SYMPHONIC DESTRUCTION BY HEAVYOCITY

SYMPHONIC DESTRUCTION BY HEAVYOCITY

KK-Access Review

A perceivable period of silence from Heavyocity seems inevitably to signal the run up to a new product launch. Actually in this case a lull before the storm would be a more appropriate description, because this release , hailed as a Symphonic alternative to Damage looks all set to become both their flagship 2021 product, whilst at the same time threatening to bash down your studio door with a veritable sonic battering ram of frenzied orchestral cataclysmic audio carnage!

Background…

It was in November 2019 when Heavyocity’s last flagship product hit the market with Vento Modern Woodwinds, Heavyocity’s uniquely cinematic perspective of the orchestral wood section.

An awful lot of equally awful things have happened to the world in what feels like this lost vacuum of time, and although we have had some notable smaller releases, a new major library release has been much anticipated by industry commentators, and eagerly awaiting fans alike.

The wait has evidently been well worth it, Symphonic Destruction is absolutely crammed full of all the signature Heavyocity sounds you could possibly hope for, as well as a good few more besides, and if Symphonic Destruction is paired with Damage 2, then pretty much all of your aggressive hybrid cinematic, punchy, scary, dramatic hard hitting needs are likely to be catered for right out of the box.

As ever Heavyocity have meticulously curated this collection of samples to the eighth degree. Tempo syncing and note matching the whole caboodle to work seamlessly together in a rich sonic jigsaw of deconstructed orchestral recordings, additionally garnished with throbbing electric guitars, mallets, chimes and other assorted content from the Heavyocity studio toolbox!

Tech Specs…

Symphonic Destruction downloads to 17.4GB of drive space, and requires Kontakt version 6.6.1 or above either full or free Kontakt player to run.

Naturally it is also NKS compatible and ready to roll within Komplete Kontrol, which of course is what we’re all about here!

The library draws from a pool of in excess of 11,000 samples in the NCW compressed format.

There are 11 master NKI preset files spanning the various instrument types, and these provide the meat & potatoes for the 235 snapshots which feed the libraries use within the Komplete Kontrol environment.

Download & Installation…

The library is delivered through Heavyocity’s Product Portal, which for the most part is accessible with just a small amount of OCR being necessary at least on the Windows systems being run in the studio here.

Authorisation through Native Access is the final and by now familiar last part of the procedure, culminating in a re scan of Komplete Kontrol that sets you on your ultimate path to sonic destructiveness!

Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plugin Edit NKS Assignments

Browser

Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 – Bank: SD Designer, Traditional, Hybrid, SD BRAAAM Designer, Damaged, SD Loop Designer, Soundscapes, Traditional Pedals, Hybrid Pedals, Damaged Pedals, Damaged Guitars
Knob 4 – SuBank: All Stars, Damaged, FX & Textures, Hybrid, Loop Combos, Straight, Triplet, Performance,
Knob 5 – Type: Bass, Bowed Strings, Brass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano/Keys, Reed Instruments, Sound FX, Soundscapes, Synth Misc, Vocal,
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Ensemble, Bassoon, Clarinet, Wind Ensemble,
Knob 7 – Character: Dirty, Evolving, Lead, Processed, Sample Based, Sequenced/Looped, Stabs & Hits, Sub, Tempo Synced,

Plugin Edit NKS Parameter Page Mapping

NB: There are NKS Parameter Mapping Variations depending upon the preset type, the below examples cover a typical Traditional Performance preset, followed by a Loop Preset.

Traditional

Page One – Dynamics, Delay & Reverb

Knob 1 – Dynamics
Knob 2 – Delay On/Off
Knob 3 – Time (Expressed in signatures)
Knob 4 – Delay Feedback
Knob 5 – Delay Amount (Expressed as percentage)
Knob 6 – Reverb On/Off
Knob 7 – Reverb Size (Expressed as percentage)
Knob 8 – Reverb Mix (Expressed as percentage)

Page Two – Mixer

Knob 1 – Main Volume
Knob 2 – Main Pan
Knob 3 – Hall
Knob 4 – Hall Pan
Knob 5 – Reverb FX
Knob 6 – Reverb FX Pan
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated

Page Three – Gate & Dynamics Modulation

Knob 1 – Gate On/Off
Knob 2 – Rate (Expressed in time signature)
Knob 3 – Smooth
Knob 4 – Range (Gate Depth)
Knob 5 – Dynamic Mod On/Off
Knob 6 – Rate (Expressed as time signature)
Knob 7 – Range
Knob 8 – Unallocated

SD Loop Designer

Page One – Macro Control & Modulation

Knob 1 – Macro (Expressed as percentage)
Knob 2 to 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Modulation On/Off
Knob 6 – Rate (Expressed as time signature)
Knob 7 – Amount
Knob 8 – Unallocated

Page Two – Punish & Twist

Knob 1 – Punish On/Off
Knob 2 – Amount
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Twist On/Off
Knob 6 – Twist Amount
Knob 7 – Tone
Knob 8 – Rate (Expressed as time signature)

Page Three – Filter & Distortion

Knob One – Filter On/Off
Knob 2 – Cut-Off
Knob 3 – Resonance
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Distortion
Knob 6 – Tone
Knob 8 – Unallocated

Page Four – Chorus & Delay

Knob 1 – Chorus On/Off
Knob 2 – Rate
Knob 3 – Depth
Knob 4 – Amount
Knob 5 – Delay On/Off
Knob 6 – Time (Expressed as time signature)
Knob 7 – Feedback
Knob 8 – Amount

Page Five – Reverb, Voice & Glide

Knob 1 – Reverb On/Off
Knob 2 – Pre Delay
Knob 3 – Size
Knob 4 – Mix
Knob 5 – Unallocated
Knob 6 – Voice Mode (Poly/Mono)
Knob 7 – Glide On/Off
Knob 8 – Time

Page Six – Channel 1 & Channel 2

Knob 1 – Channel 1 Volume
Knob 2 – Pan
Knob 3 – Tune
Knob 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Channel 2 Volume
Knob 6 – Pan
Knob 7 – Tune
Knob 8 – Unallocated

Page Seven – Channel 3

Knob 1 – Channel 3 Volume
Knob 2 – Pan
Knob 3 – Tune
Knob 4 to 8 – Unallocated

Accessibility…

As is the case with previous Heavyocity NKS parameter mappings, the critical basics are here, with no new surprises, frills or recent additions.

The key elements such as channel volume, EQ, pan, Tune, FX level controls and the trademark Punish & Twist pages are all still in place, and continue to remain an integral mainstay of the Heavyocity NKS template.

Yes of course we would always love to see a few more additions, like ADSR, Sample Reverse, Sample Offset and access to the UI sample browsers, and I will continue to flag these up within my reviews, in the hope of squeezing out just that little bit more accessibility for blind customers.

SD Opening Salvos…

There are essentially three main instrument types within Symphonic Destruction, these being the Performer , SD Designer and SD Loop & Braam Designer.

From an accessibility perspective, it’s probably wise for me to clarify at this juncture that the possibility to effectively design and shape our own instruments from the ground up within these ‘designers’ remains somewhat limited via NKS, despite the titles suggesting otherwise (sighted users of course not withstanding).

This has always been the case with the Heavyocity engines, due to an inability to access the various advanced UI sample browsers, internal sequencers and Macro assignment options via Komplete Kontrol, whose hardware does not lend itself easily to these ostensibly mouse driven workflow’s.

In spite of this, Heavyocity always seem to provide their customers with ample preset examples, making it viable in the value stakes for us as blind customers to use their products. Thankfully there is no break with tradition here with plenty of great content.

Performer Instruments

The Performer instruments are as close to traditional as you are likely to get within Symphonic Destruction, here you will find a collection of playable instruments that come in Traditional, Hybrid & Damaged flavours.

These each also benefit from the inclusion of keyswitched articulations located at the lower C1 key, and are also duplicated again at F6, which can be useful if you do not possess a full range of octaves on your own model of controller.

In most cases there appeared to be around six different keyswitchable articulations available per preset, which include variations in instrumentation, layering and timbre.

Traditional

As the bank types suggest, Traditional utilises a more vanilla set of samples (although vanilla is definitely not a word we generally associate with this developer!). There are also sustained and short staccato versions, I suspect some of the sample pool used here originated from the source recordings of their Novo, Forzo and Vento libraries, and why not I say, having been captured in such revered locations as the Skywalker sound studios in California, and this is reflected in the quality of the sampling.

Hybrid

The Hybrid presets as their name implies, are a combination of the real and synthetic worlds, the gritty synths layered with rich string sections make for a striking blend of ear candy, the emotional warmth of bowed strings and dark waves are an irresistible fusion of sound that make modern movie scores and tv dramas so powerful if done well, and here they are most definitely done well.

<pre class="wp-block-syntaxhighlighter-code"><strong> Damaged</strong></pre>

The Damaged variants are the same presets again, this time rendered out with more of the signature treatments applied, the Punish & Twist FX for example offering that added saturation and devastation we are now familiar with.

SD Designer Presets

The Performer presets and their articulation variants are impressive enough, but things get more interesting when we begin to tread the more recognisable Heavyocity territory, and this is where the designed sound and loop content come into play.

SD Designer

You will find here a plethora of immediately impressive ready to go material that could quite happily grace the soundtrack of any contemporary action, thriller, horror or Sci Fi movie or game soundtrack, they all sound fantastic, bright, dynamic, wide and impressively DAW to Score mix ready.

There are low and gnarly dark synth waves, interlaced with filter sweeps, rhythmic pulse patches in both straight and triplet timings,reversed samples and sequenced modulation effects, some are dirty and aggressive, others more ethereal and supernatural in nature.  

While exploring the many presets, movie reels in my head are already flickering, and I can readily envisage all the creative potential of the sounds, and just how effortlessly they would sit within a cue.

Such notables are ‘Big Swells’ which sees an edgy saw wave morphing into a tempo synced pulse when the modwheel is pushed upwards. ‘Boiler Room Spectres’ has tempo synced pulsing reverses which fade in and out over the duration of a held chord. Damage Singed Pulses incorporates a keyboard split with a bombastic gritty sub bass and a pitch shifting siren sound at the higher end which in tandem sounds truly apocalyptic.

I could go on almost indefinitely, but I cannot close my brief look at this section without mention of the ‘FX Psycho Staccatos’ preset, which if you ever have a need to recreate a Bernard Herrmann ‘Psycho’ shower scene, then look no further!

<pre class="wp-block-syntaxhighlighter-code"><strong> BRAAMS...</strong></pre>

Whatever particular view you may subscribe to on the origin of the ubiquitous BRAAMS phenomenon widely accredited to the movie Inception (2010), but quite possibly hailing as far back as Transformers (2007), Symphonic Destruction has got you covered.

Indeed This library would not have been complete without having a comprehensive collection of BRAAMS within it’s content, and given that Heavyocity’s sound is perfect for this cinematic technique, then you will find a whole bunch here to satisfy the most demanding of needs.

Three presets contain per key sample assignments of full range BRAAMS, whose individual pitch can be controlled via the lower portion of your keyboard.

Further to this we then have All Subs, All Mids and All Tails presets, giving you the opportunity to breakout the sound ranges separately should you require it, and thus providing you with plenty of flexible options.

SD Loop Designer

The SD Loop Designer bank is organised in a similar way to the BRAAMS section.

There are Low, Mid and High presets in both straight and triplet time, again with individual loops assigned on a per key basis. These can then be pitch controlled using the lower portion of your keyboard.

There are then also Traditional, Hybrid & Damaged versions of each, as well as full range combinations, and Motif presets and reverses, in short a whole myriad of mix and match combinations are possible with such a sheer volume of choice.

Soundscapes

This bank contains a large collection of tonal, atonal, clusters and full range combinations, which again have keyswitched articulations, this effectively triples, quadruples or possibly even quintuples the number of sounds.

These could perhaps be described as a one finger playable set of instant atmospheres, that loop and evolve over time, although this is somewhat of an understatement as multiple keys/samples can be triggered simultaneously.

Pedals

As we have seen with other banks, the Pedals section is divided into Traditional, Hybrid & Damaged iterations. Within this there are multiple subsets of straight and triplet timings both cleanish and effected.

Once more the inclusion of up to 8 articulations can again increase your range of possible options significantly.

Damaged Guitars

Last but not least, in what almost feels like a little bonus collection, there are Damaged Guitars.

Here there are two versions of Straight, Triplet, Standard and FX with up to 6 keyswitched articulations.

With a powerful distorted rock sound, these tempo synced loops work well to punctuate the other library content.

Conclusion…

Symphonic Destruction is a real cornucopia of Heavyocity goodies, and there is absolutely no trade off between quantity or quality whatsoever.

Every preset could find itself a home in this multifaceted world of modern media scoring, with each having it’s own tale to tell.

Dark, powerful and creatively inspirational, if you are looking for the perfect melodic and gritty compliment to Damage 2, then Symphonic Destruction is one beast of a release!

Now go checkout those Heavyocity walkthroughs, you won’t be disappointed!

Symphonic Destruction can be purchased directly from the Heavyocity Website,
For a limited time, Heavyocity is offering Symphonic Destruction for $299 (reg. $449). In addition, Damage 2 owners, as well as owners of NOVO, FORZO, or VENTO, will get an additional $50 off with serial. Offers end November 1, 2021.

Symphonic Destruction Product Page:
https://heavyocity.com/product/symphonic-destruction/

Symphonic Destruction Preset Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obygCpl2MVM

Symphonic Destruction – Content Overview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qKEqV6aKsg

User Manual:
https://heavyocity.com/Downloads/SymphonicDestruction_UserManual.pdf

Content Breakdown:
https://heavyocity.com/Downloads/SD_ContentBreakdown.pdf

(c) Chris Ankin

KK-Access.com
October 12th, 2021

Disclaimer

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.

E&OE

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