We had the chance to do a quick review on Modularium, a new sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt 5 by Particular-Sound. Modularium is a multi layer sample instrument with 4 specialized modules or main layers. The core feature of Modularium are these 4 modules with the possibility to modulate each individual layer in several ways.
- 236MB uncompressed samples
- 4 layered instruments (modules) – Generator, Vocalirum, Paddle & Noicesetter
- 100 factory presets
- Randomize function
Setup and GUI
The installation of Modularium is quite easy and simple with a little but very important exception. After unzipping the zip archive to any folder of choice, all presets must be installed in a separate step. Therefore all the presets have to be copied from the source folder into the Kontakt user folder. Fortunately this is described very well in the manual.
The GUI looks nice and inspiring and most features are self explaining. Some knobs and faders could have more describing labels to make its functions more clear.
After starting Kontakt and loading the *.nki patch, the main screen appears offering the front page to the individual modules, a randomizer and a simple 3 band EQ. In the very top of the instrument the preset selector can be found. Currently the instrument offers 100 presets, but under the hood are much more samples. The fact that you can modulate combine and modify all the individual components give an enormous amount of variation.
The 4 core modules
From the main page there are 4 buttons to enter each of the 4 core modules which are: Generator, Vocalirum, Paddle & Noicesetter. Each of these modules has it`s own character and is specialized for a particular task.
The Generator module allows to layer up to 8 sounds or samples. Each can have its own modulation of speed, depth and filter. The 8 sounds are sharing an volume envelope and can be sent to effects like saturation, bitcrusher, reverb and delay.
The second module Noicesetter is a noise generator and can be used to add noises and other non tonal artifacts to the sound. On the Noicesetter page are several filters, pitch modulation and and effect send. There is also a step sequencer available which controls the mail volume of the patch. This leads to several gate effects. A nice addition would be the possibility to modulate the filters and the pitch or even triggering notes, but maybe this will com in a future update.
The aim of the Vocalirum module is to create vocal like sounds based on another sub set of 6 sounds / samples. On the Vocalirum page is also special vocal filter, a volume envelope and a gate switch.
Last but not least there is the Paddle module which offers a pad generator. There are another 6 sample slots with pad sounds available. As well as with the other modules there is a volume envelope 2 filters available. Additional there is a knob to tweak the sample start.
How does Modularium sound?
The overall sound quality is quite good. The presets range from deep and dark drones and basses to warm analogue sounding pads up to crystal clear bells. There are also several rhythmic patches. A strength are definitely the fat, warm analogue sounds as well as the ambient, cinematic pad sounds and rhythmic patches.
The concept and the main idea with the individual “sound” modules of this library is quite unique. The sound is very good and the only complain could be some missing advanced features like more effects or a full featured step sequencer. On the other hand would these features add more complexity to the instrument on the cost of simplicity. Modularium is an very inspiring instrument, the patches are inviting to play and several patches sound like instant Hollywood right out of the box. The randomize function adds some nice randomness to the instrument and lead to new creations and unconventional sounds. Well done Particular-Sound.
Overall Sound Quality
Modularium is an very inspiring instrument, the patches are inviting to play and several patches sound like instant Hollywood right out of the box. The randomize function adds some nice randomness to the instrument and lead to new creations and unconventional sounds. Well done Particular-Sound.