“Sampling Meets Synthesis”
Following on from XOSPHERE, Sample Logic’s latest sample library “Cyclone Retwisted” is described as “The Ultimate Sample Synth”. Based on an older product called Cyclone, the sample library has been “completely re-engineered and re-imagined”, using their new “Step FX and animator technology” and a “new dual-voice additive synthesizer”.
But surely there’s more to this library than a new interface and some extra functionality? There sure is…
All Sample Logic product downloads are handled by Continuata so download and installation of Cyclone Retwisted was simple. I got my serial number, put it into the Continuata installer, and it automatically downloaded and extracted everything for me. Then I only needed to open Kontakt, go through the registration process and the library is added to my “libraries tab” in Kontakt. Quick and simple.
Unlike their previous library XOSPHERE which comes with just one Kontakt patch and multiple instruments within that patch through the patch browser, Cyclone Retwisted comes 406 patches along with the original Cyclone sample library patches and Glow Multi Pack. There’s a folder for each, with 850 instruments and multis in total.
Cyclone Patch Categories:
- Construction Kits
- Instrument Stacks
- One Note Glory
Cyclone Retwisted Patch Categories:
- Harmonic Soundscapes
- Wave Synths
- Construction Kits
- Instrument Stacks
- One Note Glory
With 850 instruments and multis to choose from, there is definitely a lot more patches than most Kontakt libraries. Looking through the patches, there are some absolute beauties in there that I could see myself using for underscore and electronic music. Retwisted has a new category called “Kits” which feature some useful percussion instruments.
With the creation of their new Step FX and Animator technology, Sample Logic’s interfaces are getting more and more complex – not complicated, but complex (ie. more features). Since I already own XOSPHERE, I was pretty familiar with the library interface. However, I still took a run through the manual as there are so many different features available.
Luckily the abundance of features doesn’t make Cyclone Retwisted difficult to use. If you want, you can just load up a preset and off you go. However, when you take the time to really get to grips with it, you find that its highly flexible.
There are three main interface area- FX, Step Animator and Mixer view. The FX view (above) allows you to choose from 8 studio effects (eg. compressor, reverb, distortion etc.), waveform generator, FX trigger, LFO and the mixer section. There is also volume envelope, stereo widener and master lo/hi-cut options to choose from.
Also on the FX panel is the “WAVE” button which is where the subtractive/additive wavetable synthesis engine is located. When opened, you get can select different wave types and edit the effects of each (filter, envelope, tuning etc.)
The Step Animator is laid out the same as in previous libraries like Arpology so if you’ve used it in other Sample Logic products, you’ll be familiar with it. Its incredibly detailed allowing you to edit literally every single option. It has a built-in presets browser which is categorised into Chordal-Gated, Glitch-Experimental, Melodic and Non Chordal. Its a very handy way of quickly modifying a patch…presets for a preset basically!
The Mixer View (above) is where things really start to get crazy. You can control the wave table output for each wave, change how much influence the velocity input has on volume, and the FX animator which allows you to trigger FX based on note velocity.
While at first glance the interface can look pretty daunting, once you start using it, its actually pretty quick to get to grips with. I can’t think of any way the interface could be improved upon to be honest!
So how does Cyclone Retwisted sound? It can do thick basses, lush pads, screaming leads, evolving arps and everything in between. It’s ideal for creating big thick moving sounds, and is at home in pretty much any style of electronic music as well, with possible applications in sound design work.
Anyone writing Dubstep, Ambient, Downtempo, Electronica or electronic underscore music will definitely enjoy the sound of Cyclone Retwisted. One of its biggest strengths soundwise is in creating “evolving” and “moving” sounds. Personally, I can see myself using it for a lot of dark / sci-fi / industrial / underscore style music and some sound design work too.
If you’re not a synth tweaker, the sheer amount of presets you get will keep you going for a long time. If you are a tweaker, with the built in synthesis engine you’re never going to have a problem getting new sounds of out of as there is just so much customisation to be had.
The $349 price tag doesn’t exactly make it the cheapest Kontakt library on the market, but when you take into account the sheer amount of content and tweakability you’re getting, you can’t but agree with the pricing. You’re getting the original Cyclone library with the Glow Multi Pack, along with the new Retwisted library and new interface and Step FX / Animator. In total, the library comes with over 850 instruments and multis which is far more than I’ve ever seen in a Kontakt library.
$349 puts it between Native Instruments Massive ($230) and Omnisphere ($499), which I think is fair when you compare content and flexibility. All in all, $349 is the right price for the library – its jam packed with content and if you’re a composer constantly under time restraints, you’ll get more than your money’s worth!
Sample Logic’s mission statement has been to focus on “blurring the line between music and sound design”. They’ve successfully done that with Cyclone Retwisted and made a library that will find a home in the toolbox of many composers and electronic musicians. Though on first look it may be seen as “just a Kontakt library”, its much more than that.
Cyclone Retwisted is a different take on a standard “synth”, jam packed with features and FX. Its the perfect tool for film / TV / game composers, sound designers and electronic musicians looking for a time saving tool to create evolving, cutting edge sounds.