Heavyocity – Mosaic Tape
Heavyocity’s ever expanding Mosaic series gets another new addition, this time in the form of ‘Tape’, a collection of cinematic sounds crafted in true Heavyocity tradition and then processed with classic tape saturation effects that deliver the warmth and dustiness of that bygone vintage sound.
Who would have thought back in the early 80’s in the advent of digital audio, that 40 years on, we would be deliberately adding back all those analog audio imperfections that we strived so hard to eradicate in the name of CD quality!. Whether it be the pseudo pops and crackles of a vinyl turntable, glitchy lo-fi simulations of early samplers, or our review subject here, the warmth and fuzziness of tape saturation.
The truth is that there is something timeless and appealing about those degraded sounds, they can instantly transport you to another place or era, and when it comes to their use in media, often work extremely well to reinforce any associated visuals and resonate with an audience’s perceptions.
Mosaic Tape occupies a respectable 2.43GB of disk space, and requires either Kontakt full or Kontakt player 6.4.2 and above, with NKS compatibility for Komplete Kontrol.
There is one master NKI file, and 106 snapshot NKSN presets that offer a variety of sound designed examples of Mosaic Tape’s creative possibilities.
Download & Installation…
Mosaic Tape is purchased from the Heavyocity web site, and downloaded via the Heavyocity Portal application using the supplied authorisation number. The application downloads and assembles the library into a single Mosaic Tape product folder, which can then be placed in your preferred location on your system.
The final step is to authorise the library within Native Access using the same code, and set the location path. Launching Komplete Kontrol standalone will then add the presets to your KK browser ready for use.
Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plug-in Edit NKS Mappings…
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product Name
Knob 3 – Bank: Arp, playable’s, Rhythmic
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type: Bowed Strings, Mallet Instruments, Organ, Plucked Strings, Synth Misc, Vocal, Brass, Flute, Piano/Keys
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Synth, Vibraphone, Harp, Melodic Sequences, Synth Choir, Marimba, Ensemble, Other Sequences
Knob 7 – Character: Evolving, Processed, Sample Based, Tempo Synced, Arpeggiated, Melodic
Plug-in Edit Mode – Parameter Mappings
Page One – Macro Control & Modulation
Knob 1 – Macro Knob 2 to 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Modulation On/Off
Knob 6 – Amount
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
Page Two – Channel 1, 2 & 3 Volume & Pan
Knob 1 – CH1 Volume
Knob 2 – CH1 Pan
Knob 3 – CH2 Volume
Knob 4 – CH2 Pan
Knob 5 – CH3 Volume
Knob 6 – CH3 Pan
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
Page Three – Punish & Aging
Knob 1 – Punish On/Off
Knob 2 – Punish Amount
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Aging On/Off
Knob 6 – Wear
Knob 7 – Warble
Knob 8 – Mono
Page Four – Delay & Reverb
Knob 1 – Delay On/Off
Knob 2 – Feedback
Knob 3 – Damp
Knob 4 – Amount
Knob 5 – Reverb On/Off
Knob 6 – Pre Delay
Knob 7 – Size
Knob 8 – Mix
Page Five – E Q
Knob 1 – E Q On/Off
Knob 2 – Low
Knob 3 – Low/Mid
Knob 4 – Low/Mid Freq
Knob 5 – High/Mid Gain
Knob 6 – High/Mid Freq
Knob 7 – High
Knob 8 – Unallocated
many of you may have read my previous Heavyocity Mosaic series reviews, and you will note that the NKS parameter mappings are almost identical, this in fact is in keeping with the ethos of the Mosaic series in delivering small signature libraries that offer signature sounds of a specific nature, hence Keys, Voices, Bass and now Tape being the fourth in the series.
In terms of NKS parameter access, the mappings are basic yet functional. We can mix between the three sound source channels, adjust the pre-assigned modulation FX via the single Macro control, tweak the delay, reverb and E Q, and adjust the amount of Heavyocity’s proprietary Punish effect, and finally in the case of Mosaic Tape, alter key components of the tape saturation treatment.
In this case, the Kontakt version offers no additional parameter opportunities when the master NKI is loaded into Kontakt outside of Komplete Kontrol.
I would still really like to see Heavyocity add a few more pages of parameters to the Komplete Kontrol mapping template, particularly things like ADSR and the ability to exchange our own sample sound options, as this would significantly expand the sound design potential.
Mosaic Tape In Use…
The library is divided into three distinct stylised banks, by distinct I mean in terms of the preset playing styles rather than the overall sound which is consistent throughout in it’s adherence to the processed tape theme.
The ARP bank, as you would expect provides a collection of arpeggiated melodic presets that make good use of the three sound source channels, to rhythmically and melodically create polyrhythmic and tonally diverse sequences. These can serve as useful and interesting start points for further evolving your ideas.
The degraded tape noises often clash to create almost percussive white noise effects as the notes you hold down cycle through their scale.
Particularly noteworthy patches such as ‘Messages From Before’, combine the darkness of a slowly rising saw wave synth, with an almost Morse code like intermittent pulsing arp.
‘Phillips Glass’ by contrast of it’s parody name , offers a more traditional cyclic glass bottle sound sequence that would not be out of place in an episode of ‘Stranger Things’.
The presets continue with well balanced selections swapping between light and dark, upbeat ambient to creepy nightmare, something Heavyocity have always excelled at in their sound design work.
The Playable’s bank is where you will find yourself left to your own devices, without the tempo synced support of the arp section. Here you will discover all manner of dusty, drifting analog type instruments, many of which sound like they have been pulled straight out of an attic or basement, miked up and recorded onto tape that’s been fed through an old radio, but in a good way, really quite marvellous!
Standouts such as ‘Burnt Tuner’ conjure an image of a black & white Bela Lugosi stalking across the set of a 30’s Universal horror classic, while ‘Celestial Transmission’ with it’s scratchy and phased Marimba/Synth pad will send you into the depths of space.
The Rhythmic bank provides further tempo synced goodness with a variety of rhythm based presets, 8th & 16th notes seem to make up the majority, but often single patches employ combinations of both to good advantage.
16th note clock ticks, along with 4th or 8th note pulses work well for adding some tension, and this is exploited well with the likes of ‘Clockwork Strings’ and ‘Pedaling Tubes’
Probably my favourite here though is ‘Pulsing Space Station’, which has a low 8th note pulse, with an evolving pad, but adds a burst of white noise upon each key press, great for space, underwater or ambient works.
As always I highly recommend checking out the walk through videos linked at the end of the review to gain further insights into the libraries sounds.
Down On Tape…
As mentioned, the addition to the usual Heavyocity Punish effect page, and I would proffer the force behind the overall ‘Tape’ vibe, is the ‘Aging’ controls to be found on page three of the NKS mapping.
While the controls may seem sparse, the Wear & Warble seemingly provide the out of tune drifting and well, warble that are the background washes to the Mosaic Tape presets.
Thoughts & Conclusions…
Mosaic Tape is perhaps the most specifically focused of this intriguing series thus far. The overall sound dwells heavily on that retro analog feel of days gone by.
Instantly evocative, Mosaic Tape will work well across many musical genres, and for cinematic, game and media composers provides yet another welcome palette of Heavyocity sounds with which to paint their audio pictures.
Heavyocity Mosaic Tape can be purchased from the Heavyocity web site for $99 (reg. $119). In addition, owners of other Mosaic Series instruments will receive an additional 20% off. (Offers end October 19, 2020.).
Mosaic Tape Product Page:
Mosaic Tape Preset Play through:
Mosaic Tape Content Overview:
Mosaic Tape Demo Walk through:
Mosaic Tape User Manual:
(c) Chris Ankin
October 8th, 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.