Bioscape is a Kontakt and Komplete platform-based sampler, with over 320 presets in the categories of pads, textures, ASMR, drones, pulses, playables and effects. Designed by Luftrum Sound Design (and a team of field recorders), the sounds in this package are astounding, and an obvious winner for the KVR Audio Readers Choice Award 2020. Other descriptive terms for this package include unique, organic (even the metallic sounds) and crystal clear, making it ideal for film scores, gaming soundtracks and also those who compose in the genre of ambient music. The demo included with this review covers only some of the hundreds of sounds, none of which were edited (more on that later); the demo’s intention is to present some sounds I find captivating, but also to illustrate some of the features of this program’s platform. It is these features that allow you to take Bioscape to a completely different realm as you create some of your own unique takes with all the morphing tools at your disposal.
Exceptionally flexible, Bioscape has a host of tools and parameters designed to work with the included sound samples, but you also can drag and drop your own sound samples for personalized experimentation and composition. The Bioscape platform has two sections or layers (wave files), and each with its own editing parameters. You can play/record just one layer, whereas invoking both layers results in A being stacked atop B. You can take those sound samples and adjust the length or target of each, e.g., loop a section of the entire wave. You then can play either layer forward or reverse, as well as forward/reverse stop and even ping-pong them if desired. Each layer further has its own filters and envelopes, as well as a number of effects, including modulation, delays, reverbs and a step sequencer that is ultra-easy to use (thus allowing for a basic sound to become a rhythmic pulse).
If that wasn’t enough, you can take a wave and enter a new realm with the Mutate DNA and Motion Recording functions. Mutate DNA comprises of several sound characteristics that can be applied to a sound sample, for one or both layers. Each layer has 25 different themes, such as biomass, carbon, bow, eternal, machine, etc., and it’s amazing how different a sampled sound can be when switching from one theme to another – utterly different! Not all mutations work with all samples (e.g., a ‘ping’ sound vs a pad), but you can spend hours discovering hundreds of different textures with this one tool. The Motion Recording permits you to control the dynamic movement of volume, cutoff, pitch, panning and effects in real time, e.g., as you move the cursor about on the XY Pad you can record the outcome. The result is a far more organic life to the samples, and definitely a backbone to some original composition.
Overall, for $159 USD, you get more than some amazing samples; Bioscape is an editing platform that will entertain and inspire for a long time to come. Consequently, expect to invest many a wee hour in the night addicted to Bioscape, and be prepared to be impressed. Bioscape works as a standalone platform or within a DAW, working with its host, Kontakt player (you do not need the full version). And it also works with Komplete, both programs that are available for free download through Native Instruments.