Since many home studio engineers work with limited access to instruments, preamps, microphones and other equipment that may be readily available in larger studios, we like to keep our readers informed of products that help overcome these limitations.
Of course, many that record at home see these not so much as “limitations,” but as things that must be worked around to get unique sounds that you can’t get in a studio. But for those that don’t mind using a little digital tweaking and virtual instruments, you can open up a wide variety of sonic options for your recordings.
Native Instruments (NI), one of the leading companies offering software for music production, recently released two products that many home studios might find useful, so we wanted to take a look at these products.
Native Instruments Komplete 9
This is an all encompassing product, which bundles together other NI products including its sampler, guitar processor, music studio and others. In other words, you get what the company calls a “complete creative suite for audio production.”
In more simple terms, the program comes with all you could need to create full, great sounding recordings from your home. You can plug in your guitar into the software and achieve an extremely wide variety of guitar, amp and effects combinations. A MIDI keyboard can control synthesizers, pianos, organs, drums, strings and more.
There are two versions of the software available, the regular version and Komplete 9 Ultimate. The latter comes with 16,000 sounds within the variety of products and instruments, while the former has 12,000. The full version of the regular version costs $559, while Ultimate will run you $1,099.
Native Instruments Abbey Road 50s Drummer
This product comes in a long line of drum sounds that not only replicate the sounds of drums in one of the world’s most famous studios, but are actually samples recorded at the studios. In fact, NI Komplete 9 Ultimate includes all the other Abbey Road drum products (60s, 70s, 80s, modern) while the regular version of Komplete only includes the 60s version, which can give you that Ringo sound.
But you can also by the new 50s Drummer program (as well as any of the others) separately. More than just recreating the sound of a 50s kit in the studio, the software is incredibly complex in offering realistic sounding drum tracks with a “human element.”
This is achieved from more than 40,000 samples that can use up to 25 velocity layers. In addition, for additional realism, the software uses four different drum hits for each velocity layer.
To further adjust sounds, there is a variety of microphone choices, microphone placement options, preamps and outboard EQ that can be used on the kits available. Each level can be mixed separately, and you can apply EQ, compression, tape saturator and convolution reverb to the tracks in the software. The latter effect takes samples from Abbey Road and offers 30 high-end impulse responses.