Mosaic Pluck By Heavyocity
Heavyocity have just released number five in their inspiring Mosaic series of libraries, like it’s predecessors Keys, Voices, Bass & Tape, Mosaic Pluck takes the namesake of the title and creatively extends it beyond the constraints of it’s initial concept, which is something that Heavyocity are uniquely adept at doing.
One thing I have certainly learnt about Heavyocity over the years I have been reviewing their products, is never to underestimate or prejudge any releases on just the merits of the name alone, this is not quite as pithy as just saying never judge a book by it’s cover, but the old adage holds true, as whilst the Mosaic Plucks title might not immediately engage your imagination, the preset sounds found here are in contrast almost certain to be able to grab the attention of your listening audience.
<pre class="wp-block-syntaxhighlighter-code"><strong><br /></strong>Tech Specs...<br /><strong><br /></strong>Mosaic Pluck runs in either Kontakt 6.5.2 full version or the equivalent free Kontakt Player, and has NKS compatibility for use within Komplete Kontrol.</pre>
The installed library will occupy a modest 1.9Gb of drive space, making use of the NCW file compression format.
There is 1 Mosaic Pluck master NKI file, with a further 128 NKSN presets, plus 1 Mosaic Pluck Initial snapshot with all macros switched off.
Download & Installation…
Download is courtesy of the Heavyocity Portal which is pretty accessible, by which I mean I successfully managed to do this myself without sighted help on Windows using a bit of OCR, this being a reasonable litmus test as defined by my underwhelming screen reader skills!
The library will need to be authorised with Native Access, and scanned into Komplete Kontrol, which can now be achieved without the need in most cases to load up the standalone version.
Komplete Kontrol just loves to scan these days, and given the challenge could probably out scan any Star Trek away team armed with a battery of tricorders, this said, the process is swift enough not to warrant a downtime cup of coffee!
Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plug-in Edit NKS controls…
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 – Bank: Arp, Playables, Rhythmic
Knob 4 – Sub Bank: Straight, Triplet
Knob 5 – Type: Synth Misc, Guitar, Piano/Keys, Plucked Strings,
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Melodic Sequences
Knob 7 – Character: Processed, Sample Based, Synthetic, Tempo Synced,
Knob 8 – Presets: x 130
NKS Plug-in Edit View Parameters
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 & Filter
Knob 1 – Punish On/Off
Knob 2 – Punish Amount
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Filter On/Off
Knob 6 – Cut-Off
Knob 7 – Resonance
Knob 8 – Unallocated
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
Owners of previous Mosaic library outings will instantly note that the NKS mapping template remains unaltered from prior releases. I keep hoping as well as suggesting improved accessibility updates in this respect, but this is yet to filter down to a change in commercial releases, so for the time being the controls still remain somewhat rudimentary with other user interface goodies either not being workable within NKS or simply off the scope of anything other than the essentials radar.
Just tell yourself it’s all about the sound, play some of the superb included presets, and forget all about the enticement of those potential extra pages!
The Power Of The Pluck…
Mosaic Pluck takes those punchy transient attacks we hear in plucked strings, harps, processed chimes, and thumb pianos and combines them together in Heavyocity’s signature hybrid organic style, mixes them with lashings of classy sounding effects and emerges with a tantalising collection of instantly usable presets.
The library is split into three categories reflected in the Komplete Kontrol bank section, these being Arp, Playables and Rhythmic.
The descriptors are self explanatory, however it is worthwhile taking a look at what we will discover in each.
The arp sounds of course folow the requisite paradigms expected of such presets, the note sequence being dictated by the number and scale/key/mode you elect to play, but the arps found in Mosaic Plucks are far more than just a bunch of triggered notes.
Each preset is the result of carefully curated sound design, which becomes apparent literally from hte moment you dive into ‘Alarming Reves’ the first preset in the category.
We can ascertain a good idea of how each preset is constructed by isolating in turn each of the three sound source channels found on page two of the NKS mapping. In this case for example, channels 1 & 2 respectively have a plucked string sound and a thumb piano, channel three appears to have a tempo synced reverse version of these, that when played in unison sounds fantastic.
This one is altogether perfect for tensions and suspenseful cues, and maybe that next crime drama you score!
Other notables are ‘Plucked Arp’, ‘Rising Revs’, ‘Rusty Music Box Dreams’, ‘simple Simon’ and last but certainly not least as I avoid the temptation to list many more, ‘Time Cycles’.
I would love to have seen some keyswitches here to enable the arp to play at various speeds, this may be something possible in the non accessible GUI, which is a pity as it does mean we are limited to working with the fixed tempo rate of the preset.
The playables section is where the tempo syncing, arps and rhythms are switched off and all of the magic is cast by just you and your keyboard chops.
there are some very striking and commanding sounds among the presets here, taking you on a journey from exotic eastern sounding string plucks, the frozen plains of the Tundra and on to the Grasslands of Africa.
Again there is a skilful use of layers, FX and modulation allowing the clear and crisp samples to cut through and deliver your melodies with a captivating and notably wide stereo image.
Such gems here include ‘Frozen Sands’, to my ears an Enya-esque sounding patch with Pizzicato plucks, warm pads, long reverb and clever use of a sustained white noise adding a breathy ambience to the proceedings.
‘Sacred Voices’ makes excellent use of both reverses and auto panning, with a central Celeste type of instrument to deliver a music box vibe with bags of atmosphere.
‘Storyteller has a Zither/Sitar style combination that could lend itself with no apology to a variety of genres.’
Rhythmic presets are without doubt one of Heavyocity’s fortes, and Mosaic Plucks has a very serviceable collection.
They can of course be utilised up front in a mix, but have equal value when employed in the context of an underscore to form the bedrock of a composition to keep things animated and moving.
‘Against All Odds’, ‘Antagonist’, ‘Computer Cycles’, ‘Salutations’, ‘Shifting Time’, ‘While Waiting’ and ‘Wonderous Pluck’ are among my favourites from this bank.
Rewinding just for a moment as an example, to the ‘computer Cycles’ preset, and again referencing the ability to mix between layers, it makes it an option to singularly use one layer on it’s own. This preset for instance has a very short clock tick type resonant hi hat sound on channel 1, which could be functional if divorced entirely from channels 2 & 3.
The modulation wheel seems to be assigned in most cases to the filter, softening and sharpening the overall tonality of the patch.
Taking all three banks into consideration there are some really well constructed and playable presets here, that could singularly carry a scene in a score, yet will work equally well in conjunction with pure synth electronics, or in tandem with orchestral sections, the latter of which of course epitomises the Heavyocity cinematic sound.
I was really pleasantly surprised at the usability that Mosaic Plucks can offer. As always the presets have been expertly crafted by the Heavyocity design team, the sounds really standout in a mix and sparkle amazingly in a wide speaker setup with the volume cranked up.
Overall it is this creative sound design that takes what in less competent hands could easily have been a more mediocre exploitation of a theme, and prop ells it to the level where each single preset can tell it’s own story, Heavyocity have again demonstrated that the medium of audio can become a visual concept, and vice versa.
Ideal for film, game & media composers, but equally of value to the ambient, chillout and possibly even the EDM producer. Mosaic Pluck is certainly another welcome addition to this series.
Mosaic Pluck by Heavyocity is available to purchase directly from the Heavyocity website, at an introductory price of $99 (reg. $119), Owners of other Mosaic Series instruments will receive an additional 20% off.
Mosaic Pluck Product Page:
Mosaic Pluck – Content Overview:
Mosaic Pluck – Demo Walkthrough:
Mosaic Pluck – Preset Playthrough:
Mosaic Pluck User Manual:
(c) Chris Ankin
May 4th, 2021
The author cannot accept any 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 and/or gathered from official factual sources such as the developer, web or supplied 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.