Lunaris 2 from Luftrum
If I were asked to name three or four prominent and well respected commercial synth preset designers within the music industry, then Luftrum would certainly be included in the list.
Alchemy, Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra, Repro, Pigments, Sylenth1 and Roland Gaia are among the most popular, with his commercial sounds finding their way onto many successful music tracks and film scores.
We reviewed Bioscape from Luftrumback in 2020 and were impressed by it’s number of presets and readily tweakable hybrid organic sounds.
Prior to Bioscape however, Luftrum had already released Lunaris, his first excursion into the world of Kontakt based sample libraries.
Now the time has come to launch Lunaris 2 the updated version of the popular pads instrument, which again runs in the free Kontakt player and has Komplete Kontrol NKS support.
Lunaris 2 requires either the full version of Kontakt 6.7.1 and above, or the equivalent free Kontakt player, and as previously mentioned is Komplete Kontrol compliant.
The library will occupy 13.7GB of disk space, which is well over double it’s predecessor, providing evidence that the sample source sound content is significantly larger in this edition.
There is one single master NKI file, and a further 480 additional NKSN snapshots, of which will appear within the Komplete Kontrol preset browser.
Download & Installation
Adding Lunaris 2 to your system is really simplicity itself, just a matter of pasting your post purchase serial number directly into Native Access.
After authorisation the product will appear in the ‘Available’ tab, where it can be directly downloaded and installed onto your system.
A quick re scan of Komplete Kontrol either in the standalone application or just the DAW plug-in will get you in business and ready to explore it’s many presets.
Komplete Kontrol Plug-In Edit NKS Mappings
Page One – Mix Pad, Time, Volume
Knob 1 – X Axis Control
Knob 2 – Y Axis Control
Knob 3 – Time Freeze
Knob 4 – Not Allocated
Knob 5 – Volume Gain Layer 1
Knob 6 – Volume Gain Layer 2
Knob 7 – Volume Gain Layer 3
Knob 8 – Volume Gain Layer 4
Page Two – Modulation & FX Motion
Knob 1 – Mod 1
Knob 2 – Mod 2
Knob 3 – Mod 3
Knob 4 – Mod 4
Knob 5 – FX 1
Knob 6 – FX 2
Knob 7 – FX 3
Knob 8 – FX 4
Page Three – Filter Cut-Off & Resonance
Knob 1 – Cut-Off Layer 1
Knob 2 – Cut-Off Layer 2
Knob 3 – Cut-Off Layer 3
Knob 4 – Cut-Off Layer 4
Knob 5 – Resonance Layer 1
Knob 6 – Resonance Layer 2
Knob 7 – Resonance Layer 3
Knob 8 – Resonance Layer 4
Page Four – Pan & Tune
Knob 1 – Pan Layer 1
Knob 2 – Pan Layer 2
Knob 3 – Pan Layer 3
Knob 4 – Pan Layer 4
Knob 5 – Tune Layer 1
Knob 6 – Tune Layer 2
Knob 7 – Tune Layer 3
Knob 8 – Tune Layer 4
Page Five – Modulation
Knob 1 – LFO Rate Layer 1
Knob 2 – LFO Rate Layer 2
Knob 3 – LFO Rate Layer 3
Knob 4 – LFO Rate Layer 4
Knob 5 – Sequencer Rate Layer 1
Knob 5 – Sequencer Rate Layer 2
Knob 7 – Sequencer Rate layer 3
Knob 8 – Sequencer Rate Layer 4
Page Six – FX, Reverb, Delay
Knob 1 – Distortion
Knob 2 – Chorus
Knob 3 – Phaser
Knob 4 – Reverb
Knob 5 – Delay Feedback 1
Knob 6 – Delay 1 Amount
Knob 7 – Delay 2 Feedback
Knob 8 – Delay 2 Amount
The intent behind the Komplete Kontrol NKS mapping template was to provide access to the most essential parameters rather than to offer an entire ground up sound design experience.
By and large it’s fair to say that this has been achieved, but as is often the case when cross referencing the NKS parameters against those found in the Kontakt master NKI preset, there are quite a few more there which would have been desirable and contributed to the accessibility experience.
Adding ADSR and sample offset for each of the four layers would only have taken a further three pages, so perhaps this could be a consideration for a future update.
There were also a couple of features within the NKS mapping which did leave me scratching my head just a little.
For instance, There are controls for adjusting the timing of the sequencer, however if the sequencer is not already turned on as a part of the loaded preset, then there is not a way for us to engage this ourselves via NKS, this means for the most part the sequencer is largely redundant for blind users unless the preset already makes use of it.
Also, I could not find a way to switch the LFO from an unsynchronised free running modulation, to a tempo synced DAW timing rate, again this seemed only achievable if these controls had already been pre-defined for a particular sound layer in the factory preset.
As I mentioned though, there is still a large quantity of factory content, so for us blind users Lunaris 2 can be considered as a high quality Pad Instrument rompler with useful control features. Although I do feel that the word Rompler somewhat under sells the Luminaris 2 experience, it is very much how we already accept and make use of Native Instruments own ‘Play series’ with few complaints.
Lunaris 2 Illuminated
Lunaris 2 has a four layer sound engine, each of which can be mixed and tweaked to create the required atmosphere.
The choice of sounds which make up the constructed presets cannot unfortunately be selected or changed via the NKS controls, although we are gradually beginning to see some developers starting to offer this feature via the NKS mapping.
There is a facility that provides the ability for users to drag & drop in their own optional sound files, which is also a feature that we currently cannot make use of, although I remain hopeful that at some stage Kontakt will perhaps be able to allow user samples to be available via a back door method of simply placing them in a dedicated user folder within the library, without the necessity to drag & drop.
Alongside the many individual presets, Lunaris 2 has a wealth of sound categories to choose from, and these are as follows:
Analog, Digital, Strings, Cinematic, Classic, Ambient, Shimmer, Dusty, Glassy, Metallic, Voices, Soundscapes, Experimental, Phaser & Flanger.
The usage of these sections are of course not intended to be set in tablets of stone, but do serve as a general guideline.
A tweak hear and there can easily change the whole mood of the preset to your own taste, and hence the possible usage for them inside your own projects.
For some, the classification of a pad preset conjures little more than the assumption of a bland background filler.
This purpose is in part quite correct, however much depends on the context for which it is being used.
In songwriting, synth based pads can offer a refreshing alternative to a traditional string background, as the attention will almost certainly be focused on the words and expression of the singer, or in the case of an instrumental, the melody.
However, in film score and media composition, pads can be used to bring life to the onscreen visual activity, perhaps to reinforce the personality or traits of a character, or subtly underscore a particular emotion for a given cue or scene.
With this thought in mind Lunaris 2 can certainly help in bridging those gaps where music is still called for, but is not always overly prominent due to the important presence of either actors dialogue, or a voiceover narration.
<pre class="wp-block-syntaxhighlighter-code"><br /><strong>Pads By Design</strong></pre>
There were some 14 established sound designers involved in the creation of the Lunaris 2 presets, including Venus Theory, Electric Himalaya, Echo Season, Bigtone, Stephan Baer, Michael Oakley, Yuli Yolo, Gahrn Audio, Lauge, Amphilium, Adam Pietruszko, S1gns of L1fe, State Azure, and not forgetting Luftrum himself.
It’s definitely not a case of too many cooks spoil the broth here, the diverse and eclectic number of contributors mean that there is a consistent and wide range of material, each with their own take on the art of sound design.
Some presets which make use of all sound layers can understandably take a few seconds more to load, however this negligible wait is worth it, with some stunning use of motion and sweeping synth waves leaping from your monitors, so much for my previous analogy for the more subtle usage of pads, as some of these presets will demand centre stage and the mesmeric attention of your audience.
Good use of the modulation control is made throughout this preset collection, with a variety of FX being assigned. From the more typical filter cut-off to tempo synced modulations, these little touches do all help to provide a further layer of performance expression into your workflow.
There is also the option within Komplete Kontrol to automate the knobs by recording the movements into your DAW of choice.
Purely from an accessibility perspective Lunaris 2 is not perfect, for blind users with a value for money decision needing to be drawn between the amount of factory presets and the available NKS controls, it still offers a good choice if you are in the market for a pads based instrument.
There is plenty here to suit a variety of creative music production use, from Ambient EDM, Mindfulness, Soundscapes, Film, game & media composition, there is an abundance here to keep you busy.
It is also possible that further preset content could be added at a later stage of the libraries lifetime, as was the case with the original Lunaris.
Lunaris 2 can be purchased directly from the Luftrum website for $159,
owners of the original Lunaris can upgrade to the new version for $39, (A valid Native Access serial number is required for the upgrade price).
Lunaris 2 Product Page:
Lunaris 2 Preset Examples:
Lunaris 2 User Manual:
c) Chris Ankin
9th December 2022
The author can not accept any responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this review,or Any inaccuracies found therein. All opinions and 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
Based in Buckinghamshire, England, Chris Ankin has worked as a freelance review writer and contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.
He has also successfully worked extensively in and around music, recording, film Soundtrack scoring, Game & media composition, the creative arts, Charitable trusts,publishing, music streaming and property investments since 1982 whilst continuously and deliberately managing to evade any mainstream recognition under his own name and various other pseudonyms.