Over the past couple of months, I’ve been really lucky to have the chance to try out some really unique sample libraries and virtual instruments. From AURORA by Fluffy Audio to IMPAKT by Sample Logic, there are plenty of new and established companies creating some incredible libraries at the moment. Output fall into the category of “new sample library developer” and considering “REV” is only their first release, they’re going to have a hard time keeping up with the standard they’ve just set for themselves!
REV is the first Kontakt library (as far as I can tell) which offers “reversed” instruments, loops and sounds. The entire library consists of a wide range of patches of reversed melodic and percussion instruments, pads, swells, rises, one hits and sound design patches. On first glance, its a mammoth library. The sheer amount of patches initially available when you open it up is incredible, and once you start fiddling around, you see just how many variations there are on each patch, and how much you can manipulate every patch/sound you create.
REV comes with just 4 patches for Kontakt – “Instruments”, “Loops”, “Rises” and “Timed Instruments” – loading all 4 patches takes over 7GB of RAM to load. The “Instruments” patch has the largest RAM footprint and comes with 13 different preset folders, each of which have between 20 to 60 presets inside them (450 presets total). “Loops” has 15 banks, with 24 tempo locked loops allowing thousands of combo possibilities. “Rises” has a wide selection of 1/4, 1/2 , 1, 2 & 4 Bar Rises + half/double time with boat loads of FX Presets, Stutters, FX, Sweeps, Triggers to choose from. “Timed Instruments” is similar to the “Instruments” patch, but all sounds are timed to 1/2, 1/4 whole notes at any tempo.
Each patch in REV has an additional 2 layers to it offering up to 27 different samples to choose from ranging from organs to drums with some synths included too. One you load up a sample, you choose whether you want it dry reversed, we reversed, pad or forward.
The REV interface looks stunning and is laid out in such a way that really makes you want to experiment with each setting and see what sounds you can achieve – it just inspires creativity. It also comes with plenty of knobs to change everything from the ADSR, to the stutter and filter.
As I noted above, the instruments patch is the largest of all four patches. There are some beautifully recorded instruments in here with some of my favourite being “Glow” and “Warm Rumble” – both warm, soft and slow evolving reversed sounds. Every original instrument sound that was recorded seems to have been recorded really well, meaning the reversed sounds we hear are incredible. The amount of built in effects and changeable settings in the instruments patch (and the other patches), mean that you’re not just getting 450 reversed instruments/sounds, you’re getting 450 basic sounds to start with, and infinite directions in where to go from there.
The loops patch has some seriously great loops included that you have to admire even if you’re not a loops user. The loops on offer are reminiscent of those you might hear in 8Dio Rhythmic Aura, Universal Sampling Euphoria, Hybrid Two Project ALPHA and Heavyocity Evolve. There are plenty of unusual percussion loops perfect for dark/gritty/mysterious underscore cues as well as grungy deep synth loops, cymbal/shaker loops perfect for crime underscore and electronic/acoustic loops perfect for those “hybrid” cues. Again, all patches are highly editable to make them sound like your own. Just this loops section alone could honestly be sold for over $100 by itself when compared to its competitors.
The rises patch is a funny one. I don’t really use rises very much in my own music personally so I’m not exactly the best person to judge them. What I can say it that they all sound incredible and I could see how the sounds could be used in a lot of electronic/drum ‘n bass/hip hop tracks as well as in underscore situations too. The patch again has loads of sounds to choose from, all of which are incredibly editable (is that a word?) offering you the chance to make these sounds your own.
REV Timed Instruments
The timed instruments patch is the same as the normal instruments patch but…you guessed it – they’re all tempo synced. This is a great addition to the normal instruments patch as you can really create some unique sounds here by fiddling with the stutter settings and changing the layers. Again – unlimited sounds to choose from when you start to play with the settings – I had a lot of fun playing with this patch.
When I downloaded REV, I was expecting a Kontakt library that offers reversed instruments and sounds – the kind you can create yourself in your DAW at the click of a button. When I opened it up and started playing with it though, I was just completely blown away by it – the preset sounds, the customizable options available and the price. I keep using this word in the review, but its just an incredible and the first library that I genuinely have to give 100/100 for. It ticks all the boxes for me – priced very reasonably, plenty of presets to get your start, easy and beautiful interface, simple download, and inspiring to use. Seriously – get it, you’ll have a lot of fun with it and will be able to use it in plenty of tracks no matter what style of music you write.