Friday, October 16, 2009

Komplete 6 (Guitar Rig 4, Absynth, Kontakt 4)

I was one of the fortunate ones to grab Native Instruments Komplete 5 when it was on sale for $399 a couple of months ago. I really wanted the Orchestras in Kontakt, the Akoustik Piano, and the Hammond B4.  I figure the rest was just a bonus.

Anyway Komplete 6 came out and the upgrade was only $149 so I picked it up. The feature that excited me most was Kontakt 4 which included natural sounding Choirs.  Really excited! Guitar Rig 4 and new versions of Absynth again were just bonuses.

For the record... I am not really a synth guy. I also can work my way around a keyboard because of a couple music theory classes and what I know from guitar.

Well after about 6 hours of install time (lots of DVD's) I got it up and running. The choirs sound great!  Of course they aren't as nice as the demos from East West, but at 1/10th the price they are definitely convincing if you apply them properly.  The new string engines are also excellent for orchestrations. Lots of potential in there.  So that was definitely as good as can be expected.

Guitar Rig 4 was actually a very nice suprise. Sonically there are huge improvements over 3. I mean 3 sounded pretty good, usable, convincing with some tweaking. Guitar Rig 4 is much much better.  Much more organic and just feels a lot better. The core tone has seen significant improvements. Now it doesn't match an amp in the room, that would be weird. But as far as matching the sound of an amp, mic'd and listening through monitors, it is VERY convincing. 

The new "Control Room" where you can mix and match mics with levels really lets you dial in some stellar tone. The "Cabinet" component sounds great as far as the mic positions and cabs they give you. But the mic placement is limited and none of them point where I would like.  Using 2 instances with a splitter module got me close but not quite.  Just moving a mic fractions of an inch can make big differences in tone.

With LePou's Cabinet and Recabinet impulses, things started to really come alive. Clean and high/mid gain tones were just rocking. Like playing guitar in the control room with the amp mic'd up in an isolation booth. Good enough for me.  Unfortunately I couldn't get a Metal tone I liked. It is hard to compete with my ENGL Powerball with matching Vintage 30 cab.  I could get something generically recto-ish or very saturated solid state gain which would work, but it didn't have the richness.

It all "felt" really good and responded, but I couldn't get the balance of low-mid grind with upper mid clarity of say an ENGL or 5150.  For Metal tones there is so much free stuff out there, I would try those first.

But for Rock tones, this is the first one I have used that doesn't have weird upper midrange hashing. Or tone that is too harsh or too muddy, I was impressed.  Lots and lots of potential there.

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