocity is offering Damage 2 for $299 (reg. $399). In addition, Damage 1 owners will get an additional $100 off with serial. Offers end August 27, 2020.
Damage 2 Product Page:
Damage 2 Walkthrough:
Damage 2 Preset Walkthrough:
Damage 2 Content Overview:
Damage 2 User Manual:
Click to access Damage2_SurvivalGuide_Manual.pdf
Damage 2 Content Breakdown Document:
Click to access Damage2_ContentBreakdown.pdf
(c) Chris Ankin
August 3rd, 2020
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 solely 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.