Native Instruments Kontakt Retro Machines
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Native Instruments Kontakt Retro Machines : songboy's user review
"Solid collection of a bunch of classic synths."
Product bought new in December 2011, for 79$ VAT incl
This is a decent sized collection of multi-sampled instruments containing a bunch of famous vintage synths that are pretty much a household name these days. The configuration and setup is very simple if you are familiar with Kontakt 5. You simply load the Library via the "add Library" button and you are off. This is one of Native Instruments' own collections so the GUI is very clean and well situated and the samples are quite nice indeed.
The different synth options are quite varied. You get several classics including my favorites the Oberheim 4 voice, the Matrix 12 and the Korg Polysix. The moogs are also very nice but I own actual Moog Hardware, and the real deal moogs put the sample sets to shame. This maybe true with the other synths, but I don't own those and don't have the ability to compare them next to each other. Within each synth you get many different options based on the original synth's presets. I am always grabbing pads from the oberheims and gritty arpeggios from the Korg which sound really great. I run this setup on a Macbook Pro i7 with 8gb ram and an RME FireFace 800. I usually run Kontakt in Logic 9 or ableton 8 but also use it in Standalone mode when playing with friends or just testing out sounds. The Library performs flawlessly in all applications. This collection suites my style(s) of music quite nicely. I would imagine if you work in any style that demands the "Electo synth" sound, you will find much use with this collection.
What I like most about this set it the built in Arpeggiator and the quality sounds coming out of some of these instruments, oberheim being my favorite. I should also mention that you get a "chord creator" setup in addition to the arpeggiator, but I never use this so I can't comment on its function that much other than you can create some interesting, quick comping chords, but I still prefer to do it the old fashioned way, with my fingers and a keyboard. What I don't like is the Moog samples. I don't hate them by any means, they still sound warm enough and have lots of the "moog" character (beefy, aggressive yet smooth) but like I said before, I have real moog synths so why would I ever need samples. For $79, you can't go wrong with this collection. It's close to 4 gigs of sounds and there are certainly samples in here that will please most writers, musicians and producers who need classic synth sounds but do not have the means to get the real deals. I give the sound quality a 9 out of 10. Very well sampled (expected from NI) and a very well put together GUI (also expected from NI). I have used many software versions of these synths like Korgs Analog/digital collection (which I sometimes prefer over the Korg samples in this set) as well as others and I have to say that this collection sits comfortably next to them. Sometimes I use the virtual instrument plugins when I want to really dive in and create totally fresh sounds, but I also like the convenience of this package and it's options allow a fair amount of originality as well. Yes, for $79, this is a no-brainer.